Examining a range of welfare benefits--tax credits, food stamps and similar programs, housing assistance, cash assistance, subsidies for child care and health care benefits--the Illinois Policy Institue found that in 3 Illinois counties:
- For single-parent families, benefits could reach ~$48k. For 2-parent families, benefits reached up to $41+k .
- Combined income and welfare benefits peak at a wage of $12/hour wage. Above that, benefits begin to drop. Single parents would have to make between $35-$38/hour to make up for the benefits lost when they earned $12/hour.
- If a single mother working for $8.25-$12/hour receives a pay raise of up to $18 per hour, she receive 33% fewer benefits.
So much for the disincentivizing poor in such a way that they need to stay home and live on the dole rather than seek higher-pay jobs.
Consider the Better Government Association's analhysis of State Treasurer Dan Rutherford and State Reprepresentative Tom Cross, two Illinois Republican politicans who lost elections for higher office in last November's elections.
After leaving office a couple of weeks back, Rutherford will begin receiving $115k+/year and Cross will receive $81k+/year. By 2035, both might pocket millions having contributed <$200k each to the General Assembly Retirement System, which is a branch of the State Retirement Systems. If Rutherford lives to be 80 and cashes in his annuity immediately, he could collect ~$3.3M in pension payments the 3% annual cost-of-living adjustments that are part of the package. Likewise, Cross could collect $2.3M+ in pension payments, assuming he elects to take his annuity immediately with the same 3% annual cost-of-living adjustments. In addition, Cross has ~10 years in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, having contributed $7k+ to that pension system which will reap an additional annual pension of ~$6.4k/year.
Talk about "welfare queens"! This isn't a "generous taxpayer-supported" pension plan but a scheme that legislators like Rutherford and Cross set up so they could live high on the hog care of the taxpayers for their yers "public service" while the truly needy barely scrape by on the "means tests" they legislated.
Worse yet. The State of Illinois has failed to make payments to the funds and assumed investment returns didn’t materialize. The State’s five employee-pension funds collectively carry an unfunded liability of $100B+, the worst in the nation, meaning that the systems don't have enough $$$s to pay future pension obligations and the taxpayers will be left holding the bag for those "public servants."
Let the discussion begin...
To read the Illinois Policy Institute study, click on the following link:
"Modeling Potential Income and Welfare Assistance Benefits in Illinois: Single Parent with Two Children Household and Two Parents with Two Children Household Scenarios in Cook County, City of Chicago, Lake County and St. Clair County."
To read the Chicago Sun Times article, click on the following link: