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posted: 3/5/2013 4:40 AM

Illinois unions key to pension crisis

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Illinois unions key to pension crisis

With all the banter concerning the ongoing state employee pension funding crisis, there has been little written about the role that the various state employee unions have played in causing this crisis. How can it be, year-after-year, that these inept machine politicians like Madigan, Cullerton and the rest get re-elected?

It is because the unions created this pension morass as they are a key cog (i.e. voting block) in the machine. They have consistently supported the corrupt, bipartisan political machine that has run this state to the brink of bankruptcy.

Now they ask for fairness? You want me and every other taxpayer in Illinois to increase our tax burden to address a problem that the unions were complicit in creating? Where's my fairness? I am self-employed. I have no pension other than what I can save -- after all the various government taxing bodies get done taking their share. (And I am a lifelong Democrat in saying this ...)

Fairness? Welcome to the real world. Business is unfair, and this is a business situation. The state of Illinois is on the cusp of bankruptcy. Like UAL, GM and many other businesses, there must be major changes to the pension system -- for current employees and for existing retirees.

Alexis de Tocqueville said, "People get the government they deserve." Well, here it is. The unions have marched in lock-step with the machine, bringing out the vote time and again for the machine-chosen candidates. And now the machine is gearing up to elect the ineffective Lisa Madigan our next governor.

Union folks should enjoy the government in Springfield. You were instrumental in creating and perpetuating it. Do not ask me to open my already wildly taxed wallet to bail out Illinois state employee unions who are complicit in creating this pension mess.

Martin Matushek

West Dundee

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