Why Would Anyone Want To Do Business with the Illinois Government?

A bit less polemic (but only a bit); however, the Illinois government is being openly dishonest in its business dealings.

The Land of Lincoln has accrued a $111 billion unfunded liability for government workers’ pensions—up 75% from five years ago. There is an additional $56 billion of unfunded debt to cover health benefits for the state’s retirees. Illinois today is already spending more of its general fund on pensions than on K-12 education. One in four tax dollars pays for its retired workers’ benefits. Last year the state had to defer paying $7 billion owed to contractors. All this after Democrats in 2011 raised income taxes and corporate taxes by 67% and 30%, respectively.

How can any business expect to get paid by a government so far into debt with so little means of raising the money to pay it? How can the Illinois government incur additional (contractual) obligations with private (or other) businesses, knowing as it must know, that it has no hope of meeting its current obligations under its current tax and spend régime?

The only legitimate way, the only moral way, to unilaterally alter a contract is through bankruptcy. Like Stockton, CA, and Detroit, MI, and others have had the integrity to do. But states can’t do bankruptcy. Illinois (in the present case) can only cut spending (except now, for their debt); counterintuitively (to Democrats, anyway), reduce tax rates; and otherwise get out of the way of Illinois citizens and those citizens’ private sector economy.

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