I don’t believe it will have an impact. Polls have repeatedly shown no support for public servants or for raising taxes at this time. In a political year custom-made to dethrone enough Democrats to alter political power in Illinois, it is foolish for incumbant Democrats to cater to their union friends, or to fall into a trap supporting a tax increase.
Madigan won’t let a tax increase bill move forward. He wants to keep his majority. He knows. Daley is minicking his citizen’s demands for better government at a lower tax rate. Quinn is behind in the polls to a state senator considered radical by many within his own party, including Jim Edgar. Every congressional Democrat outside Chicago is running for their lives, many for the first time in their congressional careers. Obama is stumping for Phil Hare, who is having problems in a congressional district drawn up to look like a Jackson Pollack painting - so Democratic that Evans and Hare didn’t have to campaign before.
So this may be a very nice day weatherwise, but it is not a good day politically for the “Save Our State” rally unions. There could even be a possible blow-back against them.
A few thousand people who do nothing but feed at the taxpayer trough demand more OPM (other people’s money). Don’t expect much sympathy.
At a time when almost every family is being directly hit by recession it is very hard to make the case for more spending, especially given the spectacularly inept way that Springfield manages the money we already give them.
The rally will have zero impact outside of the five block radius of the capitol.
Same as last year’s massive rally…. absolutely nothing.
It’ll be very impressive, we’ll ooh and ahhh over the photos of how many people they managed to squeeze into the Capitol and the surrounding area, and they’ll screw things up greatly for the legislators, staffers, and other Springfielders and their lunch plans, but it’ll still do nothing.
The GOP and more than enough of the Dems are against any form of tax increase, whether it be for philosophical or political reasons, that that showing of ten or so thousand protesters won’t mean anything. What’s a couple hundred (probably tops) of your constituents in the crowd upset at you for voting down a tax increase to save certain services versus a few thousand constituents back home who’ll be pissed off at any tax increase during a time when they’re likely already facing increasing economic uncertainty?
It won’t have any. With the unions getting most of the attention for this, there will be no public sympathy for human services, which is who should be getting the attention. With AFSCME and SEIU grabbing most of the media attention (which they will) the message of massive cuts to human services will be completely lost.
But as you’ve said before, and I agree, these types of rallies don’t really do anything to change legislators minds on policy.
- And I Approved This Message - Wednesday, Apr 21, 10 @ 10:49 am:
The rest of the country will think we’re crazy to rally for a tax increase.
- Ghost of John Brown - Wednesday, Apr 21, 10 @ 10:51 am:
A large “carbon footprint” for all of the people driving down from Chicago. (Al Gore will be horrified)
Lots of tips for local waiters.
The beer vendors will be elated.
The local police will have tired feet from standing around watching the spectacle.
Local pigeons will be scared away and have to find other buildings to stand around on.
Will the rally in and of itself trigger the political will for a needed tax increase? No.
Is it still important to do it? Yep.
One thing people need to keep in mind is that this is not an isolated event. It is part of a pretty massive campaign with a lot of moving parts. Rallies like this do not change minds all by themselves, but they do keep people on the ground energized, keep the issue alive, help push things forward inch by inch.
Also, if you look at the flip side, if rallies like this did not happen, people and legislators would be saying “no one is supporting new revenue.”
This work is hard because it is hard. No one event is going to make or break things, but it does have value.
It will have negative impact. The public is tired of the government reaching deeper into their wallets to finance public employee unions that limit job creation, exacerbate costs, and empower the puppet masters that walk away with most of the loot without doing anything other than negotiating between union leader and political appointees.
The private sector is absorbing falling prices and factors of deflation while the public sector is demanding pay increases and fighting reasonable contributions to their benefits package.
The good news is the 15,000 can get drunk tonight for free and walk away with a decent story.
I hope it will make a difference, but I am not holding my breath. The current 10 year round of cuts to human services are hurting so many people, last night it took three hours to try and get help for a suicidal teen. State funding for youth programs are being put back to actual 1996 levels; in 1996 it was just enough. For instance, our local youth organization is suppose to cover 2600 sq miles of Illinois with 24 hour a day 7 day a week crisis coverage for youth in trouble, provide emergency shelter and counseling for them for about $110,000 next year. Its crazy.
