Well, the Land of Lincoln, and the home state of the South Side Messiah, has another distinction:
llinois’ credit rating has taken another hit. Standard & Poor’s Ratings Service downgraded the state from an “A” rating to “A-minus”, making it the worst in the country.
The New York ratings firm’s ranking means taxpayers may have to pay tens of millions of dollars more in interest when the state borrows money for roads and other projects.
The downgrade is the latest fallout over the $96.8 billion debt to five state pension systems.
The downgrade now ties Illinois with California, but California has a positive outlook.
Illinois’ fragile overall financial status netted it a negative outlook, putting it behind California overall.
The ratings came out now because Illinois plans to issue $500 million in bonds within days.
Finally…we beat California at something.
My beloved state of Illinois has a terrible economy, and a shrinking tax base but that is apparently no problem for the bi-partisan pirates who have been plundering the Land of Lincoln for decades:
When Republican state Rep. Roger Eddy announced his retirement from the House Thursday, you could hear the “ding, ding, ding” of a slot machine all the way from Springfield.
Eddy hit the pension jackpot.
He is retiring early from the House to run the Illinois Association of School Boards, which, among other activities, lobbies the Illinois Legislature. His start date is July 1 — although now that he’s leaving the Statehouse before the end of the spring session, he said it’s likely he’ll work for the association before July.
Why the sudden defection? One likely reason: He’ll be much richer in retirement, thanks in part to taxpayers.
In his new job, Eddy will not only stay in the Teachers’ Retirement System, he can collect more in benefits from it. He has been working both as a state representative and superintendent for Hutsonville Community Unit School District 1. He has been part of TRS through his Hutsonville job, where he earned a salary of $107,400. His new salary is expected to be at least $200,000, and his pension will be based on that.
Illinois Statehouse News reported that Eddy’s pension as school superintendent would have been about $70,500 a year. It will climb to at least $141,000 in his new job. His predecessor at the IASB, Mike Johnson, is earning an annual pension — get ready to swallow hard — of $193,273, according to TRS.
But that’s not the end of Eddy’s pension largesse. He’ll be eligible in two years to begin collecting a pension of about $24,000 a year from his nine years of part-time work in the Legislature. Illinois Statehouse News projected his lawmaker pension carries a lifetime value of $584,273. Eddy is 53 years old. Continue reading
By thy rivers gently flowing, Illinois, Illinois,
O’er thy prairies verdant growing, Illinois, Illinois,
Comes an echo on the breeze.
Rustling through the leafy trees,
and its mellow tones are these, Illinois, Illinois,
And its mellow tones are these, Illinois.
From a wilderness of prairies, Illinois, Illinois,
Straight thy way and never varies, Illinois, Illinois,
Till upon the inland sea,
Stands thy great commercial tree,
turning all the world to thee, Illinois, Illinois,
Turning all the world to thee, Illinois.
When you heard your country calling, Illinois, Illinois,
Where the shot and shell were falling, Illinois, Illinois,
When the Southern host withdrew,
Pitting Gray against the Blue,
there were none more brave than you, Illinois, Illinois,
There were none more brave than you, Illinois.
Not without thy wondrous story, Illinois, Illinois,
Can be writ the nation’s glory, Illinois, Illinois,
On the record of thy years,
Abraham Lincoln’s name appears,
Grant and Logan, and our tears, Illinois, Illinois,
Grant and Logan, and our tears, Illinois.
I have designated Governor Quinn of my homestate of Illinois the worst governor in the country. Not content to rest on his laurels, Governor Quinn has continued to misgovern the Land of Lincoln with the skill of a spendthrift who is afraid that he has a cent somewhere that remains unspent. Such diligence will always reap a reward, and one has now come to Quinn:
Illinois, unable to solve its long-running financial problems, was given the lowest credit rating of any state in the country by Moody’s Investors Service on Friday, a move that will increase costs to taxpayers.
A second agency, Standard & Poor’s, left its Illinois rating unchanged but warned of a negative outlook that could lead to a downgrade in the future. A day earlier, Fitch Ratings also left the rating unchanged and declared a stable outlook.
Lower credit ratings generally mean the state winds up paying more interest when it borrows money by selling bonds.
