'Amazing Progress' Illinois Style: Welcome To The Obama Expressway!

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk.com,

Yesterday, in response to alleged “progress” on Obamacare I penned Mish’s Rule of Progress.

Today, I am pleased to announce even more amazing budget progress in the state of Illinois.

First, let’s recap progress at the national level.

  1. On Tuesday, President Trump called all the Republican Senators to a meeting to resolve the Obamacare bill in the Senate.
  2. Ahead of the meeting, four Republican Senators were against the bill. At most, 2 Senators can vote against the bill or it will fail.
  3. After the roughly hour-long huddle in the East Room, Senator Mitch McConnell told reporters “We made good progress.”
  4. Following the meeting, seven Republican Senators were against the bill.

As amazing as that progress sounds, Illinois can beat it by a mile.

Progress Illinois Style

  1. Illinois has been without a budget for two years and its bonds, already the lowest in the nation, face a downgrade to junk.
  2. On June 15, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner called a special 10-Day legislative session to finalize a budget.
  3. We are now in the eighth day of the special session.
  4. The Special Sessions Cost Illinois Taxpayers $50,000 a Day.
  5. The special sessions have lasted from 10 to 23 minutes at the longest.
  6. Progress was announced yesterday: My sources tell me that by an 84-0 vote, part of I-55 will be renamed the Obama Expressway.

Progress Extended

Today, the Wall Street Journal reports Illinois Governor to Extend Session if Lawmakers Miss June 30 Budget Deadline.

On Tuesday Mr. Madigan unveiled a $36 billion budget proposal but didn’t spell out how much taxes would have to increase to get the state’s fiscal house in order.


If a budget isn’t passed by Friday, credit-rating firms have warned they will downgrade the state’s rating to junk.

Rauner Already Caved In

An even more amazing part of this reconciliation process is that Rauner has already caved in. On June 21, I commented Governor Rauner Screws Illinois.

In exchange for virtually nothing, the Governor agreed to a massive tax hike.

Proposed Deal

  1. Four-year tax hike to 4.95%, up from 3.75%
  2. Expansion of sales taxes
  3. New taxes on cable  and satellite TV
  4. Four-year property tax freeze
  5. No right-to-work reform
  6. No collective bargaining reform
  7. No pension reform
  8. No workers’ compensation reform
  9. No spending cuts
  10. No term limits
  11. No gerrymandering reform

The alleged property tax freeze is only 4 years and it excludes Chicago, home rule districts, cities in trouble, etc. One can drive a truck trough the loopholes.

Yet, that was not enough for Madigan or the special session would not still be in session.

Rule of Nothing

This brings us to Mish’s Rule of Nothing proposed on June 22.

In any given political situation, the best outcome one can reasonably expect generally happens when politicians do nothing.


Implied corollary#1: When politicians attempt to fix any problem, they are highly likely to make matters worse.


Corollary #2: Politicians almost never do nothing. It’s why we have a messed up healthcare system, education system, public pension system, etc..

For whatever perverse reason, Rauner is willing to break every promise he has ever made on budgets, on taxes, on reforms.

Not only did Rauner cave in on everything he has stood for, by extending the special session he has shown willingness to toss more taxpayer red meat to Madigan and his progressives who have already bankrupted the state.

Hope Against Hope

Our only hope at this point is that Madigan asks for so much that Rauner regains his sanity.

Given that Powerball, Mega Millions to Halt Illinois Lottery Due to State’s Inability to Pay Winners on June 30, I rate the odds of sanity returning at under 10%.

On the off chance that sanity prevails, I once again outline what Illinois needs.

Five Desperately Needed Reforms

  1. Municipal bankruptcy legislation
  2. Pension reform
  3. Right-to-Work legislation
  4. End of prevailing wage laws
  5. Workers’ compensation reform

Bankruptcy, the ONLY Solution

Number one on my list of Illinois reforms is bankruptcy legislation. It is the only hope for numerous Illinois cities strapped with impossible-to-pay pension liabilities.

As part of any budget package, Rauner must demand municipal bankruptcy legislation. Bankruptcy is the only solution for Illinois that works.

The system is simply too broke to fix.

Pension Puzzle

Illinois pension plans are going bust. Why is that? Did Illinois not tax enough?

For sure, Illinois did not fund the plans, but to fund them, the state would have had to raise taxes even more.

For discussion, please see Illinois Too Broke to Fix: Chicago Police Pension Fund Broke by 2021 at the Latest.

