Tag archive for Chicago

Jersey pension system beyond saving at any reasonable cost

For three years now PSI has been warning that New Jersey had neglected its government employee pension system for so long that the state’s 2010 and 2011 reforms were inadequate to save the system. At some point we said (numerous times) the state would have to admit it could not possibly keep to the refunding schedule it had set for itself. Yesterday Gov. Christie declared as much…

Chicagoans: Let somebody else pay for pension mess

The headline on the story in the Chicago Sun-Times today says that voters don’t favor Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposal to raise property taxes by $250 million to devote to the city’s severely underfunded pensions. But that’s not the most interesting information contained in the poll the story refers to, if you ask me. What’s most startling about the poll is that Chicago voters instead favored two other solutions…

Griping about taxes is high where unions are strongest

Gallup has a new state poll out listing where residents gripe the most about taxes. The winners (if you can call them that) are largely not surprising, if you 480x480xno-taxes.gif.pagespeed.ic.FajJWeTt5lfollow policy debates these days. (Except for Nebraska. What are those folks so upset about?) Just for fun (if you can call it that) I took a look at how the list of those complaining the most about taxes correlated to the degree of government unionization in each state…

Just how big is Rahm’s pension-driven Chicago tax increase?

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has proposed a property tax increase to help deal with the city’s steeply underfunded pensions. Calculations from local officials make the increase seem modest: just $50 a year every year for five years on an average $4,000 property tax bill. But that’s not the whole story, by any means…

Hair-raising Chicago pension charts….

The Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accounting released a study on the state of government pension funds in Illinois and Cook County that offers some insight into the financial mess there, especially in the city of Chicago, where the crucial police and fire pension funds are among the worst-funded of any municipal system. There’s little commentary in the study, but as they say, a picture (or chart in this case) is worth a thousand words…

Do other big city balance sheets resemble Detroit’s?

With the federal bankruptcy judge’s ruling today that Detroit is, indeed, insolvent and can remain in bankruptcy, the media are again asking, what other cities may come under the kinds of fiscal pressures Detroit faces? Last month the Civic Federation of Chicago attempted to answer that question by comparing 12 American cities to Detroit on key issues of solvency. Boston and Chicago scored closest to the Motor City…

Rahm, Do Something!

Reading the Chicago Tribune these days evokes memories of the New York Post in the early 1990s, when its coverage of New York’s thumbnail dinkinsmany crises–high crime, deteriorating schools, dirty streets, aggressive panhandling–prompted the paper finally to cry out to Mayor Dinkins after one particularly bloody week, “Dave, Do Something!” The Tribune is currently in the midst of a series about Chicago’s many problems and is so down on the city’s leadership (“Decades of abuse and neglect by its political class leave Chicago with insufficient funds for necessities, let alone for smart extras”) that the Tribune is now asking readers (“Your proposals needed”) for their ideas on how to fix the city. Meanwhile, it continues to feature stories of an exodus out of the Windy City…

What an ugly balance sheet looks like: Chicago edition

The city of Chicago faces a $339 million deficit in its next fiscal year (fiscal 2014) on revenues of about $3 billion, growing to a possible nightmarish near $1 billion deficit in fiscal 2015 unless the state of Illinois enacts substantial reform to the state’s …

Union attempts to take over charter schools

Teachers at charter schools operated by the United Neighborhood Organization, or UNO, are in a tricky position, caught between a union that is looking to expand its membership and control over public education in Chicago and a charter operator that is rolling out the red carpet for the union.

Teachers and Teachers Union Operatives

As Illinois continues to struggle through a wave of copy-cat work stoppages in the wake of the disastrous Chicago Teachers Union strike, it should be noted that, far from the image of the ragged Norma Rae, a lot of teachers union operatives are making a pretty good living for themselves. According to union financial reports filed with the U.S. Department of Labor, there are more than 120 employees of the Illinois Education Association, or IEA, and the Illinois Federation of Teachers, or IFT, earning more than $100,000. This does not include staff from local unions.