Here’s $52,000 that you didn’t know that you owed
today at 12:22 pm
You haven’t received a bill for it, so it’s invisible to you. No one will be knocking on your door or grabbing your wages to collect the $52,000.
Nevertheless, the debt still is yours. It’s what every taxpayer in Illinois would have to cough up to pay off the state’s bills.
The latest figure comes from Truth in Accounting, the Chicago-based nonpartisan, non-profit watchdog, in its Illinois analysis portion of the group’s Financial State of the Union 2020. And Illinois’ indebtedness is shocking; if a business was this far in hock it no longer would exist.
But this is No Fault Illinois, where the politicians can get away without accepting blame for anything, including an indebtedness that is far beyond what most people would expect. We often hear about the $140 billion of unfunded state employee pension funds. (Actually, if stricter accounting rules applied, it would be closer to $200 billion, but what’s a dozen billion here and a dozen billion there matter?)
That’s not all of it. According to Truth in Accounting, Illinois’ debt amounts to $226 billion or $52,000 for every state taxpayer. It says:
Illinois’ financial problems stem mostly from unfunded retirement obligations that have accumulated over the years. Of the $292.1 billion in retirement benefits promised, the state has not funded $144.2 billion in pension and $56.1 billion in retiree health care benefits.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker continues to use bad budgeting practices that allow him to claim he has “balanced” the budget while underfunding pension systems. A recent Illinois bond offering stated that “The State’s contributions to the retirement systems… have been less than the contributions necessary to fully fund the retirement systems as calculated by the actuaries of the retirement systems.”
Here are the details:
And everyday as the coronavirus pandemic cuts ever deeper into the state’s tax revenue, Illinois’ financial crisis worsens.
But, not to worry. Pretend there’s no problem.
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