Illinois

Illinois Spent the Last Decade Losing Population and Learning Nothing

Our most troubled state enters 2020 having lost residents for six years in a row.

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The 2010s will likely end up being a lost decade for Illinois. I mean that literally: According to U.S. census data, the state has lost population for six years in a row.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the state has lost 1.2 percent of its population—159,700 people—over the course of the decade. (In 2019, its population declined by about 51,250, a drop of .4 percent.) Illinois lost more residents in the 2010s than any other state, though West Virginia lost a larger share of its residents.

In the process, Illinois slipped from being the fifth-largest state to the sixth, with Pennsylvania overtaking it in 2017. It is likely to lose at least one congressional seat after the next census.

It's easy to lay the blame for this on Chicago's dangerous reputation, but for the past three years violent crime has been on the decline in the Windy City. Violent crime levels there are back down to where they were in 2015. From 2018 to 2019 the city saw a 10 percent drop in overall crime. And Chicago at a 20-year low in robberies, burglaries, and carjackings.

But the state's finances and debt are a disaster area. The state spends 25 percent of its revenues on pensions, and several cities (including Chicago) want pension bailouts. That, of course, would just shift the burdens of these cities' problems statewide. (Chicago is the biggest offender here, with about $42 billion in pension debt across its various public employee funds.) Taxes are already incredibly high in Illinois, and they keep going up further—the state imposed or increased 20 taxes in 2019, from a gas tax hike to a new levy on now-legal cannabis sales.

Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who hopes to replace the state's flat tax with a progressive tax, hilariously tried to insist that things are nevertheless getting better in the state, providing this statement to the Chicago Tribune:

Illinois' unemployment rate is at a historic low and we are continuing to create jobs in every region of the state. Illinois is back and the Pritzker administration is proving that when you build relationships, work together and focus on solutions you can create positive change.

You have to wonder whether anybody there made the connection between the state's dropping unemployment rate and the state's drop in population.

And if they're hoping marijuana tax revenues will make up for the massive budget holes, Illinois is in for a major disappointment. Tax demands for legal marijuana providers in Illinois are extremely high, and pot prices will likely be double those of nearby Michigan (which has also launched legal recreational sales). Illinois' weed taxes aren't quite as high as the ones in California, but it's still notable that the Golden State's high taxes mean the state is bringing in less than a third of its projected tax revenues from legal sales. Indeed, in California around 80 percent of all marijuana sales are still on the black market.

The Illinois authorities are predicting $57 million in tax revenue for the first six months of marijuana sales, and they expect to get $500 million annually within five years. That's probably not a reasonable expectation, given what's happening in California. And in any event, that much revenue is just a drop in the bucket of the state's estimated $137 billion in pension obligations.

Illinois spent much of 2010 serving as a warning that states cannot tax themselves into prosperity and cannot thrive by using so much of their budget to line the pockets of government employees. Will this be the decade that the state learns its own lessons?

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  1. What Illinois needs to do is secede from Cook County!

    Serious as a heart attack. It’s a good state, but it’s ruled by a single crazy city way up in the corner.

    1. AS MO should secede from St Louis, MI should secede from Detroit, NY from NY, WA from Seattle, OR from Portland….the real divide in this country is obviously between us country mice and those city rats.

      1. Build a wall along the Rappahannock! I would say Occoquan, but it is probably too late for Prince William and Stafford.

        1. I’ve long been advocating that NoVa should be combined with DC, PG and MoCo. DC wants statehood so badly, let them have it, and they would get a huge boost in tax revenue to blow on progressive goodies. It would also return Va to being a red state and MD would likely become a purple state-Win, Win, Win!

      2. Honestly, these major urban areas should be acting as city-states in their own right at this point. Everyone would be better represented in Congress overall.

        1. I’d support that.

      3. Do we and we want each one of those metro areas to become their own states, with two guaranteed Dem Senators, plus Reps?

