Illinois is in the midst of the worst financial crisis in state history. Fiscal mismanagement has pushed us to the brink of insolvency. Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.”
Illinois government ended fiscal year 2010 facing a $13 billion deficit and a backlog of $5 billion in unpaid bills. What is more, Illinois has the worst funded pension system in the nation – roughly $130 billion in public sector retirement debt – according to a study conducted by the Pew Center on the States. The Commercial Club of Chicago estimates Illinois’ total debt at $160 billion for a grand total of $25,000 per household.
Contrary to the rhetoric of legislators – Illinois does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. Over the last decade, spending has increased 26% (adjusted for inflation). In 2009, the state spent an average of $12,000 per household – $5,000 per resident – while median household income was $56,000. In 2008, state government received a record amount of revenues—$30 billion—from Illinois taxpayers. Rather than paying down debt, state leaders spent every dime and borrowed billions more.
Democrats have recently proposed a 67% income tax hike to close the state’s budget gap. But increased tax and fee revenues won’t solve Illinois’ budget problems – they will only expand the size and scope of government and strengthen the very bureaucracies that created the state’s financial crisis.
For the Good of Illinois believes there’s still hope for our once great state, but we must act quickly to demand limited, accountable, and transparent government.
- Make all information connected to the expenditure of public funds 100% transparent, including all state spending and contracting.
- Conduct a forensic audit of state spending in order to identify waste, fraud and corruption.
- Limit the growth in future state spending to the rate of population growth plus inflation.
- Enact real pension reform by implementing employee-owned retirement programs for public sector workers.
- Limit the size and scope of state government by consolidating agencies and programs and reducing state labor costs.
Teachers' Retirement System's unfunded liability jumps $5 billion in FY10
(Crain's) — The Teachers' Retirement System for Illinois said Monday that its unfunded liability swelled by $4.8 billion in fiscal 2010.
Comptroller: Budget Deficit Could Reach $15 Billion
The state’s record budget deficit is likely to get worse before it gets better, according to a recent report released by state Comptroller Dan Hynes. The Comptroller’s report said lawmakers and the next Illinois governor could face “the very real possibil
Illinois can't even pay office utility bills for legislators
It's the same story at the district offices of Illinois' elected legislators across the state: Phone, utilities, garbage and rent payments months behind, prompting a monthly flurry of terse late notices and cutoff threats to offices with the state emblem
Our state is $120.6 billion short!
Here's their shocking truth: Even if Illinois used all of its assets -- except for our infrastructure such as roads, bridges, buildings, land, etc. -- we would not have enough to pay the $140.6 billion of bills when they come due.
Should our local and state governments be subjected to forensic audits?
In his Chicago Tribune column today, John Kass reports that Democratic Chicago Alderman - and possible mayoral candidate - Scott Waguespack is calling for a "forensic audit" of the financial records of the City of Chicago.
Potential Mayor Daley challenger calls for forensic audit
Ald. Scott Waguespack, 32nd, has two terrifying words for Mayor Richard Daley: Forensic Audit.
Can The Illinois Pension Catastrophe Be Stopped?
A true financial valuation of unfunded pension liabilities reveals a debt of more than $200 billion for the state and local governments. That is around $42,000 per Illinois household and only counts benefits that public employees can claim based on today'
Dems propose 67% income tax hike to cover budget shortfall
Illinois budget director talks tax hike with Bloomberg.
Illinois Has Nation's Largest Budget Deficit
Study Says Deficits For All States Together Will Total $83.9 Billion Next Year
Towns pad pensions despite crisis
Shortly before Tim Baldermann retired as Chicago Ridge's police chief, the town boosted his salary by more than $70,000, handing the 44-year-old as big a paycheck in retirement as he earned full time on the police force.
Illinois Stops Paying Its Bills, but Can’t Stop Digging Hole
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.
State set records for failing finances in fiscal 2010, comptroller says
The last budget year was a record-breaking one for Illinois finances, and all the records were bad.
Hynes: Fixing Budget Can't Wait for November
Chicago - The man who keeps tabs on the state of Illinois' checkbook said Friday it's never been in worse shape.
April 22, 2010 Speaker Michael Madigan, Where Did the Money Go? Breitbart’s Big Government by Adam Andrzejewski “As Speaker, I [...]