Caulkins calls for reform in Springfield, blasts Emanuel's billion-dollar borrowing plan
Dan Caulkins wonders when the abuse of state taxpayers at the hands of their city government will come to an end.
“It makes no sense and is truly a travesty,” Caulkins told the Chambana Sun. “We just bailed out the Chicago Public School system at the expense of the people downstate and still that wasn’t enough. Government just continues to abuse the taxpayers of this state and it’s ruining everything for a lot of people.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel considering borrowing billions of more dollars to pump into the city’s long-troubled pension-fund system is the latest miscarriage of justice, Caulkins said. The plan calls for the city to issue bonds at lower interest rates, then use the remaining funds to pay toward its $28 billion in pension debt.
Ideally, city officials would then see pension funds invest bond proceeds, with the early returns outpacing the interest the city would have to pay on the bond debt.
Caulkins, running against Democrat Jennifer McMillin in the 101st District, sees it all as too risky for a state already swimming in debt from past miscalculations.
“Chicago has lost millions of people in the last 10 years because of problems like this,” he said. “Who knows, maybe enough people will leave the city and we can break Chicago’s long-held grip on the state for all our sakes. Right now, we are all paying their bills. We just had a massive tax increase and it hasn’t done anything, no effect on pensions or the backlog of bills. I mean, what good was it?”
The Chicago Tribune reports issuing the so-called pension obligation bonds would be a first for the city, which has already increased city taxes by more than $820 million over the last three years in an effort to stabilize contributions to the city’s four worker pension funds.
"(House Speaker Mike) Madigan and his cronies have to go,” Caulkins said. “It’s their policies and ideas that have fueled all of this. We need genuine and real reform in Springfield. We need people there that are not beholden to every special interest and lobby group that comes along. That’s what I mean when I say this upcoming election is for the soul of this state. The gravy train has to stop if we are going to save Illinois.”
The 101st House District spans parts of Champaign, De Witt, Macon, McLean and Piatt counties.