By: Mark Glennon*

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s spokeswoman, Jordan Abudayyeh, responded on Tuesday to Wirepoints’ 110-page pension report and reform plan. Her full response is below.

Read it. It’s just plain strange. No substantive response, just name calling and labeling. Those who suggest reforms are contemptible. End of discussion – as they see things.

Never mind that five years ago their own party passed legislation with express legislative findings, signed by a Democratic governor, that pension reform was Illinois’ only choice. Never mind that almost every other state has reformed their pensions at least once, as catalogued here. Never mind that pensions are the primary cause of what the Wall Street Journal calls the “inevitable financial collapse” of Illinois.

And what’s this about? “The ideologues had four years under Governor Bruce Rauner to implement their scheme,” Abudayyeh says.

Rauner never lifted a finger on pensions and avoided even saying the word. Nor did he do much of anything Wirepoints called for, which is why we were so hard on him.

Pritzker spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh

Pritzker and the rest of Illinois’ political establishment will cling as long as they can to the only two solutions they have on the table – tax hikes and hopes for a federal bailout.

They won’t work. When that “inevitable financial collapse” comes, we hope our report will be of use, which is why we wrote it.

As for the “carnival barker” thing and other labeling in Ms. Abudayyeh’s comments, I always liked this line from Nassim Taleb: “Mathematicians think in proofs, lawyers in constructs, logicians in operators, dancers in movement, artists in impressions, and idiots in labels.”

*Mark Glennon is founder of Wirepoints.

******

From Jordan Abudayyeh, Gov. JB Pritzker’s Press Secretary:

“Clearly there is no depth that is too low for the right wing ideologues who don’t seem to care about the litany of issues facing our state during these challenging times. They instead remain focused on perpetuating the myth that the state can just shirk its responsibilities to retirees who devoted their careers to public service and that will fix our state finances. The ideologues had four years under Governor Bruce Rauner to implement their scheme that would magically fix state finances and they failed to do so, leaving behind a hollowed out state government and a mountain of debt. We’ve seen what the carnival barkers believe state government should look like, and the people of Illinois have rejected their sham.”

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momo
1 month ago

This is really stupid and i really dont like the fact that they blame rauner for everything when the democrats blocked everything that Rauner tried to do then overriding everything. They held our state hostage in order to make Rauner look bad and in fact was used in the debates from Pritzker. Much like the governors taking advatage and shutting down states and running the under dictatorship then blame Trump when he had nothing to do with shutting everything down. The democratic ignorance is unbelievable

anonymous
1 month ago
Reply to  momo

Rauner was held back because Mike Madigan was running Illinois then and probably still now.

Manfred Downstate
1 month ago

Press Secretary Abudayyeh’s response does sound bizarre, but we’ve heard it before from Gov. J.B., Comptroller Mendoza, and the rest. If anyone points out that there’s trouble in their Illinois paradise, the officials will simply point to the usual suspects: counter-revolutionaries and saboteurs like Rauner and the Wirepoints gang.

Susan
1 month ago

Tax accountant stated that he and his colleagues interpret the language of tax hike referendum Constitutional Amendment to allow immediate ability to tax retirement income.
He believes this will occur (Illinois will tax retirement income) by 2022 on 2021 income.
(This will only affect private sector, except for those public employee pension double dippers unable to live 6-months-and-one -day in Florida.)

Juicy Smollier
1 month ago
Reply to  Susan

How would retirement income from the state be exempt as a matter of law, compared to private retirement income? That sounds instantly like a loss in court, not that anyone actually rules according to reason or the law anymore …

Susan
1 month ago
Reply to  Juicy Smollier

No i didn’t mean that editorial comment as a matter of law, I meant as a practical matter:
that public entitlement recipients receive enormous retirement income relative to private sector retirees and so will have financial resources to easily avoid Illinois retirement tax by moving.
Except, that is, those double dippers unable to work here less than 6 months a year.

Freddy
1 month ago
Reply to  Susan

At the California Policy Center website enter pensions in search and there are dozens of articles on pensions and how they were retroactively enhanced by increasing the multiplier from 2 to 3.

