Tag Archives: Jay Pritzker

Pritzker Administration sloughs off Illinois pension liabilities passing $500 billion mark, dissembles on pension crisis again, by Mark Glennon

The taxpayers of Illinois are buried under the pensions that have been granted to public employees. From Mark Glennon at wirepoints.org:

There’s a lesson here not only about Illinois pensions but about how easily the press will let Gov. J.B. Pritzker thumb his nose at a crisis.

We reported Wednesday that the total unfunded liability for Illinois state and local pensions passed the $500 billion mark. That includes pensioner healthcare liabilities, which are constitutionally guarantied just like pensions. It is based on numbers from Moody’s Investor Services which uses assumptions comparable to those used in the private sector and are less optimistic than those the state uses. Read Wirepoints Special Report: Illinois pension shortfall surpasses $500 billion, average debt burden now $110,000 per household

Greg Hinz at Crain’s asked Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office for a response.

“Pritzker’s office is pushing back on the notion that he’s done too little,” wrote Hinz. “Steps such as discounted buyouts of some pensions have ‘begun to bend the curve,’ with the percentage of total spending that goes to pension now flattening, a spokeswoman says in an email.”

Nonsense. Pritzker has done nothing significant whatsoever to fix pensions and it is particularly dishonest to cite pension buyouts as an example of progress.

Pritzker has long been boasting about pension buyouts but forever refuses to provide any support or analysis showing that buyouts would have any meaningful effect. We and others have written about it repeatedly.

  • In 2019 he told The Economic Club of Chicago that some study says buyouts will save “billions and billions,” perhaps $25 billion. But he has never produced that study or anything else to support the claim, and the state’s bond documents said something very different in the debt offering made just prior to that claim. Those documents said just 818 workers and retirees who are eligible for either of the state’s buyout programs had applied for one. That’s less than 2.3%, not 20% as Pritzker told the Economic Club. The documents further said, “The State is unable to quantify the amount or timing of any [reduction in pension liabilities] at this time.” In other words, Pritzker brags about savings to the public but the state says something different when the penalty would be securities fraud.

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Pritzker Goes To Bat For What The Wall Street Journal Calls ‘One Of The Greatest Fiscal Cons In History’ – Wirepoints, by Mark Glennon

Surprise, surprise! A guy who’s going to get a lot of money from a financial fraud is all for it. From Mark Glennon at wirepoints.com:

President Biden and his allies in Congress are having a rough time winning support for a new, historic, gigantic spending plan, but they knew who to call for help.

On Friday, Gov. JB Pritzker joined Biden on a Zoom call with local reporters to make the case for the pending federal legislation.

You may know the bill as the “$3.5 infrastructure bill,” which is what it has been commonly called in the media.

But that’s just a testament to media distortion. It’s not $3.5 billion and it’s not infrastructure.

The true cost is likely to be $5 to $5.5 trillion over ten years according to the bipartisan Committee For A Responsible Budget. A primary gimmick being used, it said, is pretending that programs intended to be permanent expire, which they say obscures “the true cost of the legislation and put program beneficiaries at risk.” A Wall Street Journal editorial detailed various “time shift gimmicks” and also explained how some states will be stood up for paying, on their own, part of the cost of new, universal pre-K entitlement and free community college. Hence, their preface: “Behold one of the greatest fiscal cons in history.”

“The press has reported almost none of this,” said the Journal about the phony cost estimates.

The Biden’s Administration’s answer to the cost issue is astonishing, even by its standards. The cost is actually “zero,” they say. Biden himself said the cost is “nothing.” On what basis? They claim they will raise taxes enough to cover the cost.

How’s that for chutzpah? As long as you are billing taxpayers, you can say it costs nothing.

And infrastructure is only a small part of what it’s about, even by CNN’s charitable description: “The sweeping 10-year spending plan marks the biggest step in Democrats’ drive to expand education, health care and childcare support, tackle the climate crisis and make further investments in infrastructure.”

The bill in fact includes a massive expansion of multiple government dependency programs, which CNN tried to list, based on “what we know so far,” as they candidly put it last week. Does anybody really know besides a few insiders?

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