      4. Detroit is not nearly as big a problem for MI as Chicago is for IL. They’re similarly sized states overall, but Detroit now has a population of only 650K vs 2.7M for Chicago. So Detroit no longer has anything close to the political heft in Lansing that Chicago does in Springfield.

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    2. CA is rose than Illinois, but Cook is just as bad as any CA city.

    3. +100000000000

  2. Brandybuck: Good comment, but I think it should have said, “What
    Illinois needs to do is to SET FIRE to Cook County. I lived in Barrington, and the taxes for those who lived in Lake County (me) and the ones that did not (poor souls) was absurd.

  3. It’s easy to lay the blame for this on Chicago’s dangerous reputation […]

    But then, like the responsible journalist you are, you looked at Chicago itself, and saw that while it entered the decade at about 2.698 million (or 20% of Illinois’s 12.94 million), it left the decade at an estimated 2.749 million (or 21% of Illinois’s 12.70 million)†.

    Those aren’t great numbers by any means (most of Chicago’s peers grew considerably more), but in both raw numbers and percent of the state’s population, Chicago grew while the state as a whole declined.

    Whatever the problem in Illinois is, Chicago isn’t the leading edge.
    ________
    †Note: I’m using numbers I found on Google, and those show a larger population loss (240 thousand compared to the article’s 160 thousand).

    1. Glad Chicago is off the hook.

    2. Or, Chicago is the problem but the citizens of Chicago are happy with the situation they created while the rest of the state is completely sick of it and fleeing.

      1. This is a possible answer. As populations amenable to the policies of the state concentrate in the urban areas (New York, LA, etc) the rest of the state gets thinner on the ground.

        1. *New York/LA were provided as examples of high population areas where the residents tend to push the policies for the rest of their respective states. And for the country. Long live the electoral college.

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      2. Pretty much this. They blame the rest of the state for the financial problems, and would never leave the city even for the suburbs because many in my generation (millenials) have this weird thing where self worth is proportional to local population density

        1. If your city wants to show growth in both population and prosperity, just do as my local city does and keep annexing more and more of the county.

          1. In the recent mayoral elections in Chicago one of the candidates proposed annexing a few suburbs to get the population back up. He didn’t win, but it wasn’t because of that proposal

      3. Or, Chicago is the problem but the citizens of Chicago are happy with the situation they created while the rest of the state is completely sick of it and fleeing.

        Or forward-thinking individuals, responsible for themselves and other’s long-term have looked at Chicago and IL and have left/are leaving while myopic individuals, dependent on their location and circumstances to survive *can’t* leave. The way wealthy and smart people wouldn’t set foot on a rickety, broken-down ship when they could just climb aboard a better one while rats have to desert in the middle of the ocean.

        Also there’s the possibility that EscherEnigma can’t read statements in context and is an even shittier journalist than even Reason’s low-energy thinking allows. He read an off-hand segue and did enough Googling to affirm his conclusions. For all we know, he Googled ‘population Chicago 2010’ and ‘population Chicago 2020’ and just accepted the top hit on each search. Real numbers? projections made in the 90s? Fuck it. EE’s got to disprove Shackford’s literary device.

        1. You don’t have to dependent on circumstances to be myopic. Plenty of rich people stay in Chicago because the problems don’t effect them directly, or because they (myopically) don’t believe there are any better ships to get on board

        2. Also there’s the possibility that EscherEnigma can’t read statements in context and is an even shittier journalist than even Reason’s low-energy thinking allows.

          I’m not a journalist at all, shitty or otherwise, so no, this isn’t a possibility.

          And no, I didn’t “have to” disprove anything. I saw a weird tongue-in-cheek attribution to Chicago, so I looked up numbers to see if it checked out.

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      4. The weather is pretty terrible, too. Mind you, we don’t have to worry about hurricanes, volcanoes, earthquakes, or serious tornadoes, but we have about 14 legitimately nice days each year. sewa bus murah di jakarta

    3. But then, like the responsible journalist you are, you looked at Chicago itself, and saw that while it entered the decade at about 2.698 million (or 20% of Illinois’s 12.94 million), it left the decade at an estimated 2.749 million (or 21% of Illinois’s 12.70 million)†.

