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*** UPDATED x1 *** An immovable object

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2010

*** UPDATE *** As noted below, Sen. Bill Brady was reported as saying that he could balance the budget in a year. The campaign later admitted to me that it would take two to three years to pay off the accumulated overdue bills, so actually he’s not really balancing the budget. I asked the Quincy Herald Whig for the audio recording, and you can click here for the clip.

Transcript…

“I believe we can better schools with less money. I believe we can have better health care with less money. But we have to adopt what the private sector does and that is weed out the inefficiency and the mismanagement. Make our government lean.

“But I have an obligation as governor to live within our means. And I will balance the state’s budget in the first year. Let me say that again because most people don’t believe it. I will balance the state’s budget in the first year, because i have a fiduciary obligation to the people of Illinois, to the Constitution, to do that.”

Discuss.

[ *** End Of Update *** ]

* A headline in today’s Quincy Herald Whig caught my eye…

Bill Brady, GOP gubernatorial nominee, pledges to balance Illinois budget in first year

From the story

A state senator and business owner from Bloomington, Brady said he would run the state like a business, trimming expenses that have built up during the past eight years. He has pledged to cut 10 percent of state spending and balance the budget in his first year, but offered no specifics on how plans to achieve those goals and work to eliminate a $13 billion state budget deficit.

When challenged on whether 10 percent funding cuts would cripple schools, Brady would only say putting professionals in leadership will help. He suggested that employees who agree to forgo pay raises could help school districts. He did not say how that would help school districts recoup money they are owed by the state — $5.8 million for Quincy Public Schools alone — or offset earlier education cuts, including a 42 percent reduction in transportation funding announced last week by Gov. Pat Quinn.

During a later stop, Brady pledged to eliminate the Illinois State Board of Education, trimming about half of the $80 million that currently goes to that agency. […]

“If we root out corruption and fraud and abuse … we can have better government, with 90 cents on the dollar, than we have now,” Brady said.

Can he cut 10 percent from spending, reduce taxes and balance the budget? Nope. Not even close. Pat Quinn’s campaign fired off a press release this morning…

After Senator Brady has spent 17 years in the legislature without achieving a leadership position or taking the lead on a single significant piece of jobs and economy legislation… After he spent months this legislative session without uttering a single real idea to fix our budget crisis… After Governor Jim Edgar called him “naïve” on the budget, and budget expert Ralph Martire called his positions “idiotic on every level”…

Senator Brady yesterday made unmistakably clear what many have long known: he doesn’t understand how our state budget works, but he’ll say anything to woo voters on the campaign trail.

Yesterday in Quincy, Senator Brady told a group of reporters and voters what could have been confused for a fairy tale. He promised not only that he could balance the budget with a 10% cut from the $54 billion annual budget, but that he could do it in only one year.

According to Brady, however, this wasn’t fiction, this was his budget plan.

But, just as no magic beans can actually grow into a beanstalk that reaches the sky, no 10% cut of state spending can eliminate a $12.9 billion deficit. Even worse, it would require catastrophic cuts to our schools and police departments across the state. It would mean skyrocketing property taxes. And it would still leave an $8 billion hole.

* I checked with Brady’s campaign. Hasn’t Brady said in the past that it would take a few years to pay off the backlog of bills and balance the budget? Here’s the response…

Bill has said he’ll have a plan in place to deal with the backlog of unpaid bills — but it could take 2-3 years to pay them off.

OK, so he won’t balance the budget in a year. I’m not sure what that hoopla was all about in Quincy, then.

* But there’s another angle to this story. The Quinn campaign’s press release says the budget deficit is $12.9 billion. I asked the governor’s budget office what number they were using, and they said it was about $13 billion.

OK, but that $13 billion figure was the projected deficit way back in February. I sent the budget office this question…

So, does this mean there was no net reduction in the deficit then? I mean it was projected to be $12-13 billion before the budget was passed, and it’s still that?

The response…

At this time we are still using the $13 billion figure.

