Kevin Peraino’s recent book Lincoln in the World has a wonderful quote on page 44:
“The curmudgeonly former president [John Quincy Adams, then serving in the House of Representatives] had little patience for the rowdy new brand of expansionism embodied in ‘Mr. Polk’s War.’ In the House chamber one day, legislators cheerfully debated among themselves about the correct pronunciation of the word ‘Illinois.’ Overhearing the conversation, Adams snapped that judging ‘from the character of the representatives in this congress from that state, I should decide unhesitatingly that the proper pronunciation was ‘All Noise.'”
Things have not changed much since JQ’s time. Today, Illinois is dead last of all states in recovering from the Great Recession. Illinois has the worst unfunded pension debt ($110 billion) of any state. The worst S&P bond rating of any state ($187 billion shortfall). The highest borrowing cost of any state. The most unpaid bills. The only state – with California – that gets an “F” for being business friendly. It has among the highest state taxes (which are going up). Jobs are leaving Illinois at the rate of a thousand a day. Businesses are leaving in droves. As are citizens. Food stamp growth has outpaced new jobs 2 to 1 in the last four years. Chicago’s population today is less than it was in 1920. Regulations are suffocating and inconsistent. The State has been run by a buffoon and some hoodlums. On Election Day, a new Governor was elected. A glimmer of hope for Illinois? Not if Mike Madigan can help it. . . .