Chicago Trib joins the chorus. Exchange the pension protection clause for a fair tax.

Pritzker’s fair tax is moving along.

No surprise.

A day after the corporate funded Better Government Association CEO David Greising  calls for a package deal that exchanges the pension protection clause for a fair tax, the Tribune says the same thing

It’s not surprising because it looks more and more like the fair tax is getting real.

The days when the wealthy get a free tax ride in Illinois may be coming to an end. They will have to pay a little more than you. Not all that much, really.

It’s not like you will find them lining up at a soup kitchen. It amounts to a slight increase in the marginal tax rate for those at the top. It still won’t be enough to pay the sate’s bills.

But to the BGA and the Trib, any more is too much.

The fair tax will have to go to the voters and get a super majority vote. That’s what is required to change the flat tax language in the state constitution.

A vote? Now the BGA and the Trib wants votes on more stuff.

Let’s vote on everything in the constitution!

Term limits. Redistricting. And, of course, the pension protection clause.

It’s like a teenage boy sneaking a pack of Trojans in with the chips and pop so the clerk at Walgreen’s won’t notice.

“Let’s see. I would like a fair tax, term limits, (mumbles) pension protection clause oh, and some redistricting reform, sir.”

But it’s really all about the Trojans. And it’s all about the pension protection clause.

That’s the target. They don’t really give a crap about term limits or even redistricting.

I’m not big on term limits. Limit corporate funding to election campaigns and I think that will do the trick. And if they can program fair representation into a computer application, I’m good with redistricting reform too.

As for the pension protection clause, let me repeat what I have been saying for years. The legislature can try to change the constitutional and contractual pension arrangement.

It won’t do away with the growing pension liability, now at $133 billion.

It must be paid.

It wont retroactively diminish or impair the public pensions of those currently in the system, active and retired.

Pensions for a fair tax?

No deal.

4 thoughts on “Chicago Trib joins the chorus. Exchange the pension protection clause for a fair tax.

  1. Fred: I saw a local news program a couple of weeks ago [sorry, don’t remember which one] where they had an IL legislator from each party. During the course of their discussion it was brought up by the moderator that the state of IL could possibly bring a lawsuit to the Federal Supreme Court with regard to our state’s pension clause and that the decision by them could possibly strike down our current protections. Any thought on that? How likely, if at all is this, or is it a pipe dream by our state ‘leaders’? Inquiring minds want to know!!

    1. Federal Courts would not interfere with a decision of a State Supreme Court. Why? 1. Federal courts do not usually review the decisions of state courts. 2. The Illinois Supreme Court decision regarding public pensions on May 8, 2015 was consistent with (and did not violate) the U.S. Constitution. 3. There are no constitutional questions for the U.S. Supreme Court to consider.

  2. Furthermore, there is nothing ambiguous or vague about these decrees. Succinctly put, this is what the Illinois Supreme Court determined on May 8, 2015:

    “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law nor be denied the equal protection of the laws” (The Constitution of the State of Illinois, Article 1—Due Process and Equal Protection, Section 2).

    “Private property shall not be taken or damaged for public use without just compensation as provided by law. Such compensation shall be determined by a jury as provided by law” (The Constitution of the State of Illinois, Article 1—Right of Eminent Domain, Section 15).

    “No ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts…shall be passed” (The Constitution of the State of Illinois, Article I—Ex Post Facto Laws and Impairing Contracts, Section 16/The Constitution of the United States, Article 1—Limitations on Powers of States, Section 10).

    “Membership in any pension or retirement system of the State, any unit of local government or school district, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, shall be an enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired” (The Constitution of the State of Illinois, Article XIII—Pension and Retirement Rights, Section 5: The Pension Protection Clause).

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