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Double-talk and platitudes while the budget crashes

Friday, Feb 26, 2010

* Our quote of the week goes to Sen. Bill Brady

“You can’t cut yourself out of the $10 to $13 billion [deficit] that they’ve accumulated in the Blagojevich/Quinn administration over the last eight years. So what we have to do is we have to reconcile ourselves into a budget that’s not just balanced but has a surplus so that we can begin paying down the backlog of unpaid bills that are referred to as the $13 billion deficit.”

That’s not a fake quote. I swear. Watch the video


So, we can’t cut our way out of the deficit, but we can’t raise taxes. Instead, we need a budget surplus so that we can pay down the overdue bills.

OK, if we can’t cut our way out of this, how do we go about creating that surplus?

“Well, you do it the way businesses and families have done it. Every business and every family has had to deconstruct and reconstruct and reconcile its spending within its means.”

So, what about that ten percent across the board cut Brady proposed during the primary? Is that now “repurposed” as “deconstruction and reconstruction”?

We need a lot more details here or this can all be dismissed as mere pablum. Who gets deconstructed? Who gets reconstructed? Apparently, schools are not exempt


The full Brady interview is here.

…Adding… The $13 billion deficit is not all “unpaid bills,” as Brady claims in that first quote. About half of it is unpaid bills, the other half is a structural problem. We’ve gone over this before with him, but he’s apparently not yet figured it out.

* Meanwhile, the Bloomington Pantagraph’s editorial board is becoming an expert at writing long-winded editorials demanding that the Statehouse do something about the budget without actually saying whether they’d prefer tax hikes, steep cuts or both

If the governor and Legislature really want to help the universities, then they should get serious about addressing the state’s financial problems and pay what’s owed. […]

The sooner the state quits acting like the person who thinks there’s still money in his account because there are checks in his checkbook, the better all of us will be.

I think I like Brady’s answer better.

* Meanwhile, the carnage ain’t pretty

[IL superintendent of education Chris Koch] said the state is still trying to reduce a large backlog of education-related payments from as far back as October.

“Of course the State Board (of Education) issues the vouchers, the money is just not there.”

“We have over 18,000 outstanding vouchers and…almost $700 million in vouchers that are outstanding,” he said.

Yikes.

Here’s a roundup of school budget woe stories. It’s just too depressing to excerpt them all…

* Central Illinois school superintendents expect more cuts ahead

* South Pekin to cut music, art teachers

* Prospect of more cuts looms for struggling schools

* Teachers turn out for school district budget forum

* Chicago schools warn of $900-million shortfall

* More CPS job cuts as $975 million deficit looms

* CPS Announces Job Cuts, Paints Dire Budget Outlook

* No way around CPS teacher pay freeze

* Chicago Public Schools’ Chief Looks to Unions to Save Money

* For kindergartners’ full day, parents will pay

And it’s not just the schools

While revenue projections for Peoria County are flat for 2010, the larger concern rests with payments from the state of Illinois, where all sources of funding are suspect, said a Peoria County financial officer.

* Related…

* Tell Quinn how Illinois’ budget can be balanced

* Illinois Seeks to Boost Taxes, Cut Spending

* State revenues down everywhere

- Posted by Rich Miller        


82 Comments
  1. - fedup dem - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 11:25 am:

    If Brady were to be elected (Heaven Forbid!), you would be having the state government run by federal and state court orders, as the judiciary would be forced to to take action to make the state pay its bills. Brady could end up spending the summer of 2011 locked up for contempt of court for failing to comply with mandated obligations.


  2. - Indeedy - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 11:26 am:

    Rhode Island writ large is on the horizon.


  3. - VanillaMan - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 11:28 am:

    Thanks Mr. Brady. You are really demonstrating a great ability to solve our budget problems. If anyone blogged a comment like that quote here at CapitolFax, you would have been banned for life and told to bite something.

    Go away.


  4. - ArchPundit - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 11:33 am:

    He might actually bring the House and Senate together to override him every year.

    Oh wait, I thought Blagojevich would do that. Then again Emil is gone.


  5. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 11:33 am:

    Since he plans on being governor in the second half of FY11, Brady has an obligation to put his budget ideas to paper. A one-page document of the major categories of expenditures and revenues should be an easy start.


  6. - ToddAF - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 11:33 am:

    Is Brady trying to throw the election or does he really think voters are that dumb? Hey Bill, you know what families do in times like this when they don’t have enough money to pay their basic bills? The parents get a second job or the kids get after-school jobs to bring in more money. Unfortunately, the only way the state can bring in more money is higher taxes. It sucks, but that’s the way it is. You said it yourself, you can’t cut your way out of a $13 billion deficit, so if you can’t balance that by cutting spending alone, you need more money!


