Friday, February 18, 2011

It sucks to live in Illinois

Fellow employee Carrie came into work upset after receiving her monthly paycheck. "Did you look at your check?" she said. "Mine is $100 less. I will be paying an extra $1200 in state taxes this year."

Welcome to Illinois.

Our governors get convicted of felonies. Our legislature can not control its spending nor balance a budget properly. We are up to our necks in debt. No one is held accountable.

Democrat Governor Pat Quinn, winning election by the narrowist of margins and capturing only four counties in the statewide vote, declared his 2010 victory a "mandate" for raising taxes. So ... our Democratic state representatives and senators, who seem to have one collective testicle among them, went along with the governor and the evil leader of Illinois politics, Michael Madigan. BOOM! Illinois raised its personal state income tax rate 66%. BOOM! Illinois raised its corporate tax rate from 4.8% to 7%. Way to encourage businesses to stay in or relocate to Illinois, geniuses. Significantly, the tax increases had zero republican votes. Do we see a problem here?

A quick primer on Illinois pensions for state employees: Make a respectable pension program, write it into the state constitution, have employees pay into it for mega-years, have the state not pay its share of the obligation year after year, then attempt to screw the employees who have faithfully paid in. Madigan now appears ready to have the weak-kneed state legislators pass a bill that appears to be contrary to the constitution, therefore putting the challenge to the Illinois Supreme Court.

In this state of massive corruption I can not help but believe that people with state pensions will end up taking it squarely up the butt without lubrication, courtesy of our elected officials. Wonderful.

I am quite surprised that the state's massive mountain of debt did not result in the expansion of gambling, a huge cash cow that sits on the horizon. However, those of us with long memories clearly remember what happened in the past. A state lottery was approved with the proviso that the money generated would go toward education in the state. Silly us. We did not understand that gambling revenue would go toward education, but that an equal amount would be taken from education and be put into whatever pork projects were appropriate at the time.

What does this all mean? It seems that, from a realistic perspective, my choices are limited. With the investment in the pension system that I have made, I am stuck. However, don't be surprised if my midwest neighbor KenP somedays sees a destitute Illinois carpet bagger at his doorstep, begging for a place to stay and trying to finagle a Mookie Dank buy-in out of a poker brotha who lives in a state that is not completely filled with idiocy and corruption at the state level.

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Anonymous KenP said...

Well, we Hoosier are accused of being slow. Sometimes that might be good.

Chicago got a bit over a billion for leasing the parking meters. Indiana got over 3B for our toll road.

You can park in the loop for an hour for the price of driving across the state and our lease holder pays all salary and maintenance.

We are down to $200M surplus in the state. I guess that better than trying to borrow 16B.

But, it sucks to live in a lot of places. The steel mills went through the same retirement system failure as is playing out other places. I had friends thinking they were set and who saw that shrink substantially.

The Union decry 401K solution. But, it is your 401K and isn't dependent on a bunch of politicians. That isn't perfect; but what is?

If our Governor runs for President, I can vote for him. Can't say that for yours. I'm amaze yours won. All he could do during the election was give away money to special interest which seems counter productive over the long haul you have toward fiscal stability.

11:41 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

"If our Governor runs for President, I can vote for him. Can't say that for yours. I'm amazed yours won."

If you click on the link in my post, you will be taken to a previous post which talks about the last election. It was like deciding between being stabbed or being shot. Unfortunately, both parties had better candidates who couldn't make it through the primaries.

It was essentially Chicago vs the rest of the state. Unfortunately, Chicago has just enough people to usually win a squeaker every time.

12:12 PM  
Blogger Wolfshead said...

It ain't just the parties or the Midwest either. This past election saw the GOP totally bash Obama and the Dems for the stimulus (seemingly forgetting it was originated in the Bush White House) on the basis that capitalism means that the weak should just fall by the wayside. Now the Republican governor of New Jersey is giving a massive boost to the owners of a new casino in AC, that building has been stalled ever since the financial meltdown, at a time when the casino business in NJ is declining due to legalization in surrounding states. In the meantime the GOP governor of PA is using taxpayer money to bailout the Philadelphia Shipyard which has been a mess ever since the Navy pulled out of the area. Seems that they're going to do whatever they want once they get in office anyway and it's only screwed up when it's the other guy doing it. I'd say that J. Q. Public gets screwed but what the hell they are the ones that keep voting the assholes in. The guys who tell the truth, which is never popular, will get left at the starting gate all the time.

4:21 PM  

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