When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do? -- John Maynard Keynes

Friday, April 27, 2012

Are you sure you want to re-elect Barack Obama?

Barack Obama is an Illinois Democrat and it shows--

Illinois Shows What Not to Do by Steven Malanga, City Journal Spring 2012: "Illinois Shows What Not to Do; Wise Wisconsin isn’t imitating its spendthrift neighbor. - In January 2011, facing a forbidding budget deficit and a backlog of unpaid bills, Illinois officials decided that a massive tax increase would lay the groundwork for the state’s recovery. As Barbara Flynn Currie, the majority leader in the state house of representatives, said at the time, the nearly $7 billion in new revenues would allow Illinois to “pay our old bills and deal with the structural deficit.”. . .  Little more than a year has passed, and Illinois is right back where it started: the state’s unpaid bills now top $9 billion. Meantime, Wisconsin’s state and local governments have made substantial strides toward long-term budget stability. . . . Illinois has emerged as a poster child for fiscal irresponsibility. With its legislature beholden to public-sector unions, Illinois has long avoided financing state workers’ pensions out of its own budget. Instead, the state skips its contributions into retirement funds in some years and borrows money to finance the pensions in others. Since 2003, Illinois has floated more than $15 billion in pension-obligation bonds rather than pay for workers’ benefits out of its annual budget. Even with the borrowing, Illinois has one of the worst-funded pension systems in the country. One study estimates that the system could run out of money by the end of the decade. Illinois legislators have consistently avoided tough choices. When the recession of 2008 curtailed tax collections, Illinois stopped paying its bills rather than cut spending. The state has accumulated a steep pile of IOUs, including tax refunds owed to corporations and Medicaid payments owed to doctors and hospitals. Though Illinois’ constitution mandates a balanced budget, the state has met that requirement only by ignoring those bills. The Chicago-based Civic Federation projects that, under current budget trends, the state’s backlog of unpaid bills would grow to $34 billion in five years. All this has made investors and job creators leery of the Prairie State. In February, Peoria-based Caterpillar announced that it would not consider Illinois as a potential home for a Japan-based plant that the giant company was moving to the United States. In a statement to Illinois leaders, the company noted that “even if your community had the right logistics for this project, Caterpillar’s previously documented concerns about the business climate and overall fiscal health of the state of Illinois still would have made it unpractical for us to select your community for this project. . . . ” (emphasis added)

When you see President Obama fail to exercise leadership and make the tough choices necessary to deal with the fiscal problems of the United States (see Simpson-Bowles), just remember he is an "Illinois Democrat."

So, are you sure you want to re-elect Barack Obama?


The Big Picture

Financial Crisis - The Telegraph

JohnTheCrowd.com | The Sailing Website

Craig Newmark - craigconnects