The City of Chicago and the State of Illinois are having a difficult time paying their bills to vendors. Both governments are struggling to stay afloat as the deficits rise every year. It doesn’t seem to matter if we have Blago in office or Governor Quinn. The State of Illinois will be running a $8.3 million dollar deficit by the end of the fiscal year, June, 2012. This is a huge deficit especially after the State received billions from the recent tax increases!
The City of Chicago is not faring much better with a deficit of over $600 million dollars based on an overall budget of $3.2 billion. It is predicted that the City’s deficit will be at $800 million within two years if drastic cost cutting changes are not made. Daley left Rahm Emanuel a mess of a budget, but can Rahm really make the changes needed to insure a fiscally responsible government? Maybe.
In addition to the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois, the Chicago Public Schools are anticipated to have a $720 million dollar deficit separate from the City. The Chicago Transit Authority has an expected deficit of $277 million dollars! All of the State’s government agencies are severely in the red, but why?
The biggest reason for these deficits is the entitlement programs that the State and City can no longer afford to pay its workers. These entitlements include pensions and benefits. There has been an increase of fraud happening by government workers attempting to insure they get the maximum entitlement programs before they retire. They are banking are the current system to take care of them for the rest of their lives. Many workers are long-term employees that are making competitive wages to the private sector. So why should they get entitlements?
When the economy is fluid, the stock market is stable and real estate prices are high, we as a society don’t pay much attention to the entitlement programs in our State and Nation. This is the worst economy since the Great Recession and the strain of keeping up a lifestyle that many of us have learned to enjoy is become more difficult everyday.
It seems in Illinois that it’s either the long-term politician or government employee or the CEO fortune 1000 companies making all the money. The government workers are guaranteed income for life and the CEO’s are making so much money they can maintain their high lifestyle and still save money.
But, what about the rest of us that pay 20-35% in taxes? Many of us have small businesses that are struggling as we are attempting to make a living. We see our government at the federal level threatening to take away the only entitlement program most of us are currently entitled to, which is Medicare and Social Security.
I would strongly suggest before they screw around with my social security that our lawmakers end their entitlements, along with many of the government employees that have become too comfortable in our trying economy. The reason our economy is not coming back quicker is because our policy makers are offering no assistance to small businesses that built this country.
What do you think?