(This is a composite commentary covering multiple issues.)
Liberal Illinois Goes Broke
Here is an excerpt from CBSNews:
A financial crunch is spiraling into a serious problem for Illinois lawmakers, prompting some observers to wonder if the state might make history by becoming the first to go bankrupt. …
Ratings agency Moody’s Investor Service earlier this month downgraded Illinois’ general obligation bonds to its lowest investment grade rating, citing the state’s growing pile of unpaid bills and its mounting pension deficit.
Illinois, by the way, has the lowest credit rating of any state. Lower ratings mean higher borrowing costs, since lenders view such borrowers as riskier bets.
“Legislative gridlock has sidetracked efforts not only to address pension needs but also to achieve fiscal balance, allowing a backlog of bills to approach $15 billion, or about 40 percent of the state’s operating budget,” the agency noted.
Notice that Illinois not only has financial problems but that those problems lead to more problems. This is precisely why America’s Founders warned about debt. And twice in just four sentences the source of the problem is noted – steep pension obligations to overpaid unionized state employees who are inextricably and exclusively allied with the Democrat party.
This comes from the fact that Illinois has been one of the most liberal states in America as large numbers of legislators and voters from Chicago have pushed the state far to the left.
Question: Which recent American president came from the dirty streets of Chicago?
Uhhh, let’s see… Don’t tell me! Let me think for a minute!
Here is more about Illinois’ pension crisis from CBS:
Like Puerto Rico, Illinois has a massive pension crisis. Its unfunded pension liability for the state’s five major plans grew 25 percent alone in one year, reaching $251 billion, according to Moody’s. On a per-household basis, the state’s pension debt burden stands at $27,000, according to the conservative-leaning Illinois Policy Institute.
So how did the state’s pensions balloon into such a crisis? First, the pension problem has been a long time in the making. The state has more than 660 government pension funds, which are sometimes called defined benefit plans because they promise workers will receive a specific pension when they retire.
But critics say some of those pensions carried overly optimistic assumptions, especially given periods of market turmoil like the global financial crisis, which ate into investment returns. The state’s general assembly wasn’t required to fully fund pensions, which meant tax money was spent on other priorities such as schools or infrastructure.
The result? Growing unfunded liabilities, or money promised to workers in their pensions when they retire that the state doesn’t have. Other contributing factors include inadequate employer contributions and benefit increases, according to the Civic Federation.
So there you go. It is not hard to understand, which is why even Illinois elected a conservative Republican governor in 2014 named Bruce Rauner.
Meanwhile one other governor took on this type of problem and turned it around successfully. Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, also a conservative Republican, got major reforms for his state’s crippled economy by stripping away power from the public unions. It worked like a charm and Walker has been hailed by conservatives ever since. He ran for president in 2016. Here’s more from CBS:
Adding to the state’s financial pain is a shrinking tax base. For the last three consecutive years, Illinois has lost residents. Its population is now at its lowest in a decade. Tepid wage growth on top of fewer residents puts a strain on the state’s ability to grow its tax revenue.
This happens as businesses and productive people flee Illinois because it has been a Democrat-dominated state with high taxes, greedy unions, a huge welfare state, a mega-corrupt bureaucracy, and ballooning debts. So people leave. Simple. Obama’s Chicago is losing population significantly. No surprise there. Look at this from WGNTV.com:
Chicago is still the third largest city in the country, but the city is losing people faster than any other major city. Newly released census data shows the city lost more than 8,000 residents last year. That’s nearly double the decline from the year before.
The data also shows Chicago is the only city among the nation’s 20 largest to lose residents in 2016. The population of
Illinois also fell by more than any other state in 2016. The state lost more than 37,000 residents.
We all have noticed that historically liberal places like Illinois, New York, Michigan, Chicago, Vermont, California and Massachusetts have been seeing companies and their younger, skilled and educated populations fleeing for decades. A company called Intel, which is the “grandfather” of the Silicon Valley computer industry, has not created any jobs within California since the year 2000 since California has become so liberal and anti-business. Every statewide office in California is occupied by a Democrat.
These people and companies are generally going to conservative states like Texas, Georgia, Utah and Florida.
Gee, isn’t socialism supposed to attract people?
Right, in the dreams of socialists, that is. Now here is an editorial about the recent shootings in Virginia:
At the baseball game that was supposed to mark political unity in the wake of the shooting of Republican congressman Steve Scalise and four others, some Democrat staffers were reported to be jeering and booing president Trump when he appeared on a giant screen to address attendees.
This is precisely what we expect from the reprehensible left. Nothing more, nothing less. Total disrespect for any opposing point of view, even at such a sensitive time.
Meanwhile president Trump’s approval rating has jumped to 50% despite a monumental media assault. This shows that Democrats and the media are out of synch with what is going on in the real world, and will continue to lose elections.
In Georgia, Karen Handel, a Republican candidate in a ‘special’ US House election scheduled for Tuesday, June 20 recently received death threats after the Virginia shooting. This will lead her to certainly win the election by a bigger margin that she was going to win anyway.
Meanwhile CNN got caught in not one but two “fake news” stories about the shooting of congressman Scalise.
In the first story CNN correspondent Jim Acosta claimed that president Trump visited the hospital did not actually enter the room that congressman Scalise was recovering in. This bizarre claim was false.
CNN also falsely reported that the congressional players kneeling in prayer in a photo from the baseball game were “Democrats”, as if to imply that Republican players did not kneel.
These news outlets like CNN are committing professional suicide by this type of crazy reporting.
Friends, we don’t need “unity” and “reconciliation” after the Virginia shooting. We need for people on the Democrat left to stop their violent ways. And we need for top Democrat leaders to start showing respect for president Trump in order to end this reactionary tide. But they never will because they know that they are fueling hatred and division, which is what they truly desire since socialism thrives on division and chaos.
Now here is a short commentary about a proposed energy plant in Utah:
State and local officials broke ground for Utah’s first food digester Thursday morning in a project aimed at reducing landfill waste and harnessing unused renewable energy.
The North Salt Lake facility, to be opened in late 2018, will deploy anaerobic digesters to grind and liquify food waste, then use water, heat and bacteria to convert it into methane gas to be used as natural gas and bio-solids to be converted into fertilizer.
Officials hope the digesters will save landfill space, reduce greenhouse emissions from buried organic garbage and give businesses an affordable alternative for disposing of their food waste.
…Once at full capacity, the Wasatch Resource Recovery digesters will produce enough natural gas to continuously supply a city of 40,000 people…
OK, so what is wrong with this story?
Well, it sounds too good to be true, that’s what. It says that the project is “aimed at” reducing landfill space and using ‘renewable’ energy. Second, it says that the digesters will produce enough energy for 40,000 people.
But who says any of this is true? This is how environmentalists always talk, that they are going to save the world with their ideas, which are always government-subsidized and also happen to make environmentalists rich.
For example, if they want to build a public commuter rail line they first convince taxpayers to spend profusely on the project by predicting that it will get, say, 2 million riders a year. When it gets only a fraction of that nobody notices or remembers the original prediction. Or cares, since it is funded by taxpayers.
Or they predict that a windmill will provide power for X number or homes, but we never find out how much power really is produced.
Here is some advice to take to the bank: Never believe an environmentalist. They lie every day about ‘climate change’, the “hole in the ozone layer”, that the world is running out of oil, that the seas are rising, etc. Nikitas3.com remembers dozens of such stories since the first ‘earth day’ that never have come close to being true.
Nikitas3.com predicts that this Utah plant will never produce anywhere near the amount of energy that is being promised and that it also will stink, which is a form of pollution.
Meanwhile coal, oil and natural gas deliver precise and measurable amounts of concentrated energy every day, but the ‘greenies’ oppose them vehemently while giving us vague promises about windmills and solar panels.
The best solution for all garbage disposal is to burn it as fuel and to generate electricity with it. This is common in Europe and is practiced some places in the United States. If you don’t know how it works, look it up.
Garbage-to-electricity is the most direct and efficient means of getting rid of garbage while producing the most valuable type of energy. It is a win-win. Yet environmentalists oppose it, so as to make themselves appear eternally wise – and rich – with very inefficient practices like recycling and this silly Utah food digester.
Trump is Fighting Dangerous Gang
Here is good news from the New York Post about president Trump:
President Trump’s pledge to wipe out the notoriously violent MS-13 gang is gaining traction — at least in (New York) State.
Federal officials have rounded up close to 40 accused members of MS-13 in New York City and Long Island in the 30 days following vows by Trump and attorney general Jeff Sessions to crack down on the gang, known for terrorizing immigrant communities.
Of the 45 New York-area gang arrests over the last month by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security, 39 were affiliated with MS-13, which has been blamed for a string of recent murders in normally placid Long Island, the feds said.
Those who are not charged with crimes will be processed for deportation, the feds said.
MS-13 gained entry into the US through Obama’s open-borders policies, and its violence was ignored by Obama’s Justice Department and immigration officials. Now Sessions has even referred to MS-13 as a terrorist organization.
So we can see the difference between a radical like Obama and a patriot like Trump. They are total opposites.
This also exposes the truth about growing violence in America. Violent people – from Trump haters to MS-13 gang members – are enabled and encouraged by one side of the political spectrum. And we know which side that is.
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