Illinois Bet the Farm and Lost—You'll Never Guess Who They Want to Pay the Tab

Illinois is facing a fiscal crisis that would see normal businesses shutting their doors and packing up the U-Haul. But states are an entirely different matter. They're not allowed to declare bankruptcy.

Pensions, which a judge ordered must be paid by Illinois, now amount to 100 percent of the state's revenue. Moreover, those pension funds are invested in the stock market and cannot be paid without a guaranteed five to seven percent return --- which is nearly impossible. So lawmakers have come up with a new plan to solve the problem created by an overburdened, overreaching government: tax the rich.

"This is an actual proposal now. They want to tax the rich, but in particular, they are mad at the people who are making so much money on the stock market. So what they're going to do, in Illinois, they are now proposing a 'small' tax of 20 percent," Glenn explained Thursday on radio.

The other proposal on the table is to break up the state and have it absorbed by the surrounding states.

"How many people in Missouri want to now be responsible for East St. Louis?" Glenn asked.

Thanks, but no thanks, Illinois.

GLENN: Hello, America.

Back in -- when I was at Fox, I did a segment on pensions and how pensions were working for fire firefighters and police and everything else. And if you remember, it was like four or five -- when pensions first started, it was like four or five workers would support the firefighter that left. Remember?

The problem is, is that the pyramid has been turned upside down. Now, what's happening, is one person is trying to take care of three or four pensioners. And there's absolutely no way to cover it. The math doesn't work. The pyramid is upside down. And it's a pyramid scheme.

So what did they do? The -- the unions decided that they would take all of the money that was supposed to go to pensions and they would put it into the stock market. And they had to get a return of five to 7 percent a year to be able to cover -- what they said, cover all of the pensions. It still didn't work.

Stu, you're wise enough to -- on money investment. How -- how difficult is it to get a guaranteed return of five to 7 percent a year?

STU: There's actually no such thing as a guaranteed return, in this particular climate, of five to 7 percent a year.

GLENN: Right.

STU: I mean, if it's in the stock market, it's obviously never guaranteed.

GLENN: Right. And in the stock market, or any investment, say I need 7 percent or I collapse every year. Is that something you should put together?

STU: That's a horrific idea.

GLENN: Horrific idea. There's no -- there's nobody in --

PAT: You might get that some years.

GLENN: Correct.

PAT: You might even do better than that some years.

STU: Oh, yeah. And you will.

PAT: But it's almost a guarantee you won't get it every year.

GLENN: So because the pension is upside down, the pyramid pension is upside down, now you have one person paying for three people, it doesn't work. And the stock market has been up and down. You never know if you're going to get five to 7 percent. But if you put your money in, in 2008, when the stock market was, what? At about 8,000.

STU: It was in the 6800 range --

GLENN: Yeah, might have been 6800.

Okay. Today, the stock market is at 21,000.

STU: Right.

GLENN: So you got a pretty good return on your money, don't you think?

PAT: Yeah. Tripled it.

GLENN: Yeah. You put your money into the teacher's union and the teacher's union is invested in stocks, that's fantastic. You went from 6800 went to 21,000. That's probably the best run of the stock market in history.

We were at an all-time high of 21,000. Illinois now has 100 percent of every tax dollar coming in, going out to pay for the pensions. 100 percent of every tax dollar, which means nothing for schools, nothing for roads, nothing for infrastructure, nothing to pay the mayor, nothing but graft now for city council. Nothing. 100 percent.

And a judge has said, "You cannot reduce any of the pensions. They must -- the state of Illinois must pay 100 percent of those pensions," which is now taking 100 percent of every tax dollar to pay.

So now they're saying, "We're going to break Illinois up." One suggestion is we're going to break Illinois up into five separate states and give portions of the state of Illinois. So congratulations, St. Louis, you're going to get east St. Louis as well. And you just to have take care of that.

Or is it -- it's east St. Louis, isn't it? Across the border? Yeah. Congratulations. How many people in Missouri want to now be responsible for east St. Louis?

