Nikki Haley Slams Blue State For Leveraging Virus to Demand Billions in Bailouts
Nikki Haley called out Illinois Democrats for trying to use COVID-10 relief funds to bail out their failing and corrupt pension system. She, as well as many others, urges Washington to not throw more money into the mismanaged hands of Democratic officials. The pension woes in Illinois has been a long-standing issue and not related to the pandemic.
According to the Chicago Sun, Illinois Senate Democrats are asking the federal government for more than $41 billion in federal aid — about a quarter of it for a pension fund bailout — to keep the state financially afloat as the coronavirus pandemic continues to slash revenues across the board.
A letter from Illinois Senate President Don Harmon, addressed to U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, went out Tuesday to Illinois’ entire congressional delegation — a day before Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced the economic shutdown would result in an estimated $2.7 billion revenue shortfall in the state’s current budget.
“I realize I’ve asked for a lot, but this is an unprecedented situation, and we face the reality that there likely will be additional, unanticipated costs that could result in future requests for assistance,” Harmon wrote on behalf of the state senate Democratic caucus.
"Illinois is a perfect example of a state that shouldn’t be bailed out at the expense of fiscally responsible governments. Gov. J.B. Pritzker, the state legislature and Chicago Mayor Lightfoot all reject structural pension reforms that would fix Illinois’ problems. They continue to block efforts to amend the state’s pension-protection clause through a constitutional amendment and they refuse to authorize the option of municipal bankruptcy, something that only requires a legislative majority.
Instead, like their predecessors, they’re protecting the status quo. As a result, Illinois’ Net Primary Position – basically its net worth – has worsened by $190 billion since 2001. Those losses resulted primarily from growing unfunded pension and retiree health insurance liabilities. Illinois’ pension crisis is now the nation’s worst, both in terms of total shortfall and on a per capita basis, according to Moody’s Investors Service. The agency rates Illinois just one notch away from junk."
“This is infuriating,” Haley wrote in a tweet Sunday that included a link to the paper’s report. “We can’t bailout Illinois’s notoriously corrupt and mismanaged pension system. We can’t have Congress going to the trough for things like like. States should not get windfalls. It All has to be paid back.”
This is infuriating. We can’t bailout Illinois’s notoriously corrupt and mismanaged pension system. We can’t have Congress going to the trough for things like like. States should not get windfalls. It All has to be paid back. https://t.co/hZedgfrID4
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) April 19, 2020
Haley isn't the only one infuriated at the corruption in Illinois among Democrats. Forbes called this one out early by saying that their dept is a 'moral issue'. Illinois Democrats are so emboldened within their home state that they don't even bother hiding their corruption as Forbes notes:
"Earlier in February, a report by the University of Illinois at Chicago ranked Chicago as the most corrupt U.S. city. That same report ranked Illinois as the third-most corrupt state. And the math behind those rankings pulls from such examples as Ald. Edward Burke, who was re-elected to his 13th term back a year ago after having been charged with attempted extortion. The charge was plastered all over the newspapers, but voters still returned him to office — and not even because he had opponents who split the opposition between them, as the Chicago elections function on a run-off basis, and Burke won an absolute majority."
Corruption costs the city, and it costs the state, and it’s not merely a matter of a few bad apples, but of a political system that is still too close to the machine politics of the past, in which what matters to voters is whether they and their interest groups get what they want.