We unfortunately don't get to determine how and where our taxes are spent, but that doesn't stop folks from pointing fingers at unlikely culprits. Most of this country's tax money goes to pay for military protection, entitlements for seniors, and debt, but I'm pretty sure if you asked the average cat on the street, they'd say welfare is what's sucking our country dry. Never mind the fact that welfare counts for less than 1% of our yearly annual budget. Shaniqua with 17 kids is what's makin' us China's b*tch.
And that's why I can't get with these Tea Party folks. Until someone's serious about having the Feds cut back on military spending, and getting rid of Social Security, any sabre rattling about Obama giving a few unemployed saps $350/week is just the epitome of talkin' loud and sayin' nothin'.
With all that said, seriously Illinois, WTF?!?
For the last few years, California stood more or less unchallenged as a symbol of the fiscal collapse of states during the recession. Now Illinois has shouldered to the fore, as its dysfunctional political class refuses to pay the state’s bills and refuses to take the painful steps — cuts and tax increases — to close a deficit of at least $12 billion, equal to nearly half the state’s budget.So, in short, the same state that put our current President on the path to 1600 Penn is damn near broke. Take THAT California!
Then there is the spectacularly mismanaged pension system, which is at least 50 percent underfunded and, analysts warn, could push Illinois into insolvency if the economy fails to pick up.
States cannot go bankrupt, technically, but signs of fiscal crackup are easy to see. Legislators left the capital this month without deciding how to pay 26 percent of the state budget. The governor proposes to borrow $3.5 billion to cover a year’s worth of pension payments, a step that would cost about $1 billion in interest. And every major rating agency has downgraded the state; Illinois now pays millions of dollars more to insure its debt than any other state in the nation.
I know I'm gonna get in trouble for this next statement, but I really never have quite understood why some gubb'ment employees get lifetime pension upon retirement. Working in the private sector is a sweet gig, but I'd be lying if I told you it didn't cross my mind every now and then to get a cushy Federal gig to coast off into the sunset. Sure, I'd have to work a traditional schedule, probably couldn't blog on my lunch break, and would have to kiss the occasional 2 hour lunch goodbye, but just by sheer force of being required to do far less than my current Day Job, I might find some amazing sh*t to do with all the newfound free time and energy. Am I insinuating that all gubb'ment employees are lazy as sh*t? Of course not. But a whole lot of em' sure are.
Maybe that portly Governor in New Jersey has it right. Perhaps its time to start denying folks the cushy benefits and marginal workload that come with a gubb'ment job. These are lean times, and just as companies in the private sector are cutting back, so should the public sector.
Question: Are the government workers in Illinois still entitled to their hard earned benefits when the state is on the brink of bankruptcy? If you were a Governor in charge of a state in fiscal danger, what hard decisions would you make?
Illinois Stops Paying Its Bills, but Can’t Stop Digging Hole [NYT]