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Blue Civil War: Rahm Takes on Pension Lie


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blue-civil-war-rahm-takes-on-pension-lieVia Meadia:



Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to fix Chicago’s harrowing pension crisis, but he has few allies to work with in this deep-blue city. His problems are daunting: Chicago has one of the worst-funded public pension systems in the country, with bills for a $24 billion liability beginning to roll in. A state mandate is forcing the city to double its payments into police, firefighter, and other pension funds, and Illinois law will soon require Chicago schools to resume regular payments to teachers’ pensions, which will eat up 8 percent of the city’s education budget.


Mayor Emanuel, never one to mince words, called this system what it is—*a big fat lie:


Mr. Emanuel’s assessment: Workers are paying into a retirement system that makes unrealistic promises, and the city is offering benefits it can’t pay. “The system today as constructed is not honest to the employees and is not honest to the taxpayers,” he said in a recent interview. […]


“There’s a set of choices. Reform pensions and continue to be able do other things that are essential for a great city—or make pension payments and do certain things to the rest of the budget that are not part of a great city,” Mr. Emanuel said.


Mayor Emanuel deserves praise for honesty about his city’s pension crisis, not least because his position is a lonely one. Attempts to negotiate benefit cuts with labor unions have already failed and seem likely to continue to fail......(Snip)



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