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Chicago: The Liberal Utopia

I read in the news yesterday that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is warning that he may double property taxes in Chicago to fund a $1.07 billion balloon payment on its $19.4 billion pension debt for city employees. The shortfall to the pensions comes to $7,100 per Chicago resident. The municipal workers, police, labour and firefighters’ pension funds are currently sitting at 33 percent funded, far below the 80 percent that is considered healthy, according to Financial Times. The Chicago teachers’ pension fund is also in trouble, currently sitting at 54 percent funded. Chicago’s city council is taking steps to deal with the financial crisis, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Wall Street Journal – Last month, Chicago’s city council approved the issuance of $500 million in commercial paper and $900 million in general-obligation bonds purportedly to refinance existing debt and improve public works. There’s little to stop politicians from pouring the proceeds into pensions – or later reneging on […] → Keep reading

Illinois Democrats Pass 66% Tax Increase

Democrats in Illinois have passed a 66% increase in personal income taxes, raising the rate from 3% to 5% for four years. Corporate taxes will also be increasing. The measure is designed to help an ailing budget which is $15 billion in the hole. The tax increase is projected to generate about $6.8 billion per year.

No Republicans in the Illinois House or Senate supported the increase. GOP lawmakers noted they weren’t included in the negotiations and they rejected raising taxes after years of spending growth. “We’re saying to the people of Illinois, `For eight years we’ve overspent, now we’re going to make it your problem,’” said Rep. Roger Eddy. “We’re making up for our mistakes on your back.”

Neighboring states are preparing for the influx of refugees.