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The propaganda continues

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011

* I’ve been perusing the online letters to the editor sections of Illinois newspapers lately so you don’t have to. It’s never a fun thing to do. The amount of misinformation and weirdness that newspapers allow into their publications is truly beyond the pale. Here’s one theme that I see everywhere these days

Dear Governor Quinn:

When you get a chance, you might want to call a guy named Chris Christie in New Jersey. He has some interesting ideas on actually cutting taxes and reducing spending - the key words being cutting and reducing

There’s been a huge amount of hype about Gov. Christie, but what has he really done? New Jersey’s deficit for the current fiscal year was projected at $10.7 billion last spring. The state’s deficit for next fiscal year is now projected at around $10.5 billion. At that rate, his budget will be balanced in about 53 years.

Either the bottom has completely fallen out in New Jersey, or Christie didn’t actually cut much at all, or some of both. He claims to have balanced the budget, but how could he do that and still be facing a $10.5 billion deficit? Color me skeptical.

And after skipping last year’s $3 billion pension payment, Christie plans to skip $2.5 billion of the state’s payment next fiscal year.

In other words, so far he’s been all talk. Yes, he has “ideas,” but they haven’t actually made a dent in his real life deficit.

* And, of course, there’s the Indiana hype

I live in Indiana, the state to the east of Illinois. I’m sorry about the financial mess your politicians left you in, but not so sorry for the outcome.

You see, in Indiana we elect politicians who realize we don’t want them to spend us broke, or they don’t get re-elected. It has worked well lately, because we’re in the black, and our taxes are lower then yours.

Actually, no. Indiana increased taxes in 2008. That’s a big reason why they have been able to weather the storm. And some of their counties levy as much as a 3 percent corporate income tax. It ain’t all roses over there. Their unemployment rate is higher than ours as well. So much for the miracle.

* Some of the letters oozed with barely concealed racism or, at the very least, class resentment

“We were wondering how a sad sack like Pat Quinn could get elected governor. We found some of the answer in the $250 million hand off he gave to the Black Caucus. He’s taking the money out of you and your friends’ pockets to repay them.”


I have a suggestion for our esteemed leaders in Springfield/Chicago regarding the income tax increase in Illinois. Another way to raise money for the state is to reduce welfare benefits by 2 percent. Fair is fair.

That $250 million was for education funding, not for black people, but whatever. And the state’s Department of Human Services Budget was cut by over 14 percent this fiscal year alone.

* And, of course, there were the illiterate screeds about Chicago

All this could be solved with one simple solution: Let Chicago succeed from Illinois. Chicago is a cesspool of spending abuse and corruption that threatens to take down the entire state.

The word is “secede,” you moron moran.


We had a chance to put a real conservative into the governor’s seat (Bill Brady) and thanks to Chicago, we blew it. Had enough yet?

I took a look at Cook County totals for Democratic governors over the past three cycles…

* 2010 Quinn: 900,838

* 2006 Blagojevich: 854,133

* 2002 Blagojevich: 905,188

In other words, there was nothing particularly extraordinary about the Cook County vote last year except that Republicans completely failed to do whatever it took to make inroads during their greatest year since 1994. Back then, their gubernatorial candidate (Jim Edgar) actually won the county.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Seriously??? - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 11:57 am:

    Governor Christie is all smoke and mirrors. He speaks loudly and with conviction so people think he is getting things done. He also adds the flare of blaming the teacher’s union for everything, which (uninformed) people seem to respond well to.

  2. - Boone Logan Square - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 11:58 am:

    “Let Chicago succeed from Illinois.”

    Absolutely. Chicago’s success is crucial to the state’s well-being. State policy that lets Chicago succeed is good policy!

  3. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 12:00 pm:


    I can never remember a year when facts and rhetoric were so hopelessly separated, especially among the anti-tax Republicans. Look, I am no fan of this tax but Finke got it right. This was painful and inevitable. You simply can’t cut your way out of this disaster.

    And by the way, the shoe will be on the other foot nationally. I have been excited to see how the national Republicans come up with their $100 billion in spending cuts without touching Defense, Social Security and Medicare, as they’ve promised. It’s a fantasy and they’ve already begun to back away from the pledge.

