Oct 14, 2013
Democratic Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced that he won’t approve any more “special incentives” for businesses in the state until the state legislature sends him a bill cutting the state pension system. This came right after agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) threatened to move its headquarters out of the state if it doesn’t get an extra 24- million-dollar tax break. Quinn said: “We need ADM and all of our big businesses to band together, put pressure on the legislature ... to get a vote on pension reform.”
For years, the state of Illinois skipped its payments into the pension fund, and during all those years, the state was handing over huge incentives to any corporation that came asking. ADM itself got 87 million dollars in tax breaks from just one program between 2004 and 2009. Motorola Mobility, part of Google, got tens of millions. So did Sears, Navistar, and Ford.
Up to now, the politicians have been reluctant to make the connection between corporate handouts and state worker pensions this obvious. But now the mask – and the gloves – are off.