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Pension mess

To the Editor:

Rich Miller’s column of Jan. 15 tells quite simply the politics behind Illinois’ so-called pension reform.

Speaker Michael Madigan once again is holding us hostage to his plan to wash his hands (and that of all legislators) of the pension mess by transferring the debt back to the citizens who’ve already paid their share. A story reported on the same day about potential cutbacks in state services as reported by Gov. Pat Quinn’s office shows his complicity in Madigan’s scheme.

A transfer of the unpaid debt means only one thing – huge increases in property taxes no matter how slowly this occurs. Illinois citizens should be outraged by this political chicanery.

Perhaps the best solution to the whole mess would be to actually cut unaffordable services out of the budget as proposed. With Madigan and Quinn sitting on their hands, the blame for such a perceived catastrophe would fall squarely where it belongs – on them. And who knows, might we discover we might not actually need many of these services or that in any event we really can’t afford them after all?

And perhaps then the mindless voters in this state will finally rise up and throw out those useless legislators who refuse to pass real pension reform out of fear of unions, Madigan, Cullerton and their own re-election prospects.

Regardless, increasing property taxes is not a solution to the pension mess.

Stephen J. Gohmann



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