Trying it their way, IX
August 16, 2012
No lesson is ever learned so well that it doesn’t bear occasional repetition. So we look again to Illinois to demonstrate what happens when governments manage their affairs the only way Democrats know how. That is, the opposite way Wisconsin has since Scott Walker became Governor.
On Friday, Illinois legislators will convene a one-day special session on reforming government employee pensions. The single day scheduled for this monumental task is probably a tip-off that Republicans are right about the affair being no more than political cover for Democrats who created the mess, and that Democrats are contemptuous enough of Illinois voters to think they won’t see through it.
Did we mention Illinois is on track to spend more for public employee pensions than on public schools within four years? The projected numbers are $5.8 billion for schools and $6.2 billion for pensions by 2016. Some observers say those estimates from Governor Pat Quinn’s administration are too optimistic.
After massive 2011 tax increases predictably failed to pull Illinois out of its tax-and-spend vortex, Quinn is now talking comprehensive pension reform. But if you plow through to the last few paragraphs of the Tribune story, you’ll find a concise description of what’s really likely to happen and why:
“Few think a wide-ranging fix will happen with an election looming Nov. 6. Democrats don’t want to risk alienating labor unions that provide campaign contributions and volunteers.”
In other words, taxpayers stay on the hook for more of the same.