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We’re not like Greece because we fight it out in the courts?

Monday, Jan 28, 2013

* A Lee Newspapers story about the high number of court fights over the state budget included this choice quote from the governor’s budget office

But, state Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale, who is among a handful of Republicans mulling a second bid for governor in 2014, said previous governors have managed to deal with financial problems without the courts playing such a high profile role.

Dillard, who served as chief of staff to former Gov. Jim Edgar during an economic downturn in the early 1990s, said Edgar worked across the partisan aisle to forge agreements that would reduce the budget in a legal way.

“(Quinn) is not a good manager, and he doesn’t have the legislative allies who will help him,” Dillard said. “The lawsuits are symbolic of the chaos in Springfield. There has never been such a blizzard of lawsuits against the governor or the state of Illinois than like now.”

[Abdon Pallasch, spokesman for the governor’s budget office] said lawsuits are a part of the process.

“In Greece, the government tries to cut back and people take to the streets and throw firebombs and burn down buildings. Here we go to court,” he said.


* Related…

* Illinois Credit Rating Lowered by S&P as Pension Costs Rise: The move affects $26.6 billion of debt, according to Robin Prunty, an S&P analyst. It leaves Illinois’s bond grade six levels below AAA and ties it with California as S&P’s lowest- rated state. The combination of the pension burden and budgetary stresses may push Illinois closer to speculative grade, the company said.

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* The first system to be insolvent? GARS

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* 10-year-old state debts plague Galesburg detention center

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - langhorne - Monday, Jan 28, 13 @ 9:44 am:

    so the best the gov’s spokesman can come up with, is that we are not greece. we have court cases, not firebombs and riots? really? thanks, that is a great comfort. OOPA

  2. - wordslinger - Monday, Jan 28, 13 @ 9:52 am:

    I think administration flaks should probably not compare the state to Greece in any way. Let your opponents do that.

  3. - western illinois - Monday, Jan 28, 13 @ 9:53 am:

    Here are some facts from the World Almanac 2012 Greece had around 10 million people and 300 billion GDP and just outstanding bond debt of over that number
    Illinois has bond debt of 26 billion (that have plenty of buyers) and Pension of 90 billion over the next half century or so…and a GSP of
    651 billion
    per capita 43,000
    IA 38,000
    MN 42,000
    TX 39,000
    From World Book Year book per capita taxes
    IL 2320
    IA 2240
    IN 2130
    MN 3240
    TX 1570
    NY 3280
    CA 2810
    It took me a few minutes to get this basic data to show we are not Greece something the budget office cant

  4. - OneMan - Monday, Jan 28, 13 @ 9:54 am:

    “In Greece, the government tries to cut back and people take to the streets and throw firebombs and burn down buildings. Here we go to court,” he said.

    Yet… Then again some might argue a social services provider having to shut down is worse.

  5. - OneMan - Monday, Jan 28, 13 @ 10:00 am:

    Yeah, why bring Greece into this, it would be like if someone asked about the Illini’s basketball performance and you decide to mention NIU.

  6. - Small Town Liberal - Monday, Jan 28, 13 @ 10:01 am:

    Yeah Senator, you and Edgar forged such wonderful agreements for the state that we now have pension payments set to overtake education spending. Nice work, can’t wait to see the next example of your heavy lifting abilities.

    Bizarre statement from Abdon, generally he’s my favorite spokesperson.

  7. - Demoralized - Monday, Jan 28, 13 @ 10:18 am:

    To all of you that are constantly saying the state has not made any real cuts, take a look at the story on the Circuit Breaker and Rx programs and then come back and tell us that no real cuts have been made.

  8. - Cook County Commoner - Monday, Jan 28, 13 @ 10:23 am:

    Illinois’ credit rating has it seems three more downgrades to go before it hits speculative grade. That the cost of borrowing increases with each downgrade is troublesome. However, a downgrade into the speculative range would be catastrophic because many institutional buyers and investment funds would be barred from purchasing the debt. This would accelerate the downward spiral into a nosedive.
    I suspect the solons of Illinois figure they have some time to staighten out the state’s fiscal situation. That services to residents will be degraded does not seem to be of much concern, so long as the buyers continue to line up and buy debt, which they are.
    But once the line is crossed, look out.

