Replacement refs and pensions
In yet another parallel between the politics and sports worlds, the same issue that's causing we NFL fans to scream at the TV every Sunday is also causing Illinois' budget-makers to bang their heads against the wall.
The NFL has replacement referees on the field because of a dispute with its regulars over, yes, pensions.
"I'll tell you that pension is clearly an issue," (NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell) admitted, explaining that owners would like the officials to switch to a defined contributions program, like a 401k, in lieu of their current defined benefits pension program. "About 10 percent of the country has that. Yours truly doesn't have that," he said.
Teachers and state workers have that. And while few in Illinois are talking seriously about taking teachers' pensions away, like the NFL, many state leaders are trying to cut pension benefits for workers in order to get costs under control.
Clearly, the NFL is in way better financial straits than the State of Illinois, but this parallel is interesting.