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Roots of the State Fiscal Crisis

State government in Illinois faces a severe and deepening fiscal crisis. The most recent revenue projections suggest that the cumulative General Funds budget deficit for FY 2009 and FY 2010 will exceed $12 billion. Fiscal assistance from the federal government will offset the deficit by about $4 billion, but that would still leave a huge budget gap. Unfortunately, public debate over the state fiscal crisis is distorted by a set of widespread myths about budget and tax policy in Illinois. The central myth is that the state’s massive budget deficit was created by runaway spending. A corollary myth is that unrestrained spending growth has put an increasingly heavy burden on Illinois taxpayers. The misguided conclusion is that the deficit can be closed by cutting expenditures for “bloated programs” and by eliminating waste and fraud. Download and read report

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