Tom Bussey
1 month ago

Does the Governor really think that the federal government will send a bunch of cash their way while the state takes no corrective action? In ten years the stare will be looking for another bailout!

Eddie
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

Gary, IN Mayor Richard Hatcher (1968-1988) was dependent on the federal government. We saw the outcome of that.
😮

Last edited 1 month ago by Eddie
Mark Blade
1 month ago

I give credit to Wirepoints for trying to suggest a solution. However, with history as our guide, we know the Democrats of Illinois will continue to be financially irresponsible. They have no interest in the future of this state. The best choice is to simply move out.

Concerned Independant
1 month ago

I am confused? DEMOCRATS BLOCKED all of Rauners recommended fixes..like PENSION REFORM!! So they are blaming RAUNER why???? Rauner inherited MASSIVE debt from the previous crooks!!

Mark Glennon
1 month ago

That’s a very important point that I unfairly neglected to include. Every single thing Rauner did attempt to do was blocked

Stephen DeFilippis
1 month ago

If you are registered to vote in Illinois, you will have the opportunity to significantly impact Illinois’ fiscal destiny and, as a result, your fate, and that of your neighbors. Here is an article I wrote to help educate you on this issue before you cast this important vote: https://defilippisfinancialgroup.us1.advisor.ws/blog-01/vote-no-illinois-proposed-amendment-implement-graduated-income-tax #twill #progressivetax #unfairtax #Illinois #vote #taxes #graduatedtax #pension #debt #graduatedtax #fairtax

Poor Taxpayer
1 month ago

The cops, teachers and firemen are laughing all they way to the bank.
No hope, math does not work unless you raise taxes much higher.
Can not lower pension benefits, so what other choice is there?
Move is the only choice.

James
1 month ago
Reply to  Poor Taxpayer

Play, stop and rewind. Play, stop and rewind. Play, stop and rewind. Play, stop and rewind. Play, stop and rewind. Play, stop and rewind. How imaginative—not! You’re too much!

Dan
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

Block this idiot already Mark.

rick1099
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

Do it. Constant whining and repeating the same phony claims over and over again are not only annoying but detract from the reason why we are allowed to comment. Ban this person.

Aaron
20 days ago
Reply to  rick1099

Constant whining? What you mean is repeated factual statements. The state retirement system can be summed up with one example. I know an 80 year old retired teacher. This woman’s 2020 pension payment is way more than she made in the first ten years teaching. This woman will live to be a hundred years old and get an increase every year.

Poor Taxpayer
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

Censorship of any kind is always wrong.

If it makes you feel better, Illinois is just fine, everything is dandy.
Alfred E. Neuman “What Me Worry” is the new state slogan.

Terry Kohn
1 month ago

Blame the previous administration that didn’t have enough power to go to the bathroom without permission. Sad that many have no idea what has been going on in Illinois state government.

1 month ago

 “leaving behind a hollowed out state government and a mountain of debt”, lol.

FJ Hoenemeyer
1 month ago

This pension debacle is now in the last minutes of the fourth quarter . Pelosi et al are holding up the next ‘stimulus’ bill to sneak in the national bailout , the federalizing of the Illinois (and NJ and CT and others ) debt mess . If she wins , if Trump loses and the Senate goes D , all of Illinois problems are solved. So for the next six months , Madigan and Company should sit tight , play ugly and hope they can stiff the rest of the Nation with their mess I give it better that 50/50… Read more »

Juicy Smollier
1 month ago
Reply to  FJ Hoenemeyer

I just posted on this, the odds of a Biden-House-Senate D clean sweep are at least 1000-1. It won’t happen. If you are right and it is the 4th quarter, what’s your best guess on what happens when Trump wins, no bailout comes (without negotiations) and IL has to decide what course to take. When do the finally actually go belly up, and why? Bond market collapse?

Llib Namron
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

As in 2016, i only hope the Left continues to depend on the polls!

Juicy Smollier
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

Trump is ahead in nearly every battleground state right now. It’s not close in Florida, either.

rick1099
1 month ago
Reply to  Juicy Smollier

Hope it’s TRUE and our president wins in a landslide along with the Senate staying red.

