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Ty Fahner. The Paul Ryan of Illinois pension reform. No time for details.

November 15, 2012

The Civic Committee’s Ty Fahner.

Remember the election of of 2012?

It was all the talk before the General Petraeus thing.

Remember we had this VP candidate who was famous for his bogus budget plan that was  so lacking in details that it became a running joke on late night TV? The proposal was big on cuts to the poor and Social Security. But when Congressman Ryan was asked for supporting data or details, he would smile and say he didn’t have the time to go into the details.

Now we have the head of the corporate Civic Committee playing Paul Ryan on the issue of state employee pensions.

Crain’s reports that yesterday Ty Fahner went to the media and declared the state’s public pensions unfixable and then called for cost of living cuts, raising the retirement age, capping pension earnings and shifting the cost of the pension obligation of teachers to local school districts. Before reporters, Fahner pointed to a prop one inch thick binder that he said had all the numbers. But he wouldn’t share the binder with the press

In a phone interview this morning, Mr. Fahner said his group reached its conclusions based on a series of actuarial studies that are “an inch thick.” Mr. Fahner, a lawyer and top GOP fundraiser who once served as Illinois Attorney General, said he is not now releasing his actuarial studies but said he would do so if legislative leaders disclose theirs.

He won’t show his unless the legislature shows their’s?

In fact, this is just warmed-over corporate blather. And a rerun of both the Paul Ryan proposals and Ryan’s lack of supporting facts.

Note that there is nothing in the former Republican Attorney General’s proposals to suggest that a lack of revenue might be the problem. And nothing was presented to suggest that any of these cuts will do anything to pay the now %90 billion dollar unfunded pension liability, that by law, must be paid.

It was Fahner himself who admitted on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight that if an employer in the private sector had failed to do what the state has done to employee retirement pensions over these past 50 years, they would have been indicted.

Yet, as John Dillon points out, “If anyone would have an inside track on how pensions were underfunded to begin with, it would be Mr. Fahner, who served as an appointed Attorney General of Illinois under Governor “Big Jim” Thompson, who managed the pension holiday program effectively to the point that the funded ration for pensions dropped from 90% to 30%.” 

Fahner wrote the last pension busting bill, SB512. It couldn’t get enough votes to even be called.

Fahner wrote the letter announcing that the SB412 would be withdrawn, a first in Illinois legislative politics: a private citizen deciding whether a bill gets voted on by the General Assembly.

Fahner is back doing his best Paul Ryan impression.

Remember Paul Ryan?

He didn’t win.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 15, 2012 8:01 am

    Here’s a relevant and related “detail” from a few years ago also worthy of discussion:

    “State and local governments gave nearly $70 billion to corporations. [These are] massive subsidies and welfare for these large corporations… even though corporate profits have increased 60 percent, and corporations have almost $2 trillion in cash… [Corporations] are not investing this money. They are not creating jobs. They are hoarding this money that they have pulled out of the economy” (David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist).

  2. November 15, 2012 8:33 am

    Mr. Fayner just cannot stand it that what he wants is not happpening. If he was part of the underfunding fiasco, maybe he could be indicted.

  3. November 15, 2012 3:40 pm

    Fahner should be indicted, tried and convicted – in a fair state with fair laws.
    As an ex-state attorney general he knows that he is free to do exactly what he is doing. Legalized corruption and destructive behavior that has no possibility of personal consequences are part of what today passes for government.
    Corporate welfare is the norm in every state and at the federal level in our plutocracy.

    • Fred Klonsky permalink*
      November 15, 2012 3:47 pm

      Fahner has said that if a private employer had done what the state of Illinois had done in regard to payment of pension obligations, they would be prosecuted. Since he was state Attorney General under Governor Jim Thompson, when the state was most negligent in meeting its pension obligations, he should self-prosecute.

  4. ReTiredbutMisstheKids permalink
    November 15, 2012 10:23 pm

    Time to change the spelling of his name to “Feigner.” Yes, he should self-prosecute, and he should stop persecuting us, we who have paid for what is constitutionally ours.

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