Tuesday, February 17, 2015

My Fiscal Cliff

     I woke up in the middle of the night, that time when we are sitting in the dark with no companions except our own doubts and fears. That time when Jerry Mcquire had his dismal self-realization - his memo moment. My distress came from an e-mail I had received earlier in the evening about yet another assault by the Illinois General Assembly upon my humble teacher's pension by governor Bruce. Now, in the middle of the night, fear became magnifidied and doubt doubled down. The state of Illinois was broke. It was pretty much common knowledge. They had been underfunding their portion of the education fund for a decade. They kept kicking the can down the road. During the Blago years, there was effectively no government. Illinois was standing on the edge of a financial cliff long before the term came in vogue.
       On the first day of each month, I sit in front of the computer and wait for my monthly pension stipend to come from the state. Now at 2:00 in the morning, a thought hit me. What if it never came. I mean, ever again. What happens when a state goes totally bankrupt? Does the Federal Government bail them out? The Feds bailed out auto companies, banks and insurance companies because they were too big to fail. What about the state of Illinois? It not like we're Rhode Island.
     I thought of the General Assembly -all 59 senators and 177 representatives -trying to agree on something. Had it ever been done? (that is, besides them deciding to fully fund their pension system).I guess I will just continue to monitor Detroit, the first major city in the United States to be flat out broke.

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