Love or hate him, if you need another reason for why Donald Trump was elected, Illinois certainly has it. Call it the Chicago way.
The state’s pension debt hit a whopping $130 billion in 2016, up 17 percent from 2015. While many blame profligate government spending for the Land of Lincoln’s financial ills, the Chicago Tribune specifically points to said pension debt as its cause.
Now, barring a block from the feds, the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program, a state-mandated IRA, is set for full implementation in June. It follows similar plans from equally frugal stewards of the people’s purse in other locales, most notably California. Apparently the introduction of state-run IRAs and 401ks like these, overseen by the same people, is the answer to our retirement woes.
(Rest assured, the mandatory Illinois plan is “designed to impose minimal burdens on employers.”)
We’re all for a 401k-style retirement system for government workers; anything is better than the outdated and antiquated DB pension system. Heck, we don’t even have an issue with state governments that simply establish a retirement marketplace to promote coverage, like New Jersey. But a mandatory government-run system for private sector workers is another matter.
If you still need convincing, consider this—as the Illinois budget heads for financial Armageddon, state lawmakers are busy preparing for Armageddon of another type. The Wall Street Journal reports on Springfield’s efforts to designate October 2017 as Zombie Preparedness Month.
Think it’s tongue-in-cheek; a whimsical nod to the recent pop-culture popularity of the undead? Think again.
“Whereas, if the citizens of Illinois are prepared for zombies, than [sic] they are prepared for any natural disaster,” the resolution reads. “While a Zombie Apocalypse may never happen, the preparation for such an event is the same as for any natural disaster. Resolved … that all Illinois residents are encouraged to participate in preparing for a Zombie Apocalypse.”
This is where, in all seriousness, they choose to focus. Zombies—we could be so lucky.