Yesterday's edition of WTTW's Chicago Tonight included an interview on the state budget crisis with Eden Martin, president of the Commercial Club of Chicago. Like fellow conservative John Tillman the night before, Martin lambasted the idea of raising the income tax rate. And like Tillman, when asked what he would do instead, he focused entirely on pension reform. At one point in the segment, anchor Eddie Arruza even pushed him to cite specific programs he would cut to balance the budget. Martin responded by then steering the conversation to "retiree health."
Martin also claimed during the interview that by lowering the benefit structure for current workers, the state could save "in excess of $2 billion" per year. But as Capitol Fax noted earlier this month, that figure is nowhere to be found in the Commercial Club's recent report on pensions (PDF). Moreover, Martin omitted something that the Club acknowledges in their report -- that this proposal to alter current pension plans could very well be found unconstitutional by the courts.