Letters to the Editor

Letter: It's the pensions

Published:

To the Editor:

With all the talk about consolidating units of government, corruption, and infighting within townships with the resultant legal fees, one thing is mostly forgotten. The pensions that elected officials and many of the employees in the public sector receive are by far the biggest reason for our high property taxes.

Yes, I’ve had some very good teachers as well as some equally bad ones, but even the best of them are not worth the pensions and health insurance they receive at a relatively young age. And that road commissioner over at McHenry Township may be right about his salary being a deserved one, commensurate with what he could receive in the private sector, but would he be party to equal retirement benefits and health insurance there?

And why do they continue to receive these defined benefits when most of the private sector has long ago been shifted over to 401(k) plans? Two reasons, obvious ones.

Firstly, elected officials want their votes, know they’ll go to the polls and continue voting them into office as long as they cater to them (while many of the rest of us sit home on Election Day, by the way).

Secondly, those elected officials will for the most part also be receiving pensions, so why would they want to abolish them?

So when I see that someone aspiring to office, such as J.B. Pritzker, has the backing of multiple public sector unions, he’s the last one I’d vote for.

He’s already talking about raising the state income tax temporarily (yeah, right!), and wants to shift us to a progressive one as well. To do this, the state constitution will have to amended, because it now only allows for the same flat rate for all, regardless of income. 

I’ll tell you what, J.B., I’ll promise to vote for you if you guarantee you’ll remove that ‘impaired or diminished’ clause regarding public sector benefits from the document while you’re in there changing things! Unfortunately, I doubt your word is worth as much as mine…

Douglas Knight

Prairie Grove