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This just in… *** DOOMSDAY PLAN ***

Monday, May 18, 2009

* 12:11 pm - Subscribers already have details and I’ll update this post after the governor’s noontime speech (expecting a release around oneish). From Melissa Hahn’s Twitter page

Gov’s “doomsday” budget may be released today… thousands of teacher layoffs, massive cuts to public trans, health care, and state fair.

* 12:55 pm - From a press release…

”The Governor’s doomsday budget should serve as a wake up call to members of the General Assembly. Failure to take action to raise revenue before the session adjourns would mean catastrophic cuts to education, health care, home care, child care and countless other vital public services that millions of Illinois families depend on. Legislators who oppose cuts to these vital services need to get off the fence and on record today that they will support a fair tax plan that raises enough revenue to prevent this doomsday plan from becoming reality.”

- Keith Kelleher, SEIU Healthcare Illinois & Indiana President

* 1:00 pm - While the governor is speaking today about doomsday budgets (including eliminating all money for the Illinois State Fair, the Illinois State Fair is set to announce its grandstand lineup on Wednesday. From a press release…

ILLINOIS STATE FAIR TO ANNOUNCE 2009 GRANDSTAND LINE-UP MAY 20

DATE: Wednesday, May 20, 11 a.m.
LOCATION: Artisan’s Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds
DESCRIPTION: Illinois Agriculture Director Tom Jennings and Illinois State Fair Manager Amy Bliefnick will announce the 2009 Illinois State Fair theme and Grandstand entertainment line-up.

Apparently, the agencies aren’t yet synched up with the guv’s message of the day. Bad move.

* 1:13 pm - Senate Democratic “budgeteer” Donne Trotter talked to the press a few minutes ago about the governor’s “doomsday” proposal…


He also touched on how passing a tax hike is more difficult in the House than the Senate…


*** 1:22 pm *** We have a few details of the doomsday plan from ABC7

laying off 14,300 teachers
closing veterans homes
closing half Illinois’ parks
eliminating Illinois State Fair funding

The governor’s proposed cuts would slash about 37-percent of the state budget. [Emphasis added]

That almost looks like it was cribbed from the “Extra” I put out an hour or so ago. But, whatever.

* 1:25 pm - From AFSCME…

“These cuts would devastate education, health care, public safety, human services and transportation. Tens of thousands of public-service workers would be laid off.

“In a terrible recession, with millions unemployed and demand for public services skyrocketing, President Obama understands that government needs to invest in America, protect public services and put people back to work.

“Legislators in Springfield need to show the same leadership. They must raise revenue to prevent devastating cuts, save public services and pay the state’s bills.”

*** 1:34 pm *** From the AP, with emphasis added since this is a long post…

[Quinn] says without that money [from a tax hike], 14,300 teachers and half of state police troopers could be laid off. He says 650,000 people would lose health care and 400,000 college students could lose state grants and scholarships.

*** 1:45 pm *** From Crain’s. Again, with emphasis added…

* 14,300 public school teachers would be laid off, a $1.5-billion cut.
* 400,000 college students would lose scholarship aid in a $554-million reduction.
* 650,000 people would lose health care benefits in cuts totaling $1.2 billion.
* 271,000 seniors would not be taken care of in the wake of $368 million worth of reductions, cutting things like the state Department on Aging’s Circuit Breaker program, and services to help seniors remain in their homes and fight elderly abuse.
* 6,000 prisoners would be let out of jail early.
* $769 million in human services cuts would mean 5,000 disabled people would lose home care services and 45,000 people would no longer get addiction treatment and prevention.
* Mass transit cuts of $549 million would eliminate all public funding for public transit and Amtrak.
* Local aid to state government would be cut $1 billion.
* Another $1 billion in cuts have yet to be determined.
[…]

The cuts he detailed in his speech total about $7 billion.

That would pretty much take care of the FY10 deficit, but doesn’t really address the current fiscal year’s shortfall. In other words, the state will still be trying to catch up on bills for at least another year, but probably longer. Error. With new federal Medicaid and education cash, this does close the hole. Sorry about that.

