Everyone is gasping at the absolute bankruptcy facing Illinois – as though this was something new to report – but it’s been ongoing for years if not decades and Illinois ain’t the only one! Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin are all casualties of over spending excesses requiring a per capita hand-out from the Feds of anywhere from $1318 to $1802, or $8.9 billion to $20.4 billion – per year.
In fact, Ohio and Indiana get over 33% of their revenue from the Feds in the form of our tax dollars – not well spent!
And where does all the money go in Illinois? According to the infamous Budgetary Pie Chart titled, “Spending By Function” provided by Illinois, 43% is spent on “OTHER”, 26% on Medicaid, 14.6% on K-12, and 9.3% on transportation. “Other” includes CHIP, which is actually a duplicate extension of Medicaid, Mental Health, Public Health, Employer Contributions to Pensions (reimbursements), Environmental, State Police, Parks and Recreation, Housing and General Aid to Local Governments.
Of course we all know that the rule in government subsidies is – spend more than you have or you’ll get less next year. So operating at a yearly loss/deficit is beneficial… and nearly all the states do it.
The total state debt for Illinois is $321.3 billion! The total state debt for Ohio is – $321.3 billion… Huh. Meaning every person in Illinois is on the take for about $24,900 and every person in Ohio is on the take for about $27,900… Oh wait – Ohio is actually worse off… Where is the PRESS?
More numbers: As a percentage of total revenues, Michigan gets almost 42% of it’s income from the Federal Government. If we were to eliminate Federal/Taxpayer subsidies to these states alone we would save $76 billion. Pensions to all states? Over $1 Trillion.
With somewhere over 10,000 line items in the Illinois budget under Education, I decided not to review each line… SURPRISE. But I did note a few fast facts: $1.1+ billion spent on No Child Left Behind, (I thought that was defunct?) , $700+ million on Individuals with Disabilities Act, (That’s for the ACT, not for people with Disabilities?) $850+ million on child nutrition, and then the ubiquitous – $4.8+ billion on General state aid… I had to add the + sign because each categorical account had their own budget request for the same thing, as in General Aid.
Illinois claims the number of children in extreme poverty to be 267,000, with the number living in poverty to be 591,500.
So where does MOST of the debt load come from? Pensions are numero uno. Medicaid and health care are making a rounding second place in state debt with those costs rising more rapidly.
But before we get our panties in a wad, there are only a handful of states that have a surplus! Those operating at an efficient level include, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Alaska. Oil would appear to be a common denominator.
This is all part and parcel of the Swamp that has existed for decades as politicians are too fearful to actually tell the truth and tell Americans that their belts need to be tightened by 3 to 10 notches! They can’t tell us this because then we wouldn’t re-elect them because they would be giving us bad news and making us act like adults instead of children. The Swamp exists – because we elect it. We allow it.
Instead we play with the numbers and statistics and make comparisons that are not relevant, in order to convey a premise that makes people feel good while the Truth is left to die.
A ranking of the Best Run States in the US as of 2015 was as follows: 1. North Dakota 2. Wyoming 3. Iowa 4. Nebraska 5. Minnesota. The states ranking in the bottom tier? New Mexico, Illinois, Mississippi, Rhode Island, and Alabama.
It should be noted that Party affiliation is NOT a factor in the rankings, republican Governors and Democrat Governors are split pretty equally. North Dakota does spend considerably more of their income on education – 43%, including Higher Education which is minimal in Illinois. The states with the lowest per capita debt are Tennessee, Georgia and Texas. But the rankings include numerous factors in addition to debt and spending. Employment, education, the ability to raise the bar in the near future, credit, all are factored in when making a solid analysis.
This is why Illinois and Ohio are perilous with Michigan and Wisconsin on the precipice. They don’t have a future. Michigan tanked with the auto industry and hasn’t recovered since. Wisconsin is struggling from a dull manufacturing platform, as are Illinois and Ohio. Having not diversified and shifted with worldwide trends and economic shifts, their failure is more a consequence of negligible forward thinking management.
Again this is nothing new, these states have been on a death march for quite some time under the tutelage of both Party Affiliations.
And frankly my Dear, the Swamp could really, Give a Damn.