Why is it that no matter how much our government spends, and no matter what we are promised in return, things never get any better? Democratic stronghold Illinois could be over $8 billion in the hole next year despite a massive, retroactive tax increase (see: Illinois Raises Income Tax, Then Hikes Benefits).
An ad hitting Illinois’ airwaves begs taxpayers to not let politicians cut public employee pensions. Accompanied by mournful piano notes, public servants lament the possibility of lost retirements described as “modest.” The ad tells us that most of these employees are ineligible for Social Security, and that the problem with public employee pensions is caused by politicians not making promised payments.
We are hearing of all manner of aberrant behavior in Wisconsin in response to the state taking back control of its budget from an angry, unionized public sector workforce. As talk of a general strike persists, public workers need to be reminded of what makes the American labor market so great.
Newly-elected Senator Mark Kirk has added his voice to calls to allow states to bail out of their financial obligations by declaring bankruptcy. Kirk’s home state is the poster child of the moment for fiscal irresponsibility. Illinois just gifted its hapless residents with a massive tax increase that will not solve the state’s financial woes, or fix the public pension system that is largely responsible for the problem (see: Live in Illinois?