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Yell louder!

Tuesday, Sep 10, 2019

* From a certain columnist

When the Democrats in 2003 irresponsibly borrowed $10 billion for pension and operational costs, the GOP should have protested — loudly. Taxpayers are on the hook for all that interest paid. And when Democrats skipped pension payments for two years after that, and borrowed repeatedly to paper over deficit spending, Republicans should have said, hell no. They didn’t. The unfunded liabilities have soared.

Greg Hinz looked beyond the urban legends about Blagojevich’s POB and came to a far different conclusion a few years ago

The state’s timing was exquisite. Over the next four years, according to figures supplied by Mr. Filan that others verified, the average return on investments by the state’s pension funds was 16.6 percent, 10.6 percent, 11.6 percent and 18.6 percent, in that order. Those returns were well above the average 5.07 percent interest rate Illinois paid to borrow the $10 billion. The pension funds built up such a cushion that the POB money was even at the depths of the 2008 recession, and it has come back strong since.

Compared with where it would have been had it simply put in the usual annual payments, the state is $8.55 billion ahead, says Mr. Filan, now a senior consultant at Chicago-based financial restructuring firm Development Specialists Inc. And the retirement systems, though still underfunded, have 41.1 percent of the assets needed to pay promised benefits, better than the 35.9 percent they would have had without the POB.

* And Republicans didn’t complain loudly about the pension holiday? Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka yelled to the high heavens and so did a whole lot of Republican lawmakers

“This is no more of a holiday than a cruise on the Titanic was,” said state Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington.

* One more excerpt

In 2011 when the majority party passed an income tax hike in the middle of the night, on the day before new lawmakers were seated — with a structured roll call of lame duck legislators who got goodies in exchange for their votes — the GOP should have been outraged. Not just “outraged” during staged news conferences, but in their guts.

Oh, come on. They pitched an absolute fit and kept it up for a long time. From 2012

The top Republicans in the Illinois House and Senate are offering a one-year anniversary raspberry salute to the passage of a $7-billion state income tax hike, saying it hasn’t worked and ought to be immediately repealed. […]

Those themes were echoed by John Tillman, head of the Illinois Policy Institute, a libertarian research group. He released a poll saying 68% of state residents opposed the tax increase.

Her basic thesis appears to be that Republicans need to yell much louder and more convincingly and that’ll translate into… well, I’m not sure what. Jobs on the Tribune editorial board maybe?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - City Zen - Tuesday, Sep 10, 19 @ 3:03 pm:

    So all we have to do is time the stock market. Put all pension funding into a savings account then wait for the market to crash.

  2. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Sep 10, 19 @ 3:15 pm:

    Wasn’t she with the Southtown reporting on the statehouse back then?

    I guess she burned her notes when she moved to the Tribune.

  3. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 10, 19 @ 3:16 pm:

    To paraphrase;

    If the facts are on your side, pound the facts into your column.

    If the law is on your side, pound the law into the column.

    If neither the facts nor the law are on your side, pound the table, and pretend your column is readable.

    As a big fan of @StatehouseChick’s twitter, you come to learn fairly quick that her ideas begin and end with yelling.

    It’s like no one listens to her.

    Yell louder, she’ll cry. Form groups, she pleads. We need to be heard, she’ll beg.

    The reality is @StatehouseChick as a columnist…she was a passable reporter.

    Like Proft, @StatehouseChick is about trying to split things up, all the while complaining about… you guessed it… the splintering.

    Grifters need to do two things; choose the weaker side, then complain to the weaker side they’re being slighted.

    McSweeney is the perfect tool.

    As McSweeney decided his duality, the way to characterize it becomes useful to the professional victims.

    Ever notice it’s truly about the victimhood of “unheard voices” but rarely about the minority voice that they are?

    They’re a minority voice because… everyone is against them.

    “But you’re not alone, I’m here for you”

    Good way to keep a gig on a board that the reporters of that same paper regularly report how silly their ideas are.

    When complaining about pensions, she’ll pound the IPI

    When the IPI trope is ridiculed, she’ll pound on the unheard voices.

    When the unheard voices are so embarrassingly bad, you create a Hurricane.

    The reporter she once was, I’d hope, would’ve called her column here “Fake News”

    But, @StatehouseChick knows that. She was a passable reporter who actually covered… the State House.

  4. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Sep 10, 19 @ 3:17 pm:

    Where was McHurricane’s outrage when Rauner increased the bill backlog by $10 billion alone, stiffed businesses and greatly damaged social services?

