Illinois government economic FAIL costs taxpayers $550M

Right up there with the People’s Republic of California, the state of Illinois is a fiscal basket case. This should be no surprise to anyone since the state is run by a bunch of thugs and crooks. Of the two previous governors, republican George Ryan is currently cooling his heels in a federal prison and democrat Rod Blagojevich was saved from a similar fate by a lone juror. Blago will be retried in January. This demonstrates that Illinois is a bipartisan thugocracy and just happens to be the home state of our dear comrade leader whose regime is full of “Chicago Way” corruptocrats.

It remains a mystery why the citizens of Illinois continue to tolerate this hideous political system. Perhaps because it is bipartisan, the state party regimes offer no other choices – one crook or the other crook. One thing is for sure however, they are paying dearly for it. (story here from the Chicago Sun-Times)

The state’s miserable bond rating has driven up borrowing costs for state government by more than $500 million since last year, a government watchdog group says.

The nonpartisan, Chicago-based Civic Federation analyzed the near-record borrowing that the state has undertaken since last September and looked at similar borrowing during the same period in other states that have higher bond ratings than Illinois.

The result was a staggering $551.3 million extra that state taxpayers are having to devote to support the state’s thirst for debt because of a series of rating downgrades, the group says in a report being released today.

“This is an actual quantification of what the cost of the state’s fiscal irresponsibility has been because of the Illinois General Assembly and governor’s failure to stabilize state finances and to allow our credit rating to drop so low we are now the lowest credit-rated state in the country, with California,” said Laurence Msall, the Civic Federation’s president.

Since September 2009, the state has borrowed $9.6 billion, which is the second-largest borrowing spree in state history. The most borrowed during any 12-month period in Illinois history came under ousted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who signed off on a $10 billion borrowing plan in 2003 to shore up the state’s underfunded retirement systems.

Illinois’ credit rating has been downgraded four times by one bond-rating agency in the past 18 months because of the state’s record budget deficits, its underfunded pension liabilities, revenue shortfalls, spending jumps and debt increases.

The taxpayers in Illinois are forking over $550M more than they should for interest on the state’s staggering debt. This is not economic rocket science, it’s reality that every state government understands – or should. It’s certainly something most of their beleaguered citizens understand. Illinois and California are not alone in this mess but they certainly represent the worst of the lot.

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