Illinois has the lowest credit rating of the 50 states and has America’s second-biggest public debt per capita, $9,624, including state and local borrowing. Only New York State’s debt is bigger, at $13,840 per capita. But Illinois has not been able to use much of the borrowed money to keep its roads, bridges and schools in good working order, because years of shoddy fiscal practices have taken a heavy toll, the report said.What Obama helped to do to Illinois, he is causing to happen to the US in a more forceful fashion -- using executive orders and the US executive branch of over-bloated regulatory bureaucracies.
“Illinois has been doing back flips on a high wire, without a net,” the task force said in the report, which was issued in Chicago.
...Nearly two-thirds of the Illinois state government’s $58 billion in direct debt consists of bonds the government issued to cover retirement payments for workers, including a $10 billion pension obligation bond that broke all previous records in 2003.
Yet despite all that borrowing, Illinois’ public pension system is still in tatters. In fact, its total pension shortfall is conservatively estimated at $85 billion. Recent changes that raised the retirement age for new workers and limited the pensions that future workers can earn have not reduced the existing obligations.
The task force said that further reductions in pension benefits appear inevitable, though legally difficult, because the state has promised more than it can deliver.
...“Retirees may lose their pensions as the funds dwindle, low-income and disabled people may lose their health care as costs escalate, and citizens and businesses seeking a stable environment may face steep and sudden tax increases,” the report said. _NYT
Illinois' problems are becoming the entire nations' problems. California and New York are in the same category. Michigan is lining up to join the other three.