Why Illinois Is In Trouble – 109,881 Public Employees With $100,000+ Paychecks Cost Taxpayers $14B

From what you said, you basically live in a big city (metropolitan area) since a large portion of your town’s population work in Chicago, so it’s commutable.

The problem is quite real, that I agree. The root cause: poor leadership, poor management, poorly structured scheme.

Not the problem of the other 49 states.

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The crisis was always there. Without Covid-19, it would probably have hit the wall in a few years at most. All Covid-19 did was accelerate it.

You believe the crisis never existed. But reputable people have been writing about it for a long time. Bond rating companies have been downgrading Chicago’s and Illinois’ bonds for the last few years. Start with this article by a financial advisor who lives in Illinois (and is planning to leave the state).

This guy has been writing about the pension issues in Chicago and Illinois for several years.

An example of this advisor’s pre-Covid-19 articles re the pension crisis in Illinois and Chicago:

But you want to pretend the problems never existed before Covid-19. Got it.

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Probably not for very long. Have you checked the price of oil lately?

Personally I wish you were right. My oil bonds would pay interest again.

Not really. The commute is between 65 and 85 miles one way, depend on exactly where you live. Many Illinoisians do not consider this a long commute at all.

A five minute drive from my house in the middle of my city will find me in farm country, where I grew up! I wouldn’t call that “metropolitan” at all.

So, they have a 85 mile commute, which is well over an hour assuming no traffic slowdowns, which there are plenty around Chicago. And why don’t they just get jobs wherever you live then?

We don’t have big international corporations in our city. A lot of our commuters work in these companies.

Also, we don’t have big scientific /medical research labs in our city, nor do we have large universities (although we have several small colleges and a Junior college). This is another group of commuters.

And many of the commuters are native Chicagoans who have worked in their city for years, but decided to move outside of the city so they could have a bigger, better home for less money.

Don’t doubt me–before the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down, there were plenty of good jobs in our city and other small cities and towns in Illinois. I fear that the COVID-10 shut-down has probably driven many small companies and businesses out of business, so we’ll be in pretty bad shape. And since Illinois has such a terrible financial mess across the State, I think this will be the final straw for many and they will finally make the move away from the State to a more financially-sound State.

So sad.

Right, you live in a far flung suburb of Chicago. There’s more bang for the buck housing wise, so some people are willing to put up with the long commute to get better housing, but it’s still a suburb of Chicago. Your city would probably be half the size it is if it were half-way between Normal and Springfield, IL. Heck, by the sounds of it, I would guess you live near Joliet because it’s the only place in Illinois where the community college is called a Junior College.

As far as the rest goes, yes, I agree that Illinois has problems and a lot are self-induced, but most of the country is not going to recover easily from this COVID crisis, so I don’t think Illinois will be particularly unique.

As one who has been subsidizing Illinois through my federal taxes, I say no more. No bailout. If they must be bankrupt, maybe it is the only way to teach austerity. That way a judge can decide the payout of pensions and bonds. I know this will greatly hamper their ability to issue bonds, but people with bad credit do not need a credit card. Other states have balanced budgets. Those that get less, will have to do the same. That is the nature of austerity. This is part of my conservative side. Economic justice is part of social justice.

We seem to have gotten it in our collective heads that the standard of living can only get better. That is simply not historically accurate.

You haven’t been subsidizing Illinois through your federal taxes. More likely, Illinois residents have been subsidizing your state through their federal taxes.

If so, and that would be a complex question, then let them pay themselves out. I hear they have a lot of wealthy government retirees. Or not.

This is an Illinois issue. I did not get to vote for their politicians, as I do not live there. The solution must be theirs.

Then the feds can give back the extra money they get from Illinois and distribute to other states.

THEN THE other 49 states should be thriving. Federalism makes that statement true. The failure of leadership is in the lack of a national plan and leadership

Not a suburb of Chicago. Nope. You’ll never hear us mentioned as a suburb of Chicago on WBBMs traffic or weather report.

YES!!! Thank you! I agree with all you say.

Now is there any way you can say the same thing to our fuhrer, the all-powerful Speaker of the House Michael Madigan? Nothing will happen without his support, and those who oppose him…well…it just isn’t a good idea to oppose him.

If that ever becomes the thinking, it is time to rethink Federal taxation.
Cuomo’s point about NY paying their tax, and having 155 billion less than they sent to Washington, sent back, is a real eye opener.
The very fact Kentucky sends their tax money to Washington, and Washington sends them 140+BILLION MORE THAN THEY SENT, truly opens the eye.
In order that working men earn a living with dignity, Extra taxation occurs. You can argue ," can they afford that."
When you ask if they can afford that when their money represents a Kentucky welfare relationship, you really must ask how they can afford that. How does that happen?
As I see it, if someone living well as my ward began suggesting bankruptsy, it would remind me to recapture my own money first. Maybe I am already quite responsible. I’m just carrying dead weight

I just have to add this to the thread–if you don’t actually live here, you have no idea. You don’t read our newspapers, hear our television journalists, talk to our politicians (local), and know our people. You think we’re all making this up about underfunded pensions and junk-bond status and bad roads (try driving across the State line from ANY state into Illinois–hope you have good shock absorbers on your car!).

We’re not making it up or exagerrating it. In fact, we’re all kind of laughing it off, and crying as we write this because we have no idea how it can be fixed short of…well, I don’t think I should say certain things here on CAF (or probably anywhere), but honestly, I don’t know the answers. I think we’re doomed in Illinois. The best suggestions I’ve seen is for the State to be spilt up and the parts given to the border states, and make Chicago it’s own State. And this is a semi-serious plan that has been brought up many times in the last 20 years here!

Both of my daughters have lived in other states for years now (since the early 2000s). Whenever they come back for a short visit, they are appalled at what is happening here, and keep urging us to move out of the Land of Lincoln.

I fear that as get older, I will regret staying here. I love my State–the way it’s supposed to be, not the way it is. But I fear that my State will see me ending my life extremely poor, with no earthly possessions or assets (the State will take them all as their “due”), and I’ll probably end up living out my last few years in a horrifically-managed, understaffed, State-run home.

And Speaker of the House Michael Madigan will still be alive. To all of you who are young (under 40), keep checking it out–I’m guessing the man will live and be healthy and in his right mind until he is at least 120 years old, maybe older. I plan on haunting him from beyond, but he’ll just ignore me and sit there eating his daily apple, cutting it up with a very sharp knife, just like he cuts the heart out of Illinois. (This is not a joke–he really does eat a daily apple and cut it into slices with a very sharp knife–those who have seen him say it’s totally unnerving and he does it partially to intimidate people who dare approach him.)

Depends on the state…but federalism is not the topic on this thread…Illinois’ financial mess is.

Why, before Covid 19, was Illinois pension plan $137B underfunded? Is a state plan that is $137B underfunded a well-designed plan? Does Illinois leadership bear any responsibility?

Where I live won’t be on a traffic report either and I know it’s still a suburb of Chicago.

You mean there isn’t enough money to go around?

My social security statement says my full retirement isn’t until 67 AND it states that it expects to pay only 79% of the scheduled benefit. Who do I blame for that?

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