Opinion by Reboot Illinois' Madeleine Doubek
Ready for an 8 percent income tax rate in Illinois?
That's what all of us would have to live with, Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger says, to pay off the state's bills.
That's more than twice what we're paying now because our elected officials refuse to compromise with each other and agree on a spending plan. Instead, the state is being run by court orders, decrees and continuing appropriations. That means the firehose is on, our money is gushing out the nozzle and it can't be shut it off without a budget.
Money is gushing out, but not to the state's most vulnerable children, seniors, or mentally ill residents. Not to college students, professors or support staff that make up the higher education communities throughout Illinois. Soon enough, as public universities lay off employees, entire families will suffer and so, too, will small businesses and the families behind them in and near university towns like DeKalb, Macomb, Charleston, Urbana-Champaign and Carbondale.
Social services and universities are the two sectors still not getting state funding.
And yet, most of us still haven't pressured our state representative and state senator to pressure Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton to compromise? They're the ones who have been here the longest presiding over ballooning debt, in Madigan's case, serving as Speaker for nearly 40 years.
Munger, a Lincolnshire Republican appointed by Gov. Bruce Rauner to the job overseeing the state's checkbook, tried again to help make the numbers and the devastation real enough so that more of us might wake up and act to end this insanity.
Here are 10 facts she shared about Illinois' spending, debt, lack of budget.