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*** UPDATED x2 - Job news - More lies *** Today’s Wall Street Journal lie

Friday, Jan 20, 2012

* From a WSJ editorial

And—no surprise—in part because the tax increases have caused companies to leave Illinois, the state budget office confesses that as of this month the state still has $6.8 billion in unpaid bills and unaddressed obligations.

That bill backlog, which may be even higher than $6.8 billion, has absolutely zero to do with the small number of companies which have left Illinois. The tax increase legislation set aside funds to make annual bond payments that would’ve eliminated the mountain of past-due bills right away. But that bond plan failed, and doesn’t look like it will ever be resurrected. The state cut spending this fiscal year, but not enough to significantly pare down the pile of old bills. Without some new revenues and/or lots more budget cuts, Illinois will be dragging those old bills behind it for years to come.

*** UPDATE 1 *** Daniel J. Mitchell, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, approvingly links to the WSJ editorial and uses it to make these points

Whenever any politician argues in favor of a higher tax burden, just keep these two points in mind.

    1. Higher taxes encourage more government spending.

    2. Higher taxes don’t raise as much money as politicians claim.

The combination of these two factors explains why higher taxes make things worse rather than better.

Ummm….

1. Operational spending is down since the Illinois tax hike.

2. The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability has repeatedly said this year that revenues from the tax increase are coming in as the “politicians” expected.

If Illinois hadn’t increased its taxes, it would’ve had to cut $7 billion more from spending to balance its budget, and it would still have all those unpaid bills.

Always beware ideologues. They’re usually deliberately ignorant of actual facts.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Thanks to a commenter for the link

Illinois lost 269 businesses employing 8,894 workers in Illinois [in 2011, after the tax hike passed] but attracted 244 companies employing 6,883 workers in the state, the data show. The report called the job loss “negligible” in a state with an employment base of nearly 6 million jobs.

The job losses also were offset by more than 13,000 startups in the Chicago area that produced nearly 23,000 new jobs, led by companies at opposite ends of the spectrum: professional, scientific and technical services firms and administrative and support services.

Illinois had a net loss of 2,256 jobs to Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana, while it gained 1,806 jobs from California, Oregon and Washington.

Illinois lost 16 companies and 158 jobs to Michigan but gained 15 companies employing 83 workers. Illinois gained 20 companies and 506 jobs from Wisconsin, while losing 22 companies and 129 jobs to its northern neighbor. […]

Illinois had a net loss of 128 jobs to Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. The data show that Illinois lost 27 companies and 719 jobs to Indiana but gained 22 companies and 337 employees from its neighbor.

Yeah, things completely suck here. Turn out the lights, we’re doomed. Sheesh.

* The unemployment rate also went down last month, but there was mixed news

The state lost 4,100 jobs in December from November, but the unemployment rate fell to 9.8 percent from 10 percent, the Illinois Department of Employment Security said Friday.

Year-over-year, the state added 52,600 jobs, but the jobless rate rose from 9.2 percent.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

64 Comments
  1. - Bush Twins - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 5:45 am:

    That is OK– as long as we comply with the demands of those financial wizards at the Tribune who beat the drum against borrowing.


  2. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 6:58 am:

    If you wanted to cut spending more, you would pass the refinancing/borrowing plan for the bills. Millions would have to be set aside — off the top — for the bond payments which would lower the amount left over for the rest of the budget. Tah-Dah — spending cuts via a borrowing plan. And you’d address that nasty backlog.

    But then what would the Republicans have to run on? Saving government jobs and government facilities in areas that elected anti-government Republicans?

    Maybe Tom Cross really did learn a few things from Lee Daniels about how to run a successful caucus and political operation.


  3. - Bush Twins - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 7:02 am:

    The borrowing is clearly necessary, and I have come to believe that the republicans oppose it because they don’t want the democrats to be credited with turning the ship around. Like the U.S. Congress, they believe that failure of a democrat led government body is good– even if the general public is left to twist in the wind in the process.


  4. - Leroy - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 7:26 am:

    Ridiculous….

    Smartgrid. Clean coal. Ethanol. Alternative energy. High speed rail. An interchange between I-57 and I-294…the list goes on and on.

    These are the investments Illinois is making now so that it can continue to lead midwestern job growth for the next decade.


  5. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 7:35 am:

    Real Pension Reform.


  6. - Dwight - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 7:39 am:

    Even after the huge tax increase this year you list increased revenue as an option for reducing the debt. What is wrong with you? How about entitlement reform? That is what has busted the budget both in Illinois and nationally yet no dem will ever mention it.


