Bailey: Pensions the torpedo that will sink Illinois
Republican state Rep. Darren Bailey (Xenia) fears the worst is yet to come with regard to the state’s long-troubled pension system.
“I think we’re at the stage where it will probably take a federal bailout to get us out of this great mess we're in,” Bailey told the SE Illinois News. “This is just another indication of how we need to be doing something about these pensions like yesterday.”
Illinois Policy Institute reports a new J.P. Morgan study finds that it would take more than half of all state revenue over the next three decades to fully fund government worker retirement benefits at current levels. That at least doubles the 25 percent of state revenue such expenditures now absorb in making Illinois the state with the highest percentage of revenues set aside for pension benefits and retiree health care programs.
Even with all the spending, the state’s pension system as a whole remains grossly underfunded with liabilities reported to be as high as $250 billion.
“Pensions are going to be the torpedo that sinks our ship before all is said and done,” Bailey said. “Taxpayers need to know this because Democrats and the public sector seem content to just let things continue as they’re digressing. Not doing anything is no longer a viable option for this state.”
Almost as bad, Bailey said, is Democrats' propensity for trying to tax their way out of every problem that arises.
“All they ever offer is more taxes,” he said. “Meanwhile, people continue to leave the state because Springfield shows no signs of implementing any meaningful reforms that could make things better.”
Bailey’s 109th House District includes all or parts of Clay, Edwards, Effingham, Jasper, Lawrence, Richland, Wabash, Wayne and White counties.