Supporting Evidence of Socialist Tax Hike Madness

  1. March 25, 2017: Cook County Illinois Suffers Largest Population Drop In Entire US
  2. July 14, 2016: Welcome to Illinois (Where Every 5 Minutes Someone Moves Out)
  3. April 4, 2017: Illinois Revenue Freefall: Fiscal Year-to-Date -8.1% and Worsening
  4. February 7, 2013: Platitudes, Promises, and the Failed Pro-Union Policies of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn
  5. June 14, 2017: Unable to Pay Bills, Illinois Sends “Dear Contractor” Letter Telling Firms to Halt Road Work on July 1
  6. May 18, 2016: Illinois State Workers, Highest Paid in Nation, Demand 11.5 to 29% Hikes
  7. August 31, 2011: Illinois Loses Most Jobs in Nation Following Tax Hikes.
  8. April 13, 2011: 35% of Illinois State Employees are on Workers’ Comp
  9. October 28, 2015: Chicago’s Sheep Dogs Approve Mayor’s Tax on Sheep; Quote of the Day “It’s Not a Piece of Art”
  10. February 13, 2016: “Bond Girl” Blasts Chicago Public School Bonds, Says “CPS Genuinely Insolvent”
  11. March 25, 2016: US Population Growth +0.79%, Illinois -0.17%, Illinois Second Worst to Coal Plagued West Virginia
  12. January 20, 2016: “B” Word Hits Chicago: Illinois Governor Proposes Bankruptcy for Chicago Public School System
  13. January 14, 2016: Illinois Too Big a Risk: GE Moves Corporate Headquarters to Boston, Bypassing Chicago Citing Litany of Issues
  14. June 23, 2017: Illinois Too Broke to Fix: Chicago Police Pension Fund Broke by 2021 at the Latest

Illinois is F*d up beyond repair and caving into demands from Madigan is exactly the wrong thing to do. Illinois truly deserves Junk status, and tax hikes will not solve the problem.

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Au_Ag_CuPbCu's picture

Is this an expressway to hell?  That was rhetorical.

Thought Processor's picture



It is.  And we're all on it.  

Joe Davola's picture

"Obama Expressway" - guess "Hershey Highway" must have been taken.

Mercury's picture

If MLK Boulevard is the closest benchmark I'd start selling RE along the Obama Exp. now!

knukles's picture

So it's officially Obama's Fault now?

The Progressive way.  Math and reality don't count.  What's important are empty gestures to make them feel good.

Handful of Dust's picture

Obama's Progressive Socialist Attempt to Destroy Private College Education in America by Allen West

America doesn’t have an unemployment problem – it has an education and skilled worker problem.  Right now, there are millions of available jobs all around the country with top companies offering good pay and benefits. However, the problem for these potential employers is a lack of skilled or properly educated workers. This is a massive issue in America, which President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos are working to address.



Shocker's picture

Perfect timing now that Illinois is basically bankrupt.

What a mess that has been created nationwide

Layoff List: http://www.dailyjobcuts.com



new game's picture

AS WE APPROACH 4X, bond rates MUST go ZIRP to negative. only outcome to avoid collapse or hyperinflation.

just observing and sayin...

Antifaschistische's picture

let me say the same thing from a different angle...

...the only way out, is a massive devluation of your currency, while your "guaranteed" pension payments, and incomes to state employees stay relatively fixed.

...everyone who thinks they will be relying on a "pension" payment has a massive long dollar position. 10, 20, 30 year position....and should be buying inflation hedges hand-over-fist as fast as they can.   

...but they won't.

robertsgt40's picture

"Obama Expressway"? LMAO  Reminiscent of bridge to nowhere. 

Manthong's picture


Highway to hell…

It’s the way to get to Springfield.


AVmaster's picture

These people are not interested in fixing that state...

Hopefully a bailout will NOT be in the cards...

Manthong's picture

Now you won’t be able to hear a traffic report on the radio in Chicago without having to hear the name of the magic negro…

a.m.: “Things are backed up on the inbound Obama”.

p.m.: “Things are backed up on the outbound Obama”.

HenryKissingerBilderberg's picture

cool ! just makes me wanna re-read Ayn Rand all over again!

bionicknees's picture

Denocrat legislators, They could destroy an anvil with a rubber hammer.

bionicknees's picture

Denocrat legislators and Unons:They could destroy an anvil with a rubber hammer.

