Budget Balancing Act or Taxpayer Trap? States Exposed!

A watchdog group is blowing the whistle on state and local governments, accusing them of pulling the wool over taxpayers’ eyes with their supposedly balanced budgets. Truth in Accounting recently came out with their latest “State of the States” and “Financial State of the Cities” reports, and boy, do they have some shocking news for all of us hard-working Americans.

Illinois, oh Illinois, how the mighty have fallen. Ranking a pitiful 48th in the nation, with each taxpayer burdened with a whopping $41,000 in debt. And don’t get them started on Chicago – it’s wallowing near the bottom of the pile when it comes to taxpayer burden among U.S. cities. Yikes!

The CEO of Truth in Accounting, Sheila Weinberg, didn’t hold back when she called out Illinois’ government for using smoke and mirrors to make their budget numbers look good. According to Weinberg, the pandemic really exposed the trickery at play. The state had to run to the federal reserve for a special $3.2 billion loan because their credit was so shot, and yet, the governor had the nerve to claim the budget was balanced. Talk about pulling the wool over our eyes!

But hey, it’s not just Illinois – 28 states, including the Land of Lincoln, didn’t have enough moolah to pay their bills in 2022. A staggering $938 billion of debt was hanging over their heads. It’s like they’re playing a high-stakes game of Monopoly and just swiping that credit card left and right, expecting the taxpayers to foot the bill.

And on the city front, things aren’t looking much better. A whopping 53 cities didn’t have the dough to cover their bills, with pension debt climbing to $175.9 billion and retiree health care costs ballooning to $135.2 billion. It’s like they’re throwing a never-ending retirement party, and we’re all stuck with the tab.

But fear not, not all hope is lost! There are cities out there that are actually doing right by their taxpayers. The golden trio – Washington D.C., Irvine, California, and Plano, Texas – are sitting pretty with a taxpayer surplus. Meanwhile, the usual suspects – New York City, Chicago, and Honolulu – are dragging everyone down with their heavy taxpayer burdens.

So, there you have it, folks. The truth is out there, and it’s not pretty. But at least we have Truth in Accounting to shine a light on the financial shenanigans that our state and local governments are pulling. Keep an eye on your wallets, friends, because it looks like we’re going to need every penny.

Written by Staff Reports

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