High unemployment rates, high taxes and population exodus pushing Illinois to the brink of collapse
05/07/2024 // Laura Harris // Views

The Democrat-controlled state of Illinois continues to struggle with high unemployment rates, a burdensome tax system and a population exodus, leading to a diminished tax base, higher budget deficits and skyrocketing pension debt.

According to data from the Illinois Department of Employment Security, Illinois ranked fifth-highest in unemployment rates among states in March, with a rate of 4.8 percent. The high unemployment rate has exacerbated concerns about the state's fiscal health.

The oppressive tax structure and high crime rates in Illinois, particularly in Chicago, drive economic stagnation and force businesses and residents to leave the state. In turn, the state lost approximately 32,826 people in the year leading up to July 2023. This decline marks a significant departure from the state population of 12,549,689, which was more than a quarter of a million less than in April 2020. This trend mirrors similar population losses in other high-tax states like California, which have resulted in substantial budget deficits.

In line with that, Illinois pension debt continues to escalate, growing by $2.6 billion in 2023 alone, reaching a staggering $142.3 billion in unfunded liabilities. A 1970 state constitution prohibits the diminishment or impairment of pension benefits, including cost-of-living adjustments. State accountants then project a budget deficit of $891 million in the upcoming fiscal year, further exacerbating the financial strain.

During a State of the State address in February, Governor J.B. Pritzker proposed raising taxes on sportsbooks and extending the cap on business tax deductions for operating losses to generate approximately $726 million in additional revenue. However, even with these measures, the state is still projected to face a significant budget deficit of $891 million in the upcoming fiscal year.

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Pritzker also stressed Illinois' strengths in various areas, such as infrastructure education, and power reliability, noting the state's favorable rankings compared to others.

"We’ve also grown Illinois’ economy to over $1 trillion," Pritzker said. "That’s more than most nations. In 2023 alone, we attracted billions of dollars in new business investments and created tens of thousands of new jobs."

Illinois suffering the same fate as other blue states like New York and California

Conservative think tanks have now grouped Illinois with other blue states like New York and California, which have also experienced significant population exodus amid various challenges ranging from immigration to crime. (Related: FLEEING TYRANNY: Report reveals Illinois tops list of states Americans fled in 2022.)

"Unemployment rates are very high; wage growth is lagging compared to most other states," said Bryce Hill, the director of fiscal and economic research, at the Illinois Policy Institute. "The Census Bureau has reported that residents are leaving the state en masse to the tune of hundreds of thousands every single year, so much so that the state’s population has actually been declining for the past 10 years. So on any metric, quantitatively on outcomes, Illinois’ economy is lagging."

Despite assurances from the government, Hill warned that the budget deficit, combined with ongoing migration out of the state, will only deepen Illinois' economic challenges.

"While migration contributes to the state's financial woes, it is not the root cause," Hill explained. "Illinois also faces the significant challenge of unfunded pension liabilities, which are draining state and local government budgets and impeding revenue generation."

S. T. Karnick, a senior fellow at The Heartland Institute, also echoed similar statements.

"Illinois is in awful shape in many ways, and its economy is dreadful," said Karnick. "Opinion polls cite high taxes as the top reason people want to leave Illinois, with crime and safety second. Illinois has the fourth-most regulations among the 50 states, which raises prices and kills jobs."

"Those are all things entirely under the control of the state government. For decades, the Illinois government has paid much more attention to the well-being of government workers than to taxpayers. The state has the nation’s worst pension-funding crisis—which is saying a lot—with an unfunded liability of more than $140 billion.

"Illinois is caught in a destructive-governance spiral. Bad government diminishes residents’ living conditions and returns on business investment. People move out or work less, and businesses leave the state or reduce operations. Those actions decrease the tax base, so the state raises tax rates and uses accounting tricks to meet spending goals. That makes things even worse and further damages the state’s economy. More productive people and businesses leave. This process has the state heading steadily toward bankruptcy, an increasing outflow of the hardest-working people, and their replacement by immigrants from other nations."

Learn more about the unemployment crisis and the collapse of the American economy at Bubble.news.

Watch this clip from InfoWars as Robert Barnes and George Gammon talk about the true dangers of inflation and the U.S. Federal Reserve's money-printing practices.

This video is from the InfoWars channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

Illinois councilman suggests people should host illegal immigrants in their homes to ease taxpayer burdens.

Chicago crowned MURDER CAPITAL of the United States for 12th consecutive year.

Supreme Court to review challenge to Illinois' semi-automatic gun ban.

Violent criminals allowed to roam free in Illinois thanks to no-cash bail policy.

Just five of Chicago's largest public pension systems owe more pension debt than the sum of 44 states.

Sources include:




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