Slides from CFA Forum on Pension 4-24-12

Amanda Kass of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability in Chicago addressed a  CFA public forum on SURS on April 24th. She outlined the historical background of the present pensions crisis, provided a wealth of data to demonstrate how state workers are being penalized for the failure of the state to honor its obligations to the pension system and outlined the recent revisions suggested by Governor Quinn.  In addition, she suggested that the only solution is a graduated income tax which would target the wealthiest 6% and an extension of the sales tax categories.  We of CFA would also add ithat in order for any resolution to the pensions crises to serve the interests of academic faculty we need a union with collective bargaining rights which can advocate for our interests at the bargaining table and in the state legislature.

If you have an interest in learning more about the pensions issue we suggest you download Amanda’s slides from her UIUC presentation (below) or link to her project’s website at:

amanda kass slide show 4-25-12

Amanda also presented two maps which compare Illinois’ sales tax categories and income tax rates with those of other states. You can also download these:

State Income Tax map

sales tax map of U.S.

Published by CFA

The Campus Faculty Association (CFA) is an advocacy organization for faculty and other campus workers committed to shared governance, academic freedom, and a strong faculty voice on campus.

3 thoughts on “Slides from CFA Forum on Pension 4-24-12

  1. I’d like to add that Amanda Kass forcefully suggested this perspective on Gov. Quinn’s pension funding reform plan: Besides that fact that it is unfair and unconstitutional IT WON’T WORK. Cutting benefits to future retirees and raising present contributions only nibbles away at the edges of the state’s unfunded pension liability. It’s futile to ask people to sacrifice for something that STILL will not solve the problem. A graduated income tax (raising income tax on the top earners, and actually reducing the income taxes on everyone else) and a broadened pool of sales tax categories would spread the burden more fairly and go a long way to restructuring the debt and solving the problem.

    What if Illinois looked to the world as if it were actually solving this problem, instead of pretending?

  2. I saw in the Chronicle of Higher Education that Louisiana is considered similar cuts to retirement benefits and raising the age of retirement. I don’t know what Louisiana’s budget problems are, but it is clear that Illinois’ legal obligations to current retirees are such that even if future retirees received NO BENEFITS AT ALL, the state would still be in trouble. And of course the problem is not just underfunded retirement systems–it is also underfunded school systems (legislation has been suggested that would make families pay for school bus transportation to school), social services, health services, public safety, etc., etc., etc.
    We desperately need a graduated income tax in Illinois. (I have lived in many parts of the country, and this is the only state I have ever lived in that doesn’t have one). As more and more wealth is concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer people, a flat tax like the one we currently have will inevitably to lead to bigger and bigger revenue shortfalls.

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