Politicians, especially those in blue states typically live down to our expectations. Therefore, it is almost a shock of biblical proportions when a politician, especially from a blue state, gets it and more importantly, does something about a problem.
Dan Rutherford is the Treasurer of the State of Illinois and he realizes that Illinois spending is out of control and that the state legislature is simply borrowing money the state cannot pay back. Realizing sooner rather than later, that bill will come due and believing the State should deal with its fiscal issues in some other manner than simply borrowing, Rutherford has gone public. He has said that as State Treasurer he is going to send letters to the bond ratings companies, the companies that essentially give states their credit ratings, and tell them that Illinois is not a good credit risk.
Illinois debt now costs every household in Illinois $42,000. Rutherford has a novel idea. He thinks the State Legislature should cut spending and Illinois should live within its means.
What is the response of the Legislature and the Governor to this breath of sanity? As Treasurer Rutherford has the ability to block short term borrowing, so the Legislature is now simply moving to create long-term debt, which is something Rutherford can do nothing about.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, a Democrat, did what Democrats do best, he demagogued the issue. Instead of discussing cutting the budget, he went into a rant about which vendors and non-profits should go broke waiting for the state to pay them.
One group, the Civic Federation has proposed that Illinois cut its budget by about $5 billion. This would reduce the state budget from $35 billion to $30 billion. Under their plan, Illinois would be able to get its house in fiscal order in three years.
How bad is Illinois? Right now, it has the second worst credit rating among American states. Only California is worse.
What is next for Illinois? Illinois has already raised taxes, resulting in a number of businesses and high wealth individuals leaving the state. Illinois can only borrow for so long. Since the Democrats control both the Illinois General Assembly and the Governor’s mansion, do not look for spending cuts.
Illinois is a fiscal disaster. The Democrats will not make any serious budget cuts lest they offend the unions that help keep them in power. If there is a second Obama term, look for Illinois to seek a federal bailout. Fortunately, Republicans will control Congress so the chances of that happening would be remote at best.
For Illinois, this picture is not pretty. Dan Rutherford seems to be one of the few politicians who really get it. If the economy gets worse, which with the Obama regime in place, that seems a very likely scenario, the Illinois budget situation will only get worse. With massive unfunded liabilities, such as pensions, you will see, an American state have a true economic meltdown.
When that happens, the liberals responsible for putting the state in this position should be held to account.
This is my idea.
Raise the tax on unions..
Not only Illinois but our country is on spending binge. Why talk of Democrats, RINOs are bankrupting our nation as well. We seem to be helpless masses screaming to stop this boat that is about to go over the cliff with our national prestige and reputation. If I were you, I would not talk of Democrats but that of RINOs, the closet progressives, the horribly poisonous snakes in the garden of our nation.
Mr Phillips, it is not the Democrats I worry about, I worry about the RINOs of our nation. Is there a way to stop jackass RINOs? Is there a way to remind them that they are supposed to be Fiscally Responsible? I am afraid NOT.
Judson, you are ABSOLUTELY right!!... We The People NEED to hold these politicians ACCOUNTABLE AND RESPONSIBLE at ALL Levels of Government for THEIR Decisions!!!
Also, I have a friend in Chicago and he votes BLUE all the time. Numerous times, I told him that the state of Illinois is one of the top 3 or 4 states that have the WORST state budgets!! I plan to send him this write-up from Judson.
Not only is this a problem in Illinois but a problem in our house in Washington, DC. The democrats are in denial and the republicans are trying to do some thing befor the whole thing collapses. But you have many of the same things, union pensions and 25% more government employees that have been put on the payroll since 2008, a 42% increase in entitlement spending and foreign aid has shown no sign of reduction. This is not hype as most of you all know.
We have to have different people in leadership positions that listen to We The People and not the special intrest.This may well be our last chance to have a free and fair election in 2012, their after it may well be like elections held in third world countries or quasi socialist countries such as Great Britain, Germany and France.
Educate those that will listen don't lecture them. Once they start to see in their own minds what and how this situation is about to come unraveled will they then make intelligent decisions at the ballot box.