State fiscal reform is not a matter of choosing "heads" or "tails." The tax-cutting, starve-the-beast approach alone cannot sufficiently control the growth of government, either on the state or federal level.
Public pensions are wildly underfunded in many political jurisdictions across this country. The pension crisis in Illinois is perhaps the most dramatic: Illinois municipal bonds are treated as "junk" by the markets for good reason.
"Let them sell their summer homes and jets, and return those fees to their investors."
Now that the Illinois Supreme Court has said that the state's 2013 pension reform law won't fly, Illinois finds itself in a difficult position. How to (legally) reform the state's pension systems in a way that saves money and maintains the necessary components of the pensioners' benefits?
The three Republican justices on the Illinois Supreme Court appeared to be the biggest skeptics of the state's case in the Illinois pension reform lawsuit. That's not what most observers expected as both sides presented their arguments to the seven members of the court.
The seven justices have been tasked with judging whether or not the state's failing pension systems can be saved by adopting the 2013 pension reform law. The law, which would dial back some of Illinois' public pension system benefits, was found unconstitutional in a lower court. Now, the highest court in the state will have its say.
The recent GAO report stated that tax revenues as a percentage of gross domestic product will not return to the historical high reached in 2007 until 2058. Such a drastic gap indicates that states will not be able to tax their way out of the problem.
That's not the only problem Illinois is facing, according to the National Center for Children in Poverty. A study by the
He writes: Illinois' pension crisis is only one of many issues facing the state that our elected officials will have to deal
In Illinois, “I don’t think you fix the mess without pension reform,” he said. The “Judicial Symposium on the Economics
roponents of the drastic Chicago pension cuts sought by the city have threatened a range of doomsday scenarios if their proposal is not enacted. Rather than the thoughtful, informed discussion this matter deserves, this is the equivalent of shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater.
By accelerating the ability of cities to adapt and grow, we will accelerate our nation's economic growth and competitiveness.
Judge Steven Rhodes's recent ruling in Detroit led many to believe that it's open season on worker pensions. The national media declared local governments had new legal precedent to start cutting benefits for thousands of public employees. This is exactly the wrong lesson to take away from Detroit.
When a federal bankruptcy judge ruled that municipal pensions are vulnerable under federal bankruptcy law, no one was surprised. Little about life in 21st-century America prepares anyone to expect a judge to stand up for public pensions.
Today, as Orwell predicted, we need a new political language. "Reform" is being used in our political discourse by the wealthy and corporate mouthpieces as code for privatizing and deregulating every public service they can get their greedy hands on.