Home » Archive

Featured, Headline »

[7 Nov 2018 | One Comment | ]

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 …

Featured, Headline »

[10 May 2018 | 16 Comments | ]

An audible gasp went out in the breakout room I was in at last month’s pension eventcosponsored by The Civic Federation and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. That was when a speaker from the Chicago Fed proposed levying, across the state and in addition to current property taxes, a special property assessment they estimate would be about 1% of actual property value each year for 30 years.
Evidently, that wasn’t reality shock enough. This week the Chicago Fed published that proposal formally. It’s linked linked here.
It surely ranks among the most blatantly …

Featured, Headline »

[7 Feb 2018 | No Comment | ]

Amazing, seems like this one rating agency has been way more positive about Chicago debt than the other more established firms. Hmm, I bet if someone looked into there might be something missing from this story, something in a press release from Oct 2017. https://t.co/SavQqWdWV3
— Peter Matuszak (@PeterMatuszak) February 6, 2018

Last chance, you would think the wonks at P&I would have picked up on the one thing about Kroll that would tie this whole Chicago double upgrade together. Nope. https://t.co/n7ntQ8wDz8 — Peter Matuszak (@PeterMatuszak) February 6, 2018

Sorry @capitolfax this round …

Featured, Headline »

[31 May 2017 | No Comment | ]

“Big pensions just tiny part of big pension mess” — that was the headline on a Better Government Association story widely republished across Illinois last week.

That’s an interesting if academic topic, but don’t look to that BGA article for any answers. It contained four whopping errors
•   First, it repeated the common mistake of looking at “average pensions,” which might seem very modest — the median for general state workers is just $28,946, they concluded. The problem is that those averages include those who worked only part of their careers to …

Featured, Headline »

[27 Feb 2017 | No Comment | ]

What could be worse than bankruptcy for an Illinois town or city?
An assetless bankruptcy. That’s when even a formal bankruptcy proceeding can’t help because there’s nothing to work with. It’s when the bank owns everything and nothing is left. That’s when it’s lights out.
But that’s just what Senate Bill 10 would make more likely. It’s one of the twelve bills comprising the “grand bargain” now under consideration in Springfield. It would assure that bondholders — who you can think of as “the bank” — get permanent ownership of the lifeblood …

Featured, Headline »

[6 Feb 2017 | 2 Comments | ]

Not since the Vietnam War have I seen as much strife and personal hostility within an otherwise friendly community.
Thank the administration of New Trier High School in north suburban Chicago. This story is about the madness on college campuses now being crammed down into a public high school. More importantly, it’s about an angry brawl now growing rapidly.
Oblivious to how identity politics have divided the country, the school is holding an attendance-mandatory All-School Seminar Day with the stated goal of “understanding today’s struggle for racial civil rights.”
That sounds fine, but …

Featured, Headline »

[27 Jan 2017 | One Comment | ]

Is Wire Points Mark Glennon the Most Dangerous Man in Illinois?

Featured, Headline »

[30 Nov 2016 | No Comment | ]

Full text of the bill is linked here. Note pages 17-18 and 44-45. They provide for city contributions to the Municipal and Laborers’ pensions to more than double over the next five years and thereafter to a whatever-it-takes ARC-like amount. And if the city fails to make those contributions the pensions can force the Illinois Comptroller to deduct what’s due out of payments that flow from the state to the city. In other words, contributions will go up to whatever is necessary to pay the pensions and other city needs …

Featured, Headline »

[27 Sep 2016 | No Comment | ]

Never mind that he’s talking about many who his university educated, including me. Any of you who question campus preoccupation with safe spaces, trigger warnings and microagressions are idiots and lunatics. That’s what Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro told new students this past week in his welcoming address. Articles about his comments include those in CampusReform and The Daily Northwestern.
“Look for safe spaces,” Schapiro told the freshman, and he pledged that “if you can’t find them, we will help you find them.” Regarding traumatic ideas, Schapiro says, “If they say …

Featured, Headline »

[1 Aug 2016 | No Comment | ]

Fridays in the summer are a great day to dump news you don’t want scrutinized, as reporters will tell you. Today, we got a new financial report from the city, the actuarial reports for its police and firefighter pensions and news of a private offering by Chicago’s school district.

The Report
First, the city released a carefully written, glitzy, Annual Financial Analysis, linked here. At least they put it online this year, a departure from the past, but that’s probably because it’s such meticulously prepared misinformation. Hooray, said most headlines and Mayor …