So, in other words, according to the governor’s campaign and his budget office, there have been no net cuts to that original projected deficit figure.

Let’s go back to the Quinn press release…

Meanwhile, in the real world, Governor Pat Quinn is executing an economic strategy that continues to keep Illinois on the road to recovery. He cut a record $3 billion from the state budget in just two years, and protected funding for education and public safety.

Yeah, well, he cut the budget but he didn’t touch the deficit, apparently. And he also didn’t protect funding for education. He cut that, too.

* Related…

* Byrne: Pension check may not be in the mail

* House vote could mean $1B in fed funds for state

* Quinn Banks of Federal Cash for Illinois Schools

* Northwest Herald: Put a lid on new laws

* Schools divided over Race to the Top

* Shoppers embrace state tax holiday

* B-N parents welcome state sales tax holiday

* Tax holiday good deal or gimmick?

* Quinn’s engine revved at Spring Cup Championship race in Joliet

* Chicago leads largest cities in sales tax

* Quinn signs into law student hotline to tip police off about violence

* New law requires CPS student hot line to report potential violence

* Adoptee, 73, Learns Birth Identity Under New Law

- Posted by Rich Miller        


64 Comments
  1. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 12:19 pm:

    It looks like Brady took a month off to study Chris Christie’s campaign. Brady’s “proposal” reminds me of how Christie said he would balance the NJ budget with little or no specifics. Unfortunately, I question whether Brady has the chops to pull a Christie.


  2. - Lazy Intern - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 12:21 pm:

    I saw Bill brady’s running mate do a presentation and they will balance the budget in one year by cutting ten percent across the board, then hire auditors to find approx. 1 billion in waste, restructure how the state pays for healthcare maximising federal dollars, lower taxes to encourage business growth and then go the market to borrow the rest. The state will pay a lower interest rate on that debt because the state will be fiscally sound.

    To me it sounds like the pot calling the kettle black.


  3. - OneMan - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 12:23 pm:

    Ok, I realize this is a really dumb questions but…

    As I seem to recall from eighth grade social studies isn’t it a constitutional requirement in Illinois to have a balanced budget?

    Yes, I am being sarcastic…


  4. - Will County Woman - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 12:24 pm:

    The state’s fiscal crisis is in the $15-18 billion range! Trying to keep a lid on things ’til after the November election, eh? Just like the actual amount by which Quinn wants to raise taxes.


  5. - FillB - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 12:29 pm:

    “Brady said he would run the state like a business…”

    1) I can’t believe Brady is dusting off this tired 80s/90s nugget of political BS.

    2) Does he plan to run it like *his* business?

    To wit (From the Chicago Tribune, 5/22/10):

    On the southwest fringe of Champaign along Interstate Highway 57 stands the Curtis Road interchange, its ornate limestone overpass and decorative red-brick towers surrounded by acres of open farmland.

    Brady, a developer for 25 years, underestimated the cost of his leading role and then backed away when city officials refused to provide more taxpayer money. The deal fell apart in 2007, stalling other development, and the land remains vacant.


  6. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 12:31 pm:

    Quinn had a year as governor with veto-proof majorities in the GA to show us his plan for financial recovery. Quinn’s record is an epic fail, which is all Brady has to say (over and over again) to be in an extremely strong position in November.


  7. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 12:37 pm:

    WCW - What are you smoking? No one said the deficit was higher. It is possible to cut the budget and not reduce the projected deficit, we have a bit of a revenue problem here if you weren’t aware. I’m pretty sure you must be smoking the same thing that led to Brady’s hallucinations, er, budget “ideas”.


  8. - OneMan - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 12:39 pm:

    Well STL it appears that Rich is on the same stuff…

    So, in other words, according to the governor’s campaign and his budget office, there have been no net cuts to that original projected deficit figure.


  9. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 12:40 pm:

    Seems like Quinn is in the hot seat now for making unpopular cuts while showing no significant reduction in the deficit. Yet Brady thinks he can get votes by saying he’ll cut everything until the budget is balanced? In one year? In a moderate state? We just got rid of one delusional governor, do we really want another one?


