A Perfect Pension Storm
04/05/2011 - Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman delivered a timely reminder to Illinois politicians that the state's budget woes cannot be solved simply through higher taxation. In a letter to Gov. Pat Quinn, Oberhelman hinted that Caterpillar, an employer of some 23,000 in the state, would consider relocating in response to new burdens from Springfield.
In its influential report, "The Trillion Dollar Gap," The Pew Center on the States cited Illinois as the worst prepared of all states to meet these obligations. The center's catalog of Illinois' fiscal sins is daunting. At the end of 2008, only 54 percent of the necessary funding levels had been achieved; the state borrowed to meet contributions and chronically failed to make the actuarially determined minimum payments that might allow the state to catch up on its responsibilities.
Read the full editorial at chicagotribune.com.