Update 11/11/18: Somebody on Twitter pointed out that the Ben Franklin quote used below is wrongly attributed to Franklin, and they are correct. Apologies (though it’s true). So, let me quote Yogi Berra instead. “I never said most of the things I said.”

By: Mark Glennon*

How much closer to Detroit or Puerto Rico must Illinois go before it reforms?

That’s now the central question, and tonight we’ve learned we have much further to go. The primary culprits in Illinois’s collapse ran the field — Chicago machine Democrats retained firm control of both houses of the General Assembly and won every statewide office.  Congressional election results were just as dismal.

Plenty of Republicans share blame. Bruce Rauner was a failure, deeply alienating even his base. The number of genuine Republican reformers who understand Illinois’ problems who are candid enough to speak about them remain few.

None of that came as a surprise, except the race for Attorney General, and that result is terrifying. Erika Harold was a solid candidate but was trounced by Kwame Raoul. Raoul will present a special obstacle to reform and Illinois’ economy, politicizing law enforcement on behalf of his sponsor, House Speaker Michael Madigan, just like his predecessor. Raul’s race was a straight up test of Illinois’ sanity, and it failed.

In almost all other races, Illinois voters effectively chose to believe they can “vote themselves money,” as Benjamin Franklin put it, which, he said will “herald the end of the Republic.” Their lesson will come, though when remains unclear.

They chose, more  precisely than ever, the malfeasance and corruption that long ago set the state’s trajectory into the abyss, and offered no indication of what or when would be enough to convince them they’ve reached the bottom. A bottom will come, but when? Something then will arise, but what?

Personally, it’s one of my favorite, historical pictures that haunts the short term but inspires hope for a later day. It shows the first business to reopen in Chicago after the Great Fire, marking the start of a hundred rip roaring years when Chicago was among the most dynamic cities on the planet.

A similar day, far, far off, is all we can hope for.

*Mark Glennon is founder of Wirepoints.

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Orphanellie
1 year ago

It’s beginning to look a lot like Detroit before the mass exodus. There is even a Kwame character, just
like the infamous mayor of Detroit! Look forward to the taxpayers leaving by the thousands and the public sector union demands increasing to unbearable heights. Yes, the end game is inevitable.

steve-oh
1 year ago

Mark, what a tour-de-force you’ve written — as usual. Your line “Illinois voters effectively chose to believe they can “vote themselves money,” as Benjamin Franklin put it, which, he said will “herald the end of the Republic” — is on-point. And it’s been happening for decades. Until the Dems agree to amend the ILL state constitution re pension reductions — and they never will — the slide to pension assets running out will continue and cutting them will be necessary — a “pay-as-you-go plan. Unless….and this is possibly what ILL Dems are thinking, if the federal House/Senate/President can be won… Read more »

1 year ago
Reply to  steve-oh

Benjamin Franklin was a lying jackass. Patrick Henry predicted what would happen with a republic, and he nailed it. He knew the traitors who wrote it. He was instrumental in forcing the Bill of Rights on the bankster stooges who wrote the conjobstitution. Learn some history. The populace in a democracy will have no funds to loot. In a republic, they sell you a bill of goods and tax you for their war machine. Wake up. A republic is the rule of the elite, and they want everything. How can you be so blind?

P M
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert Graf

You come across as a total idiot with you anti Republic hyperbole. The problem is a detached voting populace who are too busy spending their spare time in frivolity vs watching their government.

steve-oh
1 year ago
Reply to  P M

PM: Exactly right. But the media like NYT, WaPo, ABC, CNN, etc, even the WSJ did no “watching over” the govt entities that therefore got away with feathering their nests and over-confiscating us in the private sector, via SO many forms of taxation. The media was supposed to be the watchdogs over govt. They abdicated that job and instead just let govt run wild. And young people, therefore, haven’t learned anything good from the media.

steve-oh
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert Graf

RGraf: What the heck are you talking about? You’re as clear as mud. Take your medications and start making sense. And Ben Franklin was unbelievably brilliant, starting at age 15 he was running a newsletter and writing the articles.

Bob Out of Here
1 year ago

I’m thinking this would be a really good time to invest in UHaul stock. The trickle of those leaving is going to become a flood in the very near future.