  10. - just sayin' - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 12:42 pm:

    Bill Brady reminds me so much of Rod Blagojevich. Same kind of unseriousness, not very knowledgeable about state government, and not very interested in learning about state government. Just a couple of overgrown frat boys coasting through, until.


  11. - Euripedis Pantsoff - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 12:43 pm:

    Brady’s going to ask us to forgo a raise for a year - what a joke! We haven’t had a raise in 5. Shows how out of touch he is with state operations.


  12. - Ahoy - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 12:44 pm:

    can we have a do over in both primaries?


  13. - DuPage Dave - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 12:47 pm:

    I read recently that state revenues are down $2 billion for FY2010 compared to FY2009. So although cuts have been made in general spending, it can’t make a dent in the deficit unless revenues at least stay flat.

    It is just silly for Brady to try to say the budget can be balanced in a year. In an ordinary recession a governor can make some cuts, freeze salaries and wait for revenue to rise in a year or so.

    But this is no ordinary recession. Quinn has cut about as much as Brady is recommending (not including the likely federal fund influx this week) but can’t get anywhere until people are working and paying income and sales taxes.


  14. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 12:50 pm:

    - Well STL it appears that Rich is on the same stuff… -

    Can you show me where Rich says the deficit projection has been changed to 15-18 billion? Maybe you ought to read WCW’s post before rebutting me.


  15. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 12:54 pm:

    DuPage Dave - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 12:47 pm:

    “It is just silly for Brady to try to say the budget can be balanced in a year.”

    Admittedly, Chris Christie has punted on a $3B pension obligation (he has made a promise to address this in September when his legislature returns, and given his track record on keeping his promises, he probably will), but he has somehow managed to balance the NJ budget. NJ was in an almost identical position as Illinois when he took office.

    So it is possible.

    The better question is if Bill Brady has the guts to force the tough choices, and take on the special interests, like Christie has.


  16. - Really?? - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 12:54 pm:

    The people that Brady says he wants to forgo raises, aren’t many of them under contract? How can he forfeit an existing contract?


  17. - Will County Woman - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 12:58 pm:

    just sayin, and what does quinn remind you of? an aged hippie? who cannot seem to get anything right? because the hippies were really effective at problem-solving and advancing their agenda, weren’t they? no. they just made things worse, were not well planned or thought out, and did things on the fly, they were all talk and no show. I could go on but hopefully you see the parallels and get the idea.

    if not go read Chicago ‘68!


  18. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 12:58 pm:

    OK, geniuses, let’s all slow down for a second. There is a shortfall in the current fiscal year budget that Quinn is attempting to bridge via cuts and the influx of additional federal funds. That’s the current operating deficit.

    Then there is $13 billion from previous years. If Quinn can’t balance this year’s budget (likely), the balance will add to the $13B. We’ll know more in June.

    So Brady’s plan only makes sense if you consider his plan a one-year balanced budget approach. As far as I can tell, his plan would do nothing about the $13B (and likely growing) long-term deficit. But maybe, just maybe, he could provide a balanced one-year budget in FY12.

    And the cuts Brady will need to make to accomplish even a one-year balanced budget will be very harsh and not too popular.


  19. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 1:00 pm:

    - Really?? - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 12:54 pm:

    “The people that Brady says he wants to forgo raises, aren’t many of them under contract? How can he forfeit an existing contract?”

    He cannot unilaterally break an existing contract. However, he can propose mass layoffs (and really mean it) then compromise on renegotiated contracts.


  20. - Don't Worry About It - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 1:02 pm:

    Gubernatorial debate:

    Quinn: Senator Brady has yet to explain how he will cut the budget by 10 percent in a single year. Until he gives some specifics, he cannot be taken seriously as a candidate.

    Brady: Well, Governor, my solution is simple and won’t hurt education or social services. Here’s what we’ll do. I have here a copy of the budget. It looks to be about 500 pages. All we have to do is turn the 10 point font into 9 point font. BAM! 450 pages. 10 percent less budget.

