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(New York Times) — In this Tea Party age, when thousands of people demonstrate nationwide against high taxes, the 15,000 people who rallied in Springfield last week tried a change-of-pace chant. “Raise My Taxes!” they shouted at the television cameras and any lawmakers who happened by.

The clamor over the state’s estimated $13 billion budget deficit —and concerns over jobs and spending that prompted the protests — tends to drown out discussion of an issue that economists identify as perhaps the biggest long-term threat to Illinois’s financial health: The state’s shortfall of at least $61 billion in pension funding and the lack of any realistic plan to catch up.

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