    Thanks Rich particularly for popping the Christie/Daniels balloon.

  4. - Eric Zorn - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 12:09 pm:

    This is an excellent update on my Oct. 29 column, “N.J.’s past may be Illinois’ future: What to expect if you’re expecting Gov. Bill Brady”

  5. - Jo - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 12:17 pm:

    Magic Beans are always preferred to bean counters.

  6. - Fed up - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 12:26 pm:

    Reading the papers comment section is always a bad idea. I attribute some of this discontent to the fact Quinn lied to the voters of Illinois about the tax increase. If he was a man of his word and vetoed this huge tax increase and insisted on an increase only to 4% as was his pledge I think the mood would be differnt.

  7. - Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 12:26 pm:

    So there is no good reason for all those angry letters following the midnight lame duck votes? All those angry people who are struggling with grammar and language to express themselves against the tax increases are dumb?

    And our neighboring states have no right to attempt to seize advantage over this situation? Who made up those rules? Would we be doing the same thing if the tables were turned?

    What did you pro-tax people expect in the form of a response from the public and our neighboring states?

    This whole mess reminds me of a TV show. HBO has a series called “Big Love” about polygamy. The closet polygamist somehow got himself elected a Utah State Senator and during his victory speech, decided to out himself and his wives to the public. He expected admiration for what he felt was a gutsy move. Once outed, everyone would understand his “cause” (The Principle of Polygamy) and he would be a hero! The looks of astonishment on his face and the face of his multiple wives and children to the angry reaction of the public mirror the looks of astonishment of the tax increase supporters here in Illinois.

    What exactly did you expect? The whole thing was sold poorly, was negotiated behind closed doors and passed around midnight when most voters slept.

    Not something we can all be proud of.

  8. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 12:27 pm:

    ===All those angry people who are struggling with grammar and language to express themselves against the tax increases are dumb?===

    Louis, try not to argue with a straw man.

  9. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 12:30 pm:

    - And our neighboring states have no right to attempt to seize advantage over this situation? -

    Who said they had no right? The argument is that they don’t have the ability. Another straw man.

  10. - The Shadow - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 12:32 pm:

    Dear Mr. Miller,
    Thank you for fact checking and clearing up some of this rhetoric BS. I just wish that 13 million Illinoisans read this blog or got the good word or that the media knew how to deliver all the facts and not just headlines that are easy to digest and sell.

    I helped Pat Quinn during his campaign and now I literally have to pay for it. Do you think I like it? No, I don’t. But what’s done is done and what’s done had to be done.

  11. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 12:33 pm:

    I got a letter published in a major newspaper last week. I made a few errors also, upon rechecking facts, and submitted another letter with updated facts and an apology to the editorial staff and readers. The new letter was not published.

    The gist of my original letter is correct, that state workers don’t earn six-figure annual pensions. I responded to a letter writer who said he’s happy to know that his taxes will fund state workers’ six-figure pensions. The average state worker’s pension is light years away from six figures.

  12. - MikeMacD - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 12:34 pm:

    “… struggling with grammar and language …”

    A struggle with arithmetic is my impression.

  13. - Responsa - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 12:35 pm:

    Louis, LOL with the Big Love comparison.

    Since the Stroger sales tax increase went over so well with the public, politicians must be absolutely stunned that the income tax hike is being received so poorly.

  14. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 12:44 pm:

    I think a lot of the anger stems from years of bipartisan lies that we can have lots of services and they won’t cost us anything. Then the bill comes, and poof, we all have to kick in. We did this nationally by waging two wars while cutting taxes. We’ve done it in Illinois by expanding programs like healthcare and paying for it by shorting the pensions.

    You can have your cake. You can eat it too. But don’t believe anyone who tells you that it’s free.

    People get angry when they are lied to. Telling people we can have the services we want and not have to pay more is a lie. I wish the people who are angry about this tax hike understood that this was the inevitable result of years of feel-good promises by elected officials of all stripes.