…Adding… By zeroing out local governments, slashing school aid and mass transit subsidies, you can guarantee local tax hikes.

This doomsday proposal is, of course, an exercise and not the actual thing. But it does give you an idea of the hole we’re in.

*** Let’s close out this long thread and move the discussion to a fresh thread. Thanks. ***

- Posted by Rich Miller        


66 Comments
  1. - Greg B. - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 12:21 pm:

    She forgot dogs and cats sleeping together.

    They’re trying this in CA. Isn’t working.


  2. - JLP - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 12:22 pm:

    So why shouldn’t the state be subject to the same economic pressures as its citizens? Many of us have been slashing expenses as we lose our jobs, or even as we anticipate losing our jobs. Why shouldn’t the state have to live within its means as well?


  3. - Joe - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 12:22 pm:

    NOT THE STATE FAIR!


  4. - Louis Howe - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 12:25 pm:

    Actually, Quinn should have started with a doomsday budget and required the legislators come to him with add back solutions.


  5. - Just a Citizen - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 12:34 pm:

    Maybe some common sense cuts nobody has thought of before will be disovered in this doomsday budget. Can’t be all bad.


  6. - George - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 12:35 pm:

    For everyone outside the delusional ostriches like Greg and his All4Growth pals, this will have a pretty dramatic impact.

    You want to see what a budget looks like when you cut $12 billion? Here it is. I don’t even think they get to the full $12 billion in this, even.

    This is the budget you want. This is what you are asking for. You should hold this up high. Put it on your Web site as a victory for your way of life.

    Its the same message that must be sent to the legislators - you can’t be for the idea of cuts, but be against the actual cuts.


  7. - VanillaMan - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 12:35 pm:

    It isn’t a Doomsday budget - it is the first budget with real fiscal consequences and political risk. It is what should have been coming out of Springfield for a few years now, so that we wouldn’t be doing what we will need to do this month.


  8. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 12:38 pm:

    I agree with Vanillaman.

    EVERY Republican should vote for this budget.

    A ‘No’ vote by any Republican is a vote for higher taxes.


  9. - Rich Miller - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 12:40 pm:

    Louis Howe is absolutely correct.


  10. - VanillaMan - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 12:40 pm:

    What we have here is similar to an 800 pound person calling the FDA’s recommended daily diet a “Doomsday” diet.

    They are threatening every restaurant and grocer that if they are forced to eat it, they will no longer be able to buy their meals from them as they used to buy them - on credit.

    C’Mon tubby! We’re tired of your lethargy, your denials, your claims of speedy service, and your wretched excess. Dang! Stop whimpering!


  11. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 12:41 pm:

    Of course, what Vanillaman WON’T tell you is that while this proposed budget cuts funding for education, for veterans, for health care, for seniors, youth and the disabled….

    IT PRESERVES $1.7 BILLION IN TAX BREAKS FOR BIG CORPORATIONS!

    That, apparently, is the GOP’s idea of “shared sacrifice.”


  12. - VanillaMan - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 12:41 pm:

    EVERY Republican should vote for this budget.

    - and any honest Democrat with a pair.


  13. - George - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 12:42 pm:

    And for those who think it will not impact you:

    - don’t praise cuts to education, then fret the increase in local property taxes, or the larger class sizes at your schools.

    - Don’t praise the cuts to healthcare, and then be upset at the 650,000 newly uninsured who are clogging your hospitals, making your healthcare costs skyrocket (because they can’t pay), and causing hospitals to make drastic cuts or close because they don’t get paid for their services.

    - Don’t praise cuts to higher education, and then fret that tuition at state school are too high, or that we are losing our best and brightest students to other states.

    - Don’t praise cuts to DHS, but then be upset when mothers around the state can no longer afford child care.

    - Don’t praise cuts to addiction treatment, then get upset at the increase in crime rate.

    - Don’t praise cuts to local government subsidies, and then complain about your sales taxes and property taxes going up.

