Lest we look upon Illinois with too much hubris, this is exactly what our federal government is doing. Illinois is serving as a leading indicator.
“The massive pension liability results from a chronic tendency to defer difficult decisions,” said Ted Hampton, who as a senior credit officer at Moody’s will help decide whether to downgrade Illinois into junk.
Hampton said Illinois treated the pension fund as a “financial cushion” that could be relied on to provide fiscal relief. He also pointed to a tendency to delay paying bills and chronically underestimate spending needs.
“All of these problems are governance and management weaknesses,” Hampton said.
That’s a polite way of saying the political leaders broke the system.