*The good news is the 15,000 can get drunk tonight for free and walk away with a decent story.*
What? You think there is a Rally Bier Garden after it is done? The people I know going - individuals that rely on the services provided via state funding - got up this morning to board a 7 a.m. bus, drove for 4 hours, will join in the rally, and will get back on that bus and get home around 7 or 8 tonight. And tomorrow they will go back to the treatment they need for mental health and substance use so they can keep from becoming homeless again and keep their fingers crossed those services won’t disappear in the next few months.
As I have said elsewhere - mass rallies have little effect. It is the other activities that an organization engage in that make the true impact. AFSCME, the union that represents state employees, of which I am one, has limited options at this point. They gotta make noise, it is the least they can do for the rank and file, but it is of little concrete value. So sorry, 47th.
Little impact beyond the attention it draws and discussions it raises today. The “rallies” approach has been used and has lost its effectiveness. This will drown out the fatigued message from human service providers who have faced the same funding crises for years now.
All you need is one overzealous participant to point a finger at a legislator’s face, raise their voice a little too loud and you’ll get a backlash against them.
I keep thinking that moderate / swing Republican House members are the key to getting any income tax increase passed - but if they feel physically threatened or intimidated in any way by thug-tactics - I think they will back off from those positions. I’m not saying organized labor is thuggish, usually they are smarter than that, but I think some peole in a crowd this big will not know how to act.
I recognize that these union bosses feel the need to show their members they are doing something, but I don’t see how this is going to actually help. They would be far more effective if they were able to rally their troops in swing districts during election season, not three weeks before the end of a do nothing session.
This type of unrest (combined with reduced PAC coontribuitons!) will likley lead to the restoration of education “cuts” and to an income surchatge for education after the election, unless Brady wins, then God help all public employees!
It may cause reps and senators in safe districts where there is not threat of them losing their seats to consider voting for a tax hike. It will not have an impact and anyone who currently holds office in a targeted seat. There are as many folks out there rallying against tax hikes as there are rallies for a state tax hike.
Probably very little impact. Legislators are aware of the issues. 15 people or 15,000 won’t make them more aware. As far as changing votes to support a tax increase, or more importantly, changing the leadership’s position to allow a vote to occur on a tax increase, that won’t happen. Others on this blog have noted the same thing. Look at the Democrat No (5) and Present (1) votes on the tax bill that passed the Senate, HB174. Those votes were in response to strong opposition to a tax inctrease in their respective districts and in response to being targeted in upcoming elections. The Speaker won’t take any chances with his membership either.
We believe the massive out pouring will force StateWideTom to buckle and drag BillTheBuilder to vote FOR the increase. Illinois will turn into the Garden of Eden it once was. Life will be excellent. Now can I have a hot dog?
–There could even be a possible blow-back against them.–
I agree with VM. I do not think the rally-ers and organizers put enough thought into this possibility. (It is my impression, for example, that after the massive immigration rallies of the last couple years both public and lawmaker support for immigration reform diminished somewhat.)
The tax rally attendees today may be lucky if impact and public impressions of their cause eventually ends up as a net zero.
It will make the unions that run this state feel better about themselves for a little while, but the politicians answer to the people in their districts.
One question: Did they really need to take the Springfield High Marching Band out of school to participate in this rally? I hate to see the IEA use their students like pawns this way.
I believe that the rally is helping to put a face on the impact that inadequate funding will have on Human Services and Communities around the state.
I understand that a tax increase is a tough sell and we all may be struggling in one way or another. There is always someone with less resources than the next. I also have an understanding of how the funds are used to positively affect communities (around the state) in different ways. You either get the issue, or you don’t … when you get it … you can see that revenue is very much needed. It doesn’t make it any easier … just very much necessary.
I got your point, I just don’t agree with it. Rallys, in general, have little impact. It’s what happens before and after that matter. AFSCME has a rally - that’s it. The tea partyers are doing much more than that - and they are rallying around stuff that lots of people agree with. Other than AFSCME members, how many people want a tax hike to prevent layoffs, increase pay or protect the pensions of state employees?
I don’t think it will have much impact. It will generate some media attention, but that’s about it. What’s really needed is a constitutional amendment that introduces a progressive, bracketed income tax system in Illinois; but that’s not going to happen as a result of this protest.
These 15,000 protesters could have had more impact by not protesting at the state capitol but, rather, organizing in Mike Madigan’s home district, threatening to campaign against and unseat him if he doesn’t meet their demands. Heck, I’m sure a Green Party candidate would come out of the woodwork and be willing to run against Madigan–that way they don’t have to vote Republican in order to challenge Madigan.