John Hawkins
1 year ago

The vote in Illinois was an indictment of Rauner. Which then had an adverse effect on the other statewide races. He is the worst Governor Illinois has ever had and that’s saying something. I never thought we would see someone worse than Blagojevich but Rauner was. He never figured out what it takes to govern. He did damage that will take years to come back from. Will Pritzker be any better? I don’t know. Time will tell. I will give him a chance at least.

Charlotte aines
1 year ago
Reply to  John Hawkins

Rauner was bad, but Edgar did a lot more damage to this state than Rauner.

P M
1 year ago

Don’t forget Jim Thompson.

1 year ago
Reply to  P M

Or George Ryan. Or Otto Kerner.

Illinois Entrepreneur
1 year ago
Reply to  John Hawkins

I have to disagree. I think Rauner did only what he could in the face of an unrelenting, calculating opponent–which is to obstruct. The Illinois democrat party is probably the most powerful state party in the nation. They are backed by gobs of public union employees (the most anywhere) and gobs of money from those groups. This state has been built to serve that structure, and reform was not going to come from one term of an impotent lone GOP governorship. You fail to recognize that the democrats were unwilling to compromise on ANYTHING. So what would he gain? Then… Read more »

P M
1 year ago

So Rauner was forced by Madigan to publicly fund abortions and to make Illinois a sanctuary state?

Illinois Entrepreneur
1 year ago
Reply to  P M

You point illustrates the fundamental problem here. The GOP in Illinois cleaves into the “social conservatives” and then the “fiscal conservatives.” Most of the “fiscal” people are fairly moderate (that I know) and don’t see some of these social issues as deal breakers. That’s my camp. Although I didn’t like the sanctuary state and abortion stance by Rauner, I can live with it if he is able to make my state livable again. It’s a trade-off, because we live in a state where there are too few “social conservative” types, like you, I presume, to get anyone elected. There are… Read more »

P M
1 year ago

You do understand that our entire system of Government is based on respect for the rule of law and the presence of a single illegal alien is an affront to the rule of law.

Illinois Entrepreneur
1 year ago
Reply to  P M

I agree with you 100% on this issue. In fact, it is my “biggest” social issue, and somewhat of a deal breaker for me, too. But as a business owner, I have to look at my bread and butter first, which is the debt, taxes and fiscal environment.

When I speak to social conservatives, I tend to be referring to the abortion/religion arguments more than anything else.

1 year ago

No, your post illustrates the fundamental problem: total ignorance. Nobody ever had the right to declare themselves to be government. Nobody has a worse reputation for lying, human rights abuse and mass murder than politicians. Yet, you seem to think it’s perfectly reasonable to let them declare the outcome of some vote? That is totally delusional. There has never been a validated vote, yet you don’t question it’s legitimacy. You’re exactly the kind of slave the banksters love.

1 year ago

Government is a self legitimized protection racket. The democrats are in cahoots with the republicans. Why didn’t they oppose moving the gubernatorial elections, to separate them from the presidential elections? Because the whole fake ‘democratic republic’ lie was at risk. The purpose of a republic is to thwart democracy. The whole system has always been corrupt. Patrick Henry called it. Learn some history. You’re a bootlicking slave. You have the right to enslave yourself any way you want. You have no right imposing slavery on anyone else. You collectivist communazis, posing as ‘conservatives’ are just as bad as the idiots… Read more »

1 year ago
Reply to  John Hawkins

When will you wake up? The reason the elections are held every four years is because that is longer than your attention span. What job are you allowed four years between reviews? How many governors end upin prison before you see that the very nature of a republic is mob rule?

Joseph Hillström
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert Graf

Please clarify: if the purpose of a republic is to thwart democracy and the nature of a republic is mob rule are you saying that the mobs are reacting to thwarted democracy? I understand that the founders wanted to limit pure democracy and also to balance national rule with local rule. I can see that people who don’t get what they want from government will go to the streets with the intent of threatening public disorder in order to put pressure on legislators. We probably agree that some of these demonstrations bear a lot of resemblance to mob rule. We… Read more »

steve-oh
1 year ago
Reply to  John Hawkins

JH: I live in the Peoples’ Republic of Maryland but grew up in Cook County so I pay attn to the fiscal disasters. Seems to me the Gov of ILL doesn’t have the power to veto and overturn or stop the Legislature. So Rauner couldn’t get anything done. Just a guesstimate.

Joseph Hillström
1 year ago
Reply to  steve-oh

The Left Coast (Seattle) yields nothing to your Peoples’ Republic when it comes to Wacko Leftist Economics. However I retain ongoing admiration for H. L. Mencken.

Puerto Rico and Illinois are likely to set whatever precedents control how the rest of us emerge from the looming train wreck.

Wally the Wise
1 year ago

Dems own the sinkhole state of Illinois. Now that they are ‘puttin’ on the Pritz’ one can only marvel watching what they will do with it; besides raising taxes.

1 year ago
Reply to  Wally the Wise

The banksters own it. Along with the rest of the planet. You don’t understand contract law.

Rick
1 year ago

The big ponzi scheme will get even schemier. As law after law will come to protect the public sector class and protect the ability to borrow by converting anything that works or has value into collateral. Even if taxes go to 20% the ponzi still survives oonly on borrowed cash each year. I fully expect Moodys and the markets to go along with it all, as their return yields will be phenominal.

Tired Of It
1 year ago

Quit blaming the @#$# candidates we get to choose from. The @#$#@#$ people of Illinois voted for these failures for over 20 years. This year they voted against fixing the Illinois problem because they don’t like Trump. Cut off your #$%$# for spite? That’s a great political philosophy. The poor will get a few more dollars so their vote was bought. (Guaranteed income coming soon to a theatre near you.) The state, federal, and local union members will get more dollars and their pensions will cripple the state into the next millenium so their vote was bought. (What’s the tax… Read more »

JDH
1 year ago
Reply to  Tired Of It

Blaming Trump for IL willfully ignores how Rauner stepped on the GOP base and how turncoats in the state legislature joined with Dems to overturn Rauner’s veto’s basically castrating him during the budget battles. Don’t blame Trump for IL GOP mistakes. They own this, now the people will suffer for it.

1 year ago
Reply to  Tired Of It

Your entire argument is invalid. There has never been a validated vote. Vote fraud is rampant. There’s no way Hildebeast won the popular vote. They had to rig the primary so she could be given the nomination over glue factory candidate Sanders. She couldn’t fill a high school gym, in Cleveland, the day before the election, even though Lebron James was there. She finished last in an ABC News pollt, with 8%, compared to 10% for Jill Klein and 12% for Gary Johnson. Trump got 60%. Accepting the declared outcome of votes that are not validated is voluntary slavery. It’s… Read more »

Mr_Common_Sense
1 year ago

And don’t forget, Illinois will likely lose 2 federal house seats when 2020 comes around.

James Libbe
1 year ago

Madigan will try to gerrymander the loss of these two seats at the expense of Republicans.

Illinois Entrepreneur
1 year ago
Reply to  James Libbe

There has been some activity on this at the judicial level. In another state (I forget which) the GOP gerrymandered, and it was challenged in court. My understanding is that this area is tightening a bit, and will probably be clarified by the Supreme Court.

I imagine that Madigan’s completely free reign of drawing snake shaped districts up and down the map is won’t quite be what it once was.

We can only hope that common sense will begin to prevail.

P M
1 year ago

This is awesome news for the national Republican party. Of course the Democrats taking the house may complicate matters in some regard, but most likely it will hasten Illinois demise. Illinois is now likely to crash and burn under full Democratic rule- that will be an awesome illustration of what Democratic rule brings. With Democrats running the House nationally they will do all they can to tank the economy to take out Trump in 2020 and Illinois cannot currently survive another economic decline. The Illinois game could be over fairly quickly. Totally awesome!!! Let’s face it, though Illinois deserves to… Read more »

Joseph Hillström
1 year ago
Reply to  P M

The US Senate will probably block a federal bailout but the new House is not likely to permit bankruptcy filings by states. Pritzker is not likely to support municipal bankruptcy. So the collapse is likely to be chaotic and prolonged, I’m afraid.

Adam
1 year ago

At some point they will have to allow municipal bankruptcy even if they don’t support it. Math and reality always win, and the end is nigh for the pensions as is. The Dems and public unions have been operating on denial for years, but now reality is setting in and the Dems will be FORCED to allow municipal bankruptcy in the next few years. Too many people in this state are at the breaking point now. It is almost game over time. I know Mark agrees they will be forced to as well.

