No matter what happens, politicians will always have our children’s future to fall back on. Kids are a time-honored secret weapon when budget reform battles resort to shaming the opposition into action, even though the strategy tends to fall apart when both sides rely on children to support their demands.
Once again, our fiscal irresponsibility journey begins in Springfield, Illinois where children are the newest symbol being used to coerce state pension reform.
Do Illinois public officials believe taxpayers are too stupid to understand pension debt?
A new media campaign for Illinois pension reform focuses on our children’s future, the last resort of desperate governor’s office PR types trying to come up with a fresh way to raise public awareness of the pension debt crisis.
The only Illinois residents who seem oblivious to the need to do something are the legislators who helped create the problem. Even the most dimwitted taxpayer can figure out that when you buy what you can’t afford you put yourself in jeopardy when things go bad. Just ask underwater homeowners hoping that Barack Obama will bail them out before anyone notices that they could never have afforded their dwellings even in boom times.
Shut up about Illinois pension reform. Just do it.
The Illinois pension reform Thanks in Advance! campaign talks about the decades it took to dig the state’s black hole of debt. Governor Pat Quinn’s failed efforts to spur budget reform notwithstanding, public officials confuse the issue by arguing that problems like the recession, low return on investments, and failing to pay enough into the pension system created the crisis. Rehashing the history of fiscal irresponsibility in Illinois confuses blather with action. Worthwhile budget and pension reform have been repeatedly, consistently shot down in Springfield. With a new Democratic supermajority running state government and unions dominating Illinois’ public employees, PR is all state residents are likely to get.
Are public officials who are running states like Illinois into the ground hedging their bets on a federal pension bailout, waiting to see if the House GOP leadership shows signs of caving during the fiscal cliff negotiations?
Washington warns of our children’s future being tossed over the fiscal cliff.
Children have not emerged unscathed from the fiscal cliff fracas, where even Speaker Boehner has drawn kids into the debate:
And if our economy doesn’t grow, Americans don’t get new jobs and the debt problem that we have will continue to threaten our children’s future.¹
If Democrats sniff money in Republican willingness to negotiate, Boehner’s actions could have consequences far greater than Washington’s current budget reform hoax. After we spend the president’s anti-wealth tax hike on education and infrastructure to keep the unions happy, what do we do next to secure our children’s future and who is going to pay?
Seriously, Jay, the handicapped kids card?
The White House worries about kids, too. Not to be outdone, Press Secretary Jay Carney upped the ante and segued from shame to theater as he vexed over how “families with disabled children”² would get by if we fail to raise tax rates on higher earners.
Thanks for nothing: politicians leave our children’s future to rot.
Illinois pension reform is not going to happen. Instead, Illinois may earn the distinction of being the impetus for Congress to pass a state bankruptcy law.
In Washington the fiscal cliff will be repackaged, resold, and dealt with unsuccessfully at some other time after historic progress and a new framework for change are announced just before the New Year. Politicians are correct about one thing. Our children’s future looks grim. What they are wrong about is that they care enough to do something about that future. Politicians will prosper and no matter what they say, in the back of their minds they have already decided that our children’s future can rot.