Though the reduction in the value of stock market investments affected Illinois’ pension investments, the deficit can be largely attributed to the failure of state officials to make the required contributions to the state’s retirement systems. In recent years, the state’s Democrat leaders have chosen to defer pension obligations to finance spending increases in other areas. The Pew report noted that “Many experts agree that making full annual contributions is key to effectively managing the long-term costs of state retirement systems.”
As government workers face the reality of their pension problems, the union campaign “We Are One” is beginning to air ads to try to guilt politicians into leaving pensions untouched and, instead, impose more taxes (though you wont see that said in this ad).
The ads are a response to state pension reform plans in the Illinois Legislature that threaten to cut benefits for many state employees.
In the ads, union members stress the fact that they paid their obligations to the pension system and the state is now required to uphold its end of the pension agreement.
Here’s the one basic problem with the unions’ argument in blaming the politicians alone:
Since 2003 (at least), the unions put those politicians in office and, now, all taxpayers in Illinois are faced with having to pay for the unions’ mess.
If union members want to hold someone accountable for their pensions being underfunded, perhaps they should start first with their union bosses who selected the politicians.
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776