After two ratings agencies dropped Illinois’ ratings to within one notch of junk bond status last year, Rauner said he “wouldn’t be surprised if there’s more ratings downgrades, there should be, because the majority in the General Assembly won’t get a balanced budget.” He also said, “Don’t listen to some Wall Street firm. That’s not what matters. Listen to the people of Illinois.”
Mendoza thinks Rauner wanted to create chaos with another downgrade, pointing to his support for federal legislation allowing states to seek bankruptcy-like protections to reduce their pension debts (they are not legally able to now) and his dismissive attitude toward the possibility of Illinois bonds being rated as junk.
“I think the governor, absolutely, on purpose, created this fiscal crisis. I say that without equivocation. Yes,” she says.
“On the very eve getting a budget passed, when we were teetering on the brink of going into junk bond status, here I am telling the markets, ‘Don’t worry, I’m going to make the debt service payments no matter what.’ And then Gov. Rauner is saying, ‘Don’t listen to the markets! The people don’t want a tax increase. Don’t listen to Wall Street.’”
“I thought, oh my God, he is metaphorically giving them the finger,” she says. “This madman is running this state into the ground.”
It never ends with those two.