Illinois pensions are not doing teachers any favors, at least not until they retire. The failure of state government to solve the pension catastrophe has created a PR conundrum for teachers who will be blamed for the enormity of their promised benefits. No matter what caused the retirement funding crisis, Illinois pensions have turned the public eye to the recipients and made them into bad teachers.
When government fails, it gives us committees.
A committee is the last refuge of failed government and the secret weapon Illinois came up with during this week’s special pension session. It seems a little late in the game to pull this one out of Springfield’s trick bag, but in the absence of agreement on a solution perhaps this feint is the best we can expect. Still, a pension reform committee sounds like a loser that brings back memories of the fiscal commission and the super committee. Remember what those blue ribbon panels got us? Indecision, failure, and sequestration.
The horrifically amusing thing about the failure to deal with Illinois pensions is that the problem is not even partisan any longer. Republicans are scarcely in the game. This is a struggle among Democrats who are again proving to be fundamentally incapable of dealing with any kind of a crisis that means saying no to spending and unions.
Government creates bad teachers.
Teachers are front and center in the battle over Illinois pensions. They haven’t helped themselves by letting unions dress them up and put them on display (see: Should Kids Learn These Leftist Lessons From Teachers?). The bad teachers moniker is too easily applied wherever we are saddled with the decisions of lawmakers who give away the world with nary a thought as to how to pay for it. Good teachers work hard and deserve to be rewarded for their efforts, but federal insistence from Arne Duncan that we compensate them with six figure salaries doesn’t help mollify taxpayers faced with disaster.
Illinois pensions don’t make bad teachers. Irresponsible legislators and greedy unions do, and they keep making our educators look worse.