There is no denying that Mike Madigan was a political success.
How else could one describe the man who served longer than anyone else is the United States as head of a state legislative body?
The problem is that Madigan never cared about more than obtaining and maintaining power.
The result is noted in Forbes by Patrick Gleason:
Concerning jobs, during Madigan’s reign…
The number of jobs (non-farm payrolls) in Illinois rose from 4.5 to 6.1 million between 1983 and 2019, a 35% employment growth rate that looks paltry compared to the rate of job growth nationally during that same period. All 50 states experienced 67% job growth from 1983 to 2019, rising from 90.2 million to 150.9 million jobs nationwide during that period.
Population growth also tanked.
Years of domestic outmigration have caused population growth in Illinois to register well below the national population growth rate. From the time Mike Madigan first assumed the Illinois House Speakership in 1983 until 2019, Illinois’ total population grew by 11%. Meanwhile during that same period the U.S. population as a whole grew by 40%, nearly four times the population growth rate in Illinois during the Madigan era. Illinois has experienced seven consecutive years of net outmigration. The state’s population decline from 2019 to 2020 was, according to Illinois Policy Institute analysis of Census data, “the most since World War II and the second largest of any state in raw numbers or percentage of population.”
An estimated 253,015 loss in the last decade.
Since the early 90’s economic growth has been about half of that of the United States as a whole.
The income tax has almost doubled since 1982 (the year before Madigan first captured the Speakership), although certainly partially in cooperation with Republican Governor Jim Thompson.
And pension debt?
From just under $6 billion to about $149 billion.
Much, if not most, of which was caused by the 3% compounded annual not related to Consumer Price Index hike in pensions that went through Madigan’s House under Thompson.
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I was not in the Illinois House when the 3% annual pension hike was enacted. but certainly have benefited from it since I was retired by the voters in the 2000 election.