      You realize that they weren’t making the point in earnest, right? That it’s literally being used as an example of flawed and superfluous thought to segue to more correct and accurate sources?

      Moreover, as you point out on sources, here’s The Tribune showing US Census data showing that the city itself lost population from it’s peak in 2010-2011.

      1. You realize that they weren’t making the point in earnest, right?

        And you realize…
        (A) that their point about fear/crime was pretty nonsensical since we all already know that crime and fear of crime are loosely correlated at best, and often unrelated to each other, and
        (B) I was mostly using their nonsensical point as a bridge to my point that Chicago was tailing the problem, not leading the problem, right?

    4. And, more critically, it lost them more quickly than the collar counties and the rest of the state for the 6th year in a row.

      1. I think you mixed up your links, ’cause that’s just the same article as Reason linked, which says nothing about Chicago or even Cook county.

        But googling real quick, Cook County itself (which includes Chicago) was 5.199 million in 2010, and estimated at 5.204 million in 2019. Still pretty anemic growth, but I’m just not finding sources pinning 2010-2019 population loss on Cook county/Chicago. The articles I’m finding that do claim Cook county/Chicago losses are all looking at a narrower band.

        1. But googling real quick, Cook County itself (which includes Chicago) was 5.199 million in 2010, and estimated at 5.204 million in 2019.

          Bullshit. You didn’t even Google it.

        2. Not only did you not Google it, more relevantly, you didn’t Google it in 2010-2011. You didn’t Google it again in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015…

          The people who did actually fucking measure and estimate for all the years involved have a narrative that completely contradicts your narrative. But, hey, you *claim* to have Googled it.

          1. Okay, you’re clearly upset about something, and I don’t think there’s anything I can do about that.

            But I gotta ask… what do you think I did do, if you don’t believe I googled the 2010 vs. 2019 populations for Chicago, Cook county, and Illinois? I gave pretty specific numbers, pinned to years.

            1. I gave pretty specific numbers, pinned to years.

              Lied. Obfuscated. Cherry-picked. Take your pick.

              You fault Shackford(‘s link) for not using whatever rigor you think it should use to make claims it actually refuted and then proceeded to use use less rigor. (What I surmise to be) Your own source says Cook County’s population in 2010 was 5,194,675 and 5,180,493 in 2018 (reported in 2019).

              I don’t have a problem with calling out Reason’s reporting, especially for being weak. Calling it out for being weak and reinforcing your assertion with even weaker data is just adding garbage to the pile.

              1. So to be clear… when I gave numerous population numbers, tied to years, you think I (A) didn’t google anything, and (B) either lied, cherry-picked, or obfuscated?

                This is getting weirder and weirder dude. For me to obfuscate, I have to know what I’m obfuscating, which implies that yeah, I did google it. You can lie about something without knowing the real deal, so that’s an option I suppose, but lying about stuff that can be trivially looked up is just weird. As far as cherry-picking goes, this article is literally about population changes over a decade, so using 2010 and 2019 (start and end of the decade) isn’t cherry-picking, it’s directly addressing the claim.

                That said, I didn’t fault Shackford’s link. I noted it’s numbers didn’t match mine the ones I found and moved on. No fault or blame there. I did fault Shackford for pushing a “blame Chicago” narrative (even as a joke), and I was rather explicit on what basis: that Chicago grew while Illinois shrunk. And no, that wasn’t refuted by his link either, since that was about a different time period and about Illinois as a whole. It said nothing about Chicago or Cook county.

                Moving on, compare the numbers you just pulled from the ones I quoted earlier. You are, rather obviously, looking at a different source. You surmise poorly. Are your numbers better or worse then mine? Dunno. I’m guessing you pulled from Census.gov (they match you).

                Calling it out for being weak and reinforcing your assertion with even weaker data is just adding garbage to the pile.

