Everyone in America saw what happened the day 410 ILCS 705/ became law. Long lines trailed down streets leading up to Illinois’ legal weed dispensaries under siege by too many eager New Year’s Day customers. We heard about too-long waits, enormous crowds, and incredible enthusiasm over being able to purchase something people in most states still go to jail for.
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.
November 7, 2018: get out of Illinois while you can afford it
After an election campaign where he spent lots of money but didn’t put up much of a fight or have much of a record to fight over, Bruce Rauner is out. J.B. Pritzker, progressive taxes, state health care, and all the things Democrats bring to the table are in, though to be fair to Pritzker having Rauner in office didn’t stop another income tax hike.
It would be easy to argue that Pritzker’s big win over a lackluster four-year Republican governor mirrored what happened to Capitol Hill House Republicans last night. That might be true, or it might just be Illinois voters being stupid. We have a knack for that. Just look at the people we put in office and what they do to us year after year after year. The state is a financial wreck and we keep asking for more.
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.
Author’s note April 15, 2020: two important events changed this discussion since the last update. Elizabeth Warren is out of the presidential race. It happened with barely a whimper. The other event is the arrival of the coronavirus. That one is a roar, but it may include a silver lining for taxpayers struggling to support the cost of public education.
I feel bad for Chicago Police Chief Eddie Johnson. His city stabbed him in the back when it deep-sixed a sensational, alleged, and maybe non-existent hate crime that sent his officers on a costly snipe hunt. Johnson’s anger at the dropped charges was more than justified, but like taxpayers’ unhappiness at the unacknowledged social injustice perpetrated in their state every day it simply doesn’t matter and changes absolutely nothing.
Was J.B. Pritzker’s toilet tax break payday legitimate? Who knows? With all that goes on in the City of Chicago we will never get a straight answer and Illinois voters will prove they don’t care. The fact that state Democrats decided to support a candidate from the 1% for allegedly doing what their party accuses wealthy Republicans of doing will not make a difference because Pritzker has promised to give Illinois more of everything, from health care to legal dope.