Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Duped Illinois Taxpayers "Assumed" Massive Tax Hike Money Would Pay Off Bills, But Instead It Paid Off Public Employees

" 'I think the public assumed...that the money would be used to pay off our unpaid bills and make us fiscally sound.... That money is gone. It's spent' on state pension payments and Medicaid, she said."

The "she" is Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, a Republican who, per the Wall Street Journal (link), "warned [today] that the state is on track to end its fiscal year June 30 with $8.3 billion in unpaid obligations." 

I have commented before on the precarious state of Illinois' finances.  It is worst among states in unfunded public employee pension liabilities, and it has one of the worst business environments.  Democrats, aided and abetted by some Republicans, have created this mess over many years.

This year, Democrats, who hold the governor's office and have solid control of both chambers of the state legislature, enacted massive income tax hikes of 67% on individuals and 45% on corporations, along with what to many were token and largely symbolic spending cuts.

But it's still not good enough to fill the seemingly bottomless pit that is the state's public employee pension obligations.  Private workers who pay for state government took a hit during the Great Recession, but not public workers.  But a day of reckoning may not be far off.

John M Greco

Related Posts:
Illinois Now Worst Among States in Risk of Default on Debt. And Illinois Voters Like It That Way. We’re Number One!