Amazing Progress Illinois Style: Welcome to the Obama Expressway!

Yesterday, in response to alleged “progress” on Obamacare I penned Mish’s Rule of Progress.

by Mish

Today, I am pleased to announce even more amazing budget progress in the state of Illinois.

First, let’s recap progress at the national level.

  1. On Tuesday, President Trump called all the Republican Senators to a meeting to resolve the Obamacare bill in the Senate.
  2. Ahead of the meeting, four Republican Senators were against the bill. At most, 2 Senators can vote against the bill or it will fail.
  3. After the roughly hour-long huddle in the East Room, Senator Mitch McConnell told reporters “We made good progress.”
  4. Following the meeting, seven Republican Senators were against the bill.

As amazing as that progress sounds, Illinois can beat it by a mile.

Progress Illinois Style

  1. Illinois has been without a budget for two years and its bonds, already the lowest in the nation, face a downgrade to junk.
  2. On June 15, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner called a special 10-Day legislative session to finalize a budget.
  3. We are now in the eighth day of the special session.
  4. The Special Sessions Cost Illinois Taxpayers $50,000 a Day.
  5. The special sessions have lasted from 10 to 23 minutes at the longest.
  6. Progress was announced yesterday: My sources tell me that by an 84-0 vote, part of I-55 will be renamed the Obama Expressway.

Progress Extended

On Tuesday Mr. Madigan unveiled a $36 billion budget proposal but didn’t spell out how much taxes would have to increase to get the state’s fiscal house in order.
If a budget isn’t passed by Friday, credit-rating firms have warned they will downgrade the state’s rating to junk.

Rauner Already Caved In

An even more amazing part of this reconciliation process is that Rauner has already caved in. On June 21, I commented Governor Rauner Screws Illinois.

In exchange for virtually nothing, the Governor agreed to a massive tax hike.

Proposed Deal

  1. Four-year tax hike to 4.95%, up from 3.75%
  2. Expansion of sales taxes
  3. New taxes on cable and satellite TV
  4. Four-year property tax freeze
  5. No right-to-work reform
  6. No collective bargaining reform
  7. No pension reform
  8. No workers’ compensation reform
  9. No spending cuts
  10. No term limits
  11. No gerrymandering reform

The alleged property tax freeze is only 4 years and it excludes Chicago, home rule districts, cities in trouble, etc. One can drive a truck trough the loopholes.

Yet, that was not enough for Madigan or the special session would not still be in session.

Rule of Nothing

This brings us to Mish’s Rule of Nothing proposed on June 22.

In any given political situation, the best outcome one can reasonably expect generally happens when politicians do nothing.
Implied corollary#1: When politicians attempt to fix any problem, they are highly likely to make matters worse.
Corollary #2: Politicians almost never do nothing. It’s why we have a messed up healthcare system, education system, public pension system, etc..

For whatever perverse reason, Rauner is willing to break every promise he has ever made on budgets, on taxes, on reforms.

Not only did Rauner cave in on everything he has stood for, by extending the special session he has shown willingness to toss more taxpayer red meat to Madigan and his progressives who have already bankrupted the state.

Hope Against Hope

Our only hope at this point is that Madigan asks for so much that Rauner regains his sanity.

Given that Powerball, Mega Millions to Halt Illinois Lottery Due to State’s Inability to Pay Winners on June 30, I rate the odds of sanity returning at under 10%.

On the off chance that sanity prevails, I once again outline what Illinois needs.

Five Desperately Needed Reforms

  1. Municipal bankruptcy legislation
  2. Pension reform
  3. Right-to-Work legislation
  4. End of prevailing wage laws
  5. Workers’ compensation reform

Bankruptcy, the ONLY Solution

Number one on my list of Illinois reforms is bankruptcy legislation. It is the only hope for numerous Illinois cities strapped with impossible-to-pay pension liabilities.

As part of any budget package, Rauner must demand municipal bankruptcy legislation. Bankruptcy is the only solution for Illinois that works.

The system is simply too broke to fix.

Pension Puzzle

Illinois pension plans are going bust. Why is that? Did Illinois not tax enough?

For sure, Illinois did not fund the plans, but to fund them, the state would have had to raise taxes even more.

Supporting Evidence of Socialist Tax Hike Madness

Illinois is F*d up beyond repair and caving into demands from Madigan is exactly the wrong thing to do. Illinois truly deserves Junk status, and tax hikes will not solve the problem.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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