"If you have friends or relatives living in Illinois, tell them to leave - now. This is not going to get any better. In fact, these might be the 'good old days' in the not too distant future. As for the rest of us, we need to look at Illinois as the canary in the coal mine. Yes Lady Thatcher - we are running out of everyone's money."
"The trouble with Socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." Amen to that Lady Thatcher! What is happening right now is the once great state of Illinois, the Land of Lincoln, is living the result of Democrat Socialism at it worst. And the nation has seen this coming - live, in color, and very, very slowly. What has happened to Illinois is truly a slow motion train wreck.
I found an article from Time Magazine written slightly over four years ago. This article was hitting the alarm and shouting from the rooftops for the State of Illinois to DO SOMETHING! What was the problem back then? The same problem it is now and will be in 2040. Pensions. Over promising, and under funding. And to paraphrase Obama's former minister - "Illinois chickens. are coming home to roost".
How bad is it? Crazy bad. Assuming what little investments the state has to pay for the mountain of pensions does gangbusters, the projected deficit by the year 2040 is still $100B. That is the best case. Oh, by the way - that is only the state we are talking about. It does not include the City of Chicago. They have their own pension mess, with a projected deficit of $10B by 2040.
If our federal government were smart, they would look at Illinois (just like they should look at the country of Greece) and learn something. Our federal government not only has a debt of $20T (which is shocking in and by itself), but unfunded liabilities of over $100T! Our own slow motion train wreck is also coming. The State of Illinois just bought a bit of time by raising the income tax over 30%. The Governor did not want to sign it unless it was accompanied by some meaningful pension reform. Nope. Sorry. The train wreck continues.
The graphic I used for this article features "Squeezy" the pension python. This is the graphic which has been used in Illinois editorials to portray the Illinois fiscal mess. Quite simply, "Squeezy" squeezes the money out of the state. There is nothing left to use to fund state business with. That is why, the state is an inch or so away from having its bonds lowered to "junk".
If you have friends or relatives living in Illinois, tell them to leave - now. This is not going to get any better. In fact, these might be the "good old days" in the not too distant future. As for the rest of us, we need to look at Illinois as the canary in the coal mine. Yes Lady Thatcher - we are running out of everyone's money.