Paving roads with our pension funds. Government sponsored pension theft.

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For decades the state of Illinois has underfunded the public employee pension funds to protect politicians from having to raise taxes.

And they were certainly not going to raise taxes on their sponsors in the Civic Committee.

“You’ve stolen from our pension funds for years,” a teacher yelled at State Representative Elaine Nekritz at a pension forum I spoke at with her in Aurora.

“We didn’t steal it,” laughed Nekritz. “We never paid it in the first place.”

Josh Baro writes in the New York Times online:

The Federal Highway Trust Fund is expected to run out of money in August. So, naturally, Congress is debating a temporary fix that involves letting corporations underfund their pension systems.

Of course, we could replenish the fund by raising the federal gasoline tax, which is its primary source of financing. That’s what Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, and Senator Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, want to do. But increasing gas taxes is unpopular, so Congress hasn’t done so since 1993, which means that the tax on gas has actually fallen 39 percent over the last 21 years after you adjust for inflation. Instead, Congress has used a series of gimmicks and shifts to keep the fund solvent as highway construction costs have risen.

Writes Baro:

Raising the gas tax and indexing it to inflation would be a fine way to fix the perennial shortfall in the fund without increasing the deficit. But there is another perfectly valid option: replenishing the fund by borrowing money. Interest rates are low, investors are clamoring to lend money to the United States and federal debt is projected to be a stable share of the economy over the next 10 years. This is a good time to borrow money and to spend the proceeds on useful highway construction.

Yet instead, Congress is debating whether it should — again — let corporations underfund their pension plans, and generate a one-time boost in tax revenue. And Congress would use that revenue to fund a few months of a continuing spending program that it does not have a plan to make permanently solvent, while exposing pension beneficiaries and taxpayers to risk if a corporation goes bankrupt after underfunding its pension plan.

Of course we teachers and other public sector members of the state’s pension funds know that in Illinois mile after mile of the state’s highways and other infrastructure have always been paid for with money that should have gone into our pension funds.

 

8 thoughts on “Paving roads with our pension funds. Government sponsored pension theft.

  1. If she doesn’t lose in Nov Maybe the retired Teachers could find someone for 2016 if the unions cant. But I am going to comment on the infrastructure . IDOTs nickname in road circles has another “I” in it and its not for innovative. this is your stereotypical brain dead buracracy While other states have come up with innovative ideas IDOT dusts off stuff from the 50s Lets just look at downstate
    http://www.dot.state.il.us/projects.html. This is the wish list (read the US 34 Sandwich to Plano in Dist 3 for a laugh) Lets say dealing with IDOT can make you a pension cutter at least for them. Most of these roads need improvement but a 4 lane @ 10 million a mile or maybe something like this from MO @ 2 million a mile How much does this cut the wish lits -maybe 10 billion or more
    http://www.modot.org/shared4-lane/Shared4Lane.htm
    Please hand to the IRTA attorneys if the state can even think of this there is NO emergency
    Thanks for this we need to point out how much this state is addicted to pork

  2. I contacted Elaine a few times about the pension theft. At first she answered back with double speak as they all do….then she stated that without this plan pensioneers would get nothing as the money would run out. NEVER did she say she would look into alternate funding methods. After asking her why not, she never answered back.

  3. Every member of “Nekritz-Biss & Associates, The pension theft experts”, needs to go. Let’s also remember the ones that voted no on SB1 because they did not think it went far enough. They all need to be voted out.

    1. Pompous? Clueless? Blind? We could have a real contest coming up with the best adjectives to describe her and the mathematically-challenged mathematician Biss.

      1. He can practice his addition on his future general election or primary loss. His brilliant university of Chicago mind might not be able to figure it out for a few days

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