  7. - Anon - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 11:34 am:

    Looks like nothing is going to get better. A tiny bit off topic (although tangentially related), but I have a quick question.

    What is the absolute worst case scenario with the state budget?


  8. - Greg - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 11:35 am:

    As both a fiscal conservative and a finance guy, I get so frustrated when politicians say that government should manage its finance like a household does. No, it shouldn’t.


  9. - Scooby - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 11:43 am:

    I think Brady knows where the magic beans are.


  10. - Patrick McDonough - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 11:45 am:

    Could someone please et a quote from Rep. John D’Amico on this debt problem?


  11. - Will County Woman - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 11:46 am:

    There were two things that I liked most about Brady after watching this: his demeanor and tone. I’m not in total lock-step with Brady about the budget which is why I’m not saying that he is my candidate of choice. If I had my way Vallas would be running.

    Also, Pat Quinn is going to have to cut $2-3 billion more in order to justify a tax increase at this time, in my view. It’s easy to throw kids up as a human shield, but it’s also cowardice. I recall the situtation when gang shootings were rampant at Chicago Public Housing, especially in the more infamous housing units e.g., Robert Taylor and Cabrini Green etc. I remember a news story about how one gang banger came across some children at play and picked one of them up to serve as human shield from a rival gang banger’s gun. The patronage and other waste at the executive branch level would be a good move and a start to show me that he is serious about getting Illinois’ budget mess fixed. Until Quinn guts the politically entrenched, even at the risk of his own political future, then he’s not really trying to fix the budget problem(s).

    The tax increase should do these things and these things only:

    -pay outstanding bills
    -provide for the saftey and well being of the aged, infirm/developmentally disabled and abused, abandoned and neglected children (e.g, wards of the state etc).


  12. - Will County Woman - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 11:47 am:

    oh, and the other thing…

    -keep vital state services functioning


  13. - JonShibleyFan - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 11:51 am:

    “I’m not in total lock-step with Brady about the budget”

    You don’t agree that we need to pull surplus off of the magic surplus tree?

    Seriously, what is there to be in lock-step about?


  14. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 11:58 am:

    I think the R’s are desperately looking for about 300 lost votes.


  15. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 11:59 am:

    Hey Look, another Kitty!


  16. - Carl Nyberg - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 12:00 pm:

    Rich, in your column you lamented that Chicago area people couldn’t get beyond their strongly held views on social issues and the prejudices against people from Downstate.

    Since, the Democrats and the Republicans aren’t being serious about public policy questions, doesn’t Rich Whitney and the Green Party deserve the opportunity to show their un-seriousness and buffoonery as much as Quinn, the Democrats, Brady and the GOP?

    Can you get beyond your prejudices and preconceptions?


  17. - Will County Woman - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 12:01 pm:

    http://thedome.sj-r.com/section/top-stories/quinn-taking-away-seniors-free-rides-wont-pass/

    why wouldn’t quinn say whether or not he would sign legislation to elminiate free rides for all seniors? forget it.


  18. - JonShibleyFan - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 12:05 pm:

    “why wouldn’t quinn say whether or not he would sign legislation to elminiate free rides for all seniors?”

    Perhaps he feels we merely need to deconstruct and reconstruct the program and then reconcile it to spend within its means.


  19. - Conservative Republican - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 12:17 pm:

    Brady is right. What many of the smug detracters posting on this site miss is the unstated source of additional revenue, clearly stated by Brady in his campaign platform — create a business friendly environment in Illinois and grow business. Growing business will create new jobs and hence new revenues, from corporate taxes, increased income taxes, and property taxes. Of course, I think the posters here know that and just want to ignore the entire message.

    In any event, I would prefer to live in a state that takes that approach. The Brady campaign is an effort to achieve that.


  20. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 12:18 pm:

    ===clearly stated by Brady in his campaign platform — create a business friendly environment in Illinois and grow business.===

    Yep. Just like magic.


  21. - You Go Boy - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 12:18 pm:

    If you don’t despair for the state and country with this ’slithering crowd’of politicians and those that abet them, then there is no such thing as despair.


  22. - VanillaMan - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 12:25 pm:

    Baloney CR!
    Even as a conservative, I know you can’t just generate a business friendly environment that will grow businesses within a year enough to create a surplus. You are nuts. We are talking now.

    Your solution sounds like the old Steve Martin joke, “Let me tell you how to be a millionaire, and not pay any taxes!” “First you get a million dollars!”

    The very idea that there is $13,000,000,000 sitting on our borders, waiting to be collected in the forms of taxes from thousands of eager new businesses seduced into setting up sucessful in the Land of Lincoln because we are now “business friendly” is ridiculous.