Zak Noles
1 month ago

Would we expect anything other than what she(the Democrat run government) wrote. If it wasn’t for name calling, having a temper tantrum or throwing in the “f-word”(constantly used by the Democrats controlled and financed terrorist groups) THEY’D HAVE NOTHING!

Last edited 1 month ago by Zak Noles
David F
1 month ago

I feel sorry for the cops for all the normal reasons, but when he rolled their pensions into the system, some towns actually WHERE funded.

Fed up neighbor
1 month ago
Reply to  David F

Agreed I live in a village were fire and police where funded 70 to 80% maybe a little higher

Last edited 1 month ago by Fed up neighbor
PensionActuary1058
1 month ago

Mark, this is an excellent and entertaining response to the smear by the Pritzker team. I guess you can take solace that you are having some type of influence on Illinois politics to illicit such a hate filled response. Unfortunately I think that Illinois’ financial problems are mathematically unsolvable at this point. These types of unfunded pension and OPEB liabilities are too much to come back from.

Dan
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

How can they do this? That’s easy – because the greedy public unions run the state. They are too greedy and dumb to see the train heading right at them. There is NO WAY these pensions will get paid out in full. They are done for. The math is impossible. Do you agree Mr.Glennon?

Juicy Smollier
1 month ago
Reply to  Dan

Yes, it seems from the recent Proft interview that Mr. Glennon thinks this whole thing shakes out once Mr. Trump wins the upcoming election – again – and they get a big fat NO from DC or whatever dreamworld they think is going to give them billions. Is that True Mark? What then causes the tumble, the bond market? They could theoretically cut services across the board, lol

Riverbender
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

Issue more bonds, ratings services say next to junk and once again the can gets kicked down the road until the day we reach the end of that road…unless we are at the end. If that doesn’t work perhaps State assets could be sold such as the highways to a private company making them toll roads.

Last edited 1 month ago by Riverbender
Juicy Smollier
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

Yes this is what I’m getting at. There will be no clean sweep, if there is any sweep at all, it’s R-R-R. Dems will not win the Senate, and they will not beat Trump even with attempted mail in ballot fraud … and there are 40 seats that are up in Trump Districts to be flipped by Trump, whereas only 6-8 exist as R susceptible candidates in Clinton districts. The fraud that is much easier for Dems is on the House or Senate lower tickets though, recall Al Franken? That was a total sham, he won by like 50 votes… Read more »

Dan
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

It is obvious by math and reality that the pensions will not get paid out in full. It isn’t possible and still be able to run a state people will live in. They are dead in the water. If no reform happens then at some point they will run out of funds and collapse until they are fixed. No checks will go out. And no, pay as you go is simply not realistic and won’t happen in reality. The state must meet basic services, and if it cannot, then the Feds get involved and force change. There is also a… Read more »

Juicy Smollier
1 month ago
Reply to  Dan

I agree, when it does happen, it will be a domino scenario I agree. I have always thought Chicago would be the first and then all the dominoes fall. My feeling as well is that people will kick and scream about the law (it’ll be funny to finally see then law is only a guideline, that’s why they make so much of it up as they go), but when the office cutting the checks doesn’t have any more loot, it doesn’t matter what the law says. Your check isn’t in the mail, or the EFT isn’t landing in your Bank… Read more »

PensionActuary1058
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

Mark, my guess is that Illinois goes officially bankrupt in the next 5 years. Even if the dems sweep the election I think they could pass a bill that “replaces” 1-2 years of revenue for some states but doesn’t fund the full unfunded liabilities for states like Illinois. In my opinion, there are enough dems in Congress from fiscally responsible states, including some blue states, that passing a $300 billion bailout for Illinois would be politically toxic. As for what bankruptcy looks like? I think you have to cut some of the benefits for current retirees, I don’t see how… Read more »

Tom Paine's Ghost
1 month ago

I welcome and respect your opinion PensionActuary1058. Can you explain why “Taxes would also obviously go up in a bankruptcy scenario.” Chicago taxpayers already suffer one of the highest tax burdens in the nation. We’ve already paid. Why take more from us? It would smother any hope of economic recovery despite cutting some benefit for current retirees. It would increase the IL population drain and financial spiral. That’s not a solution; seems like just another Illinois patented “kick the can”. Isn’t the point of Bankruptcy for both the debtor and the creditors to continue to function on the other side?… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Tom Paine's Ghost
Juicy Smollier
29 days ago

