Saturday, May 31, 2014

Mad Again

California is the worst run state in the nation--or so says an extensive survey at 24/7 Wall Street.  Here's how they put it.

For the third year in a row, California is the worst-run state in America. California faced a nearly $24 billion in budget shortfall in fiscal 2012, including a mid-year shortfall of $930 million and $8.2 billion carried over from the year before. California carries an A credit rating from Standard & Poor’s, and an A1 from Moody’s — both worse than any other state except for Illinois. Explaining its rating, Moody’s pointed to the state’s history of one-time solutions to resolve its budgetary gaps. It also noted the state’s “highly volatile revenue structure,” due to its over reliance on wealthy taxpayers. The Golden State was also among the worst states in the nation for educational attainment, health coverage, and unemployment.

Catch that part "worse than any other state except for Illinois"?  That's where I used to live.  Right now the Land Of Lincoln is ranked #48.

Illinois has the worst credit rating in the U.S., having received the lowest rating of any state from both Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s. Explaining its reasoning, Moody’s pointed to the state’s underfunded pension and ongoing weak fiscal practices such as bill payment delays. Only 40.4% of the state’s pension obligations were funded in 2012, the worst rate in the nation. Illinois also had the fourth-largest debt in the country at the end of fiscal 2011 at nearly $65 billion. The state faced high foreclosure and unemployment rates in 2012, both among the worst in the country.

Illinois may catch us yet.

Especially if Springfield's House Speaker Mike Madigan has his way.  The state has been chasing away successful people for years, but not fast enough for Madigan.  Now he wants a referendum that will raise taxes yet more on millionaires.  Politicians wouldn't pass it, but he's hoping the people will.  The theory behind it seems to be "we've overspent, and you've got a lot of money, so you owe it to us."

Or perhaps he figures it will bring out Democrats in the fall in a time when the GOP's fortunes have been rising.  Madigan calls these people cynics and I agree.  I believe he honestly wants to do these things that make Illinois a miserable place to live.


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