    And I’m not even being smug saying so.


  23. - Niles Township - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 12:29 pm:

    At the rate Brady is going, Quinn should just keep his mouth shut altogether between now and the election. Brady seems to be campaigning for Quinn every time he opens his mouth. He is started to get a reputation.


  24. - 47th Ward - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 12:31 pm:

    ===create a business friendly environment in Illinois===

    Why don’t you explain what that really means CR? Tell us about reducing the state’s minimum wage, eliminating workers compensation, ending prevailing wage, product liability tort reform, no pollution regulations, etc. Then tell us how much it’s going to cost in terms of tax subsidies and other financial favors to create a business friendly state.

    The phrase has implications. I’d like to learn more about the various components that need to be in place for Illinois to be more “business friendly.”

    You know, I’d argue that producing high school and college graduates who are qualified to work for these new businesses is sort of important too. And I’m guessing lots of businesses rely on roads and bridges and reliable energy and want their employees to live in good neighborhoods with low crime. And most businesses want to know their employees won’t get sick from drinking unsafe water, or breathing polluted air.

    CR, can you point to another state as an example of a “business friendly” state? What are they doing that we aren’t? And how long will it take Brady to create this business friendly climate in Illinois and what are we going to do about the budget deficit in the meantime?

    If that’s smug on my part so be it.


  25. - Cosmic Charlie - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 12:35 pm:

    Brady isn’t 100% wrong even though his logic is very much flawed. The $13 billion deficit is a multi-year deficit from the last two Fiscal Years. And once we hit July with a partial budget it will be a three year deficit. So while you obviously can’t build a surplus by cutting in order to pay off the backlog in this economy or with this tax base, the backlog technically is part of the deficit.

    It doesn’t matter though b/c neither party is interested in dealing with it in this session. To the victor will go the spoils. In this case the spoils are the privilege of trying to solve what will be at least a $16 billion deficit, potentially much more.


  26. - unspun - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 12:36 pm:

    Brady needs to realize that his sniping and blaming days are over. Come forth with a plan to “reconcile” the budget, or step aside. The finger-wagging flabbery is getting old.


  27. - George - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 12:45 pm:

    Rich - here is my quick estimate on Brady’s plan that I reached after a heated discussion with a friend at a bar:

    In order for “economic growth” to fix the budget hole, per Brady’s campaign statements and budget plan, Illinois would need to grow its Economy (its Gross State Product) by $400-500 billion by July 1 of this year. A 60-70% growth in our economy.

    To put that in perspective, Illinois would have to become the size of the State of Texas in the next 4 months.


  28. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 12:45 pm:

    - It’s easy to throw kids up as a human shield, but it’s also cowardice. -

    What kind of insane world do you live in? Yeah, it takes a coward to say we’re going to have to cut funding and its going to impact children. Being a coward is saying you can cut 13 billion out of a budget and its not going to impact anyone.


  29. - vole - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 12:46 pm:

    All state and federal taxes should go through Springfield. The state should start keeping its fair share and send what is left to D.C. What could they do? Spray agent orange all across IL corn and bean fields?

    Crazy radical yeah. But, the other way — depending on handouts from D.C. — ain’t working so hot either. So, how much power and control do we citizens really have?


  30. - George - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 12:48 pm:

    I honestly think the whole problem here is that Brady fundamentally doesn’t understand the difference between a Budget Deficit and Debt.

    He thinks our budget deficit is like our National Debt - the long-term accumulation of annual budget deficits that we pay off over time.

    Instead of the actual annual deficit itself.


  31. - Budget Watcher - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 12:49 pm:

    I have very little faith in Pat Quinn’s ability to govern or even be relevant in the budget process for the next five years. BUT, Bill Brady would be worse..much much worse. In fact, I can’t imagine anyone that I’d trust less to put together a budget plan. The nonsense he spewed in this interview is pretty representative of things we’ve heard from him in prior years.


  32. - TaxMeMore - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 12:51 pm:

    Rich Whitney needs to get out more and get his face in some cameras, its not nearly all the media’s fault. Will Whitney have more realistic opinions on our budget than Brady does?

    Brady, and the Republicans, are playing the politics just like the Democrats. There is a budget vote coming up before the election and the Democrats don’t need a single R vote to pass it. Of course Madigan and everyone is trying to force Brady and the Rs to specify what they would cut because then they can blame those cuts on the Rs and use it politically. Madigan and the Dems are playing politics too. They have the power, ask them what they are going to cut if they STILL aren’t going to raise the tax. I don’t get how the Rs are getting any blame for this budget. Brady is gambling that the tax increases are going to happen before the election so in October he can say Quinn raised your taxes instead of making cuts, vote for me. Brady doesn’t have to convince policy wonks, he has to convince Scott Lee Cohen voters.

