In an October 1st address to the UIC chapter of the State Universities Annuitants Association (SUAA), CPEG’s Bill Barclay explained the potential benefits of a small LaSalle Street Tax (also known as a Financial Transactions Tax), on Chicago’s two large trading markets. Barclay suggested that some of the estimated $10-12 Billion in revenues that could be generated by the tax could be used to make up for the decades-long failure of the Illinois legislature to keep their pension funding promises.
The SUAA, with over 1,600 members, exists to promote the individual and collective interests and welfare of its members and of all UIC retirees. You can download Barclay’s presentation here (powerpoint), or view the full presentation on Youtube.
This article, authored by CPEG’s Ron Baiman, originally appeared on the Dollars and Sense; Real World Economics blog in December 2013.
Having boxed themselves into a political dead-end by adopting the austerity agenda of the business community as represented by the Illinois “Civic Federation,” Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan and Illinois and Democratic Governor Pat Quinn on Tuesday, Dec. 3, rammed through a state Pension cutting bill that would reportedly reduce the state’s $ 100 B unfunded pension liability by $160 B. The Democratic President of the Senate, John Cullerton (a supporter of a Senate bill negotiated with the unions that would have cut less and given workers a choice of options), voted for the House bill, but warned it had “serious constitutional problems” and was reportedly silent during the debate, not present when the final deal was announced and a no-show at an earlier meeting attended by the three other legislative leaders. As is documented below, Cullerton’s concerns are well-founded as this bill presumes that $160 B of pension liability reductions are somehow equivalent to a roughly $26 B cut in the value of pension contributions from state workers.
CPEG’s Dr. Bill Barclay testified recently before the Illinois Pension Conference Committee regarding the state’s underfunded pension plan. Dr. Barclay’s solution-focused testimony included a presentation on a Financial Transactions Tax, a Graduated Income Tax, and Closing State Tax Loopholes, all of which would provide revenue solutions to aid Illinois’ ailing pension plan without punishing the public employees who earned those benefits after years of service to the state.
Video of the testimony can be found here. Dr. Barclay’s presentation begins at the one hour 29 minute mark.
The accompanying powerpoint presentation can be downloaded here.
On July 3rd, CEPG’s Ron Baiman provided testimony before a group of Illinois lawmakers serving on a special Pension Conference Committee regarding the state’s underfunded pension plan.
Baiman presented findings in collaboration with research from CPEG’s Bill Barclay regarding potential solutions to Illinois’ structural revenue problem including closing huge tax loopholes, a financial transactions tax, and a graduated individual income tax. The powerpoint referenced in the video can be downloaded here.