Both Moody’s and S&P said they are troubled by Illinois’ failure to balance its budget and strengthen government pension systems, although a tax increase and other measures have helped.
Moody’s cited “weak management practices” and a recent legislative session that “took no steps to implement lasting solutions.”
Moody’s now rates Illinois “A2,” below any other state. Only one state, California, qualifies for the next-highest rating. All the rest are ranked higher. Continue reading
I have previously deemed the Governor of Illinois, Patrick Quinn (D.), the worst governor in the country. Go here to read the post in which I bestowed the title. After his meeting with the Illinois bishops on Friday December 16, 2011, I have attached “Lying” to his title. The bishops asked for the meeting to protest the constant pro-abortion advocacy of Quinn. After the meeting here is what Quinn said:
“A lot of the discussion was how we could work together to fight poverty, help the people who are less fortunate and need a helping hand,” Quinn told the Sun-Times as he left a Christmas toy give-away on the Far South Side. “Getting people jobs, helping people who don’t have enough food to eat — that’s what the church’s social mission is all about.”
This was too much for the bishops and they released the following statement: Continue reading
Blagojevich, the foul mouthed former governor of my State, the first governnor in the history of the State of Illinois to be impeached and removed from office, will not have to pay rent for the next 14 years, as he will be serving time for that period after being sentenced today by Federal District Judge James Zagel. Continue reading
This can be considered a companion piece to my worst governor post which may be read here. The video above consists of selections from a speech by author Joel Kotkin to the Illinois Policy Institute explaining some of the ways in which the powers that be in Illinois have made the state completely uncompetitive with other states in producing sustained private sector economic growth. If I were starting out I would leave Illinois. Nothing good is going to be happening in this state economically for a very long time. The leadership of the state is completely blind to our problems and promote policies that drive businesses away and sink Illinois deeper in a fiscal morass. Illinois’ woes are completely man-made, and Illinois, thanks to a majority of the Illinois voters, remains wedded to a model of high government expenditure, hostility to private enterprise and unending political corruption that makes effective reform for at least the next three years a pipe dream.
In a crowded field, Pat Quinn, Democrat Governor of Illinois, can now officially be proclaimed the worst governor in the United States.
He has been vying for the title ever since he took over from impeached and removed Governor Blagojevich, currently bound for a long stay in federal prison. Since taking over from his felon predecessor, he has the following accomplishments to his discredit:
In a midnight session of the lame duck legislature in January of this year he increased, in the midst of the worst economic slump since World War II, Illinois personal income taxes by 67-75%, and, as a result, the misgoverned state of Illinois became a national laughingstock.
Quinn got elected last year by a razor thin margin largely by under the radar last minute internet ads posted by Personal PAC, a pro-abort lobbying group, headed by a Terry Cosgrove. As payback Quinn appointed Cosgrove to a $46,000 a year job on the Human Rights Commission. Lake County Right to Life has good coverage on this story which may be read here. Regular Guy Paul has been on top of the story at his blog here.
Now I happen to know Cosgrove from the days back in the Seventies when we were both attending the U of I. He is a lapsed Catholic, now a militant atheist, homosexual activist and fanatical pro-abort. He was head of the local campus pro-aborts and I was one of the founders of L.I.F.E. (Life Is For Everyone), the campus pro-life group. One time I saw Cosgrove at Mass circa 1980 at the Newman Chapel, at Saint John’s. Puzzled why he was there, after Mass I found out why. At the pamphlet rack in the back I saw that he had stuffed pro-abort obscene anti-Catholic pamphlets. I disposed of them. He also said in one memorable public forum that he carried a gun to defend himself against “militant anti-choicers”, as he phrased pro-lifers. Quinn appointed him to the Illinois Human Rights Commission in April of this year. That a bigot like Cosgrove now has a seat on the Human Rights Commission in Illinois has a nice Orwellian touch.