    As for this year’s budget, do the Democrats want the majority and the leadership or do they want to continue to act like they are helpless without the Republicans holding their hands.

    25,000 signatures in 90 days starting March 22 if anyone sane wants to run for Governor.


  33. - Cousin Ralph - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 12:52 pm:

    You dont tax your way out of economic doldrums nor do you spend your way out of it. You grow your way out of it. Say all you want about how “dumb” he is, his policies did not get Illinois in this mess, the policies of liberal Dems from Chicago got us into this mess. When it comes to the pocket books of working people in Illinois, the liberal wisdom “smarts,” while Brady’s plan helps.


  34. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 12:54 pm:

    ====You grow your way out of it. ===

    And in the meantime…. how do you pay your bills?

    I get what you’re saying. But you don’t go to college to pay next month’s electric bill. You go to college for your future.


  35. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 12:55 pm:

    In other words, what you’re spouting is total pablum.


  36. - George - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 12:56 pm:

    Well, when schools, hospitals, universities, social service providers and the like shut down because they can’t make payroll or pay rent because the money is 12 months - 4 years late under the Brady plan, I guess you don’t have to pay for them any more.

    I guess that would be “shrinking” your way out of it…


  37. - George - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 1:01 pm:

    The problem, Cousin Ralph, is that Illinois doesn’t have the ability like the Federal Government to print more money, and rack up as much debt as it needs in order to pay current bills until the economy gets back on track.

    So, you can’t really grow your way out of it unless you fully cut the budget by $10 billion or so starting July 1 (Which means you have to close all those schools, kick all those kids, seniors, and people with disabilities off healthcare, close the prisons and release the prisoners, etc.).


  38. - George - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 1:02 pm:

    And if you do all that - it is hard to see how you would even grow at all, let alone avoid pitchfork-carrying mobs.


  39. - Reality is - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 1:08 pm:

    What Brady is saying makes sense. You have two issues, one is the current FY budget deficit and the other is the total cumulative deficit caused by many unbalanced budgets in past years.

    What he is saying is you have to have a balanced budget so you stop adding to the cumulative deficit and then cut even more so you can start paying it off.

    I agree with him.


  40. - Greg B. - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 1:17 pm:

    Bill is saying that you don’t bite off the $13 billion in one year. He has consistently stated that we need to prioritize spending in state government in addition to the across the board stuff.

    Funny how everyone leaves out prioritize spending… I guess that doesn’t mesh with the agenda of punishing other human beings by taking what the earn and giving it your cronies…

    I watched the full interview and I immediately got the context. Balance the budget this year, make some cuts… apply left over money to pay back bills.

    With regard to getting business back. In the past, strong executives in the governor’s office have been able to “magically” get business back. They do so by creating a more certain business environment. A stable business environment where there aren’t wild swings in things like taxes and regulation — interest rates at the fed level — engender confidence and promote investment because of a greater sense of security.

    Stopping the raid on business that began with Blago, clawing back bad regulations and the such will send the signals that Springfield is open for business.


  41. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 1:17 pm:

    Reality is - No kidding, but if you can’t cut your way out of it, how do you create that surplus? It really isn’t difficult to understand why he’s not making sense.


  42. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 1:19 pm:

    Rich, can we have “Girlfriend Is Better” for song of the week? Several lyrics seem to apply.


  43. - Will County Woman - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 1:22 pm:

    The Talking Heads?
    I LOVE The Talking Heads!


  44. - Obamarama - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 1:30 pm:

    Anyone else having trouble getting used to Vannie talking like a Democrat again?


  45. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 1:44 pm:

    jim, you’re impression is dead wrong. Try not to bash commenters here with broad strokes. I get offended by that.


  46. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 1:45 pm:

    Actually, jim, on second reading, your comment was just too over the top to leave in place. Goodbye.


  47. - jim - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 1:59 pm:

    Rich, you are excessively sensitive. Too suggest man of the commenters oppose cuts is hardly a scurrilous attack. I’m surprised that you would try to limit this debate in such a heavyhanded way. Hope this doesn’t offend you.


  48. - ironman - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 2:17 pm:

    I think people need to not to jump to conclusions. What he means is that just cut departments to a skeleton is not the answer. I believe that bill and jason will push forward a business friendly environment. We all know that small business hires the local people. Which allows an increase in funds locally and state wide..


  49. - NormalRedefined - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 2:23 pm:

    Yes and after you “create a business friendly environment in Illinois and grow”, the goodness will just trickle down.


  50. - George - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 2:24 pm:

    Jim - I think I can count the number of commenters on one hand who oppose any cuts on principle. Maybe one finger.

