Pension Vocabulary by John Dillon: Judy Baar Topinka: Follow the Money? Follow the Bull and Watch Where You Step.

2 Jan

Current office holder Judy Baar Topinka and challenger former Lt. Governor Sheila Simon have begun their respective runs for Office of Comptroller by claiming rights to the latest opportunity to lead Illinois taxpayers on another fallacious boondoggle in the name of political transparency.

According to Topinka, individuals receiving tax refunds this year will receive a detailed chart explaining how their money was spent by Springfield. Topinka is proud of this new addition for taxpayers, one that she expects to help “hold lawmakers accountable for their spending”


Sheila Simon is countering that it was her idea originally to provide such communication, and she envisions an online calculator, which would offer all taxpayers to enter their tax bill and receive a percentage breakdown as to where their money went for state expenditures.

My graph\’s better than your graph…

Getting a bit dirty about it, Simon suggests that Topinka’s inability to prevent an earlier theft of millions of dollars in tax receipts by city of Dixon’s Comptroller Rita Crundwell hardly makes Topinka a poster child for tax transparency. Topinka disagrees, of course, and has offered her own creation: a website to show the financial utilization of city funds by over 5000 cities and villages.

In the article, Topinka tutors, “When people watch government, it’s less likely to go astray.”

Are you kidding? When people’s representatives like the General Assembly watched government for the last 60 years, a helluva lot went astray. And while I’m referencing pension theft, how will Topinka’s (or Simon’s for that matter) pretty pie chart look? Judy said she planned to include a section in the graph to show retirement benefit costs.

Will it include the real wedge divisions taxpayers should know about?

Or will it simply and falsely call pension debt from years of thievery simply a pension payment, creating the illusion of over-expense for defined benefits?

In other words…

Will it falsely inform John Q Taxpayer that he is paying an exorbitant amount for pensions when in reality over 80 percent or $5.17 billion of the entire state budget is the debt service payment owed to the pensions to cover past borrowings. “That means, the entire $1.08 billion in year-to-year increase in the state’s pension contribution called for in FY2014 is caused by debt service, not benefits being earned. Over four out of every five dollars of the state’s pension contribution scheduled for FY2014 constitute repayment of debt, rather than a contribution for the cost of funding benefits being earned” (CTBA – see report below). More…

via Pension Vocabulary by John Dillon: Judy Baar Topinka: Follow the Money? Follow the Bull and Watch Where You Step..


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