K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: The Illinois Pension Nightmare

Taps Coogan:

Back in early 2017 we looked at every state’s level of pension underfunding, given realistic market values, relative to state tax revenues. Based on that metric, Illinois’ pension fund was in the second worst condition in the US; nearly 30% of the state’s revenues would need to be directed towards its pension to avoid a worsening of its already significant underfunding problem.

For those who wonder how Illinois’ pension system got into such trouble, the website Wirepoints recently shed some light on exactly that question:

“There’s little argument that Illinois politicians are to blame for the state’s massive pension crisis.

However, how politicians caused the crisis has long been misunderstood. Critics on both sides of the aisle typically accuse politicians – and by extension, taxpayers – of shortchanging pensions.

But a Wirepoints analysis reveals that too little money into pensions hasn’t been the issue. Instead, it’s the dramatic growth in total pension benefits promised by politicians that’s been bankrupting Illinois.