Rahm pitches scheme to stick his, your grandchildren with massive pension tab
Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) has joined the growing chorus of state lawmakers staunchly opposed to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposed plan to borrow billions more as part of an overall scheme to stall the city’s soaring pension liability.
“Hey -- police and fire, municipal and labor -- this was a set-up four years in the making and if you think this secures your pension you are wrong,” Ives recently posted on Facebook. “Taxpayers you’re being played. If you don’t wake up and vote all these corrupt pandering pols out of office, then you and your families will suffer for generations to come.”
Emanuel’s plan calls for the additional borrowing of at least $10 billion to put toward the city’s nearly three times larger pension debt hole, according to Wirepoints, a research and commentary website that focuses on Illinois’ economy and politics. As collateral for the loan, the city would commit future tax revenues to bankers over anyone else in the event of any financial downturn.
Wirepoints highlights the plan, which has eerie similarities to the one orchestrated by then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich in 2003, where he too borrowed $10 billion from the bond market against the state’s then-$43 billion in unfunded pension debt. As of now, that still-rising debt has tripled to $129 billion.
“I knew it was coming,” Ives, who barely lost out to Gov. Bruce Rauner in the Republican gubernatorial primary, added in her post. “Said so during the primary. Already under current law these pensions won’t even meet 90 percent funding until 2056. That’s over a generation away. POBs (pension obligation bonds) will ensure massive indebtedness continues.”
Ives surmises Emanuel may be motivated to act now as part of an overall plan to again put off the inevitability of having to earnestly deal with the whole pension funding crisis.
“As the timeframe closes in to have to meet actuarial funding in FY2020 and FY2022, where the Chicago budget for pensions will double to over a $2 billion budget item, float pension bonds because they can’t hike property taxes much to cover the $1 billion increase as CPS and other governments are hiking taxes too,” she added. “Let Chicago underfund pension instead of paying in what they actuarially should for decades. Because that way, the extra revenue can feed inflated salaries and benefits and planters in the Loop.”