Zorba's idea's picture

Inflation hedges? Such as...? please provide example(s)

waspwench's picture

Fiddling while Chicago burns.

Creative_Destruct's picture

This obvious debt-bomb will take us all (worldwide) down. And kabuki theater like what's happening in Illinois is simply the standard response of dysfunctional politicians in a dysfunctional system, incapable of facing the problem. They'll be more and more sideshows like this as part of predictable avoidance and denial behavior. 

Nuckin' Futs is now the norm.

Gods's picture

maybe train them and end all social welfare there you go fixed it.

el buitre's picture

Highway Obama - you can check out but you can never leave.

Cheka_Mate's picture

Highway Obama- takes the passenger on a scenic drive from the business center of America's 3rd largest city to one of countries most dangerous inner-city slums while heading south.

Expressway or Metaphor?

Uncle_Cuddles's picture

If you like your tolls you can keep your tolls.

Shinebama's picture

Obama gonna pay my tolls! I'll be chatting on my Obamaphone as I cruise down the toll road. I won't have to worry about putting gas in my car. I won't have to worry about paying my mortgage. Obama gonna help me out!

A Nanny Moose's picture

So it's 0'bama's Presidential library? Will we use teleprompters to display traffic conditions and amber alerts?

AGuy's picture

"Highway Obama"

"Obozo Expressway": The official road to ruin

playit's picture

I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do... www.jobproplan.com

ChanceIs's picture


MLK.  Wasn't he assassinated?  Of course he was.  A horrible, horrible thing.

But....ummmmmm...like..bong hit...Dude....aren't you supposed to wait until the guy is dead before you name a highway after him?  Not suggesting anything.  Wouldn't want to be confused with Katy Perry, Cher, CNN, etc.

But really.  Isn't some decorum required?

Besides, it is really expensive to rename a highway, and then embarrassing to switch it back...like....for example...if Obama goes down for PizzaGate, EmailGate, TarmacGate, RussiaGate, Fast and Furious, etc, etc, etc.

What is the risk reward here?  The Illinois folks have a pass for waiting.  Unless the budget shortfall would have been $10 billion higher absent payments made to certain high ranking Illinois elected officials during the last few weeks of a certain ex-president's term.

Query for the board:  Like.....ummmm....dudes.  Can't they retire the entire Illinois debt for the cost of the Barrry Soerto Presidential Library???

BTW:  Did BS ever learn to read? 

Yog Soggoth's picture

Pretty sure the Presidential library is where the real birth certificate and school records are hidden. I am betting there is a mysterious fire before the 5 years is up unless the evidence is supeoned in a major case.

Anon2017's picture

Streets named MLK tend to be in No Go zones. You've been warned.

venturen's picture

what's the difference...."Obama's Hersey Highway to Hell" or OHHH there fixed it for you

OpTwoMistic's picture

You Il. people voted for these ass clowns.  What was on your minds?

espirit's picture


The Kool-Aid was much stronger back then.


Juggernaut x2's picture

The govt union cocksuckers have a hammerlock on this state- teachers, cops, firefighters,  AFSCME, IUOE,  etc

ChanceIs's picture

That's the ticket:

'Riding on the freeway of love in a pink Cadillac.'


Calmyourself's picture

Mish, if you lived in this socialist hell hole certain to implode.  You would never want to own an AR-15 right Mish?

AGuy's picture

"Mish, if you lived in this socialist hell hole certain to implode"

I believe Mish already lives in or near the socialist hell hole called Baltimore.

Grimaldus's picture

At the core of any progressive is tyranny. It's what they do.








armageddon addahere's picture

Does the Obam Highway lead straight to the poor house?

J J Pettigrew's picture

Illinois....where Madigan can KIILL any bill before it can be voted upon

where his daughter is the Attorney General....

put a 20$ toll on that stretch of 55....

new game's picture

in perspective, is 60 billion any different than 20 trillion?

John Kerry-Heinz's picture

Madigan is the Chuck U Schumer of Illinois politics, except he has fare more power than the Guvner.

NewHugh's picture

I  believe my libtard stte MD has at least 15 MLK Boulevards.  "I have a dream" for libtards to ignore my message but still give me massive accolades with their highways...

Handful of Dust's picture

Luckily, my nearby city voted down the "Al Sharpton Hwy."


The farce gets more grotesque every day.

NewHugh's picture

DC needs a"Bitch set me up highway" in appreciation of Barry...

Handful of Dust's picture

Right next to the "if I had a son" freeway.