Now Quinn has outdone himself and seized the title of worst governor. As further payback to Cosgrove and his pro-abort pressure group, Quinn is going to attend the annual fund raising dinner for Personal Pac and present an award. When challenged on this by every Catholic bishop in the State, and Cardinal George, the ostensibly Catholic Quinn responded that giving the award was the “Christian thing to do.” (Quinn obviously must have a unique gloss on the statement of Christ, “Suffer the little children…”.) Continue reading
Even for Illinois this is putrid. Two Illinois teacher Union lobbyists are able to collect teacher pensions because they each served as a substitute teacher for one day. This of course is taking place in a de facto bankrupt state.
Over the course of their lifetimes, both men stand to receive more than a million dollars each from a state pension fund that has less than half of the assets it needs to cover promises made to tens of thousands of public school teachers. With billions of dollars in unfunded liabilities, the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System, which serves public school teachers outside of Chicago, is one of several pension plans that are in debt as state government reels in a fiscal crisis. Continue reading
The Governor of Illinois is Pat Quinn, a Roman Catholic and 100% pro-abort. He got elected last year by a razor thin margin largely by under the radar last minute internet ads posted by Personal PAC, a pro-abort lobbying group, headed by a Terry Cosgrove. As payback Quinn appointed Cosgrove to a $46,000 a year job on the Human Rights Commission. Lake County Right to Life has good coverage on this story which may be read here. Regular Guy Paul has been on top of the story at his blog here.
Now I happen to know Cosgrove from the days back in the Seventies when we were both attending the U of I. He is a lapsed Catholic, now a militant atheist, homosexual activist and fanatical pro-abort. He was head of the local campus pro-aborts and I was one of the founders of L.I.F.E. (Life Is For Everyone), the campus pro-life group. One time I saw Cosgrove at Mass circa 1980 at the Newman Chapel, at Saint John’s. Puzzled why he was there, after Mass I found out why. At the pamphlet rack in the back I saw that he had stuffed pro-abort anti-Catholic pamphlets. I disposed of them. He also said in one memorable public forum that he carried a gun to defend himself against “militant anti-choicers”, as he phrased pro-lifers. That a bigot like Cosgrove now has a seat on the Human Rights Commission in Illinois has a nice Orwellian touch. Challenged on the nomination, Quinn made the following truly hilarious statement:
Pat Quinn is the Governor of the State of Illinois. He was Lieutenant Governor under Rod Blagojevich and took over after Blago was impeached and convicted by the State Legislature. Quinn bucked the Republican tide this year and won election to a four year term, narrowly defeating pro-life Republican Bill Brady. In that campaign Quinn emphasized that he is a pro-abort.
Pat Quinn claims to be a Roman Catholic. The State Legislature this week passed a civil unions (pretend marriage) bill for homosexuals. Quinn has vowed to sign it.
Gov. Pat Quinn – who campaigned on the issue, lobbied members and was on the floor of the House for much of Tuesday’s debate – lauded the House’s action. Quinn said he would sign the bill if it passes the Senate, where a vote is expected today.
The Bishop of Springfield, Thomas Paprocki, wasted no time correcting the Governor:
After the Illinois House of Representatives approved legislation that would require the state to recognize same-sex unions, Governor Pat Quinn was quoted as saying, “My religious faith animates me to support this bill.” He did not say what religious faith that would be, but it certainly is not the Catholic faith. If the Governor wishes to pursue a secular agenda for political purposes, that is his prerogative for which he is accountable to the voters. But if he wishes to speak as a Catholic, then he is accountable to Catholic authority, and the Catholic Church does not support civil unions or other measures that are contrary to the natural moral law.
The Governor met the Bishop’s rebuke with a shrug of indifference: Asked about the bishop’s statement, Quinn said, “I follow my conscience. My conscience is not kicking me in the shins today.” Continue reading
According to legend, the Vikings were so greatly feared by the people of northern Europe during the Dark Ages that they used to pray “From the fury of the Norsemen, Lord, deliver us!”
Of late, I suspect that many Illinois residents like myself are making a similar petition to be delivered from the fury of another force nearly as frightening.
I am speaking of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whose trial on 24 separate federal corruption charges ended on Aug. 17 with the jury finding him guilty of just one charge — lying to federal agents — and deadlocking on the other 23. Federal prosecutors will retry Blago on at least some of the unresolved charges, but in the meantime, he has once again resumed his nationwide media blitz, protesting his innocence to anyone who will listen and making a complete idiot of himself in the process.