    - Don’t praise cuts to public transit, and then get upset at the high traffic on your roads, or the higher fares at the turnstile.


  14. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 12:42 pm:

    Rich Miller is absolutely correct about Louis Howe being absolutely correct.


  15. - Cassandra - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 12:43 pm:

    The usual scare tactics….today, from wealthy Democratic liberals who desperately want to tax the middle class and reap extra billions for decades to come.

    It’s the governor’s current version of a budget. There are many other versions no doubt, which would allow at least some curtailing of waste and patronage. Not sure we’ll ever see that one though. Quinn has no incentive to be honest here.

    Quinn and his Democratic backers seem to want to increase Dem patronage (they’re even renewing the four year terms of Blago appointees as their terms come up) and they are certainly willing to tolerate lots of waste…they have barely cut anything.


  16. - VanillaMan - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 12:44 pm:

    Tell that to the thousands of businesspeople leaving Illinois due to it’s lack of a future, taking along with them needed jobs.

    Chicago isn’t even on the list of US cities attracting young people anymore.

    Texas created more jobs in 2007 than the rest of the 49 states combined. I don’t think we need to give billions in tax breaks either. It is merely perfume to cover the stench of a dying economy.


  17. - Rich Miller - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 12:45 pm:

    ===from wealthy Democratic liberals who===

    Dawn Clark Netsch lost in 1994.

    Just sayin…


  18. - How Ironic - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 12:48 pm:

    @ Cassandra

    You are a fool. Please share with the rest of us your “other versions” that either reduce spending by $7.5Billion in GRF OR maintain current service levels without a revenue hike (ie taxes).

    “Just say no” has a nice ring to it until you realize what the magnitude of cuts will do to Illinois’ citizens.

    Since you seem to have a firm grasp on exactly where the “waste” is, please post your budget proposal so we can see exactly how your version stacks up.

    Your bloviations are tiresome.


  19. - George - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 12:48 pm:

    “Chicago isn’t even on the list of US cities attracting young people anymore.”

    You mean, lists like this?

    Yea, those northside neighborhoods that used to be full of young people are just ghost towns now…


  20. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 12:51 pm:

    If this were only the result of the current economic downturn, it would be bad, but manageable. As it is, it reflects decades of overspending (with respect to revenue).

    I think of the state were to actually live within its means, only the most hard core Libertarians would be OK with the results.

    Please, go to http://www.wonkish.com/ and work it out. Then come back with your list of cuts that eliminates the state’s deficit.

    Here is the state “living within it’s means;” I cannot imagine living in the state so outlined. I can imagine paying for the services I value; even though I have not had to do so in the past.


  21. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 12:56 pm:

    Cassandra, VanMan, and the rest. Please put up your “living within the means of the state budget. Time to give the fatman liposuction and put him on a starvation diet.

    Remember, the target is between 11 and 12 billion in cuts.

    BTW, Here is mine. (I forgot to post it above.)

    http://www.wonkish.com/budget/share.php?ID=1258


  22. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 12:57 pm:

    It’s the governor’s current version of a budget. There are many other versions no doubt, which would allow at least some curtailing of waste and patronage. - Cassandra

    If you’re waiting for the GOP version of a budget, don’t hold your breath.

    Tell that to the thousands of businesspeople leaving Illinois due to it’s lack of a future, taking along with them needed jobs.

    Chicago isn’t even on the list of US cities attracting young people anymore. - VanillaMan

    If you think slashing funding for K-12 education, higher education, and mass transit is going to bring employers BACK to Illinois, you need to speak to a CEO or two.


  23. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:00 pm:

    YDD is absolutely correct about Rich Miller being absolutely correct about Louis Howe being absolutely correct about Gabby Johnson being absolutely correct dagnabit.

    They should have done this from the beginning. If they had, the rollout might not have been such a disaster. Mind boggling.


  24. - Cassandra - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:04 pm:

    I didn’t say they had to cut to equal the entire proposed increase.

    I said they had to show the flag and cut something.

    Quinn and his pals are too arrogant to bother.


