In Illinois, the Blue-State Model Rolls toward Bankruptcy

How can things have gotten so bad in Illinois government? Here’s another question, the answer to which actually gives you the explanation to why government spending here is so out of control: Why do Republicans and conservatives in Illinois continue to fail to fight the information war?

It is clear that many of our politicians think the message is somehow getting to voters. Why they would think that is a mystery. As for all the slick political consultants getting rich while executing the same failed strategies over and over again, they are either corrupt, ignorant, or both. When they’re both, there is usually a nice big ego attached.

Here is some of what George Will wrote recently over at National Review:

Deficits and unfunded pension labilities as far as the eye can see.

Illinois’s government, says [Governor Bruce] Rauner, “is run for the benefit of its employees.” Increasingly, it is run for their benefit when they retire. Pension promises, though unfunded by at least $113 billion, are one reason some government departments are not digitized at all.

What is misleadingly called the state’s constitution requires balanced budgets, of which there have been none for 25 years. This year, revenues are projected to be $32.5 billion, with spending of $38 billion. Illinois Democrats are, however, selective constitutionalists: They will die in the last ditch defending the constitution’s provision that says no government pension can be “diminished or impaired.”

At last count, $7.6 billion was owed to many of the state’s vendors. But the law in its majesty requires that the state’s legislators — those who write the laws — get paid under any circumstances. This removes perhaps the most important potential pressure for compromise. If schools were unable to open this month, parents with pitchforks would march on Springfield, so a quasi-budget was cobbled together to keep government semi-funded for six months.

The federal government can continue to print money. There are bankruptcy procedures for cities but not for states. So, high-tax Illinois will continue bleeding the population and businesses, but with one contented cohort — the Democratic political class, for whom the system is working quite well.

Read more: National Review

Image credit: Henryk Sadura / Shutterstock.