If demographics are destiny, the future of the US is going to reflect the bankrupt states of Illinois and Puerto Rico, so says Pat Buchanan in his latest column.
If Gov. Bruce Rauner and his legislature in Springfield do not put a budget together by Friday, the Land of Lincoln will be the first state in the Union to see its debt plunge into junk-bond status. Really makes you think.
Illinois has $14.5 billion in overdue bills, $130 billion in unfunded pension obligations, and no budget. “We can’t manage our money,” says Rauner. “We’re like a banana republic.”
Speaking of banana republics, Puerto Rico, which owes $74 billion to creditors who hold its tax-exempt bonds, and $40 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, has already entered bankruptcy proceedings.
Some Democrats are discovering there are limits to how much the government can consume of the nation’s wealth without adversely affecting their own fortunes. And in the Obamacare debate this week, Republicans are running head-on into the reality that clawing back social welfare benefits already voted may be political suicide.
Has democratic socialism passed its apogee?
Native-born populations in the West are aging, shrinking and dying, not reproducing themselves. The cost of pensions and health care for the elderly is inexorably going up. Immigration into the West, almost entirely from the Third World, is bringing in peoples who, on balance, take more in social welfare than they pay in taxes.
Deficits and national debts as a share of GDP are rising. Almost nowhere does one see the old robust growth rates returning. And the infrastructure of the West — roads, bridges, tunnels, ports, airports, subways, train tracks — continues to crumble for lack of investment.
The days of interstate highway systems and moon shots seem to be behind us. Are Puerto Rico and Illinois the harbingers of what is to come?
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