    Quinn: *Looks stunned* (Turns to David Vaught, mouths “Why didn’t you think of that?”)


  21. - OneMan - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 1:02 pm:

    No one said the deficit was higher. It is possible to cut the budget and not reduce the projected deficit

    So WCW either the state has seen an additional drop off three billion dollars in revenue in one year (which btw is greater than the total drop off between FY 2008 and FY 2011 see page 27 of this pdf http://www.state.il.us/budget/FY2011/FY2011_Operating_Budget.pdf)

    or they are spending 3 billion more to offset the 3 billion in cuts.

    So since we have ‘cut’ 3 billion and no one has announced that state revenues have dropped over 10% in the raw revenue number above and beyond to 500 million projected drop in state revenues.

    Wondering a bit at this point about the numbers does not require someone to be on drugs.


  22. - Luke - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 1:04 pm:

    Whenever a politician says he wants government to run like a business: he’s being less than honest. Businesses are run by entrepreneurs to make a profit. Government is run to provide benefits to special interest groups. Can 10% of the budget be cut? Of course. Does Illinois need so many universities subsidized by the taxpayers? No. Does Illinois need to pay Davis-Bacon style wages? No. But, the notion that eliminating waste, fraud ,and abuse is an answer: it’s not an answer.


  23. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 1:04 pm:

    47th,

    Good analysis.

    If Brady could pull it off (call me doubtful), there would be a new, lower spending baseline on future budgets. If this damned economy ever improves, by holding the line of future spending, the additional monies from a better economy (and resultant tax revenue) could be used to reduce the deficit, no?


  24. - dave - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 1:07 pm:

    The better question is if Bill Brady has the guts to force the tough choices, and take on the special interests, like Christie has.

    Cinci… why don’t you tell us what these hard choices would look like. Where would you start cutting? And be specific.


  25. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 1:17 pm:

    ===by holding the line of future spending, the additional monies from a better economy (and resultant tax revenue) could be used to reduce the deficit, no?===

    Yes, of course. Except certain things like pension payments escalate far faster than natural revenue growth would be expected. So it could be a decade or more before the $13B is whittled down.

    And hey, once Brady gets 40 kids in a classroom, nobody will remember the good old days, right? And since Brady’s cuts will force the locals to hike property taxes, businesses will overrun the state borders trying to get into Illinois to set up shop.

    Brilliant. I mean I understand the rhetoric. Nobody wants to raise taxes, we all wish it wasn’t necessary. But if Brady truly believes what his plan says, he has no business being in the State Senate, much less running for governor.

    Unlike businesses, government gets more customers as revenues decline. Anybody who says they want to operate government like a business is selling an illusion to the voters. It is extremely irresponsible.


  26. - Lake Watcher - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 1:21 pm:

    God could not balance this $13 Billion shortfall in 1 year. I believe Brady probably meant his first budget will be balanced. This means finding $3 Billion in cuts. That is doable with his talking points. As for the overdue bills from FY10 and one time revenue’s, this is going to take a minimum 3 years.


  27. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 1:22 pm:

    - Let me say that again because most people don’t believe it. I will balance the state’s budget in the first year -

    Is this another semantics thing?


  28. - Really?? - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 1:24 pm:

    If Brady wants to run the state like he does his business, does that mean I get to stop paying my income taxes?


  29. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 1:26 pm:

    Memo to Brady: projections for FY12 are grim, with almost 50% of GRF already spent in the form of debt service and pension payments. It’s going to take a lot more than 10% to cut your way to a balanced budget, even in the first year.


  30. - RJW - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 1:30 pm:

    First, I don’t believe a word Brady says about the budget because he doesn’t understand it. Anybody that thinks a government should be run like a business is small minded and illustrates their ignorance of how government works. Businesses have freedome to take actions that governments do not. If he tries to approach government like a business he will be an utter failure.

    Also, last time I checked the State Superintendent is a Constitutional Officer. Doesn’t everyone remember when Blago tried to take over the State Board of Education. He got nowhere with that idea because of that little thing we call the State Constitution.