  25. - Rich Miller - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:05 pm:

    ===I said they had to show the flag and cut something.===

    Perhaps you missed it, but the governor has already announced over a billion in cuts. Yes, he botched the rollout, but try to pay attention here.


  26. - the Patriot - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:06 pm:

    Does this doomsday budget mean the schools will actually get what the budget says. If that is the case the teacher lay off won’t happen. Same with healthcare. We are not paying schools and health providers now. Just because Mike Madigan and Rod Blago patted themselves on the back with a budget that said the money was going to those areas and others does not mean it happened.

    So lets clarify, are schools and health providers going to get less then they are now, or is the budget going accurately reflect what they are getting.

    On a side note. As long as the IEA/NEA keeps voting democrate the schools in this state will stay a mess. They keep supporting the same failed policies and wonder why nothing changes. Maybe losing a few thousand members will hit home for them, but probably not.


  27. - just sayin - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:07 pm:

    The good news is it will put the ball in the Republicans’ court to explain how they would balance the budget without tax increases. What would they cut, specifically? Let’s see their alternative budget. If Quinn’s figures are wrong, let’s see the GOP’s numbers.

    Worthless Republican legislators are just sitting around praying the Dems raise taxes, so they will then have a campaign issue. They’ve got nothing positive to point to that they’ve done, so they just hope for a tax increase, even as they plan to attack it.

    That won’t fly. The Republicans should be forced to reveal their own alternative budget.

    Of course the problem is they haven’t been doing anything and they don’t have one.


  28. - JLP - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:10 pm:

    Of course the final answer will be a combination of budget cuts, tax increases, and probably massive borrowing. The whole idea of a budget, doomsday or otherwise, is to prioritize in the face of a limited resource (money). My vote would be to put an emphasis on cuts rather than more taxes or borrowing.


  29. - Cassandra - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:21 pm:

    I am paying attention. First, I think they’ll have to cut some more. But more importantly, the precise nature of the cuts is a mystery to me and, I am sure, to most regular folks out here.


  30. - George - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:22 pm:

    Actually, what this does is it sets the bottom for the budget in real terms instead of made-up terms.

    Any increase above this amount will require an increase in revenue somewhere.

    This essentially prevents Madigan from doing what he did the past two years and essentially creating a fictitious revenue projection to set the base level of the budget higher so they don’t have to make as many tough choices.

    It puts the ball in the General Assembly’s court to come up with their solution.


  31. - Cassandra - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:23 pm:

    I am paying attention. First, I think they’ll have to cut some more. This really should be a negotiation. But more importantly, the precise nature of the cuts is a mystery to me and, I’m sure, to many regular folks out here. I don’t think we should take Quinn’s assertion at face value. What, exactly, is he cutting.


  32. - How Ironic - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:24 pm:

    @ Cassandra

    Please give us your version. You seem to have the answers. We are waiting.


  33. - Rich Miller - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:27 pm:

    ===the precise nature of the cuts is a mystery to me and, I’m sure, to many regular folks out here===

    Try clicking on some of the ads. lol

    Seriously, though, your willful ignorance is no excuse. It may be an excuse for “regular folks,” but not for someone who is at this blog every day of the week and constantly harping about making cuts. You should know full well what’s going on. If you don’t, then you should take a breath and be quiet while you learn. This comment section ain’t Google. Do a bit of research.


  34. - Vote Quimby! - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:27 pm:

    ==cribbed from the “Extra” I put out==
    But only bloggers steal…


  35. - Sir Reel - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:28 pm:

    It’s interesting that today and in recent posts, those against raising taxes say, “people are losing their jobs.” Well, if you lose your job, you don’t pay income tax. And if you lose your job, you may need many of the services the State provides, like health care, education, etc. If you lose your job, you still pay property tax and sales tax, which may go up without an income tax increase. I agree that higher taxes are a bummer for business, bad for people who don’t lose their job but see their pay cut or health insurance premiums rise, etc. But, let me repeat, an increase in the income tax impacts those of us with jobs, not the unemployed.