  7. - PublicServant - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 7:53 am:

    ==Real Pension Reform.==

    Sure if that “reform” means getting the state to “reform” its corrupt practice of not paying its portion of the pension. That’s the only reform needed.


  8. - Cheswick - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 8:22 am:

    Heh. Every time I see some national media type get it wrong about Illinois, it just makes me wonder what else they’re getting wrong. Probably close to everything.


  9. - Dirt Digger - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 8:29 am:

    “Illinois isn’t in arrears because of high taxes, it’s because its legislature is completely incompetent.”

    At most that’s a lateral move.


  10. - shore - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 8:51 am:

    at this point you basically have to understand that given the state’s reputation over the last 3 years, the blago trial, the dislike for obama and Illinois democrats, the mistrust of leaders in Illinois government, anything that can be remotely tied to the narrative that Illinois is a job killing over spending backward and corrupt state is going to be used by any and every right of center to right wing group/news organization/pundit in the country to trash the state/cook county or chicago. For every one of these you try to pick apart there are 15 conservative talk radio segments/blog pieces/columns/tweets/ads/editorials/op eds/speeches that do and say the exact same stuff.

    They won’t stop coming until the economy gets better or the state gets new leadership. I would throw in improved leadership in the state/city/county but that has no shot at happening.


  11. - Robert - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 8:51 am:

    ==The borrowing is clearly necessary, and I have come to believe that the republicans oppose it because they don’t want the democrats to be credited with turning the ship around==
    I agree with you that borrowing (specifically, borrowing at a lower rete in order to pay off higher rate debt and immoral debt owed to small businesses and social service organizations) is necessary. And I don’t blame your paranoia, as I agree with you that this is what republicans are doing on a national level. But in Illinois, I think they’re just trying to negotiate spending cuts (though it is not clear to me what exactly) in order to go along with a borrowing plan.


  12. - Son of a Centrist - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 9:00 am:

    Cuts are also clearly needed… but I have never heard a single republican candidate for state office in Illinois identify what they would cut to close the ~$7B gap. They whined about the tax increase, but again, failed to identify the appropriate cuts. Can you cut your way out of a ~$7B gap? Probably not, so they used the tax increase for political mileage instead.


  13. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 9:10 am:

    1. The state is adding jobs, not losing jobs, and its adding jobs faster than any surrounding state.

    2. Democrats warned that if the borrowing bill was not passed, it would take 8 years to pay our past due bills. It appears they weren’t far off.


  14. - Just Asking - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 9:13 am:

    Obviously lots of game playing on all sides but doesn’t someone have a political problem explaining substantial tax increase no discernible improvement in fiscal condition-and by the way less services? This was all in the mix when the tax passed but the voters for whatever reason didn’t think so.


  15. - YourKids - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 9:16 am:

    Please stop worrying about sending us the bill for your pensions, whether by borrowing or just leaving them unfunded. You have done so much for us, giving us Madigan, Daly, Ryan, Blago, Quinn and so many others who have built the Illinois we love. We are proud to be indebted to you.


  16. - Colossus - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 9:23 am:

    @Bush Twins: Agreed. The ILGOP gave up on the idea of actually winning elections when they brought in Alan Keyes for Senate, followed closely by the ultra-anti-abortion folks refusal to support Topinka. Now they just repeat tired old slogans. Can anyone point to a single bill put forward in the last 8 years with Republican backing that in any way attempted to ameliorate the fiscal situation? This isn’t to say I think the Democrats have done a great job in any way, but honestly, the alternative is to sit down and stick our tongue out at our problems. Give me an alternative and I’ll take a look at you again.

    @Shore: I find the best example of this to be the Drudge Report, which has, nearly every day, some headline or another that begins with CHICAGOLAND and details some lurid story. I’ve mentioned here before that he has elevated a run of the mill mugging story to national attention, not to mention last summer’s “wilding” coverage, all in an effort to give Chicago and therefore the President a bad image. There is a very clear and undeniable thread that runs through a large segment of the popular media that constantly churns through this negative image of Illinois that is counterfactual and based on the fact that Democrats are in charge and the President is from Chicago. How do people who read the WSJ or Drudge or listen to Rush Limbaugh defend this practice?