    McHurricane has funny meltdowns. It really is amusing to watch, from as far away as possible. She said she’s putting together an email list of angry people to fight back against Pritzker, as well as having people send her their motor fuel receipts. She pushes Illinois Exodus but is still here, stewing in her manufactured outrage. lol

  5. - Roman - Tuesday, Sep 10, 19 @ 3:21 pm:

    == because Democrats have controlled district map-drawing in the General Assembly for decades, there’s a sense of crumb-gathering in the GOP. A moderate seat is better than no seat ==

    This displays a lack of understanding of what partisan gerrymandering has done to politics in Illinois (and elsewhere.) The packing of Republican-leaning voters into GOP sink-hole districts has resulted in more conservative Republicans going to Springfield. Moderates get beat in primaries. How does she think McSweeney got there?

  6. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Sep 10, 19 @ 3:22 pm:

    ==To put it more bluntly, up to a point, Mr. Blagojevich actually may have gotten something important right. Who woulda thunk it?==
    While I greatly respect Greg Hinz, John Filan is another story. In view of Shared Services, Efficiency Payments, ePar, Fund Sweeps, the consolidation of auditors in IOIA (and Filan’s staff telling Bill Holland he would come under that scheme), etc., the above quote applies equally to Filan.

  7. - Sue - Tuesday, Sep 10, 19 @ 3:26 pm:

    More interesting question is with the markets having had several strong years recently why are the funds having such horrible returns. Filan’s Summary of returns in his statement are remarkable compared to recent performance

  8. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 10, 19 @ 3:27 pm:

    ===pushes Illinois Exodus but is still here, stewing in her manufactured outrage.===

    Grifters gotta grift.

    If @StatehouseChick left, she’d lose her schtick.

  9. - Norseman - Tuesday, Sep 10, 19 @ 3:28 pm:

    She’s all wrong, as usual. Hold your breath is more effective. And colorful too.

  10. - Moe Berg - Tuesday, Sep 10, 19 @ 3:30 pm:

    And yet the Very Serious People (City Club version) think that Katrina, an ideologue, is the one who should be moderating the pension discussion.

  11. - Not a Superstar - Tuesday, Sep 10, 19 @ 3:37 pm:

    It is telling that the words “Bruce Rauner” make only a cameo appearance in Katrina’s column. She’s been out of ideas for years, but is running the same grift.

  12. - Cook street - Tuesday, Sep 10, 19 @ 3:37 pm:

    Who is the certain columnist?

  13. - DIstant watcher - Tuesday, Sep 10, 19 @ 3:55 pm:

    It’s an intellectual exercise, maybe, but does the Trib ed board move the needle much any more? In elections, even? Maybe if a candidate ponies up to send copies of the headlines in a mailer, but other than that, how much relevancy do they have?

  14. - anon2 - Tuesday, Sep 10, 19 @ 3:57 pm:

    Borrowing the $10 billion in ‘03 required some GOP votes.

  15. - lakeside - Tuesday, Sep 10, 19 @ 3:59 pm:

    Oh, her. I assumed it was him (Kass). If you refuse to click through, you can’t see if there are any extremely tired nicknames trotted out in the column - the only difference between them.

  16. - Lurkin' MBA - Tuesday, Sep 10, 19 @ 4:12 pm:

    I am confused by fiscal conservatives who value lower taxes over balanced budgets. Deficit spending is a bipartisan sugar high. But it has to be paid back sometime.
    I think deficit spending is worse than high taxes because it subverts the need for hard choices.

  17. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, Sep 10, 19 @ 4:19 pm:

    It takes a special kind of writer to craft a hyperbolic rant that’s so very dull.

    – MrJM

  18. - Say What? - Tuesday, Sep 10, 19 @ 4:46 pm:

    The underpinning of this group’s world view is this: hit them in the head a little harder with at 2×4 and they will come around to your way of thinking.

    Human nature would seem to suggest just the opposite.

    The last time I saw a Chicago Tribune downstate was at the bottom of a bird cage . . . . . .

  19. - Been There - Tuesday, Sep 10, 19 @ 5:50 pm:

    The last I looked Hurricane Dorian didn’t hit here (maybe a bigger sharpie drawing would have brought it).
    If it wasn’t for Long, Pearson and a few others I wouldn’t even bother to keep my subscription

  20. - Glengarry - Tuesday, Sep 10, 19 @ 5:56 pm:

    Cyclone Kristen just doesn’t know when to knock off the nonsense. Don’t make fun of her on the Twitter or she’ll block you. Thin skinned for sure.

  21. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Sep 10, 19 @ 7:05 pm:

    Its worth repeating myself. The two party system in illinois has failed us. The GOP is the party of spending and pork. And the Democrats love taxing the working poor and middle class. Pick your poison.

  22. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, Sep 10, 19 @ 7:43 pm:

    “Its worth repeating myself.”


    – MrJM

  23. - Southern_Dawg - Wednesday, Sep 11, 19 @ 8:45 am:

    But she’s a very serious person. So very serious.

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