Dan Liljenquist: Illinois needs to solve its own pension problems

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  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Feb. 12, 2013 8:24 a.m.

    Like the story of the 'Pied Piper of Hamelin' when we can't afford the cost, then the debt is transfered to our children. We need to either put up the cost, in increased taxes, or cut spending. We, the people can't have it both ways. that's simply economic facts

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Feb. 9, 2013 4:02 p.m.

    Utah teachers accepted lousy pay in return for a defined retirement and the option of a 401K. Dan Liljenquist took that away. Now Utah teachers have lousy pay and no defined retirement, only the 401K. They will NEVER be able to save enough to live on in retirement, which means no retirement. Utah teachers can now plan on working for lousy pay until they drop dead. Thanks, Dan.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Feb. 8, 2013 5:40 p.m.

    The "stimulus" government bailouts were the beginning of a slippery slope. How many other groups or states or businesses can use the same justification to get a federal bailout. Bad idea then; and bad idea now. Nobody was looking at how the pensions would be paid. The US government is worse. President Johnson "borrowed" money from the Social Security "Trust" Fund and the government has been doing it ever since. It is essentially a pension fund that our political leaders have been raiding for decades.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Feb. 8, 2013 9:21 a.m.

    Bailouts are addicting! Once you start giving them, how do you stop?

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Feb. 8, 2013 7:12 a.m.

    The majority of the "stimulus" package was given to public sector unions and again we see the failure of the "bailout". What does Obama and the Democrats say the solution is? Not cutting spending, but more bailouts!

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Feb. 8, 2013 6:42 a.m.


    I was speaking of Illinois. But the problem certainly extends to other states.

    There is a smaller parallel to the US govt. But the federal pension problem is nominal by comparison and the issues with Soc. Sec. are not quite analogous. Soc. Sec. has significant issues not because we saved too little but because we did not actually save anything. We wrote ourselves an IOU and then spent the money on other programs or gave it back via tax breaks.

  • David Centerville, UT
    Feb. 7, 2013 9:56 p.m.

    Twin Lights,

    I couldn't tell if you were talking about Illinois and the politicians there, or the US and the recent Obama election. I think Romney was correct to say that too many people vote based upon how much free stuff they will get, rather than upon sound principles and truths.

    Now we have Obama...who by the way is from Illinois. ironic.

  • Guam_Bomb BARRIGADA, GU
    Feb. 7, 2013 5:13 p.m.

    Who are the investors in Municipal bonds. It's the large pension funds for the most part. Defaulting on them is a double whammy. It will even further jeopardize the pension system and put all of the people on the pension system on welfare. Worst case scenario. The Baby Boomers did it to themselves. They were the fund managers, politicians, union organizers and decision makers for the generation that caused this problem.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 7, 2013 11:08 a.m.

    I find it difficult to believe that teachers pensions are the real cause of the financial problems of states. I wonder how many UTOPIAs, transportations, medicals, real estate developments, Zoos, Aviarys, theatres, ballets, Arts and bribes paid to businesses have contributed to the problems.

    Of course these obligations are bonded debt and must be paid. The obligations to ordinary people are simply political promises.

    The obligations to the people should have a much higher priority than financial bonds of investors who are supposed to be at risk.

  • 1conservative WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Feb. 7, 2013 10:33 a.m.

    It will be interesting to see which state declares bankruptcy first; Illinois or California.

    Both states have disastrously unfunded pensions. Both states have masses of illegal immigrants; except Kalyfornia's problem in that regard is much worse. My guess is Kalyfornia will be bankrupt first. Most likely followed by Illinois, Maryland, and New York.

    BTW - declaring 25 million illegals "citizens" will ONLY exacerbate the problem. They will be followed by 3-4 million "new" illegals per year.

  • adamgale La Verkin, UT
    Feb. 7, 2013 10:30 a.m.

    Why should I in Utah, be forced to pay the bill for an Illinois pension plan? That's what a federal bailout amounts to.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Feb. 7, 2013 7:43 a.m.

    The problem is they paid folks X with the promise of Y dollars later on. Folks worked according to that promise to pay. the employer did not listen to their own accountants when they said the employer needed to put away Z dollars in order to fund the future promises.

    Now, the system is broken. Why? because the decision makers would not follow sound accounting procedures. Was this known? It was talked about annually. And the board of directors (the politicians) did nothing to solve it because doing so would have meant cuts in other areas or raising additional revenues.

    The voters should have known this as well and should have fired the liars and put in place truth tellers. But truth tellers have a hard time getting elected (because lies are so much sweeter to swallow). Unfortunately, the voters are getting what they asked for.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    Feb. 7, 2013 12:10 a.m.

    California is even worse off. The big pensions that go to the retired firemen now living in Idaho, Montana, etc., (not to mention the retired policemen), are sucking all of the money out of us down here.
    Much of the money that is supposed to be allocated to our educational system, road repair, etc, simply gets pilfered to the coffers of the retirees. They are like lotto winners. Some make over $100,000/yr, for the rest of their lives. Of course, their worn-out mantra is always, "we risk our lives". Some of that may be true, but if one wants to use that criteria for pay, then all of our Iraqi/Afghanistan war veterans deserve condos in Laguna Beach.