    Those here ridiculing Brady are just fully aware that cuts alone aren’t going to do it. And that since Brady is essentially trying to argue for about $6.5 billion MORE cuts at a bare minimum (the structural deficit for this coming fiscal year), he needs to show what he is going to cut. And those are cuts he needs to make before his “grow the economy” money comes pouring in from the fairies.

    Their ain’t $6.5 billion in waste and inefficiencies left to cut. Quinn and the legislature already reduced GRF spending by about $1.5 billion off of FY09 spending levels, and that left $6 billion in bills unpaid.

    This year’s budget baseline is a $3.6 billion spending reduction off of FY2009 levels (a 12% spending cut), and there is still a $5.3 billion gap to fill.

    These cuts have squeezed all the juice out of the apple already, I’m afraid.


  51. - 47th Ward - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 2:35 pm:

    ===I believe that bill and jason will push forward a business friendly environment.===

    There’s that phrase again. What does that mean, exactly? Anybody? Which of the 50 states has the best “business friendly environment” and what are they doing that we should be doing?

    Please be specific. I’m all for a strong, growing and productive business community. What do we need to do to make it happen here?

    It’s a simple question.


  52. - VanillaMan - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 2:38 pm:

    Anyone else having trouble getting used to Vannie talking like a Democrat again?

    Very cute. But remember I have problems with liberal crap. It’s 2010, not 1960.

    Tell us about reducing the state’s minimum wage, eliminating workers compensation, ending prevailing wage, product liability tort reform, no pollution regulations, etc. Then tell us how much it’s going to cost in terms of tax subsidies and other financial favors to create a business friendly state.

    While I oppose the gassing of stray dogs, I do support the gassing of straw dogs. Your paragraph is full of them. It isn’t either/or. Being “business friendly” doesn’t mean taking Illinois workers back to 1850 and throwing children into coal mines again.

    We have to have Illinois eliminate their additional political costs of doing business. Match the competition. No one is suggesting the elimination of workman’s compensation, ending prevailing wage, product liability, or forcing anyone to drink or breath pollution. What we have to do is ensure that our additional costs do not exceed our competition’s.

    It is like how fast do you have to outrun a bear? You don’t. You just have to run faster than the other guy.

    No one is suggesting a return to the Gilded Age. Your argument would be stronger if you don’t pretend otherwise because you have better arguments to make without those strawman arguments.


  53. - Will County Woman - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 2:42 pm:

    oh and just for the sake of clarification since we got neither hynes, for purely budegt reasons, nor dillard (for many reasons namely his understanding of the executive office and legislative branch), if i had my way someone like vallas would now be running.


  54. - Cousin Ralph - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 2:43 pm:

    “and in the meantime, how do you pay the bills?” If your Brady you dont. He is a state senator. The Gov. and Comptroller, and to a lesser extent, the Treasurer, are tasked with that job. Brady, as candidate, cannot get caught in the trap of endorsing tax increases, although user-pay for services is not unreasonable. Businesses have fled Illinois. Those still here are watching closely if State Gov. is going to increase even more, the cost of doing business in this state. Those looking to flee other states are wary of Illinois’ debt situation and will not locate in this state if the politicians are talking takes hikes. If your Brady and commited to leading Illinois out of this mess, you talk only about the need to cut spending and growth of government.
    Should the Obama Adm., with the help of Sen Durbin, decide to use Fed money to bail out Illinois from a short term crisis, tax increases may not only be not necessary, but also ill-advised.
    This is a campaign and Brady needs to stay on message an run a smart campaign. As much as the people who are most responsible for getting us in this mess would love to have a conservative Republican say we need tax increases to give them cover, Brady would be foolish to take the bait. Many believe that in this political climate, the only way the DEMs can stave off big loses is for the GOP to embrace tax increases.


  55. - 47th Ward - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 2:44 pm:

    VM,

    In the absence of a specific, detailed plan to create a “business friendly environment,” which is the Brady/Plummer phrase of the hour when asked about eliminating a $13 billion deficit, I don’t think it is too much to ask for specifics on what the implication of that phrase is for our government.

    But since you responded, and since I know you’re not on the Brady campaign’s payroll, maybe you can help me understand how Illinois can

    “…eliminate their additional political costs of doing business. Match the competition.”

    Maybe start by telling me who the competition is. What state is doing great in terms of its business friendly environment?


  56. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 2:52 pm:

    How about paying your vendors within 30 days of invoice? That’s business friendly and something the state can actually do.

    Greatly altering the state’s position in the global economy through state legislation is a pipedream. The Federal Reserve, access to credit and emerging international economies play roles that the state can’t alter.


  57. - Ghost - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 3:13 pm:

    “you do it the way businesses and families have done it. Every business and every family has had to deconstruct and reconstruct and reconcile its spending within its means.”