But congratulations. You might get that. And, you know, it will now be part of your state. Congratulations.

No, thank you. And you can pay for all the pensions and everything there. Well, that's not going to work. The states aren't going to do it. Because every state is in this condition.

So --

PAT: Except for Texas.

GLENN: Except for Texas. Be careful.

Now, what are they talking about -- besides -- they're not going to break the state up. So besides that, what is the state of Illinois suggesting that they do?

The state has a great idea. They say that the wealthy are getting rich off of the stock market. Now, let's remember that the pensions are all in the stock market. So it's not just the wealthy that are getting rich on the stock market. It's the people who have their money in 401(k)s, IRAs, and in pension funds. They're getting rich on the stock market. Or they're at least getting partially paid because of the stock market being run up. So what is Illinois' plan?

Oh, I'll show you next. And show you how this works out, a little like what's happening in London, when we come back.

GLENN: All right. Let me just -- let me just take you through this real quick, and then we're going to get to what lessons did the Democrats learn and where is the world headed.

The problem in Illinois is going to hit every -- is going to hit every state. And it's going to hit every state differently. The pensions -- and we're talked about the fire, the police, all -- all state workers -- the pensions are out of control and have been for a long time. And back in 2008 or 2009, as I outlined, if we don't take care of these problems now, we are going to be facing massive issues in the future and there will be no good outcome. The outcome will be, dump it into the lap of the federal government. That's what I said at the time, 2008, 2009, if you remember that episode.

Well, we're here now. And Illinois, which is the state that I used as the example, is the first one to start to collapse. They have -- the money that they owe people in pensions is going to take 100 percent of the budget, and the state has said that they have to have -- they have to pay these pensions. So that's 100 percent of the budget.

The pensions are invested in the stock market. And for them to pay the pensions -- this is what they claimed -- they needed a five to 7 percent guaranteed return on their money. Well, that's impossible. I mean, that's -- you know, I know the Bernie Madoff. But it's on the road to Bernie Madoff. Nobody can promise you five to seven. But you had to have five to 7 percent in pensions because they wouldn't reduce the pensions they promised everybody. And we all accepted it. And the politicians were too greedy to say these unions are lying to you. You're never going to be able to retire because this is -- this is nothing but a Ponzi scheme.

All right. They're not getting enough of the return. They're not able to be able to make the money when the stock market is at 21,000. The highest ever. And they still can't make these pensions work.

It's not like, we had a crash, and it was unexpected. No, no, no. Highest stock market ever. And it's still not enough.

What happens if we have a correction and it falls to 15,000? What happens if -- let's be crazy and say another, you know, 2008 happens and it falls down to 16800. Or another Great Depression happens.

Well, what happens to then the Illinois pension fund, which is now taking 100 percent of the budget? Is it 200 percent of the budget?

So Illinois has bankruptcy. No, that's not going to work. Because a state can't declare bankruptcy. They can break the state apart. That's not going to happen.

So they're left with taxes. Let's take more from the poor, right? Isn't it the poor?

No. No. Sorry. They want to tax the rich.

Now, who are they taxing? Who are they going to tax? This is an actual proposal now. They want to tax the rich, but in particular, they are mad at the people who are making so much money on the stock market.

So what they're going to do, in Illinois, they are now proposing a small tax of 20 percent.

PAT: Oh, my gosh. On --

GLENN: On transactions in the stock market. Okay.

PAT: Good golly.

STU: What?

GLENN: 20 percent tax over a certain amount for the uber rich.

Well, Stu, you're investing money in the stock market, and Illinois sets a trap up to take 20 percent of your money. What do you do?

STU: Putting my money somewhere else, because even if I'm successful, I lose under this proposal.

GLENN: Correct. If I get a 7 percent return on my money and I want to move my money, I lose an additional 13 percent. I lose the 13 percent -- I'm sorry. No, no, no, wait. I lose -- yeah, 13 percent. Because I've made seven, but they're taking 20. So I've lost 13 percent of my money, even though I gained.

STU: So then, of course, these wealthy individuals do not invest in the stock market. And what happens to the stock market when they don't invest in it?

