You know times are tough when state officials looking for ways to bridge budget gaps put senior citizens in their sights. Most politicians would rather have their teeth pulled without the benefit of Novocain than defend a record of taxing the elderly. Illinois Senate President John Cullerton has broached precisely that idea, though, suggesting a new tax on retirement income.
Illinois is our most fiscally irresponsible state, courtesy of majority Democratic lawmakers who won't be happy until the Land of Lincoln becomes the first in the nation to be allowed to declare bankruptcy. At least there is bipartisan agreement on political corruption. Both parties share the blame for governors going to prison.
Illinois, an evolving fiscal catastrophe
Where to begin with this evolving fiscal disaster? Pensions that unions and public employees fight tooth and nail to keep in place even though the costs of are unsustainable and saddle taxpayers with unmanageable debt? Irresponsible social policies that cost too much money? Political corruption and waste? How about tax policies bent on extracting every dime from anyone who works and giving the proceeds to everyone who doesn’t?
Chicago epitomizes what’s wrong with the left
You can't discuss Illinois politics without focusing on Chicago, a train wreck of a city fighting tooth and nail to follow Detroit into bankruptcy.
Rahm Emanuel skipped out of Obama's White House to lead one of the most violence-ridden cities in the nation, a place where summer holiday weekends are celebrated with shootings. Emanuel is proud and fiercely protective of his town’s sanctuary policies, which makes Chicago and its appalling gun violence an easy target for Trump. Sadly, even Republican Governor Bruce Rauner endorsed the same dangerous permissiveness when he signed the sanctuary state bill, the Illinois Trust Act.
What is the Illinois category about?
This category covers the political and financial mess that my state has become. From pensions to taxes to angry teachers to careers ending in the slammer, this is Illinois.
Fresh from his announcement of Illinois’ plan to fleece residents with an income tax hike necessary because state lawmakers are bereft of the slightest understanding of the term “fiscal restraint,” Governor Pat Quinn laughed in the faces of taxpayers by following up the tax increase with his signing of the “Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act.” The bill adds Illinois to the handful of states permitting couples in civil unions to benefit from their relationships in the same fashion as married folks.
Illinois is an embarrassment. Those of us who live here are so familiar with corruption, graft, bribe-taking, fraud, and every conceivable variation of illegal, unethical behavior that the deplorable conduct of our public officials is largely taken for granted. We accept that our governors will go to prison, our bureaucrats will be convicted of bribe-taking, and that our precious tax dollars will be misspent, overspent, and forever insufficient to slake the thirst of greedy, irresponsible state and local politicians.