More Illinois Bizarro World pension news. Where up is down, black is white and Democrats are Republicans.
Every day brings more evidence that Bizarro World is more than a sixties comic book. It is the state we live in.
Recall that in Bizarro World everything is the opposite of the real world.
In the real world Democrats appear to be the defenders of social programs, Social Security and Medicare. In the current over-the-cliff budget battle in Washington, the GOP are opposed to taxing the rich. The GOP calls for cuts in social programs.
But here in Bizarro World, Democrats go after public employee pensions and Republicans defend them.
Take former Republican Governor Jim Edgar.
Former Gov. Jim Edgar says the corporate titans who are pressing state officials to fix Illinois’ deep financial problems need to temper their criticism of the pensions received by government employees.
Edgar, a Republican who has served on some corporate boards, said he thinks some of the wealthy businessmen who’ve been pushing for a pension overhaul don’t understand that state workers don’t have the same types of compensation packages as those in private business.
“I think people in the private sector don’t understand there are some limitations in the public sector they didn’t have,” Edgar said. “I see what bonuses they get and things state employees don’t have.”
“We never had profit sharing. We never had stock options. We never had bonuses. All we really had was our retirement,” Edgar said. “They ought to be a little more understanding and not quite as harsh on state workers as they’ve been.”
The former governor’s comments came as Gov. Pat Quinn continues to push for pension legislation designed to begin addressing an unfunded liability of $94 billion within the state’s five employee retirement systems.
“I know a lot of retirees are very scared,” Edgar said. “Some of them are very low income. They’ve been promised this. They had worked for 30 years understanding this is what they are going to get. That has caused a lot of fear.”
“There is no silver bullet on this thing. There is no quick fix,” Edgar said. “It’s going to take a long time, I think, for this to get resolved.”