    How do we, the astute and informed citizenry of Illinois, respond to these baseless, misinformed news reports? The narrative is set and no on seems interested in the reality anymore. I don’t give a rat’s behind what party caused the problems we’re in, and I don’t give a rat’s behind which one fixes them. What I do care about is fixing the problem as efficiently and fairly as possible, regardless of which party leads the effort.


  17. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 9:26 am:

    If by “real” pension reform folks are suggesting retroactive changes to the retirement plans of people who have been working for the state for five, ten or fifteen years…

    Dumb idea.

    Pass it. Cut pension payments by $1 billion a year. Use that money to pay off vendors. Then when the Supreme Court overturns the pension cuts in two years, we’ll owe the pension system $2 billion plus 8% interest.

    Sounds an awful lot like borrowing, doesnt it?

    Or maybe we’ll use the money to keep state facilities open and prevent layoffs.

    Or maybe we’ll use the money to increase medicaid payments to nursing homes, create new programs, all kinds of fiscally irresponsible things are bound to happen when the General Assembly “finds” $1 billion in the budget.

    Maybe we’ll use the money to roll back taxes early. Then where are we in two years?

    The only responsible thing to do would be to keep making our pension payments “just in case”. History tells us that will NEVER happen.


  18. - shore - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 9:33 am:

    colossus, I personally love how drudge does “chicagoland” like the city is baghdad circa 2007 or something. Maybe one of those pr firms the city spends money on to boost the city’s image can get to work on that.


  19. - PublicServant - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 9:35 am:

    ==Please stop worrying about sending us the bill for your pensions, whether by borrowing or just leaving them unfunded. You have done so much for us, giving us Madigan, Daly, Ryan, Blago, Quinn and so many others who have built the Illinois we love. We are proud to be indebted to you.==

    Thanks for the driveby YourKids. How about putting up some ideas for that pension “reform” that you desire so badly that are (1) Constitutional, and (2) actually do something about the problem that your elected state representatives have caused? Or maybe, even better, stick to the topic being discussed.


  20. - JP - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 9:39 am:

    SOC,

    “but I have never heard a single republican candidate for state office in Illinois identify what they would cut to close the ~$7B gap”

    You must have been tranquilized during the Gubernatorial campaign. Brady proposed reduced capital spending and pension reform, and lost.

    JBP


  21. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 9:40 am:

    Just Askin, your question raises a central flaw in the Quinn administration. It never offered up a comprehensive, even marginally credible doomsday budget, one that would show what would have happened without the tax increase. He basically hung the “yes” votes out to dry and to some degree himself. No one can say, I voted for it because the alternative would have been a 50 percent cut in K-12 funding and a tripling of tuition at our public universities plus the closing of xx state facilities.
    No, that type of budet cutting was never going to happen, but something like that needed to be put in writing and publicized so you could stress why the tax increase was needed and give supporters something balance it on.
    Then again, Team Quinn is kind of a solo project and not real worried about a team strategy.


  22. - Colossus - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 9:49 am:

    Shore - Yeah, cause Matt Drudge is going to change his ways. I hope the city doesn’t waste their money trying to change the mind of a guy in his underwear posting links (No offense, Rich. I’m guessing you usually wear pants, at least.)

    There were 4 CHICAGOLANDs in the last week, two of them on Tuesday, for a total of 11 stories in 14 working days in 2012 so far. Does no one stop to wonder why Chicago suddenly became the armpit of America on Jan 20, 2009?


  23. - Colossus - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 9:52 am:

    Correction, the first CHICAGOLAND reference on Drudge was Dec 12, 2008, directed at Rahm.


  24. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 9:55 am:

    Off topic, but the Illinois Supreme Court weighed in today on whether the Citizen Participation Act immunizes defamatory speech.

    http://www.state.il.us/court/Opinions/SupremeCourt/2012/111443.pdf


  25. - Ahoy - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 10:17 am:

    Probably no mention either of how lack of action on these bills are causing employers to close, reduce staff or forgo raises… also hurting the economy and tax revenue.


  26. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 10:27 am:

    @Just Askin

    You’re right about the political problem.

    Polls showed folks would be willing to pay higher taxes to prevent cuts in education and human services.

    Then they not only cut human services and education, they cut programs like care for people with developmental disabilities that voters MOST want protected.

    Where lawmakers screwed up is in not taking accurates stock of the public’s priorities before setting the budget allocations for each program area.

    “Measure twice, cut once” as my grandfather likes to say.

    It applies to building houses and budgets.