  36. - Rich Miller - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:29 pm:

    ===an increase in the income tax impacts those of us with jobs, not the unemployed. ===

    I was on unemployment briefly in the mid 1980s, and I paid income tax on my unemployment checks.


  37. - Louis Howe - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:30 pm:

    Thanks Rich…We’ve both been down this path before…only this time it’s steeper and much longer…..So far Quinn’s been a couple steps behind…..He needs to pick up the pace


  38. - South of I-80 - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:31 pm:

    I response to the 1:25 pm - From AFSCME…

    It appears that reality is finally setting in!


  39. - DuPage Moderate - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:32 pm:

    Looks great to me.

    However, one addition - Let’s slash 4,000 administrators instead of the 14,300 teachers. It would have the same impact on the bottom line.


  40. - Sir Reel - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:32 pm:

    Rich, I stand corrected.


  41. - Leroy - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:33 pm:

    Cassandra, the rules are as follows:

    1. Calling for cuts without enumerating them is ‘irresponsible’
    2. Calling for cuts, and enumerating cuts to social services, education or health care will get you labeled as cold hearted, as those cuts hurt the most vulnerable amongst us.
    3. Calling for cuts and not enumerating cuts to social services, education or health care really won’t amount to anything. If you do this, you will also be labeled ‘irresponsible’.

    The only acceptable way out of this is for you to dig deeper. Anything else, by definition is irresponsible or cold hearted.

    So we all need to dig deeper. It’s the only way.


  42. - Cheswick - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:40 pm:

    Trotter: “We can’t tax our way out of this.”

    Pot, your budget is absolutely gruesome! And proof that we can’t cut our way out of this budget situation. People should look at Pot’s budget to see what the budget will look like with cuts only and no tax increase.

    It’s no mystery. Seriously.

    Here’s mine (which I also posted last week), which only cuts half the deficit:

    http://www.wonkish.com/budget/share.php?ID=1237


  43. - Princess - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:40 pm:

    I believe, South Of I-80 that AFSCME has been rolling right along in reality. Never thought I’d call my representives and beg them to raise my taxes but if not for x amount of minutes in my program my phone bill would be pretty hefty this month. Cassandra come on, as Quinn terms it ‘take your castor oil’ with the rest of us.


  44. - Secret Square - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:40 pm:

    I was on unemployment for a couple of months in 2004; I had income tax withheld from my unemployment checks and had to declare that income on my 2005 income tax return.

    Also, if I understand correctly, unemployment benefits are actually a form of insurance for which your employer pays the premium. (The more unemployment claims made against a business, the higher a premium they have to pay; this is why SOME employers may contest unemployment benefits, or attempt to fire people for cause rather than lay them off.) It is not a state-funded “handout” program like Medicaid or food stamps.


  45. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:45 pm:

    “This comment section ain’t Google. Do a bit of research.”

    Ouch.


  46. - Reality is - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:48 pm:

    As painful as it appears to be I am willing to accept the doomsday budget as presented.


  47. - party of one - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:49 pm:

    This budget disaster was set up several years ago when Mike Madigan let blago skip the pension payments so he could run for re-election pretending to have a balanced budget. All it did was mask the very serious problems and short our already critically underfunded pensions systems. Throw a recession in on top of that and Walla!!! A crisis is unavoidable. But the Speaker shouldn’t pretend his finger prints aren’t all over this.


  48. - Vote Quimby! - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:49 pm:

    Secret Square: you are correct in most of your post, but employer premiums do not cover the entire cost. There is also a federal tax (FUTA) in addition to the state tax, which is based on “experience level.” Ronald Reagan made unemployment taxable in the 80s to help cover his deficit spending.


  49. - One of the 35 - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:53 pm:

    Quinn must get his executive agencies under control. This disjointed crap of an agency announcing the line up for an event on the same day the Governor is press releasing it to be eliminated, would have been grounds for firing under previous administrations. I realize that he is not really going to eliminate the state fair, but he has to have his agencies in line and coordinated with his message each and every day. Because he has failed in this regard, he appears to lack the organizational skills to lead us out of this economic disaster.


