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We're No. 1 — Illinois Has Nation's Worst Credit Rating

Despite 2011's 67 percent state income tax hike — which took a week's pay away from you — the state's financial problems have worsened.

Illinois now has the lowest credit rating of all 50 states. Standard & Poor’s rating services downgraded Illinois’ credit rating last week to A-, with a negative outlook. 

State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, who blamed the negative rating on inaction on the public pension system by Gov. Pat Quinn and the General Assembly, said Illinois is headed for "fiscal disaster."

He said the lower rating will force the state to fork over more money on interest payments. This will affect state universities, road construction and other public institutions because more will go to interest than principal as these projects are paid for.

“If you went out to borrow $500 because you have such bad credit, it will cost $95 more in interest than better-rated states,” Rutherford said. 

The state's elected officials have done little to address their "worst-in-the-nation" public pension problem. Not only has the state not adequately funded the pension funds over the years, it has gambled with the funds themselves.

Jonathan Ingram, director of pension reform at the Illinois Policy Institute, points out that more than $1.6 billion of the money in the public pension funds is invested in junk bonds. On Reboot Illinois, he writes:

"More than $1 billion of the money invested in junk bonds is from the Teachers’ Retirement System – the pension fund for suburban and downstate K-12 teachers. Altogether, junk bonds make up more than 12 percent of the state pension systems’ bond portfolios."

And how does this affect you? Scott Reeder at the Reeder Report cuts to the chase:

"In 2011, the Illinois Legislature jacked up income taxes by 67 percent – and nearly every dime of it went to cover pensions. That’s the equivalent of an extra week of pay being taken away from every working Illinoisan.

"Taxpayers are finding it hard to save for their own retirements because they are busy paying for someone else’s."

Want to know more? Michael T. Carrigan, president of the AFL-CIO, says employees deserve a say in their retirement security. On Reboot Illinois.

This post is published on sites throughout the Chicago-area Patch network.

Kerry February 05, 2013 at 12:18 AM
Butch, please go back to school and take a basic English writing class.
BUTCH February 05, 2013 at 01:53 AM
@ Kerry go back to WHOEVER is in charge of your comprehension ability and get deprogrammed, obviously your comprehension ability has been idled due to mind control and MK ULTRA-and other disgusting and not so delightful after effects of drinking the KOOL AID! Much too complicated I am GLAD TO BE OF ASSISTANCE ! Vice cops are Police who arrest prostitutes,NEO CON GOP Johns and other unsavory TPARTY Christian and Ezraite charlatans. Big DADDY EZRAITE is Sheldon Adelson the top money man of AIPAC whose job is to elect more and more 51 st state obstructionists to congress and eventually to 1600 who ignore the sinking such attacks against America like the Liberty and Rachel Core on behalf of the ZIONIST State! AIPAC the MURKA political action commitee with every chicken shitehawk - NEO CON IMAGINABLE who sends our warriors and sons to wage war for HELLIBURTON- KBR and BLACKWATER.The former VP and CEO OF HELLIBURTON'S wife is one of those in charge of the alien lobbyist group! 1600 PENN AVE is where 666 the Gipper Ron Reagan allowed his VP to USE THE BASEMENT as a operation center to bring drugs for guns to the Ayatollah and Latin American death squads using the CIA AIR MURKA, thanks for asking!
BUTCH February 05, 2013 at 01:59 AM
@Kerry -Yuan is the currency BAIN pays it's coolies in, SHECKLES are the currency the EZRAITES pay their west bank settlers in, Yankee dollars are what the MURKANS pay Sheldon the EZRAITE RABBI of elections at his Vice Dens.
Kerry February 05, 2013 at 07:03 AM
Really Butch, learn how to write a simple sentence. Then maybe you will be taken seriously.
BUTCH February 05, 2013 at 04:18 PM
Kerry does not have a reading problem,the poor soul has a comprehension disability due to his preferred choices of of Clear Channel Rant radio and watching FOX and friends! Now give us a sample of your literary skills so far your contribution has yielded nothing but negativity and know nothing nonsense! But it is more than expected from a lightweight.

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