Detroit Today, Illinois Tomorrow

From the Heritage Foundation:

Detroit is just one of many local and state governments that are broke. Next in line: Illinois.

Unlike Detroit, changes in the manufacturing industry will not contribute to the demise of the Land of Lincoln.  Rather, the profligacy and complacency of its leaders may.

It is no secret that Illinois is in debt; the state’s Comptroller estimates it to be approximately $160 billion. Nearly $100 billion of this stems, like Detroit, from unfunded pension costs.

Recently, Taxpayers United President Jim Tobin explained that without pension reforms Illinois will be pushed to the brink. According to Tobin, it is likely to happen in less than two years. So why won’t the State Legislators do something to reverse this downward spiral?

Governor Quinn and state lawmakers present and past have promised more benefits to retired teachers, state employees, and other government workers over the years. Rather than tackling reforming the pension programs, Governor Quinn and the legislature pushed for a 67 percent income tax hike on the people of Illinois and a 46 percent increase on businesses – Illinois’ job creators. This drove many companies, such as sandwich king Jimmy Johns, to leave the state entirely. So, less revenue and fewer taxpayers will be around to fund the state’s pension program. Sounds like Detroit.

Read more: Heritage Foundation