GLENN: What? What are you talking about?

STU: Yeah, it doesn't stay up. If you start taking millionaires or billionaires out of the stock market, that doesn't help.

GLENN: Yeah. Or because you are taxing the people of Illinois, something else happens too.

STU: People move the hell out of the state.

GLENN: Yes. There we go. They move. They take their crap and they leave Illinois.

STU: Now, that helps the pension funding, right?


STU: Because not having those people there -- they're so bad for the economy, those rich people.

GLENN: No. No. No.

So now they're gone.

PAT: Jeez.

JEFFY: Well, we've got to do something about that. We've got to make it so that they can't move.

GLENN: Right. Right. So now there's two problems: That's not going to work. It will only make things worse. And then the state will say, we've got to make it so people can't move.

This is going to be -- there's another problem that is going on. So the state will have to move it up to the federal government because the federal government will be the only one that could be the backstop. Because Illinois is too big to fail. There's another problem.

If I have my pension in the firefighters union or the police union and I'm already seeing in places like Dallas that there's no way I'm going to get my pension, it's starting to collapse in a healthy city, like Dallas. I'm going to do, what? I'm going to ask for my cash payout. I'll take less to get my money now.

So once they start to see what's really happening in Illinois and they realize, this whole thing is going to collapse, all of the people who have pensions are now going to say, "I'm getting my money out now." And that's -- what happens -- what do we call that when it happens to banks?

PAT: Run on the bank.

GLENN: Run on the bank. So what do they do? They usually close the bank so you can't do a run on the bank. And then they tell you, you can only take out a certain amount. So now you don't have a choice anymore.

The federal government will tell you, you can't take the pension money. You can't take a lump sum anymore because it will cause a run on the pensions. So when this happens and you have the stock market -- let's say the stock market crashes and the extra taxes on the rich don't work and then people start to lose their job and lose their money in their 401(k) and you don't have a pension, the federal government is going to bail you out. By putting that much money -- by printing that much money, what happens then again to our money? Because now we're printing millions and billions of dollars, that is going to have velocity.

Critical Race Theory: A special brand of evil


Part of what makes it hard for us to challenge the left is that their beliefs are complicated. We don't mean complicated in a positive way. They aren't complicated the way love is complicated. They're complicated because there's no good explanation for them, no basis in reality.

The left cannot pull their heads out of the clouds. They are stuck on romantic ideas, abstract ideas, universal ideas. They talk in theories. They see the world through ideologies. They cannot divorce themselves from their own academic fixations. And — contrary to what they believe and how they act — it's not because leftists are smarter than the rest of us. And studies have repeatedly shown that leftists are the least happy people in the country. Marx was no different. The Communist Manifesto talks about how the rise of cities "rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life."

Studies have repeatedly shown that leftists are the least happy people in the country.

Instead of admitting that they're pathological hypocrites, they tell us that we're dumb and tell us to educate ourselves. Okay, so we educate ourselves; we return with a coherent argument. Then they say, "Well, you can't actually understand what you just said unless you understand the work of this other obscure Marxist writer. So educate yourselves more."

It's basically the "No True Scotsman" fallacy, the idea that when you point out a flaw in someone's argument, they say, "Well, that's a bad example."

After a while, it becomes obvious that there is no final destination for their bread-crumb trail. Everything they say is based on something that somebody else said, which is based on something somebody else said.

Take critical race theory. We're sure you've noticed by now that it is not evidence-based — at all. It is not, as academics say, a quantitative method. It doesn't use objective facts and data to arrive at conclusions. Probably because most of those conclusions don't have any basis in reality.

Critical race theory is based on feelings. These feelings are based on theories that are also based on feelings.

We wanted to trace the history of critical race theory back to the point where its special brand of evil began. What allowed it to become the toxic, racist monster that it is today?

Later, we'll tell you about some of the snobs who created critical theory, which laid the groundwork for CRT. But if you follow the bread-crumb trail from their ideas, you wind up with Marxism.

