New Jersey and Illinois are the Nation’s Two Biggest Losers!
By Mark Schwendau
Two very interesting studies just out offer that the average American voters are smarter than those voted into the state offices they hold. The two surveys support one another, showing the two worst states of the nation to live in are the blue states of New Jersey and Illinois. Interestingly, these states were identified some 20 years ago as “Death Spiral States,” where takers outnumber makers.
A non-profit alternative news source, The Center Square appears to be the first to report on a recent study that sheds some light on these states’ history of overspending taxpayer money over the years. Pew Charitable Trusts shows that Illinois and New Jersey are two states in the country having total tax revenue shortfalls exceeding 5% of total expenses and are the only ones with annual deficits in each of the past 15 years.
Pew state fiscal health manager Joanna Biernacka-Lievestro said, “Nine states failed to collect enough revenue to cover their long-term expenses over the 15 years ending in fiscal 2020,” Biernacka-Lievestro said. “Secondly, Illinois was one of two states that struggled the most.”
After New Jersey, Illinois had the largest deficit, with aggregate revenue covering only 93.9% of aggregate expenses. It has been previously reported in other studies that much of Illinois’ shortfall is related to state pension obligations, where 40 cents of every tax dollar goes to fund some 25,000 state pensions. In comparison, neighboring Indiana and Iowa were both close to 104%.
The Pew Trusts report looked at states’ balances year by year, and shortfalls mainly occurred during and immediately after the Great Recession, suggesting that most states’ fiscal challenges were temporary. A majority of states balanced their books as the country’s economic recovery took hold and have kept them balanced. Still, 15 states, including Illinois, in fiscal 2016 and 2017 failed to amass enough revenue to cover their annual expenses. That’s despite Illinois commonly ranked as among the highest taxed states in the country.
“Some states have an annual deficit here or there like for a recession or something like that, but then they get back in the clear,” Biernacka-Lievestro said. “Illinois, unfortunately, is recording annual deficits every year.”
The report notes all but one state, Montana, had one or more years in the red. But chronic shortfalls, as with Illinois and New Jersey each year since fiscal 2002, are one indication of a more serious structural deficit in which revenue will continue to fall short of spending without radical changes made to spending habit policies.
The Illinois Policy Institute was just one of many sources to report Illinois has more governmental offices than any other state in the nation, almost 7,000.
This might be defendable if Illinois had the most population, but it is actually 5th in the nation with the 2nd highest property taxes. Illinois has had two billionaire governors in the last eight years, one a Republican and one a Democrat. The problem is Illinois has always been a blue state, thanks to the bulk of its population being in Chicago.
When Democrat Jay Robert “J. B.” Pritzker, an American billionaire Hyatt Hotel businessman and philanthropist, was elected the 43rd governor of Illinois in 2019, Illinois voters of both parties had hoped he would turn Illinois around. Their logic was he would run the state like he runs his hotel chain. That did not happen, and his progressive liberal policies have led Illinois from bad to worse. Two examples are his recruitment of illegal immigrants to the state and his cashless bail SAFE-T Act now hung up in the courts as being unconstitutional. Now, like so many others like him, he is starting to attack gun ownership.
If he ran his hotel chain like he runs the State of Illinois, he would not have a chain of hotels.
It is high time for people to start to demand the mainstream media ask the Democrat politicians in office like Pritzker, “Are you trying to destroy this country? If not, defend your actions in office!”
Copyright © 2022 by Mark S. Schwendau
Mark S. Schwendau is a retired technology professor who has always had a sideline in news-editorial writing where his byline has been, “Bringing little known news to people who simply want to know the truth.” He classifies himself as a Christian conservative who God cast to be a realist. Mark is an award-winning educator who has published 7 books and numerous peer-reviewed trade journal articles some of which can be found on the Internet. His father was a fireman/paramedic while his mother was a registered nurse. He holds multiple degrees in technology education, industrial management, OSHA Safety, and Driver’s Education. His personal website is www.IDrawIWrite.Tech.