The dire financial warnings have been coming for years, yet Illinois remains a Democrat-controlled state. Now, it’s the state with the worst credit rating in the nation.
“The Standard and Poor’s downgrade from A to A-minus puts Illinois last on the list – and means a higher cost to borrow money,” Chicago’s WGN-TV reported.
“Our problem in Illinois is that we have not substantively and fairly addressed the state public pension issue,” Republican state Treasurer Dan Rutherford told WGN-TV Saturday. “This problem didn’t come along just now, it’s been accumulating for actually decades. Each time the governor set a deadline and didn’t meet it there was some negative reaction. It’s become quite evident to me that the general assembly has not registered what these negative impacts are to be enough to cause a change in the public pensions.”
WGN-TV said Rutherford blamed Gov. Pat Quinn and the Democratic leadership in the state’s General Assembly for, in the TV station’s words, “making matters worse in the last two years – raising taxes but not acting on pension reform.”
No surprise there. Just ask New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
In December 2010, “60 Minutes” did a segment, “State Budgets: Day of Reckoning,” addressing concerns Illinois was facing back then.
“There have been Illinois legislators that have been evicted from their offices because the state didn’t pay their rent, and stories about state troopers being turned away from gas stations because the owners refused to take their state credit cards,” Steve Kroft reported in the segment.
“The state’s a deadbeat,” Kroft said to then-state Comptroller Dan Hynes in an on-camera interview.
“Yeah. I mean, the state of Illinois is known as a deadbeat state,” Hynes responded. “This is a reputation that has taken us years to earn and we’ve reached, you know, the heights of, I think, becoming the worst in the country.”
And yet Illinoisans overwhelmingly voted more Democrats into office in November, with Illinois’ The Pantagraph calling the election results a “Democratic tidal wave.” You reap what you sow.
Watch the Illinois Treasurer’s remarks: