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We built it.

January 31, 2013

“j” writes and asks, “I still want to see a list of projects that my pension money funded….”we built it list”….maybe I can get a share of revenue from these venues…Soldier Field Bear’s ticket revenue….or a cut of Michigan Avenue store sales after I funded the flowers in the median garden beds.”

Of course, “j” is being rhetorical.

Our pensions were used to pay for it it all.

Remember Representative Elaine Nekritz’s answer to a question at the community forum in Aurora? A teacher  asked her about the General Assembly taking money out of the state public employee pension system’s to pay for the state’s expenses that couldn’t be paid for based on the current flat income tax combined with corporate loopholes and giveaways?

“We didn’t take it out,” Nekritz snidely said. “We never paid it in the first place.”

That is the Bizarro World we in Illinois live in. The world of Mike Madigan who says that it is the politicians who have made the sacrifices while the state’s employees have been getting a free lunch.

Now that the state’s most powerful political figure has told the labor coalition of We Are One to “drop dead,” where do we go. What should we do?

Of course, the state’s public employee unions, both individually and through We Are One must continue to demand to be heard.

Our position must be that a solution can be found that is constitutional, brings financial stability to the pension systems and fair to the members of the pension systems.

We must show to the taxpayers of the state and their political representatives that the current legislative movement for a graduated income tax plus closing corporate loopholes provides the foundation for paying off the unfunded liability and funding for the future. Plus it will bring tax fairness to a state where those with the least now pay the most.

More than ever, our leaders must use the greatest weapon they have: Over 700,000 members of the pension systems, their families, friends and the members of the state’s public employee unions. We are spread out across every legislative district in the state.

We are loud. We vote. We can be moved into action. We are more powerful than any lobbyist or lawyer.

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