    Finally, I agree that Brady could call for massive layoffs. Implementing them, though, is another story. AFSCME has managed to block a lot of layoffs through lawsuits as judges apparently interpret the contract to mean that AFSCME must approve anything before it can happen.


  31. - Niles Township - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 1:30 pm:

    I’ve come to the realization that Brady is worse than Quinn. Brady actually believes his poppycock. His out there in dreamland in every way. I may not agree with Quinn on everything, but he is more of a realist on these matters. (still not realist enough, but way more than Brady).


  32. - Will County Woman - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 1:31 pm:

    I agree, lake watcher. Brady is human and likely gets ahead of himself when talking, haven’t we all at some point?

    Luke, I agree. But many a “businessman” turned politician has gotten elected of saying government needs to be run more like business. As stated before on this blog I don’t agree with it, never have and never will. I seem to recall Alexi G. saying it when he ran for treasurer, and look the people ate it up. Alexi G. ran against Madigan’s guy. and then Rodogno?


  33. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 1:33 pm:

    Blah Blah Blah!
    Brady is saying he will change how Illinois government is ran. Quinn isn’t. You can argue all you want about how unrealistic Brady is, but Quinn is as bad.

    That is the take-away for voters.


  34. - OneMan - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 1:35 pm:

    Well kids if Illinois voters wanted to increase taxes then they would have pressured the legislature to raise taxes.

    So I think the Illinois taxpayer has brought 40 kid classrooms on themselves.


  35. - Really?? - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 1:36 pm:

    WCW, that would be a wonderful sentiment if it was applied evenly to all candidates of all parties. But I’m guessing the, “Brady is human and likely gets ahead of himself when talking…” argument is not. Not to mention the fact that Brady has to know that he is going to get asked about the budget situation. Are you telling me he doesn’t get prepped for those questions? Quinn hasn’t been great at this either, and I think it shows a lack of preparation. However, if you’re going run the state, perhaps you should be able to answer questions about how you are going to do that.


  36. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 1:40 pm:

    Question:

    Are both Kirk and Brady saying everything and anything, (i.e. every possible answer) so no matter what side of an issue someone takes, they too are on the same side????

    The thrill for the conservatve GOPers was that Brady “said what he said, and meant what he meant”, and when it came to fiscal issues, it would be plain as day how the budget WILL get fixed. As I read, and listen, and digest what the heck Jerry Clarke and Co. are trying to do with this candidacy, I think how the heck are they blowing this???

    Bill Brady, and his campaign staff:

    Note:

    When …

    When you give interviews, answer questions, and even make statements … 99% of the time, there will be a record of what you said. If you want to spend the next few months walking back statement after statement, instead of hammering Quinn and moving forward, then plan on hanging in the IL Senate ….

    This is so annoying…

    Get on a freggin’ message, stay on that message, and saturate that message so there is no doubt what the message is!


  37. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 1:43 pm:

    ===Brady is saying he will change how Illinois government is ran. Quinn isn’t.===

    VM, where were you last week when Quinn announced $1.4 billion in cuts? Furlough days or what?


  38. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 1:52 pm:

    What I sense is that no one is believed regarding the numbers that get thrown around. We’ve been watching this train wreck for years, and have known that regardless of what Illinois leaders are saying, wasn’t true.

    So no one has any credibility left, especially Quinn. So, he can say he balanced the budget, and actually do it - and I don’t think he’ll get credit for accomplishing it by November.

    Voters are too cynical to believe what they are told. They have reasons to hate incumbents this year. They just want the guys in office gone, and have seemed to have stopped listening to them, even when they try to do the right thing.

    The sense is Quinn is the status quo and has to go. Brady is the change. Voters really want that, regardless of who replaces Quinn. It is rather unbelievable.


  39. - Vole - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 1:54 pm:

    Neither Brady nor Quinn have submitted any kind of plan to achieve a balanced budget. How can we vote for either one of these guys if they can’t be straight up and present a reasonable agenda? Blind partisanship may get your guy elected but it is a hell of way to determine our future.


