James R. Thompson: The Ghost Haunting Illinois

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On August 14, 2020 James R. Thompson (R) passed away. Big Jim Thompson, as he was known, was the 37th and longest-serving governor of the state of Illinois, serving from 1977 to 1991. Thompson is survived by his wife Jayne and daughter Samantha. The Chicago Tribune describes Thompson as a moderate willing to work on a bipartisan basis to pass legislation.

“A better way to describe Thompson is as a tax thief,” said Jim Tobin, President of Taxpayers United of America (TUA). “Thompson was one of the worst tax-raisers in Illinois history. Thompson twice tried to increase the state’s income tax. He championed a ‘temporary’ tax hike in 1983 that took the income tax rate from 2.5% to 3% for two years. Then in 1989, Thompson raised taxes permanently to 3%.”

“When he retired, Thompson secured a gold-plated Illinois General Assembly Pension that his income tax increase would fund. This year, he was set to receive an annual pension of $165,987. His total pension payout from taxpayers stands at over $3,219,842.”

“However, since Governor Thompson has finally passed away, his wife will now receive survivor benefits. According to state law, Jayne Thompson will now receive 66 2/3% of her husband’s pension, increased at a rate of 3% compounded annually. Jayne will receive this pension, despite being reported to still work as President and CEO of her own company.”

“It’s pensions like these that are bankrupting Illinois. The Illinois General Assembly Retirement System in which Mrs. Thompson will receive payment is only funded at 15.65% thanks to overpromised pensions. That’s why the current Illinois governor wants to increase the Illinois income tax with a graduated rate: to take from you, to fund lavish government pensions.”

“Pritzker’s proposed state constitutional amendment is a wealth transfer from taxpayers to wealthy retired bureaucrats who produce nothing. It is urgent that taxpayers in Illinois vote no on Pritzker’s Income Theft Amendment this November 3 and force Illinois politicians to act within the bounds of reality.”

Pritzker Spins His Wheels At Taxpayer Expense

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Chicago – Evidence is beginning to mount that Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is burning taxpayer dollars in an ineffectual fight against COVD-19.

While Pritzker’s promises to expand coronavirus testing looks good for the cameras, Pritzker is ignoring reality,” said Matthew Schultz, Executive Director of Taxpayers United of America. “No matter how much Pritzker spends on testing, the capacity to analyze tests has barely increased. Illinoisans are waiting weeks before finding out if they are positive or not, and by that point the test is useless.”

At the start of June, it was reported that Pritzker paid a premium of almost $500 million in taxpayer dollars on over 1 million coronavirus tests. However, by then the state of Illinois was already lagging behind the testing rate. As early as April 2nd Illinois was behind 29 other states in per capita testing.

“Governor Pritzker is disrespecting the billions of taxpayer dollars allotted to him on the federal level,” continued Schultz. “$500 million on useless tests, $286 million on tracking coronavirus patients well after the virus has run its course. It’s all a show to make it look like he is actually making a difference.”

“The Soviet style state lockdown Pritzker instituted, which has shuttered 5100 Illinois business, was a move of desperation due to state resource mismanagement and Pritzker’s inability to act quickly.  Remember, it was Pritzker’s party that lashed out against government anti-coronavirus measures as far back as January.”

Pritzker has blamed the federal government for his sluggishness to act by stating he was expecting more support from DC. What Pritzker has to remember, is that if he had managed Illinois better, he would have more resources to fight a crisis. Instead, Pritzker has given government employees $100 million in pay raises, and had so far refused to deal with the elephant in the room: the Illinois government pension crisis. Pritzker has chosen government employees and government retirees over the health of Illinois as a whole.”

“Even without common sense fiscal reform, Pritzker could be more pragmatic with the billion that has been entrusted to him by taxpayers. Instead of paying for useless testing, use resources to acquire additional masks and launch a campaign to wear masks. Convincing, but not forcing Illinoisans to use masks would significantly reduce the number of COVID cases, and would be a more efficient use of resources.”

Rockford Pensioners Collect Millions Amid Unemployment Crisis

Jim Tobin
Jim Tobin

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TUA in the News!
Story covered by CBS Channel 23 News Rockford.

Rockford- “Rockford area property taxes have been some of the highest in the country in recent years. Property taxes pay for the local government pensions and state law requires those pensions to be paid before any other commitments. No matter how many private sector workers lose their jobs, government retirees continue to collect their gold-plated pensions,” said Jim Tobin, economist and president of Taxpayers United of America (TUA).

“While the local pensions of the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) are paid by property taxes, the remaining five state pension funds are subsidized with the Illinois state income-tax.” 

“In order to fund pensions of the 148,654 pensioners who will collect more than a million dollars in pension payments, Democrat Gov. Jay Robert ‘J. B.’Pritzkeris seeking to hoodwink voters into passing constitutional amendment that that ushers in massive state income-tax increases.”

“Pritzker’s incometheft amendment will be on the November 3, 2020 ballot. If passed, this taxpayer theftwill hit the middle-class the hardest. Between the mass exodus of Illinois residents to more tax-friendly states and the huge loss of jobs and income from Pritzker’s Soviet style lockdown, Illinois’ middle-class will virtually disappear.”

“As many of us have been struggling without a paycheck, or watching businesses disintegrate, here’s what a few of the political elite in Winnebago County collected without a concern of what is to come:

Alan S. Brown retired from Rockford SD205 at the age of 55. His current annual pension is $188,828, an increase of about $5,000 over last year. With his 3% compounded COLA, he will realize about $5,353,244 over a normal lifetime. His personal investment in that stunning payout is only about 3%.

Paul A. Logli retired from Winnebago County government with a current annual pension of $172,197. His raise this year was about $3,700 and he will collect about $4,966,168 in estimated lifetime pension payments. Paul is also eligible for a social security pension. 

Karl Jacobs, Rock Valley College retiree, collects $184,970 a year from the State University Retirement System (SURS). His estimated lifetime payout is $2,968,762. He only had to invest $159,281 of his own money in that payout.”

“Illinois government employees only work 20.1 years on average in order to collect these unrealistic pensions. And for every dollar they deposit in their own pension fund, taxpayers are forced to fork over $4.74. Add to that a 3% COLA, compounded for all but IMRF, and it doesn’t take a genius to understand why Illinois’ government pensions are insolvent.”

“Rather than put an income theft amendment on the November 3rd ballot, Pritzker should have pushed for a pension reform amendment because these outrageous pensions are protected by the state constitution. 

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