We Are Illinois, a coalition of labor unions united against pension cuts, is flaunting the results of a poll that shows most state residents don’t want cuts in public employee pensions.
“By a 50-34 margin, voters say that the pension issue is caused by wealthy people not paying their share rather than the size of public employee pay,” says pollster Public Policy Polling, which was obviously commissioned by the labor union to ask leading, push-polly questions that pitted hardworking state employees against Monopoly men in top hats.
Other results of the automated poll, which surveyed 500 Illinois voters.
-- Voters ascribe the pension debt to politicians skipping pension payments, rather than overly generous pension benefits. By a 64-27 margin voters say politicians skipping payments are to blame.
-- By a 78-17 margin, voters say public employees and politicians should work together to solve the pension issue rather than just simply cutting pensions.
-- Respondents would support public employees paying an additional 2 percent out of their paychecks while corporate tax loopholes are closed, 59 percent to 23 percent.
-- 60 percent agree with the statement “a pension is a promise that can’t be broken, and the pension problem can be solved by guaranteeing payments and closing corporate tax loopholes,” while 32 percent agree with “Illinois cannot afford the overly generous pensions of public employees and they should be cut.”
"Illinois voters are sending a strong message to their political leaders," said Illinois AFL-CIO president Michael T. Carrigan, obviously pleased with the answers he‘d paid for. "The public doesn't believe that the modest pension of a retired teacher or other public employee caused the budget problems. People reject the approach that blames and punishes workers and retirees. Instead the voters strongly support our union coalition’s call to work together and develop a solution that is fair, constitutional and supported by all parties."