One Day of Work

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Unfunded public employee pensions threaten the financial future of governments across the country. In some states and localities, the crisis chickens have already come home to roost, spurring bankruptcies; in others, the clucking is getting much louder.

The State of Illinois may have the worst problem, having funded only 51 percent of its pension liabilities, the lowest level of any state in the nation. Every household in the Land of Lincoln owes $34,000 for this unfunded liability. For those living in Chicago, add the unfunded municipal pension liability and the burden more than doubles to $76,000 per household.

The underlying problem is the distorted political calculus of public pensions, which are negotiated by politicians who want the political support of the powerful unions, which they might win by promising future benefits they won’t be around to pay for.

This generalized political manipulation is so systemic that it reaches more specific absurdity. Consider the case of Steven Preckwinkle, political director of the Illinois Federation of Teachers. He was able to use a loophole in legislation, for which he lobbied, to snag a huge increase in his pension.

Preckwinkle had never taught in a classroom. Yet, by substitute teaching for just one day, he qualified for the much more generous pension given to Illinois teachers. Moreover, Preckwinkle’s pension benefits are calculated on his whopping $245,000 annual salary as a union lobbyist, not on a teacher’s pay.

Is this Lincoln’s government of, by and for the people? Or just for political insiders like Preckwinkle?

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

10 Comments so far ↓

  1. Jan
    4
    10:03
    AM
    Brian Richard Allen

    Surely none are surprised that America’s Left has long – beginning with its total control of the voting machinery – used every level of America’s every government as the means by which it has gained absolute ownership, management and control of our every government for the purpose of enriching itself and its cohorts and cronies.

    With its cynical vicarious pleasures of having enslaved the rest of us, incited, encouraged and facilitated a thirty-five-million-man criminal-alien invasion and sold us out to our every enemy thrown in as its entertainment. As its bonus.

    We will either break the cycle during the next months and begin the process to reinstate our Republic — or we will have forever lost it.

  2. Jan
    4
    10:09
    AM
    Drik

    Looking for the national government to come up with an excuse to start shoveling massive quantities of tax dollars towards these black holes.
    They will be too even bigger to fail.
    When the productive in this country start kicking back, or the potentially productive start not even trying, look for the political class to start getting nasty.
    -er.

  3. Jan
    4
    10:28
    AM
    Brian Richard Allen

    …. On Jan. 4, 1642, King Charles I of England sent soldiers to arrest members of parliament, beginning England’s slide into civil war.

    …. On Jan. 4, 1649, the English “rump parliament,” having purged those members willing to restore Charles to the throne, voted to put him on trial for high treason and on January 3 1649 he was executed.

    …. On January 4 2007 the 110th united States’ Congress elected Nancy Pelosi as its speaker ….

    And some say those Limeys are never the lucky ones?

  4. Jan
    4
    10:36
    AM
    Brian Richard Allen

    …. When the Productive start kicking back or the Potentially Productive quit volunteering their lives’ energies, look for the political class to get nasty.
    -er ….

    Look closely, too. If we don’t – this year – rid ourselves of 0=Zero’s Gang, look for matters to become very very messy. Not forgetting, though, that We, The Sovereign America People, by about 30:1, outnumber that “class” and their paramilitary forces. And that we own hundreds of millions of firearms and billions of rounds of ammunition and are more than willing to tend the Tree Of Liberty. .

  5. Jan
    4
    1:25
    PM
    SkippingDog

    When fools like Mr. Allen start making noise about taking up arms “to tend the Tree of Liberty” it’s easy to tell that the Tea Party nonsense has migrated to the very fringe of our political life.

    Promoting armed revolution is a treasonous act by any definition, so Mr. Allen will be among the first suspects arrested when his “Nutcase Rebellion” raises its head again after President Obama is reelected later this year.

    The best way to deal with an insurgency or armed revolt is to rapidly and graphically cut off its head for all to see. That’s exactly what will happen if people like Mr. Allen get their wish, but it will be their own heads on the stakes.

  6. Jan
    4
    2:44
    PM
    Mary E

    And then there is the retirement program in San Jose,California where city workers only have to work for twenty years to receive 100% of their daily wage for retirement. I had a neighbor who sold their home and bought another in a lovely retirement community and lived on his 100K+ retirement. He was in his mid 50’s. “until death does it part”.

  7. Jan
    4
    11:27
    PM
    Paul jacob

    Brian Richard Allen — Good stuff! I debated that third item, but included it.

  8. Jan
    4
    11:44
    PM
    SkippingDog

    I thought you were committed to “Common Sense,” Paul Jacob?

  9. Jan
    5
    1:54
    AM
    Tough Love

    Skippy, What is it about Paul’s article that is not common sense ?

    Perhaps that he see the taxpayer ripoff and feels it’s wrong, as I do?

    I know you are on the receiving end of it, with very little chance of a pension reduction as one already retired, so why continue to support this taxpayer ripoff for those who follow you? A perverted sense of loyalty maybe?

    You must realize the more those who follow you get, the bigger the chance yours won’t last for the long haul as well.

  10. Jan
    5
    4:30
    PM
    Linda

    I am almost ready to retire with full retirement and social security benefits but I am after all these years of being against it ready to arm myself against the turbulence that is going to come for it was written long ago about the bad one we all know who that is right! I really feel so bad for all the young people coming up and what they are up against!

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