To the Editor:
In 1969, then Gov. Richard Ogilvie enacted a first-time state income tax of 0.5 percent, promising it was temporary. Ha, ha.
In 1973, Illinois enacted a state lottery with 100 percent proceeds going to education. These funds have been flagrantly used by our state legislators for everything but education.
In 2011, a 67 percent increase in state income tax was enacted to cover a mounting backlog of unpaid state bills, and again under the guise of it being temporary. After a short time, we now see most of these funds are going to cover the mounting pension deficit payments. This temporary tax phasing out in 2014? We wait.
Pension and lottery funds have been abused for years to cover uncontrolled spending. The good times are over, plain and simple.
I read the Jan. 11 “Views” column in the Northwest Herald by Scott Reeder, indicating that Illinois must get out of the pension business altogether. Taxpayers are finding it impossible to save for their own retirements because they are too busy paying for someone else’s.
A retired teacher from Eastern Illinois University collects a $91,000 pension at age 58. This is obscene, and is more than most Illinoisans earn working all year. These Illinoisans are asked to pay for his pension.
Solutions: A. Discontinue pensions altogether immediately. B. Phase out pensions altogether in two years, with major benefit reductions. C. File Illinois bankruptcy just as other corporations do that are unable to pay their bills.
Pensioners can only blame the past legislators for this financial fallout.