Legislators should cancel own pensions
According to the Dec. 8 Daily Herald, Illinois collects more than double the tax revenue of its five contiguous states. The debt crisis caused by public pensions stemmed from legislators in Springfield voting for public safety benefits, "pension sweeteners" and deferrals of state contributions.
Yes, public sector unions make demands and say bad things about anyone who doesn't want to deliver the benefits. That's what they do. But they don't hold the purse strings. After contracts are inked, union members loyally pay their pension obligations and taxpayers pay taxes.
Now legislators are planning to "correct" their mismanagement by sharing the tab with local governments. It's safe to say our local property taxes will get bigger (along with the income tax rate increase that was sold to us as being temporary); 2012 may look like "the good old days" concerning property taxes. Even if you don't own a home, you'll be paying these taxes. Businesses and landlords pass tax increases to consumers and renters to stay solvent.
Legislators caused this abominable debt. The political musclemen tag team, Madigan and Cullerton, are still in the legislative ring with a total of 62 years of public "service" between them. The very first course of action should be to cancel their own pensions and the pensions of all legislators and governors who had their mischievous hands in the budget pie, but they won't do that to themselves.