Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Chicago poll: 57 percent say they’ll swallow the pension payment medicine
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Chicago poll: 57 percent say they’ll swallow the pension payment medicine

Monday, Mar 25, 2019

* I’m gonna disagree a bit with my good buddy Greg Hinz on this one

With just a week to go until voters head to the polls, former federal prosecutor Lori Lightfoot holds a commanding lead in the race for mayor, according to results of a Temkin/Harris poll, conducted in partnership with Crain’s and WTTW.

But there’s trouble ahead for whoever is elected on one of the top issues they’ll have to face: fiscal pressures. An eyebrow-raising 40 percent of those surveyed say they oppose raising taxes to pay for pensions for city workers and Chicago Public School teachers—something that the new mayor almost certainly will have to do. […]

The survey asked voters which programs they would be willing to support with higher taxes. Better roads and other infrastructure fixes got the highest support, 71 percent, followed by mental health and public schools at 69 percent each and more police at 60 percent. Taxes for pensions got the lowest support, 57 percent. It also got the highest “disagree” figure, with 29 percent of voters saying they strongly disagree with more taxes for pensions and another 11 percent indicating they somewhat disagree.

After all the screaming over lo these many years by the pundits about the high cost of public pensions, the fact that 57 percent of Chicagoans say funding the pensions of city workers and public school teachers is “something you personally would be willing to pay higher taxes to get” strikes me as pretty darned good, particularly if a popular mayor is behind the push.

Also, infrastructure, mental health treatment and schools always score high. Everybody wants that stuff. Nobody supposedly wants to make pension payments. That’s usually seen as forcing an unwillling populace to ingest bitter medicine. The fact that 57 percent said they could stomach that medicine is, in this context, surprising to me.

* What also jumped out at me was that, after a decade of wall-to-wall reporting about Chicago’s crime problem, fewer Chicagoans, 29 percent, said they “strongly” support higher taxes for “more police officers patrolling city neighborhoods” than the 31 percent who said the same about pensions. Seems counter-intuitive, but numbers is numbers.

In the end, though, the 57 percent who backed higher taxes for pensions was within the +/- 4.4 percent margin of error of the 60 percent overall who supported more money for cops. Same goes for the strongly support and strongly oppose numbers for both categories, and for the overall opposition (40 percent for pensions, 38 percent for more police).

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Honeybear - Monday, Mar 25, 19 @ 1:37 pm:

    I believe that enough people are personally effected by it. Most folks know a teacher or someone who works for local government.
    I believe that folks are realizing we are talking about someone’s retirement when we are talking about pensions. Personalization is what happened with, I believe, with gay marriage. It get’s normalized. Folks get that taking away someone’s retirement pension is an awful thing and not their fault.
    That’s my theory.

  2. - Truthteller - Monday, Mar 25, 19 @ 1:38 pm:

    Crain’s sub-head on Hinz’s column: “but 4 in 10 voters oppose higher taxes for pensions
    Had to read the rest of the article to find out about the 57% support.
    Good catch, Rich. You should nominate the Crain editors for the Rupert Murdoch Excellence in Journalism award.

  3. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Mar 25, 19 @ 1:48 pm:

    I wish unions and politicians pushed defined pensions for private sector workers. We have to right-size pensions and do a reverse race to the bottom. Some want to make government workers have a less secure retirement, like the private sector. There should be organized opposite pressure, to make private sector workers have better pensions and a more secure retirement.

  4. - lincoln's beard - Monday, Mar 25, 19 @ 1:55 pm:

    Current clearance rate in the CPD homicide division is 15%. If it takes 13,500 officers to solve 1 in 7 murders, will it take 31,000 more to get that up to 50%?

  5. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Monday, Mar 25, 19 @ 2:02 pm:

    Maybe it means that the public is far ahead of these media types who still think “pay the bill” somehow means “there’s surely a way to get out of paying the bill”? Better headline: “Poll shows the average Chicagoan understands the ramifications of IL Supreme Court rulings better than editorial columnists”

  6. - ChicagoVinny - Monday, Mar 25, 19 @ 2:11 pm:

    My personal epiphany on pensions was the people advocating shorting gov workers on their pensions would use the same arguments for shorting social security for me later.

  7. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Mar 25, 19 @ 2:25 pm:

    Maybe my recommendation to add 1/4% city earnings tax isnt so nuclear after all.

