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posted: 12/9/2013 5:00 AM

Correct numbers, facts crucial to pension debate

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Much has been written and commented on during the past several months concerning state pensions and the proposed changes. Regrettably there are simply too many incorrect, politically motivated or just plain wrong statements made which tend to diminish any sound or at least honest proposal.

The latest letter from Marti Gorun in the Nov. 3 Daily Herald is a classic. The writer cannot understand why the pension system must be revamped, citing figures that are clearly wrong, then comments on several other areas that should be addressed instead.

Both the writer and the Daily Herald further serve to confuse the realities. The current pension debt is over $100 billion and is growing exponentially, just for interest payments and COLA adjustments, not to mention several other pension quirks rarely found in private sector pensions. Is the proposed legislation what I would suggest? Not by a long shot, but clearly printing inaccurate details about what is or is not proposed simply destroys everyone's concept of what is reality.

As this legislation moves forward it is critical that fact-based information be presented not just by journalists but by individuals trying to score political points. Otherwise Illinois will simply implode under a debt it can't survive and everyone will lose.

Richard Francke


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