CTA Redline Scam

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Does Chicago have $2.3 billion to spend on anything? That’s the price of extending the Red Line from 95th Street to 130th Street, a distance of 5.6 miles–almost $411 million per mile. Much of this money, about half, must come from federal funding that has not yet been approved.

Will this gargantuan project increase ridership, and if so, will this increase pay for the excessive extension? Of course not. The city will be throwing money it doesn’t have down the bureaucratic black hole. That’s what bureaucratic agencies, planners and commissions do best. They always present their most optimistic scenarios, that almost always end up costing more than originally predicted.

Only a relatively small number of commuters would use this extended line. The subject of user fees is ignored because nobody believes that the Red Line extension can pay for itself. Unlike private businesses, public projects do not need to pay for themselves although they should. That is the fundamental problem.

Furthermore, maintenance of this Red Line extension would add to Chicago’s already huge deficit. Indeed, almost a billion dollars a year is needed just to maintain the current CTA lines and that’s just to keep this outdated system from further deterioration. About $12 billion is needed for the current maintenance backlog, which is not even in the Red Line extension discussion.

The CTA Red Line is a mode of transportation that is obsolete. Relying on 19th century technology is a formula for the past, not the future. Spending tax money on boondoggles never seems to deter the overpaid government bureaucrats who are adept at spending other people’s money. That is what they do best.

Lake County Government Schools: Mismanagement Woes

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Lincolnshire, IL – Adlai Stevenson HSD 125 is plagued not only with outrageous pension burdens, but also with gross mismanagement and corruption, according to Jim Tobin, economist and president of Taxpayers United of America (TUA).

“Stevenson High School, like other Lake County government institutions, gouges taxpayers for outrageous salaries and pensions while completely mismanaging the government employees and students in their charge.”

“Stevenson High School student dean, Paul Weil resigned amid his alleged inappropriate texting with students. A second dean, Nicolas Valenziano had to resign after a video of his racist attack on a student was reported.”

“Students were caught in a pervasive, organized, cheating effort. But that didn’t compare to the wholly inappropriate sexting scandal. Perhaps worst of all, wealthy parents actually gave up custody of their junior or senior students in order to divert student aid from truly deserving students.”

“These government schoolteachers and administrators are rewarded for their inept governance with lavish, outrageous pensions. The Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) is one of the most bloated pension systems in the state. No matter how poorly these bureaucrats perform, taxpayers are on the hook to pay them until their death.”

On average, Illinois government teachers are only employed about 27 years before they are eligible to retire and collect full pensions. The average age of an Illinois teacher at retirement is only 59.

“The TRS is only about 50% funded, and this is what the proposed Pritzker income-theft amendment is all about. Pritzker has placed an amendment on the November 3 ballot to change the state flat-rate income tax to a graduated income tax. If passed, this graduated tax will decimate the state’s middle-class.”

“Between the mass exodus of Illinois residents and businesses to more tax-friendly states and the huge loss of jobs and income from Pritzker’s lockdown, Illinois’ middle-class will virtually disappear. Lake County has lost more than 7,600 residents.”

Here are just a couple of the bloated government pensions at Stevenson High School:

James S. Hintz, Stevenson HSD 125 retiree, has a current annual pension of $306,373. He will collect a stunning $9,271,559 in estimated lifetime pension payments.

Timothy D. Kanold retired from Stevenson HSD 125 and currently collects $274,681 a year from TRS. His estimated lifetime payout is $8,371,466. He had to invest only $278,892 of his own money for that payout.

Click Here to view all top Stevenson HSD 125 pensions.

“Illinois government employees are employed for only 20.1 years on average in order to collect these lavish, gold-plated 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 ballot, Pritzker should have pushed for a pension reform amendment,” said Tobin.

Taxpayers Fight Home Rule Push in Crestwood

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Chicago – Jim Tobin, President of Taxpayers United of America’s (TUA), has announced that taxpayers will be fighting Home Rule in the Village of Crestwood.

“In the upcoming November elections, wealthy government bureaucrats want voters to approve Home Rule for their communities,” said Tobin. “Home Rule is a disaster. It gives unlimited taxing authority to local bureaucrats to fund their lavish, gold plated pensions. Illinois is broke, because of an unsustainable pension system. Taxpayers must reject Home Rule on the November 3 ballot.”

Click below to access printable versions of the Crestwood flier.

Crestwood

Tobin emphasizes that Home Rule always means higher taxes. “Home Rule means, literally, unlimited taxing power,” said Tobin. “A home rule municipality can create just about any tax under the sun and raise taxes without limit.”

“I call it ‘Home Ruin.’ Why would anyone want to give up the right to vote on property tax increases?”

“Home Rule removes the cap limiting the amount that bureaucrats can increase property taxes. It gives bureaucrats a blank check. How many government bureaucrats would you trust with a blank check bearing your signature?”