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posted: 5/7/2013 4:40 AM

Sanity has to enter pension debate

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Sanity has to enter pension debate

Thank you for the pension forum you hosted at Harper College. Your report stated that there were rational thoughts offered by both sides. Chances are good the retired teachers did a very good job and they expect what they were offered in their pensions.

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Their large voting bloc in the past 30-some years would often place union friendly people in office. That gave the unions plenty of power in securing legislation that benefited their pay and retirement funds.

That was fine -- as long as other industries provided good paying jobs and tax dollars to support the higher wages and retirements.

For the second year, our state income tax provided a 67 percent increase in cash to the state. we are talking about was $15 billion paid in instead of $9 billion from our income tax payments the last two years. I hear that is still not enough to satisfy the demand.

Workers of many other industries also did fine jobs, while they had them. Often the companies that hired them are no longer in business or moved to China and the former worker has nothing coming in from their secure program. They move into the Social Security system and see $12,000 a year, not $40,000. or $50,000. like they may have expected.

These other industries also had great hard working people working for them. I can find some of them working in their yards and at the local stores. I also see retired teachers in our stores. They often tell me about the fine cruise they just returned from and the next vacation they are planning.

Sanity, give and take, has to enter the talks now. We need major adjustments before the state defaults on its obligations. Given the state's record, possibly another manager of these pensions is in order?

Ron Petrucci

St. Charles

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