  15. - Anonymous ZZZ - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 12:46 pm:

    Fed up, I could be wrong here, but I still think people would be complaining about the tax increase had it only gone up to 4% instead of 5%. Frankly, I think your average Illinoisan (not the ones who frequent this blog and follow the news carefully) doesn’t even remember that Quinn said months ago that it would only increase 1%. So, I really don’t think “he-went-back-on-his-word-to-only-increase-it-to-4%” is the reason for most folks’ moods. People don’t like to have to pay more. Period.

  16. - shore - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 12:50 pm:

    brady coasted, that has been asked and answered and he was too arrogant to reach out to anyone beyond his base.

    as for christie, his popularity has a lot to do with his media spin, even as a republican all I’ve seen from him thus far are unions bad, me good, cut government. I don’t know where there are ideas in that, but then again it’s new jersey.

    I forgot to blog the Mayoral debate on wttw last night. If I can will try to do the next one. You didn’t miss much.

    My thoughts were that

    -chico, who I detest, is the most studied of the 4 candidates and far and away has done the most homework and thinking about issues. He had some way to make money off of trash which had more thought in it than all of braun’s answers combined.

    -Rahm seemed pretty distant and really comes off like a guy who’s spent 20 years in dc. He had I think the worst quality a politician can have which is the look and tone of someone who doesn’t want to be there and thinks he’s above who he’s talking to.

    -Braun and Del Valle were the least studied and least impressive.

  17. - frustrated GOP - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 12:51 pm:

    We had a chance to put a real conservative into the governor’s seat (Bill Brady) and thanks to Chicago, we blew it. Had enough yet?

    Illinois without Chicago. — Iowa! get a grip.
    grow up people, the only time in modern democracy we see tough votes is during similar sessions. It’s done, it’s over with. Bring on the map.

    I love listening to the retiree complaining about the tax increase. Last time I checked we didn’t tax pensions. Something we really need to look at when you see how many people are going to retire and how many are working to support the retirees. Why shouldn’t someone making $200,000 annually be taxed in some fashion?

  18. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 12:54 pm:

    ===really comes off like a guy who’s spent 20 years in dc===

    Because he has. And that’s what I distrust the most about him.

  19. - Dwight - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 12:56 pm:

    From the NY Times, Jan 2011: “Lawmakers adopted a $29.3 billion budget, CLOSING a deficit estimated at $11 billion with cuts to education, local governments, tuition aid for college students, mass transit and tax breaks for the elderly and poor. They reduced pensions and benefits for public workers and raised employees’ contributions to those systems.” I don’t know where you got your facts but most Liberals love the NY Times.

  20. - Dwight - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 12:57 pm:

    Sorry, that Times article is about NJ and Gov. Christie.

  21. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 12:57 pm:

    Dwight, the facts be the facts. If the new deficit is estimated at $10.5 billion, he didn’t balance the current budget. Period. He may say he did, and the NYT may repeat it, but he didn’t. There’s just no way he could’ve done it.

  22. - Dwight - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 1:04 pm:

    So again, I should just accept your facts because you said it? Please!

  23. - drowning in debt - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 1:04 pm:

    So, the vote indicates that the Dems did 50,000 better in Cook Governor’s race in 2010 than in 2006. And the margin of Quinn’s win was….. a lot less than 50,000. That is somewhat telling.

  24. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 1:08 pm:

    ===So again, I should just accept your facts because you said it? Please! ===


    No, silly, you should accept the facts because they actually are the facts, not some throwaway line in the NYT. Look at the numbers, man.

  25. - Doug - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 1:17 pm:

    Those are the facts.

  26. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 1:27 pm:

    ===Those are the facts.===

    The only fact that matters is that NJ is projecting a $10.5 billion deficit for next fiscal year. And it projected a $10.7 billion deficit for this fiscal year.

    End of story.

  27. - shore - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 1:30 pm:

    the debate was instructive. if their cameraman had done his homework he would have had a shot of the crowd when rahm raised his hand to make a point about the 4 extra years texas kids spend in school compared to cps students. he bent his thumb over and raised the 4 fingers on the left hand to show the one that had been sliced off. given that these are kids who probably don’t see sliced off fingers every day one shot of some girl squirming or turning her head away would have been priceless he might want to take care of that for the next debate.

    the guy he reminded me the most of was david hoffman last year who always looked like alexi was an annoyance to him. we know how that worked out.

