Pretend Illinois finances are just ducky and the problem is solved

As the Democratic-control state of Illinois is nearly over its head in the financial quicksand, you’ll be glad to know that the Legislature will consider making penicillium the official state microbe.

Phew. Thank God for that. We now can rest easy.

McCaleb deftly points out that while all this is going on,

The state’s five public pension systems are underfunded by at least $134 billion. I say “at least” because that’s a conservative estimate based on overly optimistic returns on pension fund investments. Some place the pension debt at closer to $200 billion.

By contrast, the budget proposed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker seeks to spend $39 billion next fiscal year. Even using the conservative $133 billion figure, the state would have to spend every dollar it collects for the next three-and-a-half years just to pay down its pension debt.

He notes that Illinois already “spends more than 25 percent of its budget just to fund retiree pensions.”

Not to mention the huge amount of interest it pays on the money it borrows, sucking resources away from school funding, social services and other needs. 

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