Posts in category "Illinois politics"

Illinois' hidden state government debt=$51.9 billion

In addition to the crushing debt that everyone (except Democrats) is talking about there is $51.9 billion that the state has hidden. Reports Truth in Accounting, a non-partisan government financial watchdog: Repeated decisions by state officials have left the state with a staggering debt burden of $210.4 billion, according to Truth in Accounting’s (TIA) analysis of... Read more »

What the...? Mike Madigan has raised $40 million?

In 11 races House Speaker Michael Madigan has run in and won, he has raised $40,075,680 in campaign contributions, according to On the face of it, this is an astonishing amount of money to be raised for Madigan, considering the fact that he has run those races in an absolutely safe district that he has mapped out... Read more »

Democrat gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy on Speaker Madigan: Well. Um. What?

Filthy rich and member of the iconic Kennedy political family (does he have anything else going for him?) Chris Kennedy declared that he’s in the race for the Democrat party’s nomination for governor. It didn’t take long for him to dodge questions about his relationship with House Speaker Mike Madigan–the one person most to blame... Read more »

Illinois' government worker retirement debt now a staggering $267,000,000,000.00

That’s $267 billion, or $56,000 for each and every Illinois household, according to the Illinois Policy Institute.  That means if Illinois is going to give all government retirees–state and local–everything to which they are entitled as the state constitution, Democrats and unions demand, every Illinois household will have to cough up an additional $56,000 in taxes. An impossible... Read more »

Illinois' credit faces a "sort of" do or die moment

Moody’s Investor Service is weighing in again on Illinois financial crisis, threatening another downgrading of its credit rating if it doesn’t do something to resolve its budget stalemate in a couple of months, Reuter’s reports. The credit rating agency said the state is at a “critical juncture,” and failure to reach a budget consensus by... Read more »

The hands of an astonishing 7,000 local Illinois governments are in your pocket

Wondering why your property taxes are so high and so impervious to any concept of rational spending? Blame the 7,000 units of local governments in Illinois, far and away the most of any state. Many of those local governments–especially townships and school districts–are duplicative, inefficient and just plain useless. The useful jobs that they do can... Read more »

Chicago needs another Patrick Fitzgerald to be its U.S. Attorney

With President Donald Trump now having the opportunity to appoint dozens of new federal prosecutors, he should name someone with the integrity and skill of Patrick Fitzgerald as U.S. Attorney for Northern Illinois. Fitzgerald as U.S. Attorney ran through Chicago and Illinois political corruption like shit through a goose. Among his most notable indictments were of former Republican Gov. George... Read more »

Firefighter also running for village board in Glenview

After writing last week about a fire fighter running for the village board in Northbrook, my attention was drawn to another fire fighter running for the village board in neighboring Glenview. What’s going on in the north suburbs that’s prompting fire fighters to take advantage of a loophole in Illinois law that allows fire fighters–and fire fighters... Read more »

Why are firefighters the only Illinois public employees who are allowed to sit on village boards?

UPDATE: Fire fighter also running for village board in neighboring Glenview. Illinois law gives public employees the right to run for public office. But if they are elected, they must  give up their government job, so that they don’t end up on a board that sets their own salaries. As it should be. Except that the... Read more »

What about private sector employees who don't have a retirement plan

More than half of nongovernment workers have no access to a retirement savings plan through their employers, according to AARP. In Illinois, 2,317,653 non-government employees don’t have a plan. And Social Security alone is not enough to meet retirees’ needs. So, what is to be done? Some states, including Illinois, are looking to do something about it. “Governing,”... Read more »
  • ChicagoNow is full of win

    Welcome to ChicagoNow.

    Meet our bloggers,
    post comments, or
    pitch your blog idea.

  • Advertisement:
  • Visit my new website

    I'm a freelance writer, editor and author. I can help you with a wide variety of projects. Check out my new website at

  • Meet The Blogger

    Dennis Byrne

    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

  • Subscribe to The Barbershop

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

  • Dennis Byrne’s Facebook Fan Page

  • Categories

  • Like me on Facebook

  • Our National Debt

  • Twitter

  • Tags

  • Recent Comments

    • I've never read the book but I started watching the show this week. It is terrifying but a good reminder…
      Read the story | Reply to this comment
    • Exactly right. Another tank is entirely possible. Last year at this time and with the Sox' great start I was…
      Read the story | Reply to this comment
    • To put in in Cubs Den genius terms, either the White Sox don't know how to tank (their main trade…
      Read the story | Reply to this comment
    • Very Informative post you gave to us, really helpful I would like to share something really helpful for education. Best…
      Read the story | Reply to this comment
    • Dennis: I'll agree to this extent. At least in the 60s and 70s, if violence were threatened, the police were…
      Read the story | Reply to this comment
  • /Users/dennisby/Desktop/trailer.mp4
  • Latest on ChicagoNow

  • Advertisement: