By: Ted Dabrowski

If Gov. J.B. Pritzker really wanted to fix Illinois, he’d look just outside Illinois’ borders. There, he’ll find several AAA-rated states to learn from.

Take Indiana. The Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly reported today that Indiana has kept its AAA credit ratings from the big three rating agencies.

Indiana’s Gov. Eric Holcomb commented on that fact: 

“These ratings are evident of Indiana’s consistent fiscal integrity, and the hallmark indicator of being good stewards of Hoosier tax dollars,” Holcomb said in a statement. “Maintaining our AAA credit ratings, having a balanced budget and continuing to have strong reserves are all key to keeping our economy growing.”

Iowa and Missouri are also rated AAA. Wisconsin and Michigan are just one notch lower.

Even Kentucky, which is mired in its own financial crisis, is six notches above Illinois.

Illinois, in contrast, is the nation’s worst-rated by all three credit rating agencies. And it’s just one notch from being rated junk by Moody’s and S&P. Illinois is the financial deadbeat of the country.

No wonder why. Illinois politicians have avoided problem after problem by papering over them or by kicking them down the road.

Now Pritzker’s budget threatens to do the same thing with more borrowing, can kicking and taxes. Read the news on both sides of the aisle and it seems nearly everyone is in agreement – his budget fixes nothing and puts the state at even further risk of more downgrades.

If Illinois politicians were to focus on the goal of becoming a competitive, AAA-rated state, their policy solutions would be the exact opposite of what they are today.

And Illinoisans might be more encouraged to stick around.

Read more about the policies that brought Illinois credit to just above junk:

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1 year ago

I still contend Illinois will never be rated junk, the investors and the bond rating agencies they pay for will keep it conveniently “just above junk”. This keeps institutional investors in who might be prohibited from buying junk and it keeps everyone earning some great yields on the pain of the taxpayers here. Moody’s, the politicians and the investors have a very cozy little ecosystem here in Illinois. This ponzi is even constitutionally protected, what more can an investor ask for in a “near junk” bond? Sweet.

1 year ago

Well done Indiana. With all the states around Illinois in better shape, the Illinois politicians can’t blame their failings on things beyond their control like the weather. It is possible to be a midwest state, pay your bills, and grow your population.

1 year ago
Reply to  DantheMan

Hey DantheMan, I tweeted your comment. Thanks.