We recently headed east to Ohio for a family reunion and water-sports showdown. Because I’m only a generation removed from farming, I couldn’t help but notice the dire state of the corn and soybeans across Illinois, Indiana, and into central Ohio. Drought emergencies have been declared in multiple states. You don’t have to look for the official declaration, however, just look at the worry lines and frowns in the small towns throughout the Midwest. People know that a certain percentage of peers will face bankruptcy as a result, and no amount of federal emergency funding will change that.
What does it mean for you? Expect an increase to your grocery bill in the next few months – 25% or higher, depending on your diet and where you live. Grain and soy prices affect such a large portion of the food supply…
…And while you’re at it, go ahead an budget for the continuing increase to your taxes – especially you fellow resident of Illinois. The debtor state’s comptroller just announced an estimated $7.5-8 billion figure for monies owed to entities such as vendors, schools, and municipalities. This backlog of bills is, of course, only a small portion of an astronomical $43 billion deficit, if one considers the cost of pension benefits owed to state workers. This despite the tax increase Governor Pat Quinn campaigned on.
Our trip to Ohio brought us into states that actually have budget surpluses. Yes, a foreign concept around here, but there they were on the Columbus local news, discussing the best way to obligate funds for a budget surplus. I’m thinking, what kind of magicians, what superhuman policymakers could achieve such fiscal responsibility? Continue reading