Blue Model Fail



Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, already the most unpopular governor in the nation, has his work cut out for him at his annual “state of the state” speech on Wednesday – and this time he probably won’t be relying on a python named “Squeezy.”

The fiscal crisis caused by pension underfunding in Illinois is so bad that some hospitals wait a year to be paid by the state for insurance claims.

At the same time, teachers in Chicago’s wealthy suburbs are retiring with six-figure salaries set by school districts on which pensions are calculated, and the state pays the bill. The benefits cannot be reduced, according to the state constitution.

Illinois’ pension systems are in the worst financial shape of any state at 39 percent funded when no less than 80 percent is considered healthy. State pensions are in the hole by the staggering amount of nearly $97 billion, or $20,000 per Illinois household and nearly four times the annual state revenue.

Illinois is one of them there “blue” states like Noo Yawk and Taxachusetts. Seriously – you can check if you don’t believe me.

California is a blue state too:

California legislators have had trouble repairing the state’s two main pension funds – the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System – that are at least $165 billion underfunded.

At the federal level, didja know that only $1.5 TRILLION of the $9 TRILLION that was added to the deficit since 2001 was due to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? The cold hard fact is that the old blue model of government is what they call “non-sustainable”.

Of course pointing that out will get you accused of being a racist Tea Party Birther nutjob. Besides, all we have to do is tax the rich. Them greedy bastards can afford it.

Here’s some more about why the blue model is failing from Walter Russell Mead:

Slate’s Matt Yglesias Sings the Blue Model Blues

I’m going back to bed.

About Myiq2xu - BA, JD, FJB

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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83 Responses to Blue Model Fail

  1. SOOO glad I left taxachusetts! That being said- OT
    For Lola!

  2. Mary says:

    Oh Gawd.

    Bloomberg reporting that Obama is considering Chicago “businesswoman” Penny Pritzker for Commerce Secretary.

    Corruption personified, and from the inner bowels of the Chicago machine.

  3. Ann says:

    Yes but that evil New York state is also the best pension funded state at 101%.

      • Ann says:

        And? They are still a fully funded pension state.

        • angienc (D) says:

          Are you dense? The only reason they are currently “fully funded” is because the alleged “guarantees” to public sector workers (i.e., the amount of payments that they were PROMISED they would receive) were DRASTICALLY CUT. How could you have missed that — it’s the lede:

          New York became the latest state to drastically overhaul its pension plan against the wishes of its public employees. After months of political arm-twisting, the state legislature passed on Thursday a slate of measures expected to save the state $80 billion over 30 years while cutting retirement payments guaranteed to state workers.

        • DandyTiger says:

          It’s easy to be “full funded” when what you have to fund keeps going down. Hey, my non existent pension fund for my employees that gives them nothing is fully funded.

        • Ann says:

          I didn’t miss it at all. NYS is fully funded. Period.

          Now, this “dense” person understands NYS is fully funded – and was before the cuts. The cuts came about to prevent the state from becoming another Illinois or Kansas or Oklahoma or fill in the name of just about any other state. I do wonder what all the “non dense” people here suggest states do to get the other states that are not fully funded (currently 48 of them) to full pension funding? Would that be cut benefits? Raise taxes? Mandatory retirement age? Freeze on all hiring?

          See, I am “dense” so I clearly don’t understand that hard choices need to be made in order to get states fully funded on pensions, because even if states stop giving away great benefits today, it still doesn’t help what is owed from yesterday’s promises.

          But hey, let’s all smack a state around for being proactive. Much easier than realizing that nearly all states have some hard decisions ahead of them. Decisions that, whatever they are, will not please everyone. And may very well please no one.

        • angienc (D) says:

          Violating contracts with public sectors workers = being “proactive.”

          Yep, dense.

  4. DeniseVB says:

    Oh look, an Al Jazeera news item on Charlottesville, VA banning drones. Then I thought of DT …..


