by Glenn Minnis, Will County Gazette
Republican House hopeful Alyssia Benford stands in agreement with a recent Wall Street Journal commentary that concludes politicians across the country are at least partly to blame for the pension crisis now sweeping the country based on their over-promising of benefits to government workers.
“Pension costs are soaring across the country, and government unions blame politicians for “under-funding” benefits,” the editorial said. “Lo, if only taxes were higher, state budgets would be peachy. The real problem, as a new study shows, is that politicians have promised over-generous benefits.”
The editorial pointed out that while public pension debt is growing at a much higher rate than state economies inadequate action has been taken thus far to properly reform public pensions.
“[F]or Illinois, where the pension liability has grown by 8.8% annually over the last 30 years,” the editorial said. “Yet when the Illinois Supreme Court in 2015 blocked state pension reforms, the judges rebuked politicians for inadequately funding pensions. The solution, according to unions, is always to raise taxes. But no tax hike is ever enough because benefits keep growing faster than revenues.”
Benford applauded the editorial for its forthright approach to the public pension crisis.
“[It] gave a good explanation of the current pension challenges that a few states are facing, including Illinois,” Benford recently posted on Facebook.
A certified public accountant by trade, Benford, who is challenging incumbent Rep. Natalie Manley (D-Joliet) in the 98th District, has made the state’s long-troubled finances a primary element of her campaign. She recently blasted the state’s new $38.5 billion spending plan as “a budget that delivers for the politicians, the special interests and the trial lawyers, not the people.”
Benford added in a press release, “The budget is unbalanced and fails to reform the major systems in government. It sets the stage for higher taxes. A progressive tax and a 1 percent statewide property tax are all on the table because of the passage of this budget.”
The 98th District covers all or parts of Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Joliet, Plainfield, Crest Hill and Naperville.