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Winning The War On Poverty In 2014: Means Defeating the Wolves on Wall Street and Cowards on Capitol Hill

Reverend Charles E. Williams II | Posted 03.15.2014 | Black Voices
Reverend Charles E. Williams II

We can hear the 'wolves on Wall Street' howling at rising profits and executive salaries -- while the sucking sound you hear are jobs and families flung into poverty. 2014 will require a vigilant vote and voice to make a real difference for a very real problem.

How Chuck Reed's Pension 'Reform' Scheme Doesn't Add Up

Dave Low | Posted 03.11.2014 | San Francisco
Dave Low

California's nonpartisan Legislative Analyst, the state office responsible for analyzing the impact of proposed ballot measures, sent up a large red flag. It said that an initiative that would eliminate the Constitutional vested rights of public employees to retirement and retiree health care could cost "billions of dollars."

ALEC Wants Your Legislator's Loyalty -- And You Get to Foot the Bill

Dan Montgomery | Posted 03.11.2014 | Chicago
Dan Montgomery

The Guardian uncovered an internal ALEC document that proposed a "loyalty oath" that ALEC state chairs must take that states: "I will act with care and loyalty and put the interests of the organization first." That's right. They aren't supposed to put the interests of the taxpayers who elected them first.

Michigan Seniors Will Feel the Pain of Governor Snyder's Insensitive Tax on Pensions

Reverend Charles E. Williams II | Posted 03.08.2014 | Detroit
Reverend Charles E. Williams II

It must be the dogged CEO in him, the strict businessman who only sees the dollar figures and not the people behind those numbers. To me, that's the only explanation for Gov. Snyder's scheme to raise taxes on pensions for senior citizens across this great state.

Pensions at a Glance -- Compare Your Country

OECD | Posted 03.08.2014 | Money

What percentage of GDP is spent on pensions? At what age are people exiting the labor market? What is the poverty rate for those over 65?

From Motown to Notown

Allen Schmertzler | Posted 02.19.2014 | Politics
Allen Schmertzler

Images of the city play like a science fiction movie narrating the end of America's successful experiment with diversity in a robust urban life style. Detroit has gone from 'Motown' to 'Notown.'

Chicago Faces Fiscal Doom Without Pension Reform

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 02.17.2014 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

2015 will be the year of financial Armageddon for Chicago if it doesn't get pension relief from Springfield.

Why the Denial About the Retirement Crisis?

Jane White | Posted 02.11.2014 | Politics
Jane White

The only thing more frustrating than the media's refusal to cover America's retirement crisis is that the trade group for the mutual funds who manage 401(k) assets continues to insist that the crisis doesn't exist.

Rand Paul to Detroit: You're Being Punished Because You Don't Worship the Rich

Jason Sattler | Posted 02.09.2014 | Politics
Jason Sattler

Rand is the guy who accused the president of being too tough on BP during the largest oil spill in American history. His feelings about corporations resemble how pre-Reformation Catholics felt about the Pope -- absolute infallibility.

Progressives Must Stand Up Against the Right Wing War on Public Employees

Robert Creamer | Posted 02.08.2014 | Politics
Robert Creamer

For many years the American Right -- and many of the most powerful elements of corporate and Wall Street elite -- have conducted a war on public employees. It's time for Progressives -- and Americans of all stripes -- to wake up and smell the coffee.

Pension Theft: Class War Goes to the Next Stage

Dean Baker | Posted 02.04.2014 | Business
Dean Baker

In the past two days we've seen a federal judge rule that Detroit can go bankrupt, putting its workers' pensions in jeopardy, and we have seen Illinois' legislature vote for substantial cuts in its retirees' pensions. Undoubtedly these two actions are just the tip of the iceberg.

Pension Reform Aftermath? Keep Walking Forward With Our List

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 02.03.2014 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

We understand those concerns and the skepticism. Still, something desperately needed doing or we'd have been another two years away from another remotely achievable attempt at reform.

Tracking Changes in Pension Bill Since June

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 02.02.2014 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

Senate Bill 1 passed the House in May but was defeated in the Senate. Now it's back, in a different form supported by Democrat and Republican legislative leaders, for a possible vote today in Springfield.

Stop Making Excuses: Pass Pension Reform this Week

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 02.01.2014 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

There's plenty for everyone to hate in the pension bill expected to get a vote tomorrow in Springfield. Sorry, ideological purists. That's why it needs to pass.

Corporations Owe Hundreds of Billions of Taxes But GOP Goes After Federal Employees

Dave Johnson | Posted 01.27.2014 | Politics
Dave Johnson

Congress is again fighting over the budget with Republicans now demanding cuts in federal employee benefits. Is this really about the budget? Or is it about destroying government? Meanwhile hundreds of billions of taxes owed by corporations remain uncollected.

The Truth About California's Pension Slashers

Julie Gutman Dickinson | Posted 01.26.2014 | Politics
Julie Gutman Dickinson

The initiative would not only cut the retirement benefits of future public sector workers, but of current government employees as well. Should the measure make it to the ballot and prevail, that provision will surely trigger a bitter legal fight.

Elizabeth Warren Nails It: We Shouldn't Be Fighting Each Other for a Handful of Crumbs

Mike Lux | Posted 01.25.2014 | Politics
Mike Lux

For those of us who come out of the ranks of middle class or poor, and whose families and friends still live there, Social Security is a life or death issue. Every dollar matters to them.

Top 10 Reasons Why It's Hard to Be an Illinois Optimist

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 01.25.2014 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

Last week we posted a Top 10 celebrating the resilience of Illinoisans. Many Facebook comment writers did not share our optimism and told us so. Tod...

Optimism All Around for Dec. 3 Pension Debate

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 01.23.2014 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

If you're among the millions of Illinoisans sick to death of the words "pensions reform," here's some good news: It's looking more likely than ever that the General Assembly will act on a bill in two weeks that'll get those words out of the daily news cycle and into the courts.

Not Many Treats From the House of Illinois Government Today

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 12.31.2013 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

We've compiled some other truly scary facts about the state's fiscal condition in today's jack-o-lantern-themed Top 10 list. We only get to do this...

Detroit and the Tooth Fairy

Terry Savage | Posted 12.30.2013 | Business
Terry Savage

That's the one good thing you can say about what's going on in Detroit: It will hopefully motivate the politicians, employees and unions everywhere else to face reality and not believe the Tooth Fairy will somehow deposit the cash under their pillows.

Still No Pension Solution in Sight? Oh, Just Wait 'Til Next Year!

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 12.29.2013 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

While we flush $5 million in pension costs down the toilet daily, our state politicians don't meet again until Nov. 5 for three more days.

#ChiBudget 2014: The Calm Before the Pension Storm

Joe Moreno | Posted 01.23.2014 | Chicago
Joe Moreno

This budget seems a little like the calm before the pension storm. Unless the state acts, and acts soon, the "pension bomb" explodes next year.

Detroit Is in Debt, But Is it Eligible for Bankruptcy?

Paul Alexander | Posted 01.23.2014 | Detroit
Paul Alexander

Can a municipality claim bankruptcy when its assets potentially surpass its debts? That's the question facing a federal judge, who will determine in the coming weeks if Detroit is eligible to file bankruptcy, despite having billions of dollars worth of assets.

How Congress Might Slash Your Pension

The Huffington Post | Dave Jamieson | Posted 10.22.2013 | Politics

In the coming weeks, Congress will consider legislation that would reform pension laws in a way that could slash benefits already promised to retirees...