  8. - Hmmm - Monday, Mar 25, 19 @ 3:04 pm:

    Are really to believe that Lightfoot leads the runoff 53-17?

  9. - Boone's is Back - Monday, Mar 25, 19 @ 3:52 pm:

    ===The survey asked voters which programs they would be willing to support with higher taxes.===

    As any good pollster knows, it’s how you ask the question. Pension payments got the least amount of support to a question presupposing additional revenue from raising taxes.

    I’d love to see the poll numbers to a question phrased “would you be willing to pay more in taxes to pay for increasing pension payments.”

  10. - Honeybear - Monday, Mar 25, 19 @ 4:06 pm:

    ChicagoVinny- Yep, you are right on the money.

  11. - Bemused - Monday, Mar 25, 19 @ 4:24 pm:

    I think certain folks have watched big Corporations get underwater on their pensions after underfunding them for years and then turn around and shed that debt in bankruptcy court. Even though that is not yet possible with Public Pensions in this State, I think they believe they just need to find a clever way around the law. Of course the real problem in both the Private and Public sectors has been the laws allowing the shorting of promised payments into retirement funds. Maybe some are coming to understand you have to pay the Piper. My feeling is we are all going to have to pay higher costs for social programs for those unable to support themselves in the not to distant future. The take down of defined benefit pensions and the lie of the 401K are going to come home to roost.

  12. - Roman - Monday, Mar 25, 19 @ 4:47 pm:

    Those numbers illustrate how the city of Chicago’s employee residency requirement influences politics. Any random survey of Chicago voters is gonna catch a whole lot city employees or retirees and their family members. They want the pensions funded and they’re willing to pay more taxes to make it so.

    Law enforcement finishing lower on the list of top concerns is illustrative of something people who actual live in the city understand: crime in Chicago, regardless all the international attention it receives, is a tangible problem in only a handful of neighborhoods. Not saying it’s not a issue that must be dealt with, just saying that for a lot of folks there are more immediate concerns.

  13. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 25, 19 @ 5:55 pm:

    ==shorting social security benefits later==

    Yep! They’re mostly the same people but those receiving social security benefits somehow join them when it comes to shorting government pensions. They are too uninformed to know that for some, their government pension is 100% of their retirement income with no SSI.

    But yes, they’ll come for that too soon.

  14. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Monday, Mar 25, 19 @ 8:11 pm:

    =I think certain folks have watched big Corporations get underwater on their pensions after underfunding them for years and then turn around and shed that debt in bankruptcy court. =

    Actually, the private sector pensions were so well-funded the executives couldn’t resist raiding them. They stole the money because they could.

    And the 401k was never intended to be a retirement plan. It was a provision in the internal revenue code that allowed executives to avoid taxes on deferred compensation.

    All workers should be in a defined benefit plan.

  15. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Tuesday, Mar 26, 19 @ 5:23 am:

    ==Current clearance rate in the CPD homicide division is 15%. If it takes 13,500 officers to solve 1 in 7 murders, will it take 31,000 more to get that up to 50%?==

    To fix that we need to get the word out about Illinois’ witness protection program. Scared people don’t become witnesses.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed until after Martin Luther King Jr. Day
* Unemployment applications soar nationally and in Illinois
* CMS encourages state employees to work remotely starting Sunday
* "Law and order"
* *** UPDATED x1 *** SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Extra!
* Vast majority of legislators did not get tested during all but one session days
* Pritzker announces eventual limited indoor dining, some "low risk" sports
* First case of more contagious COVID-19 strain identified in Chicago
* Payday loan interest cap clears both chambers
* 6,642 new confirmed and probable cases; 123 additional deaths; 3,446 hospitalized; 712 in ICU; 6.5 percent case positivity rate; 7.7 percent test positivity rate; Average of 27,125 vaccines administered daily
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Pritzker activates Illinois National Guard to help secure state buildings in Springfield
* ITLA wins again
* *** UPDATED x2 *** "Go read the whole thing"
* Welch to Maxwell: "I didn't hit a woman," denies he was arrested
* Do better
* Basham says she has tested positive, has mild symptoms
* Open thread
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today's edition
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Positive test reported in Capitol Complex, but person had "minimal contact with others working at the Capitol Complex"
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...









Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller