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A whopping $3 billion budget deficit looms next year despite the recent tax increase, and that’s using the usual phony budget accounting that ignores growing pension deficits. See today’s article by my partner, Ted Dabrowski. He lays out in careful detail (he always does) why that $3 billion is a good estimate.

The budget battle will begin in Spring for Illinois’s next fiscal year, which starts July 1. Will  lawmakers vote for a $3 billion tax increase, cut spending or some combination?

Good luck finding agreement on that because it will be an election year.

And tempers will be inflamed because the public may finally start to understand a few truths, and they won’t be happy: 1) The big tax increase this year made little difference despite widespread claims that it “saved the state”: 2) The new education bill calls for $350 million more per year each year for ten years, which the state doesn’t have; and 3) This year’s budget was based on smoke and mirrors, including a totally dishonest claim that the new “Tier 3” pension reforms would save $500 million per year.

Even the Illinois state bird, the ostrich with it’s head in the sand, may hear reality thundering, but chances of agreeing on a real solution, or even a fake solution, by July 1 look mighty slim.

-Mark Glennon is founder and Executive Editor of Wirepoints. Opinions expressed are his own.