Watch Berkowitz & Martin discuss IL’s shaky budget projections & Pritzker’s poor fiscal performance on unemployment, jobs &public sector pensions, Cable/Web

SUNDAY, Dec 12, 1:30 am

Berkowitz and Martin discuss IL’s much higher unemployment rate than each of its neighbors…


Gov Pritzker is cutting ribbons several days a week, taking credit for handing out… chunks of IL’s $45 billion capital budget slush fund

Watch Jeff Berkowitz and Terry Martin discuss IL’s shaky five year budget projections and Gov Pritzker’s poor fiscal performance on unemployment, lost jobs and skyrocketing pension shortfalls.  

watch the show 24/7 by clicking here 

This week’s “Public Affairs,” starting today, Sunday, Dec 12, airs:

in Chicago on Cable Ch 19 (CAN TV) at 8:30 am, (as the 1st 30 min of Illinois Channel’s 2 hr package).

You can also watch the show 24/7 by clicking here and

in 25 Chicago Metro North & Northwest suburbs this Tues (Dec 14), 8:30 pm on

 ––Ch. 19 in Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, parts of Inverness, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Niles, Northfield, Palatine, Rolling Meadows and Wilmette and on

-– Ch. 35 in Arlington Heights, Bartlett, Glenview, Golf, Des Plaines, Hanover Park, Mt. Prospect, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Prospect Heights, Schaumburg, Skokie, Streamwood and Wheeling and

–in the City of Highland Park this Monday (Dec 13) and Wednesday (Dec 15), 8:30 pm on Cable Ch 19.


–IL budget surplus projections a House of Cards?

Just last year, Gov. Pritzker said IL had $4 billion budget deficits projected, every year, as far as the eye could see. Pritzker led the begging of a number of other Dem governors to the Feds, asking for a bail out. The Feds responded, contends Berkowitz, by giving IL state government $8 billion dollars- and other governments and government entities (like schools) in IL got another $17 billion from the Feds.  Altogether, contends Berkowitz, as a result of individual citizen and business bail outs, IL got another $180 billion pumped into its economy.  

So, via Fed hand-outs, IL’s 2022 projected deficit of $4.8 billion was converted, says Berkowitz- based on Wirepoints’ analysis- to a budget surplus of $400 million.  And, Gov Pritzker, says Berkowitz is cutting ribbons several days a week, taking credit for handing out what many characterize as chunks of IL’s $45 billion capital budget slush fund, Fed infrastructure slush fund for IL, and $25 billion to IL from Fed stimulus slush funds. But is this a House of Cards that will soon collapse because IL’s economy lacks a real foundation? That’s what economic science tells us.   

–Can Pritzker’s projected budget surpluses justify his re-election? 

Governor Pritzker argues or implies he should be re-elected because he says he has converted IL’s projected budget deficits of more than $4 billion per year for the next 4 years to mere $1 billion, or so, deficits per year.

But, Berkowitz contends, based on Wirepoints’ analysis, a lot of that so-called IL fiscal improvement stems from an extrapolation projection of revenue for IL over the next four years that has no basis in fact.

–No reforms of pensions, education or human services by Pritzker.

Moreover, there have been no significant reforms by the Governor and the Dem controlled state legislature of state and local public sector   pensions. That lack of action has resulted in the pension shortfall growing under Gov. Pritzker’s administration by 25% to more than a half trillion dollars.  

Further, there have also been no real reforms of education, substantive or spending, in IL, which spends about twice as much per student as most of our neighboring states.  And, no reforms of Medicaid and human services. So, fairly soon, with no more bailouts from the Feds, IL’s massive budget deficits will return.

–IL missing at least 110, 000 jobs.

Berkowitz and Martin discuss IL’s much higher unemployment rate than each of its neighbors, with IL’s 6% unemployment rate almost double that of Wisconsin. Berkowitz emphasizes that’s not just a statistic summarizing those who are needlessly unemployed in IL, but that 6 % number also represents an enormous IL individual citizen wealth loss, psychological toll and emotional trauma for each of those individuals and their families.

Does IL suffer from systemic racism? or systemic high unemployment? 

The Governor doesn’t seem to realize that IL, for the last decade, has had systemically higher unemployment than its neighbors. Berkowitz suggests it is time for the Governor to stop obsessing on so called “Systemic government racism in IL,” which many doubt currently exists and instead try to reduce or eliminate IL’s systemically higher unemployment– which does have a disproportionately harmful effect on minorities– in good part because of the public schools’ failure to teach minorities to read at grade level, especially in the inner cities of IL.

And here again, Berkowitz argues Gov Pritzker has initiated no real, substantive reform of K-12 education, with only more money being spent- and no evidence of improved results for students.   

All of the above-referenced topics, and many more will continue to be discussed by Berkowitz and Martin during the 2022 IL gubernatorial campaign.        

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