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By: Mark Glennon*


Illinois is among the worst states in the college student debt “crisis,” as it’s often called. Per student college debt here averages $28,543, according to the Institute for College Access & Success.


But look at unfunded teacher pension liabilities on a ‘per student’ basis and you get about the same. That’s the calculation made for all fifty states by the National Council on Teacher Quality in a report earlier this year. Illinois is the very worst by that measure: $27,022 of unfunded teacher pension debt per student, according to the report (p. 78).


Borrowing for college may be sensible. Debate that if you want. But student borrowing for primary education is an entirely different matter.


A decent, free public education — “the great equalizer” — is part of what America is about, right? Not in Illinois. We’ve betrayed that, and so much more. By passing teacher pension debt to our children, we will make them pay for much of their own education — just part of the hundreds of billions of pension liability we are leaving to them.


“Intergenerational theft” is the term recently used by Jeremy Gold, a nationally prominent actuary, to describe public pension debt. He is among the growing number even in his profession starting to speak out about how deceitfully that bill has been allowed to explode and be left to our children.


If you think public unions and pensions have crippled Illinois and Chicago, remember it’s worse than that. It’s intergenerational theft.


*Mark Glennon is founder of WirePoints. Opinions expressed are his own.





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Bruce, there already is a sell your house tax. It’s a transfer tax that counties put on all home transactions.


“Politically, millennials must direct the same critical eye they cast toward entrenched higher-education interests toward politician-run retirement systems. Illinois lawmakers have thus far only shown concern for constituents in their own age bracket, wildly mismanaging the systems to the detriment of future generations.”


They’ll need to build walls to keep the residents from fleeing. Or the next tax will be a “sell your house tax”. You leave you get taxed, just wait they’ll need to do it otherwise people will stay here just long enough to get an education then bail out.