We get letters.

Fred,

OK, pay 100% of the pensions up to $40,000 per year and limit the haircut to pension amounts above $40,000 per year. That would be a fairer way to deal with the hardships. My point is to question the unions’ objectives. Eventually there will be a solution to this underfunding problem … probably bankruptcy. Every dollar that goes toward the pension underfunding is a dollar that doesn’t go to classrooms and active teachers. The unions and students are letting themselves be used to fight the retirees’ fight. If the unions and students win what they claim to want, the result will be MORE money into unsustainable pensions + retiree health care and less money into teachers’ salaries and classrooms. The unions will say, of course, that there’s plenty of money for everything we want — just raise taxes on the wealthy. Certainly infinite money could produce that result. However, there is not infinite money so now there is a 5-way or 6-way fight for available money: taxpayers, legislators (who supposedly represent the taxpayers who are voters), students, active teachers, retired teachers, highways, water pipelines, — you get the idea. We can look for people to blame for the mess, but we can’t collect money from those people. So clever people like teachers, retired teachers, union officials etc. should work toward a way to clean up the mess rather than fight about who made the mess.

-Anon

– Dear Anon,
Have you read a newspaper lately? The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that a contract and the rule of law as defined by our constitution means that current retirees shall be paid the pension we earned. This is not a bargaining position. This is the law. Your opinion may be interesting to some, but the unanimous opinions of the members of the ISC is the law and trumps your opinion.

– Fred

Fred,

Chicago…next Detroit…you cannot tax a problem away..

-No Free Handouts

Fred,

Chicago….will follow Detroit!!!

-You cannot tax your way out of this problem

Dear NFH and YCTYWOOTP,

If I were playing a drinking game every time one of you mentioned Detroit I would not be able to sl.nfaowp egjzfdsfpwpq4itr

-Fsalwreugpewotrjpo

Fred,

Get your head out of the sand.

-Two sides to the story

Dear Two sides,

I will as soon as I finish this last drink.

-Fred

8 thoughts on “We get letters.

  1. Fred,

    Please share…

    I know the courts have ruled in our favor. I know our lawmakers have underfunded for five decades. The blame is obvious. The solution is a bit gray. As you’ve said many times, “It’s a funding problem.” I agree, but I don’t expect Springfield to come up with the scratch to fund us up to 80-90% by doing the right thing. They won’t. How do you REALLY see this play out? I believe most teachers would be willing to give up a wee bit to see our pensions on firmer ground for years to come. Playing hardball is fine, but the only way I see a reasonable outcome if WE are the adult in the room. Our short sided lawmakers will never be.

    Rob S.
    Retired Class of 2013

    • Rob,
      The solution is not gray. The problem is entirely solvable. If you don’t believe the legislature will find a way to pay what they owe, then what would we possibly give that would change that? A wee bit? That would get them to move? If we give a wee bit, they will come back for more. And more. The solution resides in increasing funding, a graduated income tax and real taxes on corporate profits and a reamortization of the pension debt.

      • I agree with all your points. That would do it, but will they? Our lawmakers don’t give a rat’s ass about us. All those felons (some charged, others awaiting to be) care about is themselves. It’s fantasy to think these bums will do the right thing Fred. What’s your REALISTIC version of what will transpire?

        Thx,
        Rob

      • We can’t predict, can we? But I believe that pressure and activism from public employees and our organizations will make all the difference.

  2. Fred, I pick up my seven year old niece everyday at grade school. When school lets out there are kids pouring out of that school. Some get on one of seven buses, others are picked up by designated adults. It’s all up to the teachers and school staff to make sure these school children safely get on the buses and are picked up by the designated adult. And often a child will trip and roll down the steps like I saw yesterday and have to be tended to. Teachers deal with this after a long day of being in the classroom. Teachers deal with this day after day year after year. I can just see the strain on their faces. If anyone deserves a secure pension they do.

  3. When did it become blasphemy to raise taxes? That is the only way to get ourselves out of this funding shortfall, but it seems to be ignored as a solution.

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