Good posts, guys. Creditors should all get stuck with the bill since they got the fake interest rate in the time being as their payof. Anyone lending to Chicago or IL that thinks they get screwed if they fail is an idiot. That’s the whole point of lending, understanding the borrower’s liabilities/risk to you. I see it starting to crumble next year, but it could hold out 2 years I guess. When checks literally don’t go out or to banks as EFTs, or services are curtailed to such a degree to pay 100k pensions diversity hires, you’ll get some action.… Read more »

NoHope4Illinois
1 month ago

Not sure why Wirepoints is shocked or surprised by the bloviating Pritzker response- He has consistently shown contempt for those who do not agree with him. Pritzker is a partisan hack.

Dan Miller
1 month ago

Pritzker has revealed himself as a politician who cannot abide criticism or analysis. Not only on the pension issue has he resorted to name-calling to rebut, but his sanctimony knows no bounds on the Covid issue. When he proclaims that his refusal to permit any form of contact sports at Illinois high schools, he claimed that doing so would kill children.

Lyn P
1 month ago
Reply to  Dan Miller

Arrogance and Incompetence Writ-Large.

NB-Chicago
1 month ago

Mark—any responce from anybody in Illinois Republican party?

Governor of Alderaan
1 month ago
Reply to  NB-Chicago

Illinois has a Republican Party?

Mike
1 month ago

The five State of Illinois pensions have been a Ponzi scheme from day one.

They have never been fully funded.

The priority was salary and benefit hikes instead of fully funding pensions.

The public sector equivalent of Bernie Madoff.

The Illinois Pension Scam.

Riverbender
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

I am not disagreeing with you but don’t forget our lengthening life expediencies have not been included in the pension equations. The Federal Government recognized this in the mid 1980s but Illinois did not.

Mike
1 month ago
Reply to  Riverbender

That has been a problem for at least some plans in the past, which was a shady practice that could have been prevented by a mandate in state law. However actuaries do eventually take hiked life expectancy into account as part of the actuarial calculations. How often they take life expectancy into account varies by the plan, but they eventually get around to it (I’ve never seen a report listing all the plans and how often each adjusts its life expectancy tables). Next to ponder is how does the government react to that hiked life expectancy, as any hiked liability… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Mike
1 month ago

hey theres enough blame to go around, but with madigan in office rauner had no chance. now madigan has been in office and the last time we had a balanced was 2002 i would like to charge madigan with fraud and whatever crime i could stick on that sick bastard

Chris Crawford
1 month ago
Reply to  arthur gibson

Let’s not forget the Supreme Court that ruled COLA was untouchable.

s & p 500
1 month ago

Some people in Philly had a religious ceremony to create money for the school district. Maybe Jordan is planning something similar for Illinois.

https://www.inquirer.com/education/taslich-repentance-rosh-hashanah-philadelphia-schools-justice-racism-20200920.html

Old Spartan
1 month ago

Jordan really needs some reinforcements here. Anyone who knows Jordan knows she did not read the report, does not have the educational background or work experience to understand it or comment on any of the technicalities, and likely didn’t even talk to anyone competent to analyze the substance of what the report said. That’s her style on this and most topics.. So it is no wonder that she responds with a childish response. You would hope that state government and the Governor’s office in particular would have at least one person with the expertise to engage in a discussion on… Read more »

Freddy
1 month ago

What would help a little is indexing the 3% COLA to some measure of inflation. With interest rates at near zero for a while now and for the foreseeable future there is no reason to keep paying that amount. Most other states are indexed.

mqyl
1 month ago
Reply to  Freddy

There are so many State of IL retirees with pensions over $100K that they won’t care much that their 3 percent compounded increases are cut to 1-2 percent. Their pensions will still be obscenely large, and they’ll still pay no health care premiums. Also, as you said, that change wouldn’t significantly ease the taxpayer burden anyway.

nixit
1 month ago

Most people can provide succinct bullet points that counter specific claims in an argument. I don’t see any here. Also, it looks like you were making a correlation between the eviction ban and pension reform. No comment on that either. This is what you get when canned responses are valued more than critical thought.