    So when the cost of oil went up the gas companies dimply cut their expenses and kept prices the same?

    same for all those deliveriy companies when they needed more money for overhead they all slashed expense instead of raising prices with theincreased fueld costs?

    I could go on, but is the GOP really so out of touch with the real world that they think private business does nto increase its prices when they need more revenue?

    Or the families which get second jobs, hold garage sales etc.

    When a private buisness or a family needs money they raise prices, sell things and do whatever they can to increase or bring in more revenue. That of course is assuming we work under the fallacy that govt is the same as a business o a family.

    once again, where is the understanding that state spending spurs a huge amount of buisness in IL. the Govt provides all types of jobs and money that are not duplicative of the private sector.


  58. - budget boy - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 3:18 pm:

    The democrats and the Quinn-Blagojevich administration ignored republican demands to cut government for the last eight years. No medicaid reform, a $3 billion expansion in eligiblity, 20 percent salary increase for state employees, no pension reforms, no layoffs or furloughs, cadillac health care for unions and state employees — the list goes on. The democrats made this $13.0 billion mess, they alone need to go to the voters and tell them why we need a tax increase.


  59. - The Mad Hatter - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 3:25 pm:

    Let’s think outside the box. Who always seems to have money? Politicians. Where do they (legally) get this money? Campaign contributions. What do they do with this money? Spend it on themselves.

    Therefore, I propose the following: every politician running for every office must pay 15 percent of the total amount of his/her campaign contributions to the state General Revenue Fund. Donate $100 to Joe Dokes for sheriff and he pays $15 of it to the GRF.

    Second, any politician or political group with campaign funds left over after the election pays 30 percent of the total to the GRF.

    There’s a nice new tax the people will favor, but the pols might not like too much.


  60. - Conservative Republican - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 3:29 pm:

    47th Ward: You want examples of other states that took the Brady approach? OK, I’ll even give you Midwestern states bedeviled by past Democratic spending: Wisconsin under Thompson, Michigan under Engler (?), Indiana under Daniels.

    Kudos to Reality is and Greg B who further elucidated the sense in Bill Brady’s remarks. I join.


  61. - dupage dan - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 3:29 pm:

    budget boy,

    I agree - the dems should have to justify a tax increase. PQ ain’t gonna get one prior to the election. If PQ loses, that means a GOP guy is in the gov mansion. Illinois will still need additional revenue. Can’t blame PQ and company for long - it don’t work that way. Get down to business and show us how to put the house right. Unfortunately, that likely means a tax increase. PQ ain’t gonna go get one at that point - he will be back on the CUB talk circuit or whatever windmill endeavor he will link up with after he is gone. Get it?


  62. - dupage dan - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 3:30 pm:

    Oh, and by the way bb, the republican gov(s) and others were not so hot at cutting gov’t when they had the reins. Their hands ain’t so clean, either.


  63. - Rick - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 3:36 pm:

    budget boy the republicans under ryan and thompson did a pretty good job themselves of spending us into the poor house and not putting the house in order.


  64. - 47th Ward - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 3:37 pm:

    Thanks CR,

    That’s kind of helpful. But what I’m really looking for is a list of specific initiatives that, when combined, create a business friendly environment. You know, the one Brady is promising to create. And Plummer. Also.

    Or is what you’re really saying, that by simply electing a Republican governor, we’ll create more jobs in Illinois? Because that’s what it sounds like to me. And if I thought that was the secret magic bean to economic resurgence, then I’d be voting for Brady too.


  65. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 4:03 pm:

    - if i had my way someone like vallas would now be running. -

    How many times are you going to say this? Seriously, do you think if you say it enough its going to come true? Reality is really a good place to visit once in a while.


  66. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 4:20 pm:

    @47th Ward

    According to The Tax Foundation, the state with the most business-friendly tax climate is Alabama.

    A few things you probably didn’t know about Alabama:

    Median Household income: $42,131
    Poverty Rate: 16.3%
    Unemployment Rate: 10.6%

    For comparison, here’s Illinois:

    Median Household Income: $55,935
    Poverty Rate: 12.1%
    Unemployment: 10.8%

    Jeesh. How I wish we were more like Alabama.


  67. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 4:26 pm:

    @Conservative Republican

    Thanks for bringing up Mitch Daniels in Indiana.

    Now, lets remember that they managed to create a budget surplus by raising taxes.

    See “Mitch Daniels Signs Biggest Business Tax Increase in Indiana History”

    http://tinyurl.com/rdh2f6


  68. - 47th Ward - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 4:29 pm:

    Thanks YDD,

    But do you know if Brady has a specific plan to bring our median income level down to Alabama’s?