  9. - dupage dan - Monday, Jan 28, 13 @ 10:23 am:

    Remember, don’t think about pink elephants or Greece.

  10. - Norseman - Monday, Jan 28, 13 @ 11:23 am:

    === Dillard, who served as chief of staff to former Gov. Jim Edgar during an economic downturn in the early 1990s, said Edgar worked across the partisan aisle to forge agreements that would reduce the budget in a legal way.”

    I’m glad to hear that, I was concerned that you were going to support the unconstitutional proposals being pushed by Cross, Ragdogno and Fahner.

  11. - Norseman - Monday, Jan 28, 13 @ 11:24 am:

    OneMan, I’d rather talk about NIU’s football team.

  12. - DoubleDown - Monday, Jan 28, 13 @ 11:25 am:

    @CCC Thank you for your post. Me and a colleague was wondering if this story would be buried and have the least comments today. This is so important !!!

  13. - Meaningless - Monday, Jan 28, 13 @ 11:39 am:

    With logic like Quinn’s and many of our political leaders that want to throw everything to the courts (such as pension diminishment), it’s no wonder that many lawyers are thriving in Illinois. Let’s not forget that many of our representatives in the Illinois Legislature are also lawyers that seem to have their own vision on how to settle important issues.

  14. - mokenavince - Monday, Jan 28, 13 @ 12:20 pm:

    Small conrtactors cannot bid work for the State unless they belong to an approve appentice program. Which means you must have Union affilation.Madigan continues to ham string business. Quinn is clueless,Cullerton hopeless.
    CCC is 100% correct no one will wake up till our
    bonds are junk status. We pay these boobs and things just get worse.
    Is it any wonder that the State is rated so low.
    Do any of them really give a damn.

  15. - Small Town Liberal - Monday, Jan 28, 13 @ 12:36 pm:

    - Which means you must have Union affilation. -

    Completely false. The department of labor regularly certifies apprenticeship programs for non-union contractors.

    Perhaps you’d be happy spending taxpayer money on untrained contractors, but in my experience with construction, it usually costs a lot more to go back and fix shoddy work.

  16. - Media Guy - Monday, Jan 28, 13 @ 1:32 pm:

    Western Illinois you say 90 billion of pension debt over the next 50 years but unfortunately the pension “reformers” insist on sticking with the 30 year ARC and trying to fully fund the system during an economic downturn.

  17. - Responsa - Monday, Jan 28, 13 @ 2:42 pm:

    Abdon’s performance has been quite surprising and disappointing. In the recent past I’ve given him a little pass on some of his questionable statements thinking to myself, “well who the heck could cogently defend this governor’s goofy ramblings and this train wreck of an administration”. But it sure appears Pallasch came up with this Greece business and put it out there all on his own. Sad. Very sad.

  18. - Small Town Liberal - Monday, Jan 28, 13 @ 2:47 pm:

    Voter - Really? Most Illinois voters receive welfare checks? Of course you have some stats to back that up, right?

  19. - Small Town Liberal - Monday, Jan 28, 13 @ 3:08 pm:

    - I dont do research for others -

    Thanks, I don’t think I’d want you doing research for me anyway.

    Hope you’re not planning on driving anywhere today, would hate for you to have to utilize some of the services provided by these folks on the dole.

    I am also very sorry that the excellent education offered by other folks on the dole here in Illinois apparently wasn’t made available to you, or at least didn’t sink in.

  20. - wordslinger - Monday, Jan 28, 13 @ 3:12 pm:

    –I might add I consider that people on the state payroll are on welfare…I havent seen one do a days work comparative to the private sector yet.–

    Thanks for bringing your intelligence and insight to the discussion. It adds a lot.

  21. - Rod - Monday, Jan 28, 13 @ 3:16 pm:

    Abdon Pallasch is wrong in Greece they both go to court and throw fire bombs, the two ideas are not in fact mutually exclusive. On Friday, the General Confederation of Greek Labor announced it will lodge an appeal against the austerity measures set out in the memorandum with the European Court of Human Rights. About a month ago the rightwing anti-bailout party Independent Greeks filed a suit against the representatives of the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank – collectively known as the troika – for alleged crimