Tales from the Illinois Exodus Part 5: Chicagoans finally awakening to pension bomb

Illinois bicentennial flag on bottom By John Ruberry While I was on vacation near Da Tech Guy's base--New England--my Facebook feed was dominated by stories on the sticker shock Chicagoans, particularly better-off North Siders, received when they opened up their 2019 property tax bills. One North Side woman, Liz Gold, when speaking of her gargantuan … Continue reading Tales from the Illinois Exodus Part 5: Chicagoans finally awakening to pension bomb

Tales from the Illinois Exodus–Part Four

Blogger in downtown Chicago By John Ruberry It was another bad week in Illinois, the unhappiest state in the union. The ward office of Ald. Carrie Austin, the second-longest serving member of the Chicago City Council, was raided by the FBI on Wednesday. The irony was thick as Austin, who as appointed to her position … Continue reading Tales from the Illinois Exodus–Part Four

After five months of Pritzker: the Illinois Exodus will continue

By John Ruberry Five months after being sworn in as governor of Illinois, Democrat JB Pritzker has gotten pretty much everything he asked for as candidate, which isn't surprising as Democrats enjoy supermajorities in both chambers of the General Assembly. Running the show in the General Assembly is House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), a master … Continue reading After five months of Pritzker: the Illinois Exodus will continue

Chicago’s new mayor wants to end aldermanic prerogative

By John Ruberry Chicago's reputation for corruption is well-deserved. Since 1973 there have been thirty-five members of the City Council who have been sentenced to federal prison. Likely there will be thirty-sixth soon as outgoing Ald. Willie Cochran pleaded guilty two months ago to a charge of wire fraud. In January, Chicago's most powerful alderman, … Continue reading Chicago’s new mayor wants to end aldermanic prerogative

The Land of Mary Todd Lincoln Spending: Illinois unfunded pension debt reaches new record

Mary Todd Lincoln mannequin at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum By John Ruberry Illinois reached a new millstone recently--its unfunded pension debt is wallowing at a record $133.5 billion, despite a massive 2017 income tax hike and a booming stock market. In 2008 that debt was only $54.8 billion. And now 25 percent … Continue reading The Land of Mary Todd Lincoln Spending: Illinois unfunded pension debt reaches new record

Tales from the Illinois Exodus–Part Two

By John Ruberry There is never a shortage of evidence of the decline and fall of Illinois. Just a week after I authored Tales from the Illinois Exodus–Part One in this space, I already have a second entry. In two weeks Chicagoans will elect its first female black mayor as two very liberal candidates, Lori … Continue reading Tales from the Illinois Exodus–Part Two

Tales from the Illinois Exodus–Part One

By John Ruberry If  you are looking for bad news then Illinois is just the place for you. What I'm writing here at Da Tech Guy will probably become a series. Illinois' population has been shrinking for five straight years. After the 2020 Census the Prairie State will lose one congressional seat. And it's possible … Continue reading Tales from the Illinois Exodus–Part One

Bill Maher, you need to take a closer look at blue states and why people are leaving

By John Ruberry Elitist Bill Maher, an alleged comedian, attacked red state America a couple of days ago on his HBO program, claiming that there are "two Americas." “We have a problem in America called spatial geographic inequality which means the most affluent and educated people are clustered in just a few cities," the leftist … Continue reading Bill Maher, you need to take a closer look at blue states and why people are leaving

Illinois’ dispirited bicentennial celebration ends

By John Ruberry As I've mentioned here a few times, 2018 is Illinois' bicentennial year, a fact that not only has escaped most Americans but even, I suspect, most people living in Illinois. Last Monday the official Illinois bicentennial party was held in Chicago at the Aon Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier on Lake Michigan. … Continue reading Illinois’ dispirited bicentennial celebration ends

Forward to Detroit: Prominent Chicago mayoral candidate suggests a commuter tax

By John Ruberry Democrats, particularly Chicago Democrats, love political dynasties. Before Mayor Carter Harrison Jr. there was Carter Harrison. Before Richard M. Daley there was Mayor Richard J. Daley. In Mike Royko's indispensable study of urban machine politics, the Pulitzer Prize columnist wrote, "The Dan Ryan is the expressway that [Richard J.] Daley takes to … Continue reading Forward to Detroit: Prominent Chicago mayoral candidate suggests a commuter tax

To survive the Illinois GOP must be the anti-tax hike party

By John Ruberry While there is some debate on whether there was a blue wave nationally after last week's midterm elections,, in Illinois, my state, there certainly was one. Voters booted out a Republican governor, billionaire Bruce Rauner, for Democratic billionaire JB Pritzker. Both men opened their wallets to fund their campaigns and downticket races. … Continue reading To survive the Illinois GOP must be the anti-tax hike party

Barack Obama, Chicago mayor?

By John Ruberry Early next year the first round of the Chicago mayoral election will be held, If no candidate achieves a majority, then the top two face each other in a runoff. The two-term incumbent, Rahm Emanuel, President Obama's first chief of staff, is running, as are several other candidates, each with baggage, including … Continue reading Barack Obama, Chicago mayor?

Failed state Illinois creating distraction from pension crisis by trying to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment

Illinois cannot cope with the present, let alone with the future, so it's fighting a symbolic battle from the past. Here's a little history lesson: In 1972 Congress submitted the Equal Rights Amendment to the state legislatures, which read: Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the … Continue reading Failed state Illinois creating distraction from pension crisis by trying to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment

Harvey, Illinois’ layoffs to pay for pensions portends nasty future for the rest of state

By John Ruberry For decades Illinois, Chicago, and many other Land of Lincoln municipalities have been kicking the can down the road in regards to public worker pension obligations. Harvey, a poverty-stricken southern suburb of Chicago with a long history of corruption, has not just reached the end of the road, it has run off … Continue reading Harvey, Illinois’ layoffs to pay for pensions portends nasty future for the rest of state

Illinois Democratic governor nominee mum on details for his proposed pension bailout tax hike

By John Ruberry "We are a nation that has a government—not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the Earth." First presidential inaugural address from Ronald Reagan, who was born in Illinois. "As a result, Illinois government is a massive retirement system that, during work hours, also offers some … Continue reading Illinois Democratic governor nominee mum on details for his proposed pension bailout tax hike