  69. - VanillaMan - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 4:30 pm:

    …what I’m really looking for is a list of specific initiatives that, when combined, create a business friendly environment.

    Would you really know what is business friendly if we even did? We could be wasting our, and your, time doing this. Would you really be open minded here? Are you up to speed regarding the difference between current Illinois governance in comparison to Indiana governance under Governor Daniels?

    If you don’t want to really believe, then I won’t waste your time. I recommend you do some reading up on what Mitch Daniels has done over the past few years first.

    BTW - Brady is definately NO DANIELS. Brady can go ahead and tell everyone he will do for Illinois what Daniels has done for Indiana, but he’d be, in my opinion, about as capable of doing that as his Lt. Governor could be capable of appreciating an Islay single malt scotch without choking back tears.


  70. - VanillaMan - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 4:31 pm:

    OH - 47,
    Your Alabama response answers my question.

    Your mind isn’t open.


  71. - VanillaMan - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 4:36 pm:

    Now, lets remember that they managed to create a budget surplus by raising taxes.

    See “Mitch Daniels Signs Biggest Business Tax Increase in Indiana History”

    Still got those great editing skills, I see. You fail to mention anything about the cuts, reforms or new legislation Daniels also accomplished BEFORE asking for the tax increase.

    There is a difference between asking for gas money to go into a busted HUMMER and asking for gas money to go into new Prius. Illinois is the HUMMER, btw, and it seems that Quinn likes it just fine, considering how much changing of the status quo he has delivered as our governor over the past year.


  72. - George - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 4:41 pm:

    ” he will do for Illinois what Daniels has done for Indiana”

    And that will hit a brick wall north of I-80.

    You would be hard-pressed to find someone in the Illinois part of the Chicago metropolitan area who was thinking - gosh, you know? I wish we could be more like Indiana.


  73. - 47th Ward - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 4:45 pm:

    VM, what I’m being snarky about is Bill Brady’s plan to right our ship of state in Illinois. Check the headline of this post: Brady’s plan is nothing but platitudes and double-talk. The ditto heads here who think “creating a business friendly environment” will give us all ponies and rainbows is what I am mocking. Until Brady puts something of substance on the table, I’ll continue mocking him and his supporters.


  74. - VanillaMan - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 4:51 pm:

    OK - but don’t knock them when they make a point, will ya?

    CR’s comments regarding Daniels is legit. The guy has done a great job. He hasn’t been too far right, or too far left. He has produced. If Brady was half the guy Daniels is, I’d let his Biden-like ability to sound stupid slide now and then.

    But the gassing pet thing. Nah - that’s just too cruel.

    How could he gas puppies with a running mate old enough to still have his first puppy?


  75. - Nick Adams - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 5:01 pm:

    Brady liked to refer to Indiana charging $20 to file a business document while Illinois charges $50. That is his example of being business friendly, being like Indiana. That state is a right to work state and has minimal worker’s comp benefits. That is where Brady wants to lead us.


  76. - RJW - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 5:04 pm:

    @budget boy says:

    ==No medicaid reform, a $3 billion expansion in eligiblity, 20 percent salary increase for state employees, no pension reforms, no layoffs or furloughs, cadillac health care for unions and state employees — the list goes on.==

    Let’s see now. I sure would have liked to see a 20% salary increase, but mine has been 0%. I believe I’m taking 12 furlough days. I’m also paying more for my health insurance. Please be careful with your blanket statements.


  77. - 47th Ward - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 5:10 pm:

    That’s what I’m talking about Nick. Thanks for laying out some specifics. We can agree to disagree on those things, but let’s put them on the table and have the conversation.

    Right to work state: check. Minimal worker’s compensation benefits: check.

    Now, does Senator Brady plan to introduce the legislation now or after he’s sworn-in, and what is his back-up plan to reduce the budget deficit if he can’t win these reforms in the General Assembly?


  78. - 4 percent - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 6:35 pm:

    @47th

    illinois raised the truck registration fee and we lost tens of thousands of truck registrations. Indiana gained registrations.

    With regard to Workers Comp , workers under the influence of alcohol and illegal drugs should not get benefits. Even rank and file union members agree.

    The workplace should be the primary cause of the injury. If you get hurt in a Sunday softball game then the business shouldn’t be on the hook for all benefits.

    Finally I would like justification as to why Illinois workers can actually get more than 100 percent of benefits by adding different injuries together. Benefits should be capped at 100 percent.

    Why should an rotator cuff injury in Illinois cost double that in Indiana?

    There are lots of common sense ideas out there that don’t cost the state ant real dollars. But they help employers.


  79. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 10:03 pm:

    The problem is that this is all speculation based on Brady’s nonsensical response. Supporters are assuming he means this or that, but, until he put out some specifics, there is no way to know what he means.