  28. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 1:39 pm:

    The tax is here and thats that. Now, and forever more, PLEASE ensure all appropriate steps are taken to address real waste, fraud, and abuse. Oh, hell- just concentrate on White Collar Crime. AARP noted Medicare fraud cost taxpayers 280 BILLION dollars last year. Illinois Medicaid fraud constitutes what percentage of that figure?

  29. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 1:39 pm:

    –Magic Beans are always preferred to bean counters. –

    Absolutely. The thing is, with the google you can actually chase down facts pretty quickly. But with many folks, like Dutch said, “Facts are stupid things.”

    Christie and Mini-Mitch sure have spent a lot of time patting themselves on the back for not doing too much.

    Mini-Mitch sure talks a lot for a guy with a 9.4% unemployment rate and who has been caught making up “job creation” numbers.

    And Christie — well, what can you say about a guy who claims his state is on the way to “bankruptcy” the day before he was going to hit the market with a bond issue?

  30. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 1:49 pm:

    One more note — Indiana has leased the toll road, which brought in some cash.

    Hmmn, how have similar deals gone in Illinois? Is that really the route that the GOP prefers?

  31. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 1:54 pm:

    Where the hell is Vanilla Man lately? Crying in his soup?

    Thanks for some real numbers Rich. I am sick to death of people saying businesses will move out of IL/Chicago because of the increase in taxes.
    What a bunch of bull. Remember when the Chicago Merantile Exchange was going to move to another
    state a few years back? Daley kept them here by throwing a big bone their way. If Emanuel is elected as the polls are predicting, he will be similarly friendly to the business community.

    Nearby states do not have the transportation infrastructure (read: railroads) that IL has.
    Quinn is looking ahead to staying ahead of the pack by investing in rail transportation to keep IL in a superior position. I am glad we have a Gov who looks to keep IL’s economy in the pink, rather than just his campaign coffers…

  32. - Been There - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 1:55 pm:

    ===That’s a big reason why they have been able to weather the storm.===
    Throw in the hundreds of millions in gaming taxes they get from Illinois residents. Whether it is because of the smoking ban or geography they are raking it in at our expense.

  33. - Statewide - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 1:59 pm:

    Good job Rich, pointing out the many specious arguments and racist comments being heaved on the income tax increase in particular, and on the Democrats in general. It is not just in the papers. I have heard the racist themes in person from the no-new-taxes folks and usually right up front in their unprovoked diatribes.

    In light of MLK, Jr. Day, no one who hears these comments for what they are should let them go without a very strong immediate verbal response. Even close family and friends should be quickly and reasonably challenged when they use racism to support their views.

    And yes, these folks are the same ones who end their rants denying the counter-facts presented to them with a blanket dismissal of all government, all incumbents, and a promise to move to a zero-income tax state…(oh, except don’t take away those aspects of government that serve them, and no they won’t be moving, because they have a good job here, plus a nice house in a good area with good schools and great infrastructure, culture, restaurants, and on and on.)

  34. - Meanderthal - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 2:17 pm:

    20 years in DC or 20 years in Springfield? Meh…They are both cesspools as far as I am concerned. The food and mistresses are probably better in DC.

  35. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 2:23 pm:

    I can’t remember which news outlet was responsible for the piece last week, but following the initial hysteria, the facts and the truth are starting to find their way out.

    Whether they’ll ever make it into the minds of the voters is another question.

    But I’ve noticed something particular telling in all of the blogs and letters-to-the-editor.

    Most, if not all of the criticism is coming from folks who didn’t support Quinn in the first place.

    Lots of folks have told me they’d like to see more cutting — mainly because their unaware of all of the GRF cuts, pension cuts, and Medicaid cuts that the GA and governor have already enacted.

    I’d love to see some journalist tackle that piece, because when I lay it out, people are pretty impressed.

    No one has told me yet that they prefer the GOP plan…but I guess that’s because we all know the GOP doesn’t have a plan, other than eliminating DCEO, which I think is a riot. If you think that business leaders are freaking about taxes, tell them we’re eliminating state grants to lure new businesses.

