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Posts Tagged ‘Illinois deficit’

Eye View Political Theatre, The Cast of Chicago Coming To A Town Near You

July 20, 2010

Americans are beginning to wonder if Greece is the picture of the U.S.’ future. But we need look no further than the place where Obama and his team were trained in community organizing and bully tactics to redistribute the wealth: Illinois.

Illinois was the stomping ground for years for Obama, his top advisers Rahm Emanuel, Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod, and his appointees such as Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. After they promoted themselves to Washington to run the country, other Obama associates who didn’t make the cut continued to run Illinois into the ground, as the Illinois unemployment rate jumped from less than 5% to nearly 11%.

For years, we thought California was the most fiscally irresponsible of all 50 states, but Illinois has now taken the lead. A lengthy news article in the New York Times was headlined: “Illinois Stops Paying Its Bills, but Can’t Stop Digging Hole.

“The big-majority Democratic state legislature, defying Illinois’ balanced-budget law, has been passing deficit budgets for years. The new definition of a liberal is no longer tax-and-spend; it’s borrow-and-spend.

Chicago woes coming to a town near you..

 

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Illinois facing ‘outright disaster’ amid budget crisis. Greek Tragedy

July 5, 2010

CHICAGO — Even by the standards of this deficit-ridden state, Illinois’s comptroller, Daniel W. Hynes, faces an ugly balance sheet. Precisely how ugly becomes clear when he beckons you into his office to examine his daily briefing memo.

He picks the papers off his desk and points to a figure in red: $5.01 billion.

“This is what the state owes right now to schools, rehabilitation centers, child care, the state university — and it’s getting worse every single day,” he says in his downtown office.

Mr. Hynes shakes his head. “This is not some esoteric budget issue; we are not paying bills for absolutely essential services,” he says. “That is obscene.”

For the last few years, California stood more or less unchallenged as a symbol of the fiscal collapse of states during the recession.

Now Illinois has shouldered to the fore, as its dysfunctional political class refuses to pay the state’s bills and refuses to take the painful steps — cuts and tax increases — to close a deficit of at least $12 billion, equal to nearly half the state’s budget.

The state’s last elected governor, Rod R. Blagojevich, is on trial for racketeering and extortion. But in 2003, he persuaded the legislature to let him float $10 billion in 30-year bonds and use the proceeds for two years of pension payments.That gamble backfired and wound up costing the state many billions of dollars.

Then there is the spectacularly mismanaged pension system, which is at least 50 percent underfunded, and Illinois reports that it has $62.4 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, although many experts place that liability tens of billions of dollars higher analysts warn, could push Illinois into insolvency if the economy fails to pick up.

 Perhaps, but many analysts, liberal and conservative, warn of a potentially far grimmer reckoning — Greece Tragedy by Lake Michigan.