To fix the "unfixable?"

To fix the "unfixable?"

Posted by Mike Riopell on Wed, 11/14/2012 - 14:12

A top business group that has lobbied for years for "fixes" to the state's retirement debt problem today declared it "unfixable."

But then they offered a list of four necessary fixes.

Confused yet?

"We're writing today to let you know that the pension crisis has grown so severe that it is now, unfixable," Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago leaders wrote in a memo today, cosigned by former Illinois attorney general Ty Fahner.

There's not a lot of math behind the assertion in the memo, but we don't think lawmakers are going to back away from looking for a fix anyway. The state's rising retirement costs take away from what it has to pay for services you see every day, like schools, state parks and health care.

It's objectively true that if retirement benefits are cut far enough or other concessions are made - and the state reliably contributes its share for the foreseeable future - the state's debt could start to slowly erode away over decades.

What lawmakers decide to do or if the courts eventually uphold those changes remains an open question. But after campaigning on the issue for more than a year, we don't think you'll see many lawmakers at the Capitol declare the issue "unfixable."

Comments ()
We are now using Facebook comments to offer a more inclusive, social and constructive discussion. Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our or terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.