  36. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 2:26 pm:

    == The food and mistresses are probably better in DC.=

    Not better but costlier.

  37. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 2:29 pm:

    The funniest yet. Wisconsin governor said “It’s like living next door to the Simpson’s”.

  38. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 2:37 pm:

    –Wisconsin governor said “It’s like living next door to the Simpson’s”. –

    It was Mini-Mitch in Indiana. And it was misinterpreted. Living next to The Simpsons is considered moving up in the world in Indiana.

  39. - siriusly - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 2:39 pm:

    That’s a great bit of real journalism here Rich. I think this should be nothing short of an instructive game plan for Gov. Quinn and the Democrats.

    If the IL Dems don’t try to take the microphone and start talking about why this was necessary and what else they are doing right, then they are going to get “Obama-d” (i.e. 2010 losing control of the message) in 2012.

  40. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 2:45 pm:

    Anon 1:39 Illinois Medicaid fraud constitutes 0 percent of National Medicare fraud costs. Not a hard concept.

  41. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 2:45 pm:

    - Living next to The Simpsons is considered moving up in the world in Indiana. -


    Wasn’t the town next to Springfield in the Simpsons known for the folks marrying their cousins? Not to suggest anything about Indy…

  42. - Meanderthal - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 2:49 pm:

    == The food and mistresses are probably better in DC.=

    Not better but costlier.

    True dat

  43. - Been There - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 2:52 pm:

    ==The food and mistresses are probably better in DC.===
    I disagree with one of those observations.

  44. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 2:54 pm:

    OK, enough with that little side thread. It’s kinda offensive.

  45. - David Aubrey - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 3:01 pm:

    This was a great post Rich. Keep getting the truth out there!

  46. - 618er - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 3:25 pm:

    - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 2:54 pm:

    OK, enough with that little side thread. It’s kinda offensive.

    You are correct Rich, DC has nothing on the “Guess what we deep fried” stands at the Illinois State Fair……

  47. - Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 3:27 pm:

    Rich, on the propaganda front you can add a full page advertisement on page 29 of the Tribune (tabloid version) from Indianapolis Mayor Ballard. Titled “A Business Invitation from the City of Indianapolis” it states “as you consider the effect of large, new state tax increases on your company’s bottom line and ability to hire . . .

    It claims City of Indianapolis and State of Indiana have balanced budgets and cash reserves with AAA bond ratings, low tax structure, well-trained and available workforce, competitive real estate market, efficient utilities with competitive rates, modern transportation with 5 interstate highways, a new user friendly international airport terminal and world’s second largest FedEx hub with ample cultural and recreational activities.

    They also cite that they are the 4th most affordable city in the US, 5th best metro area for business, a top 10 city for businesses to relocate to, and top 10 city poised for economic recovery.

  48. - Dave - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 3:42 pm:

    You are wrong on Christie.

  49. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 3:48 pm:

    Dave, if you rely on sources such as above for your news and info I fear you may spend most of your life ill-informed.

  50. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 4:03 pm:

    Louis, did Indy list its GMP — you know, the measurement of actual economic activity? Private investment putting its money where its mouth is? Voting with its feet, so to speak?

    The Chicago metro GMP is the the fourth-largest GMP in the world, behind only Tokyo, New York and LA.

    Try the google and see if you can find where Indy ranks in the world. Or the United States. I hear they’re #1 in Indiana.

    Talk about the Mouse that Roared.

  51. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 4:10 pm:

    Louis, an advertisement is, by very definition, propaganda.

  52. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 4:16 pm:

    Dave, the article I linked above regarding the projected FY12 %10.5 billion deficit has nothing to do with the link you posted.

  53. - Truth Seeker - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 4:17 pm:

    Dave, thanks for the link. I found it to be very informative.

  54. - accounting - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 4:20 pm:

    A balanced budget is one were expenses do not exceed revenues. Christie has balanced the budget in NJ, something we have failed to do here. However there is still debt form previous deficits in NJ. Lets learn basic principles of account and definitions before we talk numbers and rhetoric. It would be nice if IL could pay back 200k of its debt before raising taxes.