    I suspect this is the kind of stuff he will try to spout from now through November, because it commits him to nothing.


  80. - Capitol View - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 10:07 pm:

    Illinois has the lowest, or next to lowest, ratio of state employees to general residents in that state in the entire country. Rates for health and human services, including nursing homes, are already criminally low and paid far after a normal businesslike interval. Education funding is already lower than it should be.

    There is hardly any fat left in the budget for Brady, Quinn, or anyone else to trim.

    I do agree that it took years to get into this mess, and it will take years to phase out of it.

    One step would be a promise from gubernatorial candidates that there would be no new initiatives with a fiscal impact, unless the state debt is reduced to a small fraction of what it is today.

    Another step is to broaden the state sales tax onto more services, reflecting the economy of today rather than the 1920s - 1950s manufacturing and sales economy that our current tax structure best complements. A service tax is a “user” fee - you only pay if you use the particular service. Even conservatives should recognize the logic of it.

    And I can live with an income tax increase that has automatic dimunitions of a quarter or a half of the imposed tax rate increase as the state budget gets balanced again.

    (anybody - feel free to share this with the governor on his budget web site and with the Brady gang.)


  81. - PalosParkBob - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 10:17 pm:

    Whoever Brady’s policy advisors are, he needs new ones.

    The Bushido teaches that whoever moves first loses, and Brady just made the first move.

    And the wrong one.

    At this stage he should have just defined his PHILOSOPHY for making cuts and just gave a few examples of cuts he would make to the bluest of blue constituencies, the labor unions and “dependency” class.

    For example, he could have stated budget reduction criteria such as eliminating mandates that add to cost without providing value.

    He could have hit on prevailing wage waste and sellout of the people as a great example. If people knew that the state mandated schools to pay about double the market rate for labor for repairs and construction during this budget crisis, they’d be outraged.

    He could say that the state will be on an austerity budget, and cannot afford the Blago $1.8 billion in Medicaid expansion (plus an equal addition in Federal subsidy) including subsidies for people to get state coverage while coverage through work was available to them.

    It’s not affordable, it’s not necessary, and it can’t be continued.

    Since people don’t really care much about the capital bill (except for unions and politically connected contractors)he should have come out for paring it down to safety necessities and using all other funding for current bill payment.

    I know that would require a new bill and perhaps a repeal of the existing one.

    He should have put Quinn on the defensive demanding for him to explain why he continues to support unfair spending like prevailing wage and unneccessarily bloated Medicaid roles when the low cost home care providers are being driven out of business due to the state making their service a low priority.

    Talking about reducing taxes while we’re in this crisis is just foolish and politically senseless.

    I think what ultimately will be the “conservative” position will be having an income tax increase ONLY for the specific purpose of paying off CURRENT bonds and getting bills current, following the GA adopting a budget that will not exceed 2009 revenues excluding debt repayment.

    If Brady declared he’d only propose budgets that would increase over 2009/2010 REVENUE levels plus inflation and increased population, that’d be enough.

    Of course, education funding and pension reform to fair levels will also need to be part of the package for long term stability, as well as pushing to end the right to strike and legislating an “escape clause” in each public labor contract that would prohibit raise and benefit increases at all levels of state and local governemt that exceed about 75% of new revenues to the governmental body.

    I believe that voters in Illinois will support anyone for Guv who can propose common sense reforms to balance the budget and have stable tax burden.

    Businesses are attracted to stability, so no reduced taxes are necessary if he reforms tort and workmens comp costs to that of neighboring states like Indiana and Mizzou.

    Up until the end of the 2002 election I usually voted and supported Dem candidates locally because the GOP had so many dishonest crooks, and plain incompetents, in Illinois.

    I volunteered and contributed to Paul Vallas then because he knew how to MANAGE and LEAD, and I knew the dangerous ground we were entering.

    Once Blago won the primary, there was no way I could support the party and the Dem GA has become an unresponsive and corrupt mess. The current GOP isn’t much better.

    There’s no secret what needs to be done for Illinois finance. EVen Brady’s advisors know what needs to be done.

    He just needs to communicate to the people what needs to be done to get out of this mess, and be realistic bout the options.


  82. - Rethickulass - Saturday, Feb 27, 10 @ 12:34 pm:

    From his quotes on the budget deficit and his “fixes,” to the least of his issues with puppy gas chambers, it has become clear to me that; 1. Brady is clueless and has no business running for governor of this state, and; 2. Quinn may be the luckiest man in Illinois.

    Clearly, it’s not that the democrats in Illinois are are doing a better job of identifying voters in Illinois than the ILGOP, they just happen to pick candidates who aren’t stark raving idiots!


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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