  40. - Ghost - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 1:54 pm:

    === But we have to adopt what the private sector does and that is weed out the inefficiency and the mismanagement. Make our government lean.====

    I am alway fascinated by the myth of the of the efficient private sector business… and no media types ever call this out.

    First, what is unlean abou stat goerment exactly? what is mananaged? Is everything handeled perfectly? no, of coiurse not, but where is this mythical fat hat will b trimmed.

    where is the mythical 55,000+ employee company that does not have any room for management improvements, or is in the eye of brady perfectly lean and managed? i.e. show me the privat sector business we are modeling after as an example.

    The highest percentage of waste exists in private companies. Lets start with CEO salaries - these average somme 300% or more of the average employees. We see average CEO compensation in the millions. The there are bonuses in these large companies for upper managers… is Brady saying we need to pay for performance and give incentive bonuses to our state employees in the millions of dollars like the private sector? this is how the private sector does compensation…

    or perhaps Brady’s own successful buisness, which was so efficient it has been losing ground for years, despits all the firing and laying off….

    Then there is the current economic meltdown which was caused by…. private sector business which so mismanaged itself that it wrecked the economy.

    The tribune is in bankruptcy, but paying large bonuses to top staff even though it is without funds to pay its bills…perhaps that is the model we should use…. so I guess in the private sector we give pay bonuses to bankrupt company managrs (tribune, banks etc) so Brady woul support he pay raises for State employees.

    yes we need to make the State run more like the private sector…. wait havent we indicted two govenors for running the state for profit?


  41. - MrJM - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 2:06 pm:

    “Sen. Bill Brady was reported as saying that he could balance the budget in a year. The campaign later admitted to me that it would take two to three years to pay off the accumulated overdue bills, so actually he’s not really balancing the budget.”

    Q: Which of Mr. Brady’s other plans wouldn’t take two to three times as long to accomplish as Brady has asserted?

    A: Just the ones that can’t be accomplished at all.

    – MrJM


  42. - DuPage Dave - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 2:07 pm:

    Cincinnatus:

    If “Chris Christie has punted on a $3B pension obligation” then he hasn’t balanced the budget in Jersey. He’s pretended to balance the budget. He’s playing some of the same games we have in Illinois for years.

    Punting on paying for pensions is like deliberately failing to pay your mortgage. Sooner or later it will catch up to you.


  43. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 2:08 pm:

    I’d love to read what you wrote Ghost, but after the tenth typo, I gave up.


  44. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 2:09 pm:

    I grew up with 50-60 kids in my k-8 classes every year and to my knowledge they all graduated from high school and very many went to college. We had only one class per grade and teaching assistants. Why is having 40 per class so difficult? It’s not ISBE so much as all the inane mandates the legislature and the governors enact and parents unwilling to take responsibility for the education of their children. I realize this is a tangential posting but education is a horribly bloated line item in state and local budgets.


  45. - Will County Woman - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 2:11 pm:

    Really?? you are preaching to the choir, and i appreciate your honesty in the second paragraph toward the end. i have suggested on this very blog that brady come up with a detailed plan i.e. an illinois version of the contract for america laying out his vision and plan for illinois to instill some confidence in him. otherwise he’s going to be ripped to shreds when the newspaper endorsements come out (this race is shaping up to be one where newspapers are likely to forgo endorsing either candidate). strategically speaking brady certainly could use a campaign ad or two touting media endorsements over quinn*. I’ve also written that brady needs to have push and pull factors to get people to vote him; he can’t just rely on quinn’s mistakes to seal the deal. everything else you wrote can be flipped to be about quinn. for example, if you are currently running the state, perhaps you should be able to answer questions about how you are doing that and if actually elected to the post that you assumed, how you plan to as well. Is quinn doing that? no. he’s focused on women, puppies and all other things no related to the state’s fiscal crisis.