  55. - Dave - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 4:24 pm:


    Sure it does.

  56. - Dave - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 4:25 pm:

    steve schnorf

    Tell me where the author is wrong.

  57. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 4:37 pm:

    @Dave -

    I think you need to go back and reread your source.

    It doesn’t refute one thing Rich said about Christie.

    In fact, the article supports Rich’s statement that Christie relied on the same budget tricks as Rod Blagojevich - skipping pension payments - in order to meet his claim that he’d balanced the budget.

    Red State’s only defense is that previous NJ governors skipped pension payments too.


    That’s how Illinois got in this mess too.

    NJ’s pension debt, BTW, is $53 Billion. How they think they’re going to fix that without raising taxes or dramatically slashing services…I dunno. But it’ll be fun to watch.

  58. - SR - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 5:12 pm:

    ==He had some way to make money off of trash which had more thought in it than all of braun’s answers combined.==

    It sounds similar to “grid system” proposed by Emanuel early in his campaign.

  59. - Bob Kastigar - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 5:34 pm:

    You can say or report anything you want - I haven’t heard of any significant reduction in state spending, or any plans to do so. Or any plans to quit expanding the entitlement programs.

  60. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 5:39 pm:

    Bob, that just means you aren’t listening. And just because you didn’t hear it, doesn’t mean you’re right. I didn’t hear about a long ago friend dying last year, but that didn’t mean he was still alive.

    For starters, you can try this…

  61. - JJB - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 5:55 pm:

    Is “moron” really necessary?

  62. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 5:57 pm:



  63. - JJB - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 6:25 pm:

    OK, just as long as it’s necessary.

  64. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 6:27 pm:

    Well, it probably wasn’t. I suppose all these people going off the rails is sending me a bit off the rails. lol

    I’ll change it.

  65. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 6:28 pm:

    Bob Kastigar, seriously? Do you get Green Stamps for willful ignorance?

    You might not “hear” a lot of things. You actually might have to read. Or you can go undercover on the forensic audit trail.

    There are budget books, you know.

  66. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 6:29 pm:

    ===Green Stamps===

    Kinda dating yourself, eh, bubba?

  67. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 6:42 pm:

    ===Green Stamps===

    Kinda dating yourself, eh, bubba?–

    My secret’s out! What did you used to get at the A&P, Red Stamps? Those were big a big deal, too.

    And, of course, out on the farm, the Sears, Monkey Wards and JC Penney Christmas catalogs were a great source of entertainment when the winter atmospherics were knocking down the four channels we could get on the antenna.

  68. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 6:44 pm:

    ===the four channels we could get on the antenna. ===

    You really must’ve been in the boonies. No 9, 32 and 44? That was some TV, man.

    Also, we didn’t have an A&P where I lived. IGA.

  69. - Shemp - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 6:52 pm:

    Say what you will about Christie’s perception, but fighting the unions and pushing to reform he way the State works is a huge long-term budge saver. If Illinois would look at capping arbitrators like Christie has proposed, that would be a good start. No more “no-layoff” deals or concessions that allegedly create savings, but in actuality do nothing more than give up portions of bigger future increases. The sham here is twice as big as anything Christie has ever talked up.

  70. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 6:53 pm:

    ===a huge long-term budge saver===

    Yeah. 53 years.

    Also, I noticed you used words like “proposed,” and “talked up,” but not “accomplished.”

  71. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 7:40 pm:

    ===the four channels we could get on the antenna. ==

    9, 32, 44 plus WREX in Rockford and a real shaky Channel 7 in Chicago.

    Channel 7 came in best early on Sunday mornings, or so I remember.

    I and whatever siblings that were awake would flip it on, wait through the test pattern and the National Anthem,
    then be possessed by the spirit of “Jubilee Showcase,” powerful gospel music from the South Side.

    After that, we’d have to get cleaned up and dressed up to go to Norwegian Lutheran Sunday school, which was a real ripoff compared to the church-fun we were having in the living room in our jammies watching “Jubilee Showcase.”