  27. - steve schnorf - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 10:28 am:

    Actually, as one who has spent many years working with or for and/or observing state budget offices, I find the current one to be pretty forthcoming, and the use of “confesses” is a blatant attempt to imply they’ve been hiding something that they haven’t hid at all.


  28. - Sue - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 10:54 am:

    The best evidence that neither Quinn nor anyone else in a position of authority will take on the public sector unions is that notwithstanding the ability to unilaterally do so, they have not touched retiree health care benefits -unlike pensions, the State has absolute legal authority to force through changes which would have a meaningful benefit on the budget


  29. - steve schnorf - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 10:59 am:

    Sue, define meaningful. And keep in mind, TRS members and community college retirees don’t receive no-premium state-paid health insurance. So, working from that smaller base, how would we get to that number you just described as meaningful?


  30. - AC - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 11:03 am:

    With the national and local media having such a distorted view of reality, is it any wonder we are in the mess we are in? So many news outlets have an axe to grind, that they seem to be completely useless when it comes to reporting the facts of a story, at least when they fail to match their expectations. It’s probably why the borrowing bill was so poorly understood. Most people who opposed gave as a reason for their opposition, that the state already owed too much as it is. Legislators and local media outlets parroted this “logic” even when they themselves understood that moving debt from one form to another neither increased or decreased total debt.


  31. - mark walker - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 11:07 am:

    Michelle: smart comment.
    Almost no one would actually support the fiscal alternatives available at the time, but they were never made clear to the public.

    YDD: right again.
    Perhaps fully implementing the new budgeting process, which encourages more public-driven priorities for spending, as well as measurable outcomes, will finally begin to help.

    And yes, the group Republican vote against the part of the plan which would have restructured the overdue accounts payable, seemed to be political in the worst sense of the word. It came complete with slogans like “burdening our grandchildren”, and “no more borrowing”, even though it obviously cost us more not to do it. It came too late in the process for those who thought they could use it as leverage for more spending cuts — though to be fair some might still believe that.


  32. - JP - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 11:15 am:

    Sounds more like a sensible application of politics to the issue. How will we ever see spending reforms if we keep allowing increases in spending, taxes and bond debts?

    As the voters decided against new leaders, what will it for the current administration take to approach this in a serious manner?

    JBP


  33. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 11:18 am:

    ===No offense, Rich. I’m guessing you usually wear pants, at least===

    You know what happens when you assume, right?


  34. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 11:20 am:

    ===Even after the huge tax increase this year you list increased revenue as an option for reducing the debt. What is wrong with you? ===

    New revenues don’t have to be higher taxes. They could be in the form of things like expanded gaming, or finding more ways to get money from the feds, or selling assets, or refinancing debt, or skimming excess special funds.


  35. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 11:22 am:

    ===The best evidence that neither Quinn nor anyone else in a position of authority will take on the public sector unions===

    Ignoring contractual pay raises isn’t taking on public sector unions? How so?


  36. - mokenavince - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 11:32 am:

    Bonds at time of low intrest has been used for years to retire higher yielding bonds,simple reason it costs less.But our budget and deficit problem has been in bad shape for a longtime.
    Cutting spending is just 1 answer,revenue is really the only way to reduce your bills. This
    is a tough job see anybody in Springfield willing
    to tackle ? Gives back would help, pension
    reform is a must going foward. Seems no one wants to do the heavy lifting,maybe next year.


  37. - Shock & Awww(e) - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 11:41 am:

    - The tax increase legislation set aside funds to make annual bond payments that would’ve eliminated the mountain of past-due bills right away. -

    Where is the money that would have gone towards annual bond payments going instead?

    It’s apparently not going towards paying down our past-due bills, since we’ve made virtually no progress on our debt (from $8.75B in 2010 to $8.5B in 2012).

    Soooo…. where’s it going?

    Why not set aside / use those funds to make annual payments on the bills we owe instead? That still pays down the debt over time, instead of maintaining the status quo and diverting that money elsewhere.

    Or is that too crazy an idea?


  38. - Shock & Awww(e) - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 11:52 am:

    YDD @ 9:10: if we were going to catch up on those bills in 8 years, we should have paid down roughly $1 billion by now.

    Instead, we’ve paid down roughly $250 million.

    It’s going to take longer than 8 years at this current rate. A lot longer.

    SOC @ 9:00 - I know the Senate GOP released a large report last year with ideas, cuts and consolidations to help close the debt. Don’t recall the exact amount off the top of my head.


