• Jharad McClung Lester

Trump calls out Illinois Dems for mismanaging money

President Trump (Credit: AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Donald Trump called out Illinois lawmakers for fiscal irresponsibility on Monday morning, tweeting the state as an "example" of a government that has demonstrated poor control over its finances.

"Why should the people and taxpayers of America be bailing out poorly run states (like Illinois, as example) and cities, in all cases Democrat run and managed, when most of the other states are not looking for bailout help? I am open to discussing anything, but just asking?" Trump tweeted.

Nearly two weeks ago, Democrats in Illinois' state senate wrote a letter to Congress asking for a $30 billion bailout, with an additional $10 billion throw in for the state's underfunded pension system. Several Illinois Democrats have denied the President's remarks regarding mismanagement, with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot saying that her city pays more in taxes than it receives and was "very well run."

Andrew Biggs, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, recently mentioned in the Wall Street Journal that Illinois has long been "at the forefront of pension mismanagement."

From 2001 to 2019, the state of Illinois made only about 80 percent of the actuarial determined contributions to its main plan. The state assumed roughly an eight percent annual investment return on those contributions, but received an average of 5.2 percent. The average benefit paid to a retired full-career state employee rose from $41,700 to $49,700. Pensioners received a guaranteed three percent cost-of-living adjustment, even though the Consumer Price Index rose only 2.2 percent annually.

"What I know is taxpayers in this city in the state pay a lot to the federal government, and all we're asking for is our fair share," Lightfoot told NBC News Chicago. "And that is what should be involved in the calculus."

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