We already know that budgets and austerity measures are controversial, especially when it concerns the pensions of public employees. Wisconsin is solid proof. But if you need another reminder of just how combustive it gets when you mix politics, unions and public employees, just take a look at this video:
That's Illinois State Rep. Mike Bost, a Republican representing Murphysboro, who lost his cool after receiving a new version of pension-reform legislation. He was railing about process and about the enormous power given to the speaker.
At one point, Bost even channels Moses saying "Let my people go!"
What's not addressed in the tirade is the complex problem facing the state. It has a large debt and an underfunded pension program for public employees.
According to the Sun Times, the bill Bost threw in the air pushed to "force state workers and retirees to either surrender their automatic 3-percent pension increases or give up their state health insurance..."
What Republicans like Bost opposed is the bill proposed "a gradual cost shift from the state to suburban and Downstate school systems, which for the first time would have to pay teacher and administrator pension costs instead of the state."
A very calm Bost was on Fox News today to explain that what really angered him is that the House Speaker issued an entirely new version of the bill just shortly before that temper tantrum.
"They pulled the rug out from under us," Bost told Fox.