Illinois ALMOST Won First Place -- For Worst Run State, That Is

-By Warner Todd Huston

See, sometimes Illinois does come close to winning top “honors” in some things. This time Illinois hit second place. Unfortunately it was in a thoroughly disrespectable category. Turns out that only California tops Illinois in the nation’s worst run states.

As compiled by 24/7 Wall Street, Illinois ranks — and it is rank, indeed — at a dismal number 49 in its worst run states analysis making Illinois the second worst run state in the nation.

Here are the worst three as 24/7 saw it:

48. Michigan

  • State debt per capita: $2,963 (21st lowest)
  • Pct. without health insurance: 12.4% (18th lowest)
  • Pct. below poverty line: 15.7% (15th highest)
  • Unemployment: 11.1% (3rd highest)

Michigan has arguably suffered more than any state in post-industrial America. The state is one of just four with a credit rating of AA-, although its debt per capita is actually below average. The state ranks among the worst in the country for violent crime, unemployment, foreclosures and home price decline.

Read more: Best and Worst Run States in America — An Analysis Of All 50 – 24/7 Wall St.

49. Illinois

  • State debt per capita: $4,424 (13th highest)
  • Pct. without health insurance: 13.8% (23rd lowest)
  • Pct. below poverty line: 13.1% (25th lowest)
  • Unemployment: 10% (10th highest)

Illinois has fallen from 43rd last year to the overall second-worst run state in the country. The state performs poorly in most categories, but is worst when it comes to its credit rating. Illinois has a credit rating of A+, the second worst given to any state, behind only California. The state has been on credit watch since 2008 because of budget shortfalls and legal challenges against then-governor Rod Blagojevich.

50. California

  • State debt per capita: $3,660 (21st highest)
  • Pct. without health insurance: 18.5% (8th highest)
  • Pct. below poverty line: 14.5% (tied for 21st highest)
  • Unemployment: 11.9% (2nd highest)

California has moved down one slot on from last year to earn the title of the worst-run state in the country. In the fiscal year 2009, the state spent $430 billion, roughly 14% of all the money spent by states in that year. Compared to its revenue, the state spent too much — California had the 10th lowest revenue per person, and spent the 15th most per person. California is the only state in the country to be rated A-, the lowest rating ever given to a state by S&P. Despite the huge amount the state spends each year, conditions remain poor. California has the second-lowest percentage of adults with a high school diploma in the country, the second-highest foreclosure rate and is tied for the second highest unemployment rate in the U.S.

Aren’t we lucky to live in this state, my fellow Illinoisans?

Friend to the blog Doug Ross notes that the top three states have some things in common that helped them succeed in attaining this dubious achievement.

  • Decades of unchecked Democrat control at every level of government
  • Massive, bloated, public sector unions that are intertwined with the Democrat Party and demand increasing percentages of the economy; they have but one aim: to enrich themselves at the expense of the taxpayer
  • Sanctuary cities that attract illegals, programs that offer easy access to welfare payments and government subsistence programs, high rates of single-parent families, and therefore high levels of urban crime

Imagine that, eh?

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