    Quinn has been governor for nearly two years and nearly two years later there is still very little indication that he understands his job and how he is supposed to function as a governor.

    sure my sentiment extends to all until they mess up and keep messing up. I, like probably everyone else in this state, had high hopes and nothing but the best wishes for Quinn when he assumed the governorship. His execution and leadership have been abysmal and it’s no one’s fault but his. Being governor at this time is not for someone who is just trying to wing it.

    an agrument could be made that with Brady there is a potential for him to become a fairly decent to good governor. With Quinn, arguably we’ve seen his best and it just doesn’t work.

    *Quinn will get the sun-times’ endorsement, we know how they are. even though they told him earlier this year after his state of the state to get his act together and accomplish something—anything—and not to come up empty-handed, they’ll forget all that and support him anyway. We’ll have to see what Crain’s and BND have to say about Quinn and wether or not they will endorse him this time around.


  46. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 2:14 pm:

    Yeah, Ghost, dude, slow down a bit. Thanks.


  47. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 2:22 pm:

    - dave - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 1:07 pm:

    “Cinci… why don’t you tell us what these hard choices would look like. Where would you start cutting? And be specific.”

    I ain’t running for office. That is an excellent question for Brady, but at this point, he doesn’t need to go into enormous detail. All he has to to is keep hammering Quinn.

    - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 1:17 pm:

    “It is extremely irresponsible”

    Certainly the current meme is at least as irresponsible as running the government as a business. Luckily we CAN agree that the government should run with a balanced budget.

    DuPage Dave,

    He has balanced the budget with the exception of the unfunded pension obligations, as I said. Certainly that is closer to the mark than Quinn’s approach of borrow and spend with no balanced budget in sight, pensions or not. I can’t wait to see Christie’s take on pension funding, it may be instructive to all states.


  48. - wow - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 3:00 pm:

    All you budget and accounting experts should learn this definition.

    budget deficit = the amount spent spent by an organization that exceeds its income for a specific period. This is not the 13 billion the state is in debt for previous budget deficits.
    Brady doesn’t have to erase the 13 billion just not spend in a year than the state brings in.

    If IL brings in 50 bil in revenue and we currently spend 54 bi,l only 4 billion has to be cut to balance the budget.

    There is a difference between budget deficit and debt that has accumulated from previous deficits.

    Brady can balance the 4 bil dollar budget deficit a lot easier than the 13 billion dollar debt but I don’t know if that possible either. I still don’t think he can do it but lets get with the program people.


  49. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 3:01 pm:

    wow, that $5 billion in unpaid bills is annually recurring. It’s not a one-time purchase, like an impulse buy on a credit card. Also, the $3.7 billion skipped pension payment is recurring. Then there’s the one-time revenues and one-time debt reductions, etc.

    You simply don’t know what you’re talking about.


  50. - GetOverIt - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 3:18 pm:

    I still don’t understand why politicos out there believe the private sector is more “efficient.” What is the private sector efficient at? If your Bill Brady or Alexi G, it’s losing money! But seriously, outside of small-business (the mom and pop variety, 75 employees or less) what is so efficient about the private sector? The health care industry is one example of how “efficient” the private sector can be.


  51. - Ghost - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 3:20 pm:

    Sorry :)


  52. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 3:31 pm:

    GetOverIt,

    The BIG difference between the public and private efficiency is that private inefficiency comes out of shareholder’s profits. Public inefficiency comes out of the taxpayer’s pocket. And before you ask, no, I don’t think the government should bailout the private sector.


  53. - OneMan - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 3:33 pm:

    GetOverIt…

    You would have a very different medical sector if people had to pay for more of it themselves.

    or

    Imagine if there were no student loans, how quickly would schools stop doing as much research, cut back on the sabbaticals and start hiring more people who could teach vs. those who can do research.


  54. - RJW - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 3:33 pm:

    Off topic . . .

    Rich:

    The bill to provide additional federal funds to states passed. Can you send an inquiry to the Gov’s office asking when they will be rescinding the additional 12 furlough days?