For years, the staff has devoted a lot of time to researching Marxism. We have read a lot of Marx and Marxist writing. It's part of our promise to you to be as informed as possible, so that you know where to go for answers; so that you know what to say when your back is up against the wall. What happens when we take the bread-crumb trail back farther, past Marxism? What is it based on?

This is the point where Marxism became Marxism and not just extra-angry socialism.

It's actually based on the work of one of the most important philosophers in human history, a 19th-century German philosopher named Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.

This is the point where Marxism became Marxism and not just extra-angry socialism. And, as you'll see in just a bit, if we look at Hegel's actual ideas, it's obvious that Marx completely misrepresented them in order to confirm his own fantasies.

So, in a way, that's where the bread-crumb trail ends: With Marx's misrepresentation of an incredibly important, incredibly useful philosophy, a philosophy that's actually pretty conservative.

We've heard a lot about critical race theory lately, and for good reason: It's a racist ideology designed to corrupt our children and undermine our American values. But most of what we see are the results of a process that has been underway for decades. And that's not something the mainstream media, the Democrat Party, and even teachers unions want you to know. They're doing everything in their power to try and convince you that it's no big deal. They want to sweep everything under the rug and keep you in the dark. To fight it, we need to understand what fuels it.

On his Wednesday night special this week, Glenn Beck exposes the deep-seated Marxist origins of CRT and debunks the claims that it's just a harmless term for a school of legal scholarship. Newsweek opinion editor Josh Hammer joins to argue why we must ban critical race theory from our schools if we want to save a very divided nation.

Watch the full "Glenn TV" episode below:

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On the radio program Monday, Glenn Beck blasted the Democrats — and anyone else on the left — who have been so eager to open our southern U.S. border for the past several months, but also willing to turn a blind eye to the Cuban people in need of help today.

"While we are welcoming people from any country, all over the world, without any kind of information, and setting them into our country, putting them on American planes paid for by American taxpayers," Glenn began. "And our Coast Guard Cutters are turning these [Cuban] people away. Shame on you! Shame on you!"

Glenn said that he's "sick and tired" of hearing about "brave" leftist activists like Colin Kaepernick, who protest the America flag while wearing Che Guevara and Fidel Castro t-shirts. Meanwhile, the Cuban people are risking their lives by taking to the sea to escape their oppressive regime and come to America.

"Anybody who glorifies Che doesn't know their ass from their elbow. You can't call them a human rights activist. You're protesting the American flag, because you so deeply believe in the right to be free? And yet, you wear a Che T-shirt?" Glenn said.

Glenn went on to argue that, even though the left has "bastardized" the meaning of our country, he still believes America is the best nation on Earth. In fact, he'd give up his citizenship "in a heartbeat" if another country could prove to be better, more noble, and more free. But no other nation exists like ours, he said, which is why it's so imperative we fight for freedom here, in Cuba, and around the world.

Watch the video clip below to hear Glenn explain:

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There's a new "reality" spreading, and the mere act of questioning it has become incredibly dangerous, Wall Street Journal investigative journalist Abigail Shrier told Glenn on the most recent episode of "The Glenn Beck Podcast."

Shrier's book, "Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters," exposes the radical gender activism that — like critical race theory — has overtaken our children's schools and culture. But even worse, she warned, it could end your parental rights for good.

Shrier made it clear she is by no means "anti-trans," but simply speaking up against the extremes of this new "reality" has made her enemy No. 1 to many activists. Her book has been bashed so hard by the Left that Target has stopped selling it twice, Amazon once banned ads for it, and the American Booksellers Association even called sending it to others "a serious, violent incident."

In the clip below, Shrier explained why she believes "there may be no hope for the public school system."

"You have teachers behaving like activists across the country who have no interest in actually teaching. They believe their job is to remake your child," she asserted. "We're seeing so much evidence of that, I think it's fair to say that it may be too deeply rooted in the ideology being taught in public school. I'm not sure that the public school system is redeemable at this point."

Watch the video clip below for more or find the full podcast with Abigail Shrier here:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.