  5. leslie says:

    I started to write something and then my computer shut down… the state is watching. /s

    Last year, we were “advised” that our pensions would be cut by 8% if we didn’t retire then and there. We were also advised dthat it would take “about a year” for our pensions to return to their current (at that time) total. But they would return to the amount of that day.
    Now we are told that the pensions may be cut another 10% and we may lose health care and COLA when we do retire. Let me tell you that those of us who work the front lines (I am a social worker and work with chronic mentally ill adults and their families) do not have the same salaries of many state workers. Pension and salary were not the reason I work for the statel. Sadly, I am a “liberal” and believe in serving the poor and the sick. (I ought to have been a nun I suppose – no, not really.) And the state hospitals are where the poor are served. (Plus, the not-for-profit hospital where I worked was closing its psychiatric services and I went where Ibelieved I could be of some value.) But I didn’t think I’d end up becoming one of the population I worked with for all these years because of corruption and graft.

    Illinois is leading the nation in bad debt, and AFAIC, bad moral character. My co-workers are some of the very best people I’ve ever known. We are all being hurt on many different leves and from all sides. Morale is terrible, working conditions are bad, we are understaffed and are being required to join unions, become civil service, lose our benefits and for 5+ years had no increase in pay while some administrators were making $650k per year.
    Penny Pritzker is just one of the multitude of corrupt people who live and “work their magic” here in Chicago and Illinois. And they walk away with $ in their pockets and smiles on their faces, while the rest of us are losing everything we worked for.

    Obama chose the right state to settle down in. He is in his element.
    I’m getting ready to go to work, and turned on my computer for something else, but TCH is my home page. Hence, my comments, rambling as they are, to this thread.

    • angienc (D) says:

      I’m so sorry Leslie. It’s such a clusterfuck it’s hard to know where to start — especially when the pols who created the mess don’t *actually* want to fix it, they just want to figure out a new angle to sustain it so they can keep getting their cut.
      Remember when Obama accused Romney of wanting to “take from the poor and give to the rich” — yeah, like everything else Obama says, pure projection. The mega rich keep getting richer while everyone else gets poorer.

    • votermom says:


      The bureaucracy you are describing sounds like the one in the 3rd world country I came from.

    • DandyTiger says:

      Sucks. Sorry to hear.

  6. wmcb says:

    I posted WRM’s piece on facebook, and said this:

    Yep. A reflexive, tribal, partisan defense of the entrenched behemoth inefficient State is neither “liberal” nor “compassionate”. Regulation and lawmaking is used as a tool and a weapon to benefit entrenched interests, including our ever expanding bureaucracy itself. The State has become overwhelmingly self-perpetuating and parasitic, and joining the ticks is now the best assurance of “success” – DC and all its govt “service” is the wealthiest sector of the country.

    Federal and state govts rake in more profit per gallon of gas than the most avaricious oil baron who ever lived. Much more. Serving the poor or administering any area of government is BIG business, and the multitude of offices, departments, redundant administratorships and fiefdoms involved in doing so are fat and happy – the actual poor and roads and bridges and schools not so much.

    Feeding the State has become like attempting to feed an addict – murmurings of cutting off some of the gravy train are met with howls of protest that you are CRUEL and UNCARING and the children will starve. Never mind that half of what you’ve already given is going to feed their administrative addiction, NOT to actual rent and groceries.

  7. wmcb says:

    Texas gets in on the drone controversy – proposing tough anti-drone legislation:

  8. votermom says:

    • votermom says:

      speaking of ace, this is so frustrating. I can’t comment there anymore – I don’t think I’m banned, I think it’s the switch of internet providers that did it. No clue why.

  9. HELENK says:

    Panetta hearing on C-SPAN now.

    Brennan hearing on C-SPAN at 2:30pm eastern

  10. votermom says:

  11. Constance says:

    For a spot of fun…The New Agenda has a column up about Beyonce’s superbowl performance. I noticed more than a few comments on the subject here last Monday……

    • elliesmom says:

      About what one would expect from the newest Ladies’ Auxiliary. Because we all worked so hard so our granddaughters could grow up to pole dancers with feminist pride.

      • Mary says:

        Bumpin and grindin… the new “feminist” goal. /

      • catarina says:

        The last I heard from them it was an invite to an affair to “honor” “Lady Lynne.”
        Wasn’t sure if that meant we’d all kiss her ring or what, but that was the last straw and I unsubscribed. Have not been on their site either. Yawn.

    • catarina says:

      Thank you for not linking.
      Not sure I could have resisted the temptation to click, and surely things would have gone downhill from there 😈

  12. votermom says:

    Atkisson is a bloodhound. 🙂

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