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Article posted: 5/12/2013 5:00 AM

Teachers also are taxpayers

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Thank you for sponsoring the pension forum. My question (If teachers were moved to a 401(k)-style pension, what would happen if they retired in a 2007-2008 world) was asked, but not answered.

That did not surprise me. What did surprise me was that many comments were made throughout the evening by the legislators and audience members that indicated that they forget teachers are taxpayers and voters.

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Perhaps the newspaper could write a story about exactly how much it would cost local districts if the had to pay Social Security for their teachers instead of TRS. Also what will happen if the current Tier II teachers pay more for less if the federal government rules that improper?

Also, Rep. Tom Morrison referred to TRS as "a Ponzi scheme," if relying on incoming teachers for contributions would be a problem. Actually, a Ponzi scheme does not invest its money and make more (TRS investments have done well as we heard from Ms. Klickna).

The real Ponzi scheme was the Illinois legislature that promised us benefits and the money to back them, but did not make the payments required. Now they want to blame us.

I guess they would blame Bernie Madoff's victims for trusting him the way we trusted our state. And hearing an elected official say that we can't trust Springfield and thus can't trust him was infuriating and saddening.

Pat Luebbe Morton

Arlington Heights

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