I especially love the lede: "Illinois is the perfect example of what happens when your state is run by fiscally irresponsible dunces for decades." Illinois has been run by Democrats since Pangea broke up. You do the math. (They cannot.)
The root of the problem is Illinois' unfunded pension liabilities, which amount to $130 billion. The state's leaders simply promised what could not be delivered. Most of their employees can retire in their 50's, and many of them will receive 1-2 million dollars over the course of their retirements. As the debts associated with those pensions reached astronomical levels, the government increased taxes so much that many of the wealthiest and most productive citizens and businesses have moved away, leaving an even smaller tax base to draw from.The Democrat philosophy is, "Well, the taxpayers will just have to pay it." But that ignores the fact that the taxpayers can leave the state, and the people who make the most money are the ones with the skills and training and education to be able to take their experience anywhere and make the same money (if not more) they made in Illinois, without the confiscatory taxes. The ones who can't leave are the ones who don't pay taxes, or who don't pay much, certainly not enough to make up for the ones who left.
In short, Illinois is in a death spiral, but it's not alone. Illinois is merely the canary in the coal mine.
As you know, something like 50% of the federal government's tax revenue is collected from the top 5% of income earners. It's the same at the state level, but in Illinois that top 5% has been dwindling as those people move away from the ever-higher taxes and ever shittier infrastructure. For what we pay here in IL in property taxes alone, our schools should be the best in the country--yet they suck.
I'm not kidding. When I compare the bunker to Og's cave, they compare pretty evenly. He has about as much land, the house is about the same size (and in better shape), he's in a good neighborhood with decent neighbors. He's in Indiana, though, and his property tax is one-sixth of what it is on the bunker.
One-sixth, and for what? The infrastructure is better, crime is lower, hell--people are moving into Indiana, not fleeing it.
The bunker is a scant three miles from the Cook County border, and Cook County has the highest sales taxes in the nation, higher than anywhere, even in California! And it's still not enough; they're putting a confiscatory sales tax on soft drinks starting July 1 that'll double the price of a 2-liter!
And Democrats stand in the way of Rauner's budget because they don't like the property tax freeze! They don't like the provisions that keep them from raising taxes whenever the hell they want to, even though Illinois is so heavily taxed we're well to the right of the Laffer Curve:
Whatever happens, it's going to be a big friggin' mess. Count on it.