Joseph Hillström
1 year ago
Reply to  Adam

This subdivides into two issues. Federal law already allows municipal bankruptcy of the state approves. Will the Illinois legislature or governor approve? Federal law does not allow state bankruptcy. So state bankruptcy would require a new federal law. Jimmy Hoffa Jr. is already calling for a bailout of the Teamsters. It might be possible to trade off state bankruptcy for some type of federal insurance program for both Teamsters and Muni’s and States IF the federal liability were to be capped at a reasonably low dollar level. One would need to rope in some Republican senators as well as Trump,… Read more »

P M
1 year ago

Uh, the Supreme court is not trending right, not even close, you are drinking thee Koolaid. It is hard to distinguish Kavanaughs record from Merrick Garland except Kavanaugh’s writings are the more liberal of the two. Right now, at best, you have two conservatives on the court (the only sure one is Thomas), 4 moderates and 3 liberals.

Joseph Hillström
1 year ago
Reply to  P M

i think that moving from 5 liberals to 3 is trending right. Especially since the 3 can’t do anything without support from moderates or conservatives. If mine weren’t a fair description, the Senate Democrats would not have objected so vociferously. Unless, of course, those Democrats were afraid of their core supporters who classify moderates and conservatives as fascist racist patriarchs. Trump is likely to appoint one or two “right of center” justices and to have them confirmed by the Republican Senate. Would you agree that that would be “trending right?” Or do we need a new vocabulary?

P M
1 year ago

Joeseph, The key words in my post were “at best”. My personal view is the court has one Conservative in Thomas, one right of center in Alito, 2 moderates in Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, 5 liberals in Roberts, Ginsburg, Kagan, Sotomayor, Breyer. My “at best” was being generous. I do not see a court that is trending right. Now if Trump nominates and pushed through William Pryor and Steven Colloton to knock out two of the liberals I would say the court is trending right. It all comes down to votes. Thomas is really getting up there and that truly worries me.… Read more »

Adam
1 year ago

They will be forced to allow municipal bankruptcy because there will be no other choice in the end. People will not be living in huts out in fields eating bugs so union slobs can keep getting their unsustainable pensions – that is simply a stupid thought and not realistic at all. The pensions are doomed as is, period. The federal government will most likely also be forced to allow states to go bankrupt during the next recession, and not just because of Illinois either – there are many other states in deep trouble. Math and reality ALWAYS win.

P M
1 year ago

I am not so sure. I believe I understand your point but there is a certain reality now that may not be apparent to all. There is a huge consequence to Illinois now being a dark blue state, a consequence conservative republicans should immediately recognize. Madigan will redraw districts, locking in the Illinois Democrat majority for a decade, with the likely lose of congressional seats as well as the demographic shift the Democrats will have a lock on the state/ This means, drum roll, the national Democratic party will not care how anything impacts Illinois because their lock on the… Read more »

Joseph Hillström
1 year ago
Reply to  P M

If Obama remains the titular head of the national Democratic party, i think that party will continue to accord him and his state both respect and deference … assuming Obama doesn’t drop this state quicker than Clinton dumped Arkansas. It may, however, be appropriate to observe that Illinois is not the mecca for opportunists that it once was.

1 year ago

I loved Pritzker’s acceptance speech. “Are you ready to fight?” For what exactly? The Dems control all the levers of power in every office that counts in Illinois, Cook County, and Chicago. What is there to fight for? The question is how fast Madigan wants to go, and when he says “jump”, how high Democrats will jump to please him.

Sands
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff

Jeff, that is so funny! I was thinking the same thing watching JB’s ridiculous speech! There’s no one to fight! haha – Honestly, I’m glad the Dems wave hit Illinois. I realize it’s painful, but I’m ready to get this over with. Illinois deserves what she gets.

Mike Williams
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff

I wanted this election result, even though I’m not Dem. I didn’t want anyone other than Dems at the helm when the ship rolled over. As others have said, let’s just get it over with. There’s no point fighting the inevitable.

Bob Out of Here
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Williams

That’s a point I made a few months ago-if the governors office, the senate and the house are all controlled by the Democrats, it’s hard to blame the Republicans when the ship goes down. (Although TBH Obama spent 8 years blaming Bush for every thing that went wrong, and he took credit for everything that went right.)

Mr_Common_Sense
1 year ago

Illinois’s future demise now has a turbo charger.