  50. - Rich Miller - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:54 pm:

    ===This budget disaster was set up several years ago when Mike Madigan let blago skip the pension payments so he could run for re-election pretending to have a balanced budget.===

    It started long before that, although I agree the move was a contributing factor. Not the greatest factor, but a contributing factor for sure.


  51. - Joe Sixer - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:55 pm:

    Philosophical question: If everyone in Illinois must make sacrifices in these tough times, are the most vulnerable amongst us exempt from this? Or have they sacrificed enough already?


  52. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:58 pm:

    Reality is,

    Easy for you to say unless you’re one of the people about to lose their health care or police protection or scholarship.


  53. - How Ironic - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:59 pm:

    @ One of the 35

    The “Doomsday” is a proposal. Dept of Ag can’t act as though the fair is dead because of a “Doomsday” proposal.

    Furthermore, the State Fair is mandated by Statute. Although the GRF funding may be cut, the Fair does have an appropriation and would continue to operate (albiet much smaller in scope).

    On top of this, the State Fair grandstand acts are paid out the dedicated “State Fair Fund”, so they wouldn’t be subject to the targeted GRF cuts anyways.

    To your point, if someone posted information as incorrect as yours, THEY should be fired. Maybe you ought to understand how some agencies work before spouting off.


  54. - Vote Quimby! - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 1:59 pm:

    1 of 35: to be accurate, Amy dis-Beliefnik only announced the date of the announcement on the day of its potential elimination, but yes there should be some coordination. I’m worried as an employee, but more worried as a taxpayer that the wheels seem to be falling off Quinn’s bus.


  55. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 2:00 pm:

    It seems the only one that is holding things up appears to be the Speaker. Come to mention it, things have been held up since the Dems took over power from the Repbulicans. Since then Blago and Emil are gone and things are still getting held up. I am not saying it is the Speakers fault, but if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck then …….


  56. - Rich Miller - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 2:01 pm:

    ===Maybe you ought to understand how some agencies work before spouting off. ===

    Apparently, they work in a vacuum.

    This was a stupid move, regardless of the entertainment lineup’s GRF funding status.


  57. - Rich Miller - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 2:02 pm:

    ===are the most vulnerable amongst us exempt from this?===

    Since the most vulnerable also rely the most on state services, they will feel much of the pain.


  58. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 2:03 pm:

    Rich, keep in mind that all Press releases need to be approved by the PR staff that the Gov controlls. (unless Quinn has changed that)


  59. - scoot - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 2:04 pm:

    Everyone can thank Democrat Rod Blagojevich.


  60. - Amuzing Myself - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 2:06 pm:

    In an intellectual discussion of the state budget, sure, you should bring a full argument to the table. However, this is not really going to be decided by intellectual discussion… especially in THIS state. This is politics at its most basic and raw form, and the decisions will be made based on politics - not necessarily on what’s “right” in any one particular individual or organization’s mind.

    In that reality, I find pretty hilarious those posters screaming for Republican solutions. Why should they?! They have virtually NO power - NO seat at the table. Further, they’ve opposed most - if not all - of the last several budgets that have put us in this situation. Why in the world would they step up to the plate and take the political beating trying to clean up the Democrats’ mess for them?! That makes absolutely NO sense, whatsoever.

    So, sure, you can say they SHOULD do this or they SHOULD do that. But that’s not reality, and the fact is this is the Democrats’ mess to address and to, then, deal with the consequences. Politically, Republicans would be insane to do anything other than protest periodically and be entertained as their opponents are forced to pick which of their own two feet (or both) they’re going to shoot.

    After the dust clears, it’s up to them to make a case to the voters why they’re the better candidates/party. There are few perks to being in the minority. But having very little real power in Springfield can certainly be one in times like this. Sometimes it sucks to have absolute control. Deal with it. Or Don’t. Either way, voters will judge in 2010. And you know what? In the meantime, Republicans can holler all they want. The ball’s NOT in their court, and it’s not going to be this session. Democrats have the power to act. If they have to have Republicans to get it done, then perhaps they SHOULDN’T have that power after all?

