Illinois is $15 billion in debt — and trying to borrow more money to get out of the hole. The state has been threatened with a downgrade to junk bond status by credit rating agencies after two years of spending without a state budget.
Wednesday on radio, Glenn listed examples of the state’s reckless spending on salaries:
• Chicago auto pound supervisor: $144,453
• State correctional facility nurse: $254,741
• Junior college president: $465,420
• University doctors: $1.6 million
• Deputy police chief: $240,917 (with overtime)
• School superintendent: $398,229
“You’re going to love this one. If you’re a barber in the prison, you make $100,000,” Glenn said.
“Well, I mean, I’m sure they give really special haircuts,” Co-host Pat Gray joked.
There are thousands and thousands of people on the government payroll in Illinois:
• 20,295 teachers and school administrators
• 10,676 rank-and-file workers and managers in Chicago alone
• 9,567 college and university employees
• 8,640 State of Illinois employees
• 8,817 small town city and village employees, including 84 municipal managers out-earning every U.S. governor.
Additionally, overtime is a huge expense for the Prairie State. In 2016, Chicago alone paid $283 million in overtime to 1,000 employees, making an extra $40,000 each on top of salaries. Altogether, Illinois directs around $12 billion in cash compensation to six-figure government workers, including federal employees.
This is a rush transcript and may contain errors.
GLENN: Oh, and some really good news. Especially if you live in Illinois. Illinois is in trouble. It is teetering on junk bond status. So what does that mean? That means the state’s about to collapse. Why is it in trouble? Oh, my gosh. We’ll show you the stats of Illinois, and we begin there right now.
Open the books.com has done some research. It’s on Forbes now. Why Illinois is in trouble.
Well, as they’re flirting with junk bond status and the states — the courts have said “You have to pay all of the pensions” let me tell you about some of the expenses that are not the pensions. These are current expenditures.
Right now, they have 63,000 government employees bringing in six figure and higher salaries. Open the books.com went. Illinois consistently one of the worst offenders. They have an auto pound supervisor in Chicago. Guy who runs the auto pound. Making $144,453. If you want to be a nurse in a prison.
PAT: Wow. Just where they impound vehicles?
GLENN: Uh-huh. Well, he’s a manager.
PAT: Wow. That’s a good gig.
GLENN: That’s only 144,000. How about this? If you’re a nurse at a state correctional facility.
GLENN: You’re he didn’t up to $254,741. A nurse. Junior college. Junior college presidents making $465,420. There’s university doctors — okay. Remember the nurses were 254. How much are the doctors? University doctors earning $1.6 million and 84 city managers or mayors outearning every single U.S. governor.
GLENN: But that’s nothing.
JEFFY: They have to do an entire city.
GLENN: They have 20,295 teachers and school administrators that are paid like the superintendent Joyce Carmine 398,229. Park schools district teacher 384 —
PAT: Wait, just for a teacher?
PAT: A teacher is making $384,000?
GLENN: 20,295 teachers and school administrators. The top five salaries are in the south suburbs and not the affluent north shore. 10,686 rank and file workers in Chicago including 216,200 for rob Emmanuel, 400,000 for Ginger Evans, commissioner of aviation, includes a $100,000 bonus on top of their $400,000 salary. A deputy police chief made 240,917, and that’s with 146,860 in overtime. Ramona Perkins.
JEFFY: This is a good gig right here.
GLENN: Pulled down police communications operator. 121,318 and overtime of 196,726.
JEFFY: Almost $200,000 of overtime.
GLENN: Her salary is 121. Her overtime is 196.
GLENN: And, by the way, she’s a operator — police communications operator. That’s what she’s doing.
JEFFY: That’s an important job.
GLENN: You have 9,567 college and university employees, including the southern Illinois junior college power couple Dale Chapman and Linda Chapman. The pair combined make $682,000 for working at Louis and Clark community college.
PAT: Doing what? What do they do?
GLENN: I think they run it.
GLENN: I think they run it.
And then you have Fady Sharbell who is making 1.58 million.
PAT: Wait, doing what?
GLENN: These are college and university employers —
GLENN: I’m sorry. Employees.
PAT: 1.58 million?
GLENN: You have Constantine making 1.4 million.
JEFFY: These are the doctors.
GLENN: Universal Illinois, you have 8,640 state of Illinois employees, including a contractual worker at the newly created department of innovation and technology making 258,000. You’re going to love this one. If you’re a barber in the prison, you make $100,000.
PAT: Well, I mean, I’m sure they give really special haircuts there.
GLENN: Wait, wait, wait. They’re very hard.
PAT: And you want the inmates to be stylish; right?
GLENN: You do.
PAT: You want them to look good.
GLENN: So you have $100,000 barber at the prisons making $100,000.
PAT: That’s crazy.
GLENN: But you have also at the prisons, the quote teacher of barbering who also makes over $100,000.
PAT: Well, how are the barbers going to know how to cut hair without a barber teacher?
STU: How can a barber barb?
PAT: I’m not usually shocked by this but those are shocking statistics. That is —
GLENN: In total, there is roughly $12 billion in cash compensation flowing to six-figure government workers when counting the 9,031 federal employees based in Illinois.
PAT: And then they’re saying why are our finances so bad in this state? How do we go bankrupt?
STU: Well, and it goes even deeper than that because after these people retire with $185,000 salaries, they get pensions based off of those salaries that carry them for the rest of their lives.
PAT: Yeah, they’ll get three-fourths or two-thirds of their salary for the rest of their lives. That’s a heck of a lot of money.
GLENN: Some Illinois K through 12 schools are spiking salaries and padding pensions. Data reveals nearly 30,000 teachers and administrators earned $100,000 plus. However, 20,295 only — so 20,295 out of the 30,000 are actually employed. The other 9,305 are retired and receiving their six-figure pension.
This is absolutely unbelievable. And it’s not going away because all of them have unions. And so the state is saying “You have to pay the pensions because the unions made the deal with the government. They’re still making this pensions. They’re still paying those pensions. They’re still making new covenants with the guys coming in now saying okay. Yeah, I’m going to pay you $100,000 now. But I’ll pay you 196,000 in overtime to get your pension up so you’ll have a six-figure pension for the rest of your life. Oh, and you only have to work here 20 years.
STU: Think about how — we — a lot of conservatives will say pensions are okay. And a good idea. And, you know, look, you enter into a situation where you — that’s part of the deal, and I honestly understand that. But what they’re doing is telling you, you know, I’ll pay you Thursday or Tuesday for a hamburger today.
GLENN: I’ll pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.
STU: They’re just saying we’re not going to pay you what you’re worth now. What we’re going to do is send this out over a long, long period of time so you get paid for a lot of years that you do nothing.
That is not a good philosophy.