Illinois Entrepreneur
1 year ago

I don’t think any of those who have been paying attention are surprised, are we? We didn’t get here because Illinois voters were misled, or due to fluke wins by the Machine. Yes, many are misinformed, but that’s their choice. We got here because voters time and again will vote democrat in Illinois, apparently regardless of result. The Machine gives them what they want, whether it’s sanctuary status, great pay, benefits and pensions, or rents to crony capitalists who are sitting in that sweet spot. Or, perhaps the Machine sticks it to the small business owner or “rich” home owner… Read more »

1 year ago

In the short run, there will be true believers that will want to be here and take part in it. For the rest of my life, the Republicans in Illinois will be the Washington Generals (as Dan Proft says) Redistricting in 2020 will further compromise Republicans in IL.

mark mc
1 year ago

This raises to me a distressing question. Are we really better off with Pritzker being elected along with a number of fellow Democrats? The “end”, so to speak, will come quicker than it otherwise would have. And bankruptcy or some form of insolvency proceeding is the only way forward, and the quicker we get to it, the better. And the statistics, as bad as they are, can provide false comfort. Have 25,00 others in a like status – meaning productive and truly tax paying – to Illinois Entrepeneur – leave and there will be a fiscal crisis.

Douglas
1 year ago
Reply to  mark mc

Mark, good question, however, I can’t help but think the Dems will definitely go down the “Scorched Earth Death Spiral” path before being forced into bankruptcy. Granted this process may be quick, a few years (could be long drawn out), but they will definitely be raising taxes while the Illinois Economy shrinks and amid people net leaving.

Adam
1 year ago
Reply to  Douglas

Again, at some point they will have to allow municipal bankruptcy even if they don’t support it. Math and reality always win, and the end is nigh for the pensions as is. The Dems and public unions have been operating on denial for years, but now reality is setting in and the Dems will be FORCED to allow municipal bankruptcy in the next few years. Too many people in this state are at the breaking point now. It is almost game over time. Mark agrees they will be forced to.

Mark M
1 year ago
Reply to  Adam

Adam, I agree with your take, but the difficult part with any particular municipality is just when the “end” will happen. Is it when, let’s say, North Chicago can no longer afford any police or fire presence, and they suffer for two years before they realize Waukegan can’t absorb their problems (a troubled place itself). I don’t think once the “end” event arrives it will, however, be qu quarantined. One bankruptcy could spur several others, with a State too impoverished to borrow any more money. One simply has to plan to leave the State, if they can.

world with end
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

Mark, is there a threshold of IL population below which even the IL pols admit defeat and realize that the pensions and health care benefits have to be scaled back? Is that threshold 12M … 10M … 8M?

Mark M
1 year ago
Reply to  world with end

I think it matters who leaves. The North Shore suburb where I was raised has an unbelievable number of homes for sale, homes with property values one third less than in 2009, notwithstanding having one of the best high schools in the nation. Property taxes are 3x the very similar suburb where I live now (no government unions), and the schools where I are equal if not in some cases better. If thousands of the kind of people who live in my former village leave, taking their 200k plus incomes and productivity with them, watch out. Illinois finances will indeed… Read more »

heath
1 year ago

that 394 left turn plan is going to pick up pace.
but you can see now where the succession line will come.

Bross71760
1 year ago

We have to remember all the things in this world we can be grateful for. Health, family, work, friends. And no walls that keep us here.

Erik
1 year ago
Reply to  Bross71760

Well stated Bross. I needed that little reminder this morning.

Mike Williams
1 year ago
Reply to  Bross71760

Wouldn’t be surprised if Illinois politicians start discussing a state exit tax for those relocating elsewhere. Their argument will be that the people leaving own part of the state debt and should pay their share whether they stay or not. Of course, those that remain in Illinois will like that argument, hence the scapegoat will be the cowards that are leaving.

Dennis Coyne
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Williams

Forgot the word Democrat, they have become totally Socialists, they tell you they know what is best for everyone, “taxation without representation”, regulate the size of your soda drink, and so on. The Great state my wife and I grew up in is now going down the drain and the residences keep re-electing these self-centered bureaucrats that fill their pockets with your tax dollars and don’t give a dam about you as long as your taxes go into their pots of gold. We are sick to our stomach about this and when we moved back in 2000 took the opportunity… Read more »