                Bullshit. You responded fighting mad from the start, gave irrelevant links, went on a “you didn’t google that!” tirade, and other random-ass insults.

                I don’t know what your beef is, but it’s not about data or numbers.

                1. You responded fighting mad from the start

                  I’m not fighting mad. You’re full of shit. So full of shit that you can’t help but ooze it all over this forum and fling it at others.

                  Shackford’s ultimate source is census.gov. As, presumably, is yours when you say “I Googled it.” You aren’t accurately criticizing the data and you aren’t decisively shooting the messenger. You’re just shitting on things and making noise.

    5. According to the US Census, from July 1, 2010 to July 1, 2019 the US population grew by 6.2% while Chicago grew by a puny 0.4%, that’s only 10,370 more people in 9 years. The state’s second largest county, DuPage county, gained 11,818 people, an increase of 1.3%.

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    6. Chicago (both city and metro area) have had declining populations for several years now — the city may be slightly larger than a decade ago, but it, too, has been shrinking.

  4. All progressive taxes violate the concept of equality under the law – whether that also mean equal protection under the law is still debated

    1. They’re only taxing the money you earned, not you. They learned from asset forfeiture how to swing that hammer.

  5. Now we know why when socialism (real socialism) starts to kill people, they don’t stop.

  6. The weather is pretty terrible, too. Mind you, we don’t have to worry about hurricanes, volcanoes, earthquakes, or serious tornadoes, but we have about 14 legitimately nice days each year.

    1. And I have to work every one of those 14 days.

    2. The problem with blaming the weather in Illinois for its population decline is that Kentucky, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin all have had population growth.

      Unless y’all built a special Bad Weather Dome over the state without it making the news or Wikipedia, I’m having a hard time believing that your weather is substantially worse than every one of your neighboring states’ weather.

  7. The “80% black market” figure for CA is a bit misleading, it includes a lot of storefront businesses that aren’t paying the exorbitant license fees/taxes. Traditional drug dealer sales are presumably down quite a bit, since there can’t be that many new customers and they had to buy from somewhere else before the storefronts came along.

    1. Note I only point this out b/c there are people on the tubes claiming the drug dealer problem has only gotten worse with legalization. I’m not disagreeing the taxes are too high.

  8. Illinois, California, New York, Rhode Island are likely losing at least 1 House Districts to Red states.

    1. I’d love to see Illinois lose as many seats as possible, as soon as possible.

      Start with Turban Durbin and every seat in the House occupied by a Democrat.

  9. Chicago murder rate declines 13% in 2019 from previous year, police say

    interim Police Superintendent Charlie Beck says the murder rate declined 13 percent in 2019 from the previous year, with 492 murders in 2019, down from 567 in 2018. CPD says murders are at their lowest rate since 2015.

    Overall crime, which includes murders, robberies, burglaries, thefts, and motor vehicle thefts, fell 10 percent this year compared to 2018, also its lowest level since 2015.

    1. The beginning of the drop in crime coincides with Trump’s promise to send in the Feds and the end of the Emanuel Administration.

      I Googled it so you know that, despite any other narratives and research, it’s a fact.

      1. Rahm Emmanuel is by far the worst Democrat.

  10. The bottom line reason for people leaving Illinois is taxes.

    A couple of years ago we had a “temporary” tax increase that was supposed to pay the State’s backlog of bills. None of those bills got paid and the “temporary” increase became permanent.

    At the last State Constitutional Convention in 1970 the union bosses got public worker’s pensions written in. Now they can’t be modified without a Constitutional Amendment. The unions spend millions of dollars to stop ballot initiatives and calls for a new Convention to keep this from happening. I’m not advocating for eliminating public workers’ retirement benefits, but they shouldn’t be spelled out in the State Constitution from 50 years ago. No one at that time knew what the future financial obligations nor investment performance would be, even with actuarial models. Everyone probably could have guess the Legislature would steal money from the pension funds when times got tough, though.

