Gov. Quinn: Raise Taxes on $10/hr Workers by 41% to pay for $10 Million Pensions

73, 000 State University Employees Pay Zero for Pensions or Healthcare

By Bill Zettler

If you look at our Top 100 Pension list you will note that State University Retirement System (SURS) Pensioners own the top 10 pensions, ranging from $243,000 to $379,000 per year, and 84 of the top 100.

What you probably did not know is that SURS employees do not pay into the pension system taxpayers pay it for them and have since 1981. They have become multi-millionaires without ever putting in one dime of their own money.

This means, for example, that for coach Ron Zook’s $935,000 salary taxpayers are paying his $75,000 contribution as well as the states $205,000 contribution. We are a generous bunch aren’t we making thousands of public employees multi-millionaires?

But our generosity doesn’t end there. SURS employees also pay nothing for their retirement healthcare either. And their healthcare is vastly superior to ours including such items as vision, dental and life insurance.

Rob The Poor To Give To The Rich.

So while you and I are struggling to pay our Social Security, Medicare and 401K contributions we are also paying for public employees’ vastly superior retirement and healthcare plans. But instead of culling the unfair excesses out of the public employees’ retirement systems, Gov. Pat Quinn wants to raise taxes instead. So his idea is you pay for your retirement, you pay for their retirement and you pay more taxes too. In other words you pay and you pay and you pay. They, on the other hand pay nothing.

Under Quinn’s tax plan a worker making $10/hr or about $20,000/yr will pay $765 in income taxes as opposed to $540 under the current plan, an increase of 41%. For progressives, robbing the poor to pay the rich seems to be the order of the day.

Someone should tell Quinn that asking these tenured millionaires to pay their own 8% contribution would free up $300 million for the elderly, sick and poor he supposedly wants to help.

Calculate your own increase in taxes here. Yes you will be poorer and they (the public retirees) will be richer.

It’s Easy to be Progressive if Your Life Is Without Financial Risk.

Tenured employees have no job risk since they can’t be fired; they have no pension risk since pensions are guaranteed by the taxpayers; and the have no health care risk since the taxpayers also pay for their superior system. Even non-tenured employees have little job risk since unemployment in the public sector is only 2.6%.

There are more than 5,200 employees of Illinois public universities and Chicago City Colleges that earned more than $100,000 in 2007-2008 and have paid ZERO for their soon-to-be multimillion-dollar pensions:

More than $500,000: 17 employees
$400,000/$500,000: 18 employees
$300,000/$400,000: 76 employees
$200,000/$300,000: 455 employees
$100,000/$200,000: 4,634 employees

See more on university salaries on the Chicago Sun Times web site.

More evidence, that at least in Illinois, educators are vastly over compensated.

Bill Zettler is a free-lance writer and consultant specializing in public sector compensation. He can be contacted at this email address. Click here to read more by Mr. Zettler.