Decades of Democrat rule have turned that state into an economic basket case with unsustainable spending, annual tax increases, state and municipal employee pay/benefits that suck an increasing amount of tax dollars out of the economy, and a failing pension program that will never meet its future obligations to retirees (and by future, I mean near future).
Writes Walter Russell Mead:
Three states form the base of Democratic political power in the United States: California, New York and Illinois. All three states are locked in an accelerating economic, demographic and social decline; all three hope that they can stave off looming disaster at home by exporting the policies that have ruined them to the rest of the country.Ah, yes. Good intentions. We all know where that road leads, don't we? We also know that liberals have a major blind spot when it comes to the Law of Unintended Consequences, ignoring factors that have a negative impact every time they try to 'help' the poor and downtrodden. (Here again, it comes down to ignoring human nature, or worse, believing they can change human nature through legislation or government programs.)
Mary Williams Walsh, a talented reporter who is doing much to sustain the luster of the New York Times brand these days, has a must-read piece on the mess that is Illinois, and it is a compelling description of the misery and ruin that well-intentioned liberals combined with aggressive public sector labor unions inflict on the poor they ostensibly want to serve.
The perception by too many Democrats is that the answer to all of the problems they helped create is to pour more money into solving these problems despite the large amounts of money they've already wasted on them. The problem isn't a lack of money so much as the structural defects in they systems and programs they're supporting. Simply put, it's not a revenue problem but a spending problem. It's also an insanity problem as they keep doing the same thing over and over again yet they expect different results this time. The madness has got to stop...but it won't until everything grinds to a halt because they run out of other people's money. And when it does happen, they will be surprised and shocked. Then they will point their fingers at everyone except those responsible – themselves.
Is this the future we want for America? Of course not. But that's where we're headed if we don't stop the liberals from promising things we can't possibly provide and bankrupt those who actually make things run. Take the lessons of Illinois, New York, California, as well as Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Italy to heart.