Saturday, August 18, 2012
Be Aware When the Illinois General Assembly Stalls
There is nothing to celebrate but much to defend for the middle class. It wasn’t teachers or their unions that stopped the Illinois General Assembly from attempting to break a constitutional contract with public employees, for there were only a handful of them in Springfield on Friday, August 17th; it wasn’t other state employees or their unions that stopped the General Assembly either, for there were only a few hundred of them protesting in the rotunda.
It was the legislators’ apprehension about their upcoming election and their incompetent, reckless power politics that prevented their unethical and illegal bills (HB 1447 & SB 3168) from being passed once again.
I assume there were no discussions in the reserved legislative chambers about how the rich and poor are taxed at the same flat rate in Illinois, about how tax breaks for the state’s corporations are at the expense of middle-class public employees and other citizens. I expect there were no discussions about how legislators should address a “flawed tax policy which is the primary cause of the fiscal problems in Illinois” and about the flawed “Pension Ramp” that was mandated to repay “the debt [they caused and] owed to the pension systems” (Center for Tax and Budget Accountability). I suppose there were no discussions about how to replace the flawed “Pension Ramp” with a “rational, attainable payment schedule” instead of placing the burden of debt on the state’s public employees.
I bet there were no discussions in the private legislative chambers about how past legislators had caused the state’s financial problems and for decades chose to use billions of dollars of public pension money for services and other budget responsibilities, so they could keep from raising taxes and guarantee their reelection; I presume there were no discussions about the ramifications of making public employees bear the burden of the state’s budget deficits they did not cause; I surmise there were no discussions about unethical and illegal proposals that would challenge the Constitution of Illinois, and about the extensive and devastating economic, political and moral consequences for the entire State of Illinois if its public employees are robbed of their earned and constitutionally-guaranteed benefits.
I believe, however, there were secretive discussions about continuing their heedless, unethical and illegal efforts to destroy the middle class after they are reelected in November.