  39. - Esquire - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 12:12 pm:

    Sometimes, popular perception can become an accepted reality. The bad publicity from the tax and fee increases reinforced the notion that Illinois is a bad place to do business. From a public relations stand point, Illinois is getting hammered.

    Some argue, “Wait, it isn’t true!” But the longer this conversation continues, the more the popular fallacy persists. Beta was better than VHS, but which product failed?

    Illinois needs a new set of politicians (in either or both parties) to change the dialogue.
    The current leadership cannot effect a change because they represent the status quo which is not pretty.


  40. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 12:16 pm:

    Shock & Awww
    when the GOP rejected borrowing that portion was simply used like the rest of the state tax rate. That’s why the GOP position was pretty stupid in the long run. By blocking the “borrowing” they not only maintained the backlog but ensured more money would be available for discretionary spending. then, in the House, they championed a bipartisan budget that allegedly cut another billion but accomplished it by further delaying state payments to providers.
    From a big picture standpoint, you really gotta wonder if the GOP has any budget strategy beyond scoring political points and daily headlines.


  41. - wordslinger - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 12:18 pm:

    –The best evidence that neither Quinn nor anyone else in a position of authority will take on the public sector unions –

    Sue, at least turn down the volume to Fox and Friends before you post.

    Where have you been? Do you think public employee unions are all hunky-dory with current Illinois, Cook County, Chicago government.

    They had more clout with Thompson, Edgar, Ryan.


  42. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 12:29 pm:

    @Shock -

    Fair point.

    Unless I’m mistaken, $250 million is exactly the portion of the tax hike that was allocated to pay down past due bills.

    The eight year figure was from the senate democrats, but I believe Currie was explicit during debate on the tax hike that if borrowing wasnt approved, that money would be used to pay down past due bills directly.

    Shnorf might have a different recollection.

    The point is NO ONE promised that the tax hike would pay off our past due bills. The tax hike was intended to prevent us from going even deeper in the red or making draconian cuts that even Republicans do not support.

    I agree with Schnorf that this has actually been one of the better budgets produced in awhile.

    Empowering rank and file lawmakers to sit down and have a meaningful discussion about Goals and Priorities is a critical step.

    The next major step is putting processes in place that provide meaningful public input into Goal and Priority setting.

    It provides greater transparency, legitimacy, and deepens the public’s understanding of the budget process.

    Its hard to argue with lawmakers’ decision to expand community care for the elderly and people with disabilities and reduce the number of institutional and nursing home beds when that’s what 80% or more of voters want.

    I’m also pretty confident that if you asked voters whether they’d rather spend $5000 providing people who want drug addiction with services or $40,000 incarcerating non-violent drug offenders that the voters overwhelmingly prefer the former.

    Lawmakers desperately need that public backing to defend themselves from attacks by fringe interests that they are throwing granny out on the street or are soft on crime.

    Anyone disagree with that?


  43. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 12:51 pm:

    My hope in the new year is that the budget/pension issues are addressed in the fairest way possible, for those in and out of the public sector.

    While observing the political environments of some of our neighbor states, and after seeing how we voted for the tax breaks, I hope we build on bipartisan relationships and cooperation.


  44. - anonymice - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 1:14 pm:

    ==notwithstanding the ability to unilaterally do so, they have not touched retiree health care benefits -unlike pensions, the State has absolute legal authority to force through changes which would have a meaningful benefit on the budget==

    The constitution doesn’t say “pensions” can’t be reduced, it says “the benefits of” a retirement system cannot be reduced. I wouldn’t want to bet that an Illinois judge would rule that retiree health care benefits aren’t covered by this clause when both his reading skills and his pocketbook say otherwise.


  45. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 1:29 pm:

    I just read in a Crain’s article that Illinois lost jobs last year to other states in the first nine months, but those losses were offset by new businesses that created 23,000 jobs. We lost 128 net jobs from our neighbors, but we gained jobs from Wisconsin.

    So if the tax increase caused us to lose jobs to southern states, it didn’t hurt when start-ups opened businesses here and began hiring.


  46. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 1:57 pm:

    ===I just read in a Crain’s article===

    Link?


  47. - PublicServant - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 2:00 pm:

    Regarding the Cato Institute and your comment about ideologues Rich: “There are none so blind as those who will not see”. Not sure who first quoted that, but he/she was apparently not an ideologue.