==These type of demonstrations only reinforce that cooperative effort. And voters (and taxpayers) are increasingly disgusted by it.==
I’m a voter AND a taxpayer; and I’m not disgusted by it, so I will thank you very much to speak only for yourself and not stereotype us.
On final note, raising a tax doesn’t mean that it’s raised for everyone. For example, if a government raises taxes on the top 1% of wage earners, that means that 99% of the population doesn’t see a tax increase; and in fact, because of the increase on the top 1%, the bottom 99% might actually see a DECREASE. That means the majority of people pay LESS taxes. Win.
- Just the Basics - Wednesday, Apr 21, 10 @ 12:39 pm:
If they don’t do it, the memebers of the GA will say - no problem. They have to do it. Not sure what it will take before the general public and the legislators think we don’t have enough funding for basic services.
Cynical, I know, but they would stand a better chance of making an impact if each of those 15,000 stayed home and took the money they would have spent on the day trip and made a directed campaign contribution to a targeted legislator(s).
===The tea partyers are doing much more than that - and they are rallying around stuff that lots of people agree with.===
Maybe we’re arguing the same point, but so far I’ve seen no evidence that the Tea Party “movement” is affecting policy. Politics? Sure, but not policy. Can that change? Maybe. I guess we’ll have to wait until November to find out. In the meantime, it’s all noise and street theatre. The Tea Party movement is among the most overblown media stories ever. When they accomplish something tangible, please let me know.
The coverage of the rally is probably the most effective thing they will accomplish today, not so much actually inside the dome. Similar to Tea Bags, the coverage is effective in getting message out to voters - but the rallies themselves and direct impact on policy makers - not so much.
47 - I think the Tea Baggers are very similar to the Perot supporters from 1992. They are resentful of both parties inability to control spending, they’re angry, they want to do something about it - but they are such outsiders that they actually have no political know how whatsoever.
It is those reasons why there never has been a viable third party. Anyone who actually knows how to win does it within the established mechanisms.
I’m not sure the Tea Baggers want to affect political campaigns or change election outcomes. I think they are just here to make a point. While I see what you’re saying, I do have to admit that I think they have made an impact. They certainly derailed Obama’s plans for most of his first year in office. (Although I equally blame his team for not getting a better handle on the message)
47th, I never said the tea partyers were affecting policy. They might be, I just didn’t say that. It appears their effect right now is mostly in the public dialogue altho I see that there are alot of politicians courting them. That may have limited effect right now as the GOP is out, not in. If/when they get in they will have to at least pay lip service to the partyers when they set…policy.
BTW, 47th, it may be overblown but it is what it is. Public perception is key. It helsp explain why the Tea Partyers are being portrayed by the left as a bunch of monsters. That may be why a teacher in Oregon set up a website that encouraged people to go to rallies and yell racist comments - to blur the lines. I don’t hear that happening in Springfield - I suspect it’s cause no one is worried about the perceived power of the unions, which is nil. It is all about perceptions, little about substance and policy. Policy is not made on the street. Perceptions are.
I think a large group of IEA and IFT bullies taking to the streets to tell elected officals that they should take food off of familes’ tables so that they can continue to retire at 55 and have perhaps the most disporportionatley high teacher salaries in the nation based on per pupil spending WILL send an important message to Illinoisans.
Perhaps the problem for the bulles is that the message is not the one they intend to send.
The message is that there are a large body of well organized individuals feeding at the public trough, and if we don’t stop them and protect our children and ourselves, they’re willing to do tremendous damage to us.
Let the bullies take to the streets.
The citizens of Illinois will take to the ballot boxes next November and tell then, “the sons and daughters of Illinois are yours no more….you may take our lives, but you’ll never take our FREEDOM”
(with apologies to Mel Gibson and William Wallace)
First, Illinois has a flat rate income tax: so it’s hard to just tax the rich. Second, if your view of the world was so great: Illinois would be paradise. Illinois is one of the worst performing places in America. High taxes and corruption will do that. Why should a business come to Illinois when they can go to another state without union problems?
What affect will the rallies have? Probably none. Why? Because NOTHING the citizenery does, has any affect on the alleged leaders of the dysfunctional institution we call our state government. They have their focus and it has nothing to do with the job they are supposed to be doing as Public Servants and it has all to do with self preservation and accumulation of wealth and power.