    Now, our State workers are some of the highest paid in the nation with some of the most extravagant retirement benefits. The State spend the money, so there’s no realized investment income to help pay these benefits. The Legislature has also spent the last 30-40 years ignoring warnings about the funds being short. Of course their solution is not to tighten spending, but to increase and add new taxes everywhere they can think of.

    They doubled the gas tax in 2019, supposedly for road improvements. Fittingly, they referred to them as “infrastructure” while paying lip service to fixing roads and bridges. The first projects announced with the windfall of gas tax money were new buildings on State college campuses.

    Everyone in the State is dealing with oppressive property taxes. A realtor I know says out of state clients are shocked when they look at houses in Illinois and compare property tax rates. It’s very common for people with a mortgage to pay more monthly for property tax than they do principal and interest. Now Counties are assessing homes and saying their value increased 15%-20%. When you try to appeal, the County Board denies it, citing their own data instead of what the homeowner presents.

    Then there is the ever-increasing sales tax. Most moderate to large population areas are now paying 10% or more in sales tax.

    All of this is what was in effect in 2019. There are hundreds of new taxes and regulations that took effect on 1/1/2020.

    If you have the means to move from this insane State, do it sooner than later!

    1. “The bottom line reason for people leaving Illinois is taxes.”
      And Pritzger literally campaigned on raising taxes to create more welfare schemes with all kinds of new government employees. And he got elected. Go figure. But not to worry. Casinos and reefer taxes will pay for it all.

    2. The state constitution forbids modifying anything about pension benefits. The state can’t force employees to contribute an extra 1% to their pensions or work 1 extra year to fully vest, even if they’re decades away from retirement. It’s like the state enters into a 35-year employee contract upon hire. Once they’re hired, the only way to change their pension benefits is to fire them.

      While the state was shorting the pensions, they still found money to hand out raises and pay for generous health benefits. Now they want taxpayers to pay twice for the same service provided once. No thanks.

  11. I’ve lived in Chicago and now the suburbs and plan to get out out out as soon as the youngest graduates high school.
    To build on the issue of high taxes… it’s the opposite of Norway or Denmark. We pay really high taxes and get practically nothing in return. Decades of self-dealing and full on corruption have come home to roost.
    But the long term problem is that there is only one high quality public University and it’s very hard to get in to. So talented high school kids go to schools all over the country, and don’t come back.
    There was a time when Illinois and Chicago had many innovative and exciting companies — Caterpillar, International Harvester, Sears, Allstate, Discover, Abbott Labs, etc. But since the dawn of the digital economy, name one company founded here….

  12. Looks like Illinois is still the front runner for best banana republic state and candidate for the US penal colony location.

  13. >>lost 1.2 percent of its population

    how many to gunfire and stabbings?

  14. Having experienced two states with insane taxes – Illinois and New York – it’s obvious what’s the number one thing driving people away.

    What’s not mentioned as often is that living in states like that is, in general, a miserable experience thanks to the government invading every other aspect of your life as well. Things that are simple in my new home of Texas were magically transformed into high-stress endeavors in New York City, with regulators and busybodies breathing down your neck every step of the way.

  15. “It’s easy to lay the blame for this on Chicago’s dangerous reputation, but for the past three years violent crime has been on the decline in the Windy City. Violent crime levels there are back down to where they were in 2015.”

    Is this a serious statement? Crime levels were far too high in 2015 as well, having increased an average of 6.21% from 2014.

    “But the state’s finances and debt are a disaster area. The state spends 25 percent of its revenues on pensions, and several cities (including Chicago) want pension bailouts. That, of course, would just shift the burdens of these cities’ problems statewide. (Chicago is the biggest offender here, with about $42 billion in pension debt across its various public employee funds.) Taxes are already incredibly high in Illinois, and they keep going up further—the state imposed or increased 20 taxes in 2019, from a gas tax hike to a new levy on now-legal cannabis sales.”

    And there it is, the elephant in the room: unfunded liabilities demanded by public service unions.

