Chicago Tribune: Lawmaker hits pension jackpot

The silly people who make up the Chicago Tribune editorial board are shocked, shocked! at the fact that retiring state rep Roger Eddy is cashing in big time when it comes to his public pension – here’s the caption under the photo inside their article:

State Rep. Roger Eddy is leaving to run a group that lobbies the state. His pension as a schools chief will soar to $141,000 a year in his new job.

Let me set aside the fact that the Chicago Tribune continues to live a schizophrenic life – one day bashing the ugly reality of public policy, the next day promoting people like Barack Obama – who has wrought more fiscal damage on the country than any one single person in American history.

Back to the ugly story of Roger Eddy.

First, he’s a Republican. That’s right, a Republican.

Second, while he served in the state house, we never heard anything from any other Republican in the General Assembly about Eddy’s ongoing and upcoming payday. He not only collected a school superintendent’s salary but his legislative salary as well. And every single one of the Republicans Eddy served with knew that – and the fact that Eddy’s future pensions that were to result from both jobs were going to be fabulous. Yet, silence.

Third, that silence is easy to understand. There is no better way to describe the culture of the Illinois Republican Party in this state than to point out that from the township and county governmental level on up, the vast majority of those who call themselves “Republicans” have already figured out what their share of the tax dollar booty will be once they retire. Few of them are disgusted with Eddy. Most are terribly jealous.

If we had a Republican Party in this state that cared about current and future taxpayers, its goal would be to completely sever the public employee pension plans from tax dollars and explain how the whole thing was legalized theft from the beginning. Current and future taxpayers don’t owe current or future retirees a damned thing. Government employees’ pensions are their problems, not ours. Once severed, the plans would then have to go into bankruptcy and both current and future retirees would have to grow up and deal with the real world like every non-public employee does.

“But we were promised,” they cry. Baloney. Who promised you? All those contracts were written and agreed to by governing boards that no longer exist. It’s pretty simple, actually. If one General Assembly cannot bind a future General Assembly, let me assure you that one school board cannot bind unborn taxpayers.

“But the state constitution guarantees it,” they cry. Sorry, folks, but even the idiots at the Chicago Tribune understand that that’s a load of you know what. Rather than listing all of the many, many facts that prove that “guarantee” a fantasy, let me just refer you to this report by the law firm of Sidley Austin (click here to read it). In this, Sidley merely scratches the surface, but they leave a nice scratch at that. (It’s posted at the Civic Committee website here.)

For anyone who has had the character or intelligence to read and understand the research of state pension expert Bill Zetter for the past six or seven years knows that there is no way those retirement funds will be able to pay-out like the childish pensioners expect them to. I use the word ‘childish’ because adults take responsibility for their own retirement – they don’t expect taxpayers to bail them out.

And as Bill Zettler has pointed out, when something isn’t possible, you won’t see it happen. Not even for the legalized theft being committed by Roger Eddy.