What is wrong with citizens of the State voicing their opinion about the current situation? Nothing! As State Employees and those affected by State services these folks have no less rights than any other citizens. And it may surprise some of you but they are actually taxpayers themselves. Are they wanting to pay more in taxes? No! But they realize something has to be done.
It is mind boggling how some folks just do not get the situation. Supposedly most folks should realize the situation the State is in, yet I have people coming to my office and asking why don’t you provide this service that you used to provide? Or why is this facility closed? Then they complain that the State just isn’t fulfilling their need like it should. Yet that same individual will walk out the door and spout off that there is no need for a tax increase because they are not going to give their hard earned money to those gluttonous State workers. So all of those adamantly against tax increases get ready because you are not going to get the services you are used to.
Curiously, I wonder how many who are voicing their disgust at State Workers for their greed spoke up when manufacturing employee unions went on strike to increase the wages of their members. How many wrote to the editor and complained that those increases would ultimately cause those manufacturing firms to close their doors and go elsewhere, which ultimately reduced the revenues those firms were generating to the state, and subsequently caused the need to more taxes because the revenue pool was now smaller? I bet the answer is none.
And finally do you really think that there will be no tax increase? I’ll bet you are wrong. How many fees. taxes, etc. were raised by the last several governors in years that there were no INCOME tax increases? Has anyone bought a license plate lately? So now it will be I-tunes, probably cigarettes again, maybe services. but it won’t be a tax increase!………. Yeah, Right!
I am feeling lazy today, so I’ll echo VM’s comments. Actually, the rally’s most positive effect is to showcase union membership solidarity. The budget process is already locked in, with the result being democrats are going to lose this fall; it’s only a question of how many legislative seats. Passing a tax increase and realistically dealing with the budget is not on the table.
==First, Illinois has a flat rate income tax: so it’s hard to just tax the rich.==
Yes, it’s a very regressive system; and it needs to change. The Illinois Constitution needs amendment. Taxing those with a higher income at a higher rate is not the same as taxing only the rich. I agree with Adam Smith and prefer a progressive, bracketed income tax system.
==Illinois is one of the worst performing places in America.==
There’s a statement of opinion without any objective metrics backing it. I’m sure that you can find areas where Illinois performs poorly, and I’m equally as sure you can find areas where Illinois performs excellently. It’s not even clear what you mean when you write “performing.”
==Why should a business come to Illinois when they can go to another state without union problems?==
There are quite a few reasons. Market realities are not as simplistic as you make them out to be.
One reason is that Illinois is a big market; and often, if you want to sell to this market, you need to be present. I don’t imagine, for example, that a coffee shop would do well selling to Illinois citizens if it located in Arkansas or China. I don’t imagine that Best Buy would be able to sell many products if it weren’t present. I don’t imagine that even professional tax services would do well in Illinois if they weren’t physically present here.
Another reason might be that Illinois has a highly trained workforce with an advanced infrastructure (technological, transportation, etc.) that supports their business logistics. Chicago is the shipping hub of the nation. No one can beat it on location. No matter how hard it tries, no foreign country will ever be strategically located at the center of the United States.
There are more reasons, but I feel that giving you two is enough for right now.
It should hopefully convey that the vast majority of teachers and interest groups are behind Quinn’s income tax increase and get some previously dormant lawmakers to wake up to the state’s economic realities.
And yes, it probably hurt traffic too. Curse you, you active citizens!
Here is the bottom line - the budget deficit is very, very real and the on-going negative impact on social service funding for those who are most in need grows worse and worse. What will it take for that be the real “news” here? We are each others neighbors!
- Just the Basics - Wednesday, Apr 21, 10 @ 3:54 pm:
It means nothing except if you are in the bright colored Tee Shirt Business.( many of them were from rallies gone by in years past) It was much ado about much ado. The GA hunkered down in caucus so as not to have to face the “angry mob” I was already with my torch and pitch fork but the place emptied out by 130 or so. So much for my torch? I did like the HS marching bad that took the day off to perform in the parade.
They will pat each other on the back for their expensive field trip and go back home thinking they convinced everyone how badly they are needed. Soon when the income tax fails they will understand that taxpayers don’t want to pay more taxes to stop them from taking expensive field trips.
It’ll have some effect, showing some support for Quinn’s proposals. But this was not real well thought out. I don’t think SEIU gets it yet, but they’re starting to look like real bad guys. The Blago proffer last week gave some pretty unflattering insights on how hooked they are to corruption in Illinois. ACORN tie in is now is well known, and nothing good to say about it. Do they really think its a good idea to yell ’shut it down’ in Springfield? If so keep it up and wait for some major league backlash.
