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Illinois so bankrupt that even Powerball dumped them for fear of receiving payments

Illinois so bankrupt that even Powerball dumped them for fear of receiving payments

It is perhaps not ironic that the two states that are most in debt are ones that are ruled completely by Democratic politicians.  And of course we are referring to California and Illinois.

However, at least for California they have had the fortitude to pass an annual budget.  But for Illinois, their incompetency at the legislative level is so great that not only have they not passed a budget in over three years, but their deficits are so vast that even the national Powerball lottery had to dump the state out of fear that they would be unable to pay their obligations.

As if Illinois didn’t have enough to worry about between an imminent downgrade to junk (as soon as July 1), soaring debt costs, insolvent pension funds, and roads that may soon resemble the lunar surface, today in the latest insult to a relentless series of injuries, the lottery itself is about to dump Illinois.

According to the Sun Times, the Multi-State Lottery Association, the organization that runs the Powerball lottery and Mega Millions games, will drop Illinois at the end of June without a budget agreement. Since Illinois has been unable to compromise on a budget for the past two years, and not even the threat of being the first US state in history of being “junked” has prompted a compromise, it most likely means that Illinois resident have just two more weeks of “get rich quick” opportunities, before they are cut off from the rest of America. – Zerohedge

In fact there is already a precedent in Illinois of having defaulted on payments to lottery winners back in 2015 who had participated in their internal lottery games.

On Wednesday, the Illinois lottery announced that anyone who won prizes worth more than $600 wouldn’t get paid until the legislature and governor passed a budget, something it hasn’t been able to do for months. The state has been issuing IOUs to winners of prizes worth more than $25,000 since August, with the Comptroller’s office arguing that it wasn’t legally allowed to make payments without a budget. – Fortune

Currently, Illinois has a backlog of over $15 billion in delayed payments to vendors and miscellaneous obligations due to their failure to pass a budget.  And just a few days ago, contractors hired to take care of Illinois roads and highways was given a cease and desist letter because the state could no longer guarantee payments to the companies providing these services.

The most ironic thing in all of this is that the state of Illinois has some of the highest income, sales, and property taxes in the country, but is also one of the most corrupt in that they have for decades been run by political machines (Daley), unions, and by con men like former President Barack Obama who used the title of Community Organizer to funnel money from the taxpayers into the same political machines that have now brought Illinois to the brink of bankruptcy.

For their own part, the minority of people in the state who have finally had enough are exodusing the state in droves, leaving the ones who are too poor to move to have to remain in this ever growing region of crime, taxation, unemployment, and political corruption.  And where many other states over the past six years have seen a shift in their own political landscape as conservatives have taken back a majority of governorships and legislatures, the chances of the residents of Illinois having the will to change their own leadership is about the same odds as the government being able to stave off insolvency.

Kenneth Schortgen Jr is a writer for The Daily Economist,,, and Viral Liberty, and hosts the popular youtube podcast on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Ken can also be heard Wednesday afternoons giving an weekly economic report on the Angel Clark radio show.



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