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.

From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.