    Thanks to Illinois’ stupidly constructed Constitution, the taxpayers are on the hook for pensions, funding everyone from teachers, to local, county and state employees. On top of that, Illinois has had largely one-party rule for most of my life (60 years) with the last 36+ being under the ‘leadership’ of an entrenched Speaker of the House, Chicagoan Mike Madigan. Tax and spend are the order of the day in Illinois, and spend they do – whether or not they have the money to do so, which they never do. Who’s on the hook for the Democrat Party’s profligate spending? The Illinois taxpayer. And the one Republican governor that promised to try and rein spending in was called everything but human, opposed at every step, and lied about from day one.

    Illinois’ fiscal problems are well-known, well-documented, and have been for decades. But Chicago and the collar counties continue to complain, yet reelect the same people they complain about – because they promise them free stuff and huge pension payouts, never once stopping to wonder where the money is going to come from.

    I have a year left here before we’re retired. Once that happens, we’ll be joining the exodus from this fiscal disaster-area for a warmer, less-taxed and more free environment.

    1. The only hope for IL is to somehow create it’s own central bank that can print Lincoln Bucks and hope some stupid Chinese investors buy their treasury notes.

  16. Nice work, Mr Shakleford. Could also have mentioned the political stalemate in Springfield, the legislative dictatorship that is Michael Madigan and how the State’s 1970-era constitution mandates that pension payouts not be infringed. Not excuses, there, but substantive explanations for how the state got to where it is. As for me, I may be moving from the Chicago burbs to W. Missouri in a year so ….

  17. Illinois is especially bad, but they’re far from alone.

    Most states are dominated by their largest cities, which tend to be run by high-tax liberals. People outside of those cities rant and rave about seceding, but that runs smack into another problem: The taxes in those cities pay the state’s bills.

    This is not a defense of ruinous taxes, but a recognition of reality. As someone who lives in WA State, I have seen the numbers: King County (think Seattle and Bellevue, which along with their close suburbs comprise one-fourth of the state’s population) exported a couple billion dollars a year to the rest of the state.

    We escaped Seattle a couple years ago for a rural part of the state, but I have no illusions about who pays for the roads, a big chunk of the schools, support for rural hospitals, and other state-level essential services. This is America, and in this country he who has the gold makes the rules. If Eastern WA were to join Eastern OR and form a separate state, we’d lack the tax base to make it work.

    It pains me to point this out, but I’m a realist. I think the key, if possible for people, is to make your money in the city and eventually leave. If nothing else, your property taxes will probably be a good deal lower; in our part of WA State, our property taxes are one-third of Seattle’s. Another thing to watch out for (and not just in Illinois) are the major unfunded public pension liabilities in a bunch of Democratic states. You definitely don’t want to retire in these places.

    There’s another big factor, long-term. Part of Trump’s tax cut was a $10,000 limit on the federal income tax deduction for state and local taxes. It’s going to take time to sink in, but if the SALT limitation survives “progressive” efforts to bail out rich Democrats, there will be relentless pressure on high-cost areas to limit taxes. I think it’s hard to overstate the long-term impact.

    1. I left the Seattle area for northern Idaho because it became insane. Over two hours to commute to work to Seattle from Monroe each way. And I lived in Monroe due to affordability, but even that dissolved because of the work-related expenses, and the high cost of living, which are largely due to government restrictions (especially the GMA). In a few years, Washington State’s comparative individual tax advantage to Idaho will go away once Olympia foolishly enacts an income tax.

    2. There are plenty of states that lack a large urban area but nonetheless make it work.

  18. Hey, at least they have common-sense gun laws!

  19. As I understand this is it is not only that IL is the only state that is loosing population. In fact it appears that all of the high tax states such as CA and NY and others btw which are all blue democrat states are loosing population also. But here is the kicker SaLT is helping these states to raise their taxes so high without having a revolt. The deduction of State and Local Taxes from the taxable income on the federal tax form has contributed to those high taxes Now since SaLT has been reduced maybe more sensible voters will take the rains hand and guide the to a better level of taxes. The deduction of SaLT from the federal tax base is enabling these states because the lower tax states are paying a part of these high taxes. I say that because for the federal government to function each year there is a study to determine the tax rate and brackets for federal taxes. These deductions reduces the amount of taxes collected and thus the tax rates have to be set higher to collect enough tax money to cover the budget. Without that tax income loss the US budget may not be as high as it is. But I know this last part is in jest because the congress will ALWAYS FIND places and pet projects to spend every penny and more that the US government.