It’s no secret JB’s staff receives two paychecks. This response isn’t worth one.

1 month ago

I think they play the Jimmy Buffett song, “Math Sucks” in the governor and legislative office all day long.

Indy
1 month ago

The capital Fax commentators are exactly why Illinois just needs to be left on the vine to wilt & fail.

Governor of Alderaan
1 month ago
Reply to  Indy

Are you referring to the bums who spend all day posting their inanity instead of doing the people’s work?

Joan
1 month ago
Reply to  Indy

They truly are the most dishonest and stupid people in the state, which is why I don’t even read it any more.

Dan
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

Miller is a paid off piece of garbage, and why no one in the media doesn’t call him out of his conflict of interest, I have no idea. Much of his blog is literally funded by public unions. He is pathetic.

willowglen
1 month ago
Reply to  Dan

None of my posts ever get accepted at Capitol Fax. I assiduously avoid being political, and most of my posts deal with math. In my last post (rejected) I mentioned the preliminary status of the PROMESA proceedings, and point out that pensioners appear to be doing reasonably well there. Of course, Puerto Rico pensioners by and large are poor, with nowhere near the payouts Illinois pensioners receive. The mere thought, however, of an insolvency proceeding of some kind merits censorship. By the way, Wirepoints work is nationally relevant, not just relevant to those domiciled in Illinois. It is an example… Read more »

Ex Illini
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

Capitol Fax is slowly dying. It’s the same two or three morons posting incessantly, though RNUG is there infrequently these days. Silly Willy posts 12 comments to every post. That birdbrain actually thinks he’s funny. Miller is a hack as everyone rightly points out. No credibility whatsoever. They’ve got one person who rails against the wealthy and/or Republicans on every single post, and it goes unchecked by Miller. With their hero Wordslinger gone they are wandering in the desert.

Fed up neighbor
1 month ago
Reply to  Ex Illini

Especially Oswego Willy what a ass

Rich Miller's Conscience
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

Come on guys. You are being really mean. Capitol Fax is all that I’ve got. I’m not as dumb as I look. I know that Madigan’s days are coming to a close. Maybe even faster than I think based on the latest FBI investigation information. My gravy train will come to a screeching halt and what am I to do then? Be an actual reporter? Please. That is work and the number one thing that I have learned in Springfield is how to to avoid work. When himself finally falls then my entire world – Springfield, Illinois politics, the Illinois… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Rich Miller's Conscience
Platinum Goose
1 month ago
Reply to  willowglen

I think they block IP’s and I must be on the blocked list. No matter what I try to post it doesn’t make it through. Although I just switched providers to AT&T so I’ll see if I can get through with my new IP.

Anon
1 month ago

Mark, I think you’re doing an admirable job. I hate to say this, but here goes: Drop this bag of rocks and move on. Do it for your own sanity. Nothing here is ever going to change, so why keep banging your head against a wall like this? The die is cast. I’m moving in less than two weeks. I’ve had enough with it all, but the tipping point was the simple realization that Illinois’ situation is irreversible. Actually, the problems will accelerate. The number of people we know who are leaving the state is shocking, and you’d be surprised… Read more »

1 month ago
Reply to  Anon

I am leaving this week. I bought a place in Las Vegas. I’ll read Wirepoints. I will watch from afar. I don’t wish what is coming down the pipe to the people who stay. It is not going to be pretty.

Riverbender
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeff Carter

If Biden gets elected and bails out the State you will still be on the hook for the Illinois pension debacle.

Freddy
1 month ago
Reply to  Anon

Good luck and take care of yourself. I am looking for a place not to far away. Let us know if you want on what tax’s are there. Again take care and be well.

LessonLearned
1 month ago
Reply to  Anon

My feelings exactly.

JR
1 month ago
Reply to  Anon

I am moving to TN end of October lived in IL all my life sad to see what has happened to this state but the corruption and disgusting politicians both sides will not be solved until the lemmings aren’t allowed to vote. The only reprieve is this state will have to crash and burn down.

Juicy Smollier
1 month ago
Reply to  JR

Me too