Tag: finances

Illinois: The most broke state in America

Not that this should come as news. The governors and lawmakers of Illinois have long been working to get to this point. Even worse, despite some nibbling around the edges, they haven’t come up with a realist, workable plan for getting Illinois out of this mess. The Illinois Statehouse News story is here.

Why Illinois' pensions are such a mess

“Responsible funding methods do not work this way.” “Illinois’s [pension] disclosures are “somewhat misleading.” “[Illinois’] funding method ‘may not be an appropriate one.'” This is required reading for anyone who wants to understand the nature of Illinois’ pension funding catastrophe. Illinois hasn’t just been stealing from its underfunded pension accounts to pay for the state’s... Read more »

Illinois' financial sins--in exquisite detail

Jim Nowlan is an experienced hand at state government, having served in it and having observed it as a scholar. His commentary here is one of the best, clearly stated summaries of Illinois’ financial problems. It pessimistic about how the state can extract itself from this mess, but if nothing else, he’s realistic.  Read it... Read more »

What mayoral candidates are saying about Chicago's financial disaster: Not enough.

So, now that the Chicago Board of Elections will allow Rahm Emanuel‘s name to be on the mayoral ballot, we can — as some candidates have been urging — start talking about The Real Issues. Great, then let’s begin with the city’s dismal financial condition. It is the linchpin to the city’s success or failure. None of the... Read more »

Public workers' pension funds are eating Illinois alive

We keep hearing about how the state has “borrowed” cash from money set aside in the Illinois public pension funds to help balance the state budget, in effect, spending their pensions to pay for such things as state aid to schools.  But the Kankakee Daily Journal, in an excellent editorial, points out that it’s a... Read more »

Change comes to neighboring states; in Illinois, it's the same old mess

Here’s a sampling of what the GOP wave is bringing to other states. Illinois is alone in its acceptance of the status quo: big deficits, big debt, big borrowing and, to come, big tax increase. 

Will GOP hold the line on federal debt limit?

Get your debt clocks here! (See below) The first test of whether Republicans will mean what they say: For the first time, they will get to vote on a clean bill to raise the federal debt ceiling, a vote that’s usually buried in some must-pass piece of legislation. (Story is here.) Failure to increase the... Read more »

While politicians dither, Illinois public pension funds forced to sell tens of millions of dollars of assets to pay retirees

Read this and lose hope, all ye who believe that the election will solve much. The bad news continued to worsen even while politicians offered up their non-solutions to Illinois’ budget problems.  Said this Bloomberg story: The Illinois State Board of Investments, which manages about one-fifth of pension funds, can’t wait, William R. Atwood, its executive... Read more »

Illinois public pension fund crisis worsens

Before you vote on Tuesday, you should read this to get a better understanding of one of the biggest problems facing Illinois. Illinois’ unfunded pension liability, already the worst in the nation, is expected to spiral to even higher levels because the financially desperate funds are revising their investment goals downward. The funds are desperate... Read more »

The only issues in Illinois that matter

  Forget about gun control, energy, abortion, public safety and all the other issues that are cluttering up the Illinois gubernatorial race. The only things that matter in the race between Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican challenger Sen. Bill Brady are how to dig the state out of the biggest financial hole it has... Read more »