    1. Your post would be more persuasive if you learned the difference between the words “loose” and “lose.”

  20. California will totally implode during the next recession. It will make the fiscal irresponsibility of Illinois look like child’s play.

  21. Meet lots of people who are from Illinois but haven’t met a single one who chose to move there.

  22. Problem isn’t that Illinois didn’t learn anything. They did learn, it seems, that they are beyond the tipping point. That is the problem. They now know that there is nothing that the state and Cook County and Chicago governments can do to fix the problem at this point. They can’t reduce expenses enough to fix it, and raising taxes further just accelerates the departure of those who pay taxes. The only solution, which they seem to be setting up for, is bankruptcies followed by federal bail-outs.

    1. No bankruptcies, at least not for the state, since the Bankruptcy Code currently does not provide for such. I would expect Illinois Dems to vigorously oppose amending the Bankruptcy Code to provide for a state to re-organize in Bankruptcy, since I believe the Bankruptcy Court would not be constrained by state constitutional provisions protecting public employee pensions.. I have no doubt the Dems will be lobbying for a Federal bailout as soon as they get control of both houses of Congress, though.

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  23. Nah. President AOC will steer a few trillion in New Green Deal subsidies to the land of Lincoln, the economy will explode and the state will be looking at all of that pension debt in the rear view mirror.

  24. Six years ago I left the People’s State of Illinois and moved to Texas. The guy who bought my $400k house on 7 acres tore it down to keep the state from collecting property taxes on it. Illinois roads suck, the weather sucks, the taxes suck, and the morons who elect the sucky politicians suck. Texas is no libertarian paradise, but I save $700/month on income taxes, it hardly ever snows, and the roads don’t wreck my cars.

  25. What is interesting is that even though West Virginia had a higher percentage of its population move out of the state, the article, after recognizing that, focuses on Illinois alone. Where are the criticisms of the West Virginia policies that “caused” the population loss there? By analyzing Illinois but not West Virginia, the author of the article loses credibility.

    1. West Virginia’s problems can’t be blamed on it being insufficiently libertarian, therefore the author doesn’t care.

  26. “By analyzing Illinois but not West Virginia, the author of the article loses credibility.”
    By attempting to equate percentage to number, you lose credibility. Do you have an agenda which was damaged here? Or just a lack of logical ability?

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  27. It’s my understanding that in Chicagoland property taxes for some ordinary single-family homes can run as high as $21,000 per year:. And these aren’t mansions, nor does Chicago have the booming markets found on the coasts that would make sense for such expensive property taxes. And, of course, that’s before income taxes. It should therefore be no surprise that people would leave. Let’s also keep in mind, too, that people left the state during a strong economy. If Illinois had a strong economy, people would be drawn to the jobs. But Chicago can’t generate the economy that would make it worth it to draw people there, due to decades of an unfriendly business climate as well as irresponsible government spending (moreso in comparison to most other states), especially when it comes to accumulating massive pension liabilities.

  28. Crime rates dropping to where they were in 2015 is no prize. They were horrible numbers at that time as well.

  29. No one has bothered to read the fine print of the governor’s plan to replace the flat state income tax with a graduated income tax:

    1) There are no married tax brackets under $250,000.
    2) The proposed brackets are not indexed to inflation.

    And while he’s attempting to re-write the state constitution, he’s doing noting about the #1 reason for all the tax hikes: the pension guarantee clause in the state constitution.

    Vote no.

  30. To know why the Arabs want to clean up Israel
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  31. Ilinois gave us the greatest president also Abraham Lincoln, and look what’s happening to them. Such a shame.

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