    When we’d get back, my mom would run the beef roast through the de-flavorizer machine, removing all evidence of a previously red-blooded creature, while we’d catch “The Cisco Kid” and “The Lone Ranger” on Channel 9, followed by “All-Star Wrestling” from Rockford Boylan High School on WREX, featuring Wahoo McDaneiels, Dick the Bruiser, Ivan the Terrible and the immortal Vern Gagne.

  72. - Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 7:44 pm:

    Wow! I called the Indianapolis ad propaganda and then I’m reminded that it is propaganda.

    This State is losing the message war post-tax increase. Christie may be treading water but his message resonates.

  73. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 7:52 pm:

    ===This State is losing the message war post-tax increase. ==

    I don’t think they know what to do, frankly. It isn’t going to blow over soon, though.

  74. - standonprinciple - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 7:59 pm:


    It appears you are playing with statistics as well. Yes, some counties in IN have income tax. Jasper county has a 3% county tax. Except they have virtually no property tax. I have a friend that own a $1 Million + home. His property taxes are only $800. Try that in Illinois. It is difficult to quantify all the data and compare.

    The best way to rate the environment of a state is to see if people are coming are going. People have been leaving IL. Imagine what in unemployment rate would be here if 700,000 didn’t leave over the last 10 years? People are moving to places like IN and TX.

  75. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 8:06 pm:

    ===This State is losing the message war post-tax increase. ==

    As far as business goes, I’m not sure it matters. At some point, every business has a bean-counter who can lay it down to the decision-makers. No one’s going to pick up and move over this. It’s not that big of a deal compared to other states tax load and the cost of relocation, especially when the tax code let’s half of corporations pay nothing at all.

    As far as the local p.r. war, good luck. I don’t think I’ve even seen a newspaper — certainly not a TV station — print or put up a graphic that gives even a basic explanation of the state budget. They don’t like numbers stories, but they like emotion evoked by a tax increase story.

  76. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 8:11 pm:

    standonprinciple, people have been leaving Illinois for other states for longer than just the past ten years. The trend has been pretty steady for a lot longer than that. And it’s been mainly to warmer states. Other than putting a dome over the entire state, there’s not much you can do about that.

    And I don’t mean to make light of this. It’s a very serious problem caused by many factors. No doubt about it. And they should all absolutely be addressed. Just don’t try to say this is some recent thing. It ain’t.

  77. - Dave - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 8:13 pm:

    @Yellow Dog Democrat

    Not true. The OLS included many big ticket items that will not be around next year. The pension skip is just one of them.

  78. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 8:34 pm:

    –People have been leaving IL. Imagine what in unemployment rate would be here if 700,000 didn’t leave over the last 10 years? People are moving to places like IN and TX.–

    2010 U.S. Census, state populations:

    Indiana: +403,000

    Illinois: +410,000

    Texas: +4.3 million

    Yeah, Texas and Indiana are pretty similar.

    Also, according to the Census: 85% of Texas population increase is minority, primarily Hispanic.

  79. - standonprinciple - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 8:41 pm:

    Wordslinger, There you go again fudging the numbers. Texas is 4 times the size of Indiana. Illinois is double. Of course the raw numbers will be higher. Why don’t you list net migration rates, or even net migration percentage. Illinois is the worst. Illinois added 1.1 million people due to the birth rate, and lost 700,000 people who chose to leave. A fact is a fact. Indiana is out performing Illinois.

    Rich, I know this isn’t a recent trend. Illinois has had a host of anti business issues for years and years. The politicians just put gas on the fire.

  80. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 8:45 pm:

    Dave, if you can’t sort thru for yourself, why in the world would I do it for you.

  81. - Dave - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 8:49 pm:

    @steve schnorf

    If you can’t back up your claim, just say so.

  82. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Jan 18, 11 @ 9:13 pm:

    Dave, your College Republican training is showing thru. But, for the record, Dog explained it to you sufficiently.

  83. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 19, 11 @ 7:20 am:

    Dave, enough with the drive-by comments. Either back up your claims or stop commenting. You post something here, say I and others are wrong and then refuse to say why. I have no time for vacuous stuff like that.

  84. - Dave - Wednesday, Jan 19, 11 @ 12:58 pm:

    I did say where YD was wrong. Schnorf’s comment should come down too. Your blog though.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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