    Governing for “the good of the people” is a great concept. I’ll believe it when I see it in Illinois. If I had to bet my life’s savings, I’d bet I ain’t gonna see it this year. So demanding things like Republican solutions from a minority party with no power is, at best, a distraction, and, at worst, intellectually dishonest.


  61. - Pelon - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 2:08 pm:

    “By zeroing out local governments, slashing school aid and mass transit subsidies, you can guarantee local tax hikes.”

    Frankly, I would be much happier paying more in taxes to the local governments over the state. Unless you live in Chicago, it is much easier to keep the local politicians accountable for their actions.


  62. - Rich Miller - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 2:10 pm:

    Pelon, the problem with that logic is that local taxes are all regressive - sales and property. The income tax, while not perfect, is more progressive because you pay only when you earn.


  63. - Anonymous45 - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 2:14 pm:

    Dear Cassandra: Why don’t you go on an extended vacation for a couple of weeks and give us a break? How you can blame Quinn for this financial quagmire and bemoan the necessity of a tax increase to address it is just baffling to me…as far as cutting the State Fair the same day as the Grandstand lineup is announced is more of a testament to the hard work of Ms. Blienick and her staff for the past several months…the fair is not thrown together in July folks…Quinn is doing his job and letting the legislators know what the price of their political cowardice will be…the Fair will happen and so will the tax increase…


  64. - but... - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 2:16 pm:

    Rich, the advantage with that logic is that your local taxes, regressive though they may be, are being spent in YOUR community, and not in Chicago or so some Alderman or State Senator’s idiot cousin can keep his cushy job.


  65. - plannerman1 - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 2:16 pm:

    The legislature is unable to address difficult issues…requiring difficult votes. They have had a free ride since the mid-eighties.


  66. - Rich Miller - Monday, May 18, 09 @ 2:20 pm:

    Let’s close out this long thread and move the discussion to a fresh thread. Thanks.


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* Samsung Bedtime VR Stories bring children and parents to a dreamland before dreamland
* Unlocked edition of the HTC 10 ships next week
* Evan Blass goes all “Inception” with DROID Turbo 3, DROID Maxx 3
* Developer Gets Apple Watch to Run Windows 95
* Motorola punches up DROID Turbo 2 ads with dropped Galaxy S7 edge and iPhone 6s
* Digital magazine company Issuu is now a collaboration platform, too
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* After clawing back, White Sox done in by late HR
* Errant offerings spoil solid start from Rodon
* After clawing back, White Sox done in by late HR
* Rodon solid but undone by pair of big hits
* White Sox place Webb on DL; recall Kahnle
* Ventura: Danks will start despite struggles
* Latos looks to stay perfect vs. Orioles

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* Business leaders say early childhood education funding is key to filling STEM jobs in future
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* Georgia Nicols horoscopes for April 30
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* Bears top draftee Leonard Floyd ‘ready to prove myself’
* Bears GM Ryan Pace picks ‘twitchy’ Jonathan Bullard in Round 3


* On the Air
* After Night 2, Ryan Pace enthused by Bears' draft progress
* Bears on Day 2 of NFL draft: Waiting, trades and a pair of linemen
* Bears make puzzling moves on Day 2 of NFL draft; add 2 4th-rounders
* Nations must resist China's maritime flexing, Australian think-tank says
* South African court rules Zuma must face corruption charges
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* Bears have seven picks to make Saturday and 'everyone's fired up'
* Jaylon Smith, Braxton Miller, Christian Hackenberg rewarded on Day 2 of draft
* NFC North rivals' newest additions


* Charles Krauthammer: The world according to Trump
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* Swastikas, noose lead U of I to call for tolerance
* Illinois weighs college aid for students in U.S. illegally
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* Friday's highlights: SJ-O edges Centennial
* Franklin repeats as Illinois 5K champ
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* LEADING OFF: Greinke vs Story, Archer vs Toronto's big trio
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