Chicago news conference: Andy Martin says the State of Illinois, Cook County and Chicago should file for bankruptcy relief
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ATTENTION NATIONAL AND ILLINOIS DAYBOOK/ASSIGNMENT EDITORS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Maverick Republican Andy Martin says Illinois state agencies and pension plans should immediately file for bankruptcy
The conservative blogger and Internet Powerhouse says that delaying the inevitable is making matters worse for the economic future of Illinois
Andy urged general Motors to file for bankruptcy protection in 2005; GM ultimately did so in 2009
Andy says there will be no federal bailout of Illinois’ profligate state and local governments
Andy says that Illinois politicians have devastated the state’s economic future and lied to current and future retirees
Andy says a bankruptcy reorganization plan should bar multiple pensions, pension enhancements and gimmicks, and ‘pension kings” such as former Governor James Edger who is drawing hundreds thousands of dollars in annual pension cash
Andy says Illinois should establish 401 (k)-style pension plans at every level of government, so employees receive a fair return on what they invest and so that going forward they actually own their own pension funds
(MANCHESTER, NH) (December 26, 2012) Republican activist and Conservative blogger Andy Martin will hold a Chicago, Illinois news conference today, December 26th to call on the Illinois General Assembly to authorize bankruptcy court filings by Illinois pension plans, Cook County and the City of Chicago.
Andy says the state government should also waive its constitutional sovereign immunity so that the state itself can also seek bankruptcy potation.
Andy says that if Illinois politicians are waiting for a bailout from Washington, they are dreaming. Profligate states are going to have to resolve their own pension and spending excesses without federal assistance.
"When I went to the Illinois General Assembly as an intern in 1965 Illinois was a wealthy state,” Andy says. “Both the Democrats and the Republicans have since destroyed the state’s economy and jeopardized the state’s future.
“Legislators are supposedly meeting in a few days to ‘address’ or ‘resolve’ the state’s multiple pension crises. There is no way out except bankruptcy. Postponing the pension debacle only adds to the state’s liability every day. Simply put, Illinois politicians have made promises they can’t keep and Illinois taxpayers cannot afford.
“Chapter 9 of the federal bankruptcy code allows state agencies to file for bankruptcy protection and to seek to reject burdensome pension plans (see links below) and employment agreements. Municipalities in other states are increasingly doing so. Cook County is bankrupt. Chicago is bankrupt. They are betting that by not paying their bills and postponing the day of financial reckoning they will escape responsibility. It’s not going to happen.
“Likewise various Illinois state pension plans can never pay what they have promised to pay current and future retirees.
“I suggest some of the following:
“First, the bankruptcy court should place an absolute limit on annual pension payouts to any one individual or filing entity. ‘Pension kings’ such as former Governor Jim Edgar who collects a state salary as well as hundreds of thousands in pensions, should be limited. No one who draws a current paycheck should be allowed to also collect a ‘retired’ pension.
“Second, the court should permanently outlaw pension gimmicks: there was the police chief who sought to stick Oakbrook with enhanced liability, the state senator who worked for the executive branch for a few weeks and will collect tens of thousands in additional benefits for life, and so on (some of these practices have been limited going forward, but none address current retirees who are depleting the system).
“The reality is that some pensioners are ripping off the state by colleting excessive pensions based on insider deals and loopholes,” Andy says. “We should protect the smaller pensions of average or ordinary retirees, and eliminate the excessive sums accumulated in the past by ‘gaming the system.’
“Third, state government should convert to a privatized retirement plan. Employees should be given 401 (k)-style accounts with contributions by both the state/municipality and the employee. Employees would actually own their pension assets.
“Fourth, the court should ban Illinois’ current ‘shoebox-style’ financial operations, where the state accumulates unpaid bills and allows revenues and liabilities to stay out of kilter. By law Illinois is supposed to have a balanced budget. But that requirement has been ignored by simply accumulating bills and then not paying them. Enough.
“Fifth, state statutes should be broadened to empower citizens to file lawsuits challenging excessive state spending. Today the state courts have greatly limited citizen participation in challenging government waste and mismanagement.”
In 2005 Andy received national attention when he said General Motors was insolvent and would eventually have to file for bankruptcy reorganization. GM ultimately reorganized in bankruptcy court with the help of federal bailout funds provided by the Obama administration in 2009.
“All of Illinois’ and Chicago’s institutions are dying. Museums and educational institute cannot endure as world-class facilities while their state is slowly sinking into financial oblivion. The Obama-Quinn-Emanuel axis is gradually impoverishing the state and mortgaging the state’s future to pay current bills.
“In effect, today Illinois has ‘no future’” Andy charges.
“Illinois leaders can either voluntarily accept reality, or they can wait to be disgraced and embarrassed when the state can no longer borrow money and effectively has to shut down. To date politicians have ignored reality and pretended there is no crisis. That is a form of governmental insanity.
“Bankruptcy will not be easy or painless. But by placing limits on pension abuses and limits on total payments to individuals and families, the state will start the process of coming back to financial reality. State and local spending is out of control.
“If Illinois leaders think the federal government is going to bail out bankrupt states, they are dreaming,” Andy says.
Andy moved to his mother’s home state of New Hampshire, which has no state income tax and no general sales tax. He says “Smaller government and lower taxes are the future for states. The Illinois/Chicago/Cook County model is becoming history.”
DECEMBER 26TH CHICAGO NEWS CONFERENCE DETAILS:
American corruption-fighter and Internet Powerhouse/Conservative blogger Andy Martin
Andy Martin says Illinois state government and state/local agencies must immediately file for bankruptcy court protection
Sidewalk news conference, SE corner of Huron and Wabash,
Chicago (weather permitting; otherwise indoors)
Wednesday, December 26th, 2012, 4:30 P.M.
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Andy is a legendary New Hampshire, New York and Chicago-based muckraker, author, Internet columnist, talk television pioneer, radio talk show host, broadcaster and media critic. Andy’s family immigrated to New Hampshire 100 years ago; today his home overlooks the Merrimack River. He has forty-four years of background in radio and television. He is the author of “Obama: The Man Behind The Mask” [www.OrangeStatePress.com] and he produced the Internet film "Obama: The Hawaii’ Years” [www.BoycottHawaii.com]. Andy is the Executive Editor and publisher of the “Internet Powerhouse,” www.ContrarianCommentary.com. He comments on New Hampshire, national and international events with more than four decades of investigative and analytical experience both in the USA and around the world.
Andy has been a leading corruption fighter in American politics and courts for over forty-five years. [www.AndyMartin.com] He is currently sponsoring www.AmericaisReadyforReform.com. See also www.FirstRespondersOnline.us; www.EnglishforAmerica.org
He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law and is a former adjunct professor of law at the City University of New York (LaGuardia CC, Bronx CC).
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