  48. - sue - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 2:15 pm:

    Steve- the premium co-pays are modest and I think the co-pays for drugs are almost non-existent- All I was proposing is that health care isn’t subject to any constitutional protections so if there was any willingness to do something, health care for both retiree and existing employees(although subject to negotiation for active employees) would be a good place to start


  49. - steve schnorf - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 2:18 pm:

    PS, apparently Jeremiah


  50. - steve schnorf - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 2:22 pm:

    Sue, actually you said such changes “would have a meaningful impact on the budget”. I believe SERS and some SURS retirees need to pay a premium for our state provided healthcare. Unless confiscatory, though it will seem like a lot of money to some, I don’t think it will have a “meaningful” impact on the budget, so I just wondered what you knew that I didn’t.


  51. - sue - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 2:24 pm:

    anonymice- it is pretty well agreed that the pensions are covered by the contract clause under the constitution- health care isn’t subject to that protection and the state routinely sets contribution rates for retirees through CMS albeit they are a great deal compared to what the private sector is used to paying


  52. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 2:28 pm:

    Sue, keep in mind that the pension reform plan proposed by Leader Cross requires a $1 billion state payment increase next fiscal year.

    As far as benefits go, you’re right. Gov. Quinn proposed big premium increases last year and he was, as usual, ignored.


  53. - JP - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 2:37 pm:

    Anyone have a figure on how the revenues are coming in from expanded Video Gambling that is supposed to be funding the Capital Bill?

    JBP


  54. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 2:45 pm:

    ===Anyone have a figure on how the revenues are coming in from expanded Video Gambling===

    LOL

    Funny joke, man. Funny.


  55. - Harold - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 2:47 pm:

    ==The state cut spending this fiscal year, but not enough to significantly pare down the pile of old bills.==

    Only if you don’t count the *increase* in unpaid bills they’re pushing off until next year.

    If I wait to pay this month’s credit card bill until next month, I’m not “cutting spending.” I’m delaying spending. There’s a world of difference.


  56. - Harold - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 2:50 pm:

    ==Sue, keep in mind that the pension reform plan proposed by Leader Cross requires a $1 billion state payment increase next fiscal year.==
    Is this over and above the $1B increase for FY2013 that the status quo requires?


  57. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 2:51 pm:

    It’s a billion from this fiscal year, but now that the numbers have all been revised, the reform bill might possibly have to be revised as well.


  58. - Shock & Awww(e) - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 3:25 pm:

    @YDD - Excellent points. I also concur with you & Schnorf that this last budget was an improved process and cause for hope moving forward.

    @Michelle Flaherty - Thanks for lending some background. That seems to reinforce my underlying concern: the legislation set aside funds to make annual payments on bonds designed to pay our service providers, etc.

    The borrowing plan failed.

    Now, instead of using those set-aside funds for their original intent of paying our vendors, etc. that money goes towards discretionary spending.

    That doesn’t sound like a Dem. or Rep. issue to me. I blame both parties & leadership on that one for lacking the discipline, convicton or sense to direct those funds towards our backlog of bills after the bond plan failed.

    Maybe those funds have been diverted to some valuable programs. Maybe they’re propping up the last vestiges of pork. There’s no way to know for certain.

    All I know for certain is that anyone running for re-election after the tax increase will have a very difficult time winning if IL has the same backlog of bills we had before the tax increase.


  59. - Chris - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 3:28 pm:

    “Always beware ideologues. They’re usually deliberately ignorant of actual facts.”

    Oh come on now Rich. I read your blog with enjoyment almost daily, but at least be honest with yourself and your readers on how left-leaning you are and defensive you are in general of the Democrats.


  60. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 3:41 pm:

    =Link?=

    Here is the link to the article:
    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120119/NEWS07/120119763/illinois-loses-some-jobs-offset-by-startup-gains

    Oh, man, I hope I didn’t overdo the copy/paste, because I copied the whole link.


  61. - Colossus - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 3:45 pm:

    And Chris proves Rich’s point.


  62. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 3:48 pm:

    Colossus is correct. If looking around and seeing real and very serious problems, but not the absolute devastation claimed by demagogic morons makes me a left winger, well, what does that say about you, Chris?


  63. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 3:57 pm:

    Also, Illinois businesses will get a $67 million tax credit for hiring over 27,000 workers last year, under the Work Opportunity Tax Credit:
    http://www.news-gazette.com/news/business/economy/2012-01-18/illinois-firms-get-67-million-tax-credits-hiring.html


  64. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Jan 20, 12 @ 4:46 pm:

    You know, if this state’s finances were any worse off, it’d be a newspaper.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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