The Chicago Tribune has a letter from a Chicago resident who is moving to Indiana at the end of the month.
Long-time resident David Mansfield writes in part,
But the Democratic machine has changed all that. Fiscal mismanagement and runaway spending coupled with an unsustainable pension system and dirty politics have left us with a $100 billion pension deficit and a budget more than $7 billion in the red. Madigan and his goons say that Gov. Bruce Rauner refuses to compromise, even while Rauner has agreed to raise taxes.
But Democrats refuse to accept any of his badly needed pension and business reforms. Their solution to all of our problems are ever-increasing taxes on a citizenry finding it more and more difficult to make ends meet. Illinoisans are asked to tighten their belts while the government and public employees get more and more…
I’m taking my ample income and the taxes it generates with me.
I see no solution to the fiscal problems Illinois faces with those currently in power.
And so I give up, Illinois.
This reminds me of an article that Governor Jim Thompson’s demographer wrote after the 1980 U.S. Census.
His analysis convinced him that the ratio of tax dependents to taxpayers was too high in Chicago to save the city.
The real question, he concluded, was whether the rest of the State could be saved.
His article did not pass muster with Thompson Administration censors, so he revised it for publication.
With more and more of the top earners like David Mansfield leaving Illinois, however, the question of how long Illinois can remain a viable economic entity continues to be relevant.
This Chicago Tribune editorial leads off with the following quote from Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Business Economist Thomas Walstrom’s observation:
“Over the years, lawmakers used a variety of techniques to put off paying the bills…
“Such techniques can work for only so long, and Illinois is now coming to terms with over 20 years of poor fiscal performance.”
Another observation from the economist:
“Walstrum reports that while the typical U.S. state was spending an average of 5.7 percent more, year after year, than it had in revenue — a foolish habit, we think — Illinois governments together were spending 15.9 percent more than they had available.
“Imagine the compounded effect of overspending your income by 15.9 percent, year after year.
“Three-fourths of that overspending went to, yes, fat pension promises and other retirement costs.
“Another big expense: rising interest payments on all this rising debt.”
The Tribune concludes,
“Not only did the public officials spend other people’s money, they spent money that didn’t exist.”
Read the whole editorial.
= = = = =
I didn’t vote against every Illinois budget during my sixteen years in Springfield, but I’ll bet I voted against more than anyone else while I was there in the 1970’sanbd 1990’s.