  55. - RJW - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 3:38 pm:

    @OneMan:

    Yeah. I would be really exited to have cost as the driver of whether somebody seeks medical care or not. You’re perfectly fine with people letting their illnesses progress because they can’t afford to go to the doctor? Nonsense.

    Without student loans, I would not have been able to go to college, along with many others. It’s a loan I paid back. What business is it of yours that I got a loan and what does it have to do with research or teaching. If the universities don’t do research who will??


  56. - OneMan - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 3:57 pm:

    RJW
    Do you really think colleges would work the way they do now and cost as much as they do if there was less financial aid?

    As for research, ummm I don’t know, the government, the private sector. Also how much money is spent on sabbaticals so someone can write another book or paper about the gender roles in “Who is afraid of Virginal Wolf”

    Might I suggest you take a look at

    http://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2010/07/whats-wrong-with-the-american-university-system/60458/

    I have read the book, I would highly recommend it.

    As for health care, did I say anything about

    You’re perfectly fine with people letting their illnesses progress because they can’t afford to go to the doctor? Nonsense

    Having reviewed my posting multiple times I didn’t say anything of the sort, so thanks for putting those words in my mouth what I did say was…

    You would have a very different medical sector if people had to pay for more of it themselves.

    Since you had stated(notice I am not putting words directly into your mouth)

    The health care industry is one example of how “efficient” the private sector can be.

    I was trying to point out that using a private sector example where most people are unaware or unaffected by the actual costs is not a good example of the private sector.

    Now please feel free to flame away that I am some sort of cruel person who wants to deny people healthcare and education because I pointed out how they would be different if people had to pay direct costs.


  57. - GetOverIt - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 4:15 pm:

    @Cincinnatus

    Efficiency does not mean medical care will be better or that colleges will do a better job at educating students. Efficiency means the shareholders will collect more by providing the same service. Service is not defined here, it can be either good or bad. Let’s look at the cable companies for instance. Very expensive to get high-speed internet, and they are not very efficient (consumer view) at getting it to all parts of the country. They are efficient (shareholder view) at making a buck. Same with the health care insurance racket and the oil companies. Then again, our agicultural industrial complex is pretty darn efficient at producing food that is high in quality and low in price. Two sides to every coin.

    I know this is all rhetorical and we can go on forever, but this debate will never die. Alas, Rich gets to keep his day job.


  58. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 4:24 pm:

    GetOverIt,

    Thanks to your post, we are now getting into a very sophisticated argument, and you make points that approach the very germ of a root cause analysis of public v. private sector efficiency to provide service to consumers.

    Eventually Rich will create a topic that we can really go into this further. I can’t wait.


  59. - George - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 4:33 pm:

    Rich - a clarification…

    Is Quinn’s office referring to the FY11 budget (this year’s) or the FY12 budget (next year’s) when they say there is still a $13 billion budget deficit.

    Because there surely is a $13 billion budget for next years, which would be the one Brady was talking about.

    I also would say that this current year’s budget deficit is most assuredly NOT $13 billion. It is close to $9.6 billion, unless you get the pension borrowing done, and then you are at $6 billion.
    That puts you at the place where Brady wants you to go - Rev/spending matching up with unpaid bills staying out there at $6-7 billion.


  60. - RJW - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 4:39 pm:

    @OneMan:

    Actually I didn’t say anything about health care efficiency. That was GetOverIt. But, I will let that stand as part of your point of putting words in people’s mouths.


  61. - oneman - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 4:45 pm:

    Opps

    Sorry about that


  62. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 4:53 pm:

    ===That puts you at the place where Brady wants you to go===

    Except that Brady is against the borrowing plan.

    Also, that’s FY 11.


  63. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 8:42 pm:

    By all means VMan, speak for all voters. You might be spinning infantile tunes on your own dime if Brady gets his way.

    Any business owners out there who buy Brady’s schtick? I didn’t think so.


  64. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 10:38 pm:

    wordslinger said,

    “Any business owners out there who buy Brady’s schtick?”

    Will there be any business owners after four more years of Quinn/Democrat control of Springfield?


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