** What? You think there is a Rally Bier Garden after it is done? The people I know going - individuals that rely on the services provided via state funding - got up this morning to board a 7 a.m. bus, drove for 4 hours, will join in the rally, and will get back on that bus and get home around 7 or 8 tonight. And tomorrow they will go back to the treatment they need for mental health and substance use so they can keep from becoming homeless again and keep their fingers crossed those services won’t disappear in the next few months. **
I agree with you 100%.
This is a VERY REAL PROBLEM that the general public does not seem to be taking seriously or has accepted that “THEY” will not be affected so why should “THEY” be concerned? The fact is that, unless a RESPONSIBLE BUDGET is enacted that addresses the VERY REAL Social Services needs that thousands upon thousands of their neighbors rely on each and every day, “THEY” will also be affected.
There are numerous examples of how cuts to Social Services have ALREADY begun to have an effect upon citizens of our state. Illinois has ALREADY reduced funding for early childhood education by 10 percent, which could cause as many as 10,000 children to lose eligibility. Illinois has ALREADY cut higher education operating funding and financial aid. Illinois has ALREADY reduced funding for child welfare, mental health, youth services, and other programs. Illinois has ALREADY announced plans to lay off state employees. Illinois has ALREADY announced more than $90 million in proposed cuts to the Department of Human Services that would leave the state without the infrastructure needed to start moving psychiatric patients from nursing homes to community housing. The list goes on and on and on!
In addition to having ALREADY made cuts in Social Services, many Social Service providers say they are considering making cuts in employee’s hours, implementing layoffs, and closing many neighborhood locations. “THEY” and YOU and ME and ALL CITIZENS OF ILLINOIS WILL BE AFFECTED!
ENACT A RESPONSIBLE BUDGET NOW!
** Here is the bottom line - the budget deficit is very, very real and the on-going negative impact on social service funding for those who are most in need grows worse and worse. What will it take for that be the real “news” here? We are each others neighbors! **
To quote Illinois’ most famous citizen:
“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but cannot do at all, or cannot so well do for themselves, in their separate and individual capacities.” - Abraham Lincoln
==Maybe you haven’t heard Illinois has the second lowest bonding in America, after California.==
You’re judging the “performance” of Illinois on bonding? Is this the ultimate purpose of the state and why this government exists?
==Maybe you haven’t heard but Illinois lost 500,000 jobs in the last decade.==
A lot of states have lost jobs. Maybe you haven’t heard that we’re in a recession. Plus, give some some population adjusted figures; and we can talk. Also, let’s not forget that if Illinois had already been in a better position that most other states, and had more of a certain job type to lose, that could be an explanation without blaming the performance of the state economy.
==Illinois is due to lose another House seat after the next census.==
So the purpose of state government is to maintain a high population? What is your point here?
Successful places have job growth and population growth. Failed places like Chicago and the state of Illinois don’t. Illinois has less jobs than before the 2001 recession.That’s how long term declines happen. High taxes, unions, and corruption will do it. The good news is as Illinois declines it has less influence. Who wants to have a major trade show in that mob run building called McCormick Place?
As Dupage Dan said ==Rallys, in general, have little impact. It’s what happens before and after that matter.== DD went on to say that his AFSCME would do little in terms of follow-up, and that’s too bad (if it’s true). However, many of the other participating unions will follow up. In terms of contributions, volunteers, and outreach to members, unions like the IFT and SEIU have had a big impact in the past. These unions do act, and their efforts have been key in important races.
I suppose the assumption is that they will have to support the Dems in the end, but, if the Dems go too far (and some think that they have), what’s to lose? It’ll be hard to get those members out knocking on doors and making calls this fall, and the rally was meant to be a reminder of that.
I’m interested in the fact that nearly all the commenters here who are worried about cuts, are thinking about human services, not education, while a my estimate is that the crowd today was at least 50% people who will be affected by education cuts.
I’m with Montrose, in his early post: this is hard work, and every step is important, none definitive.
I’m with Montrose, in his early post: this is hard work, and every step is important, none definitive.
I disagree. It only takes three coordinated steps–or missteps, if you’d rather. People always forget that.
Untill the school systems gets rid of tenure and moves to a merit based system, a tax increase should be off the table. Districts have to get rid of two good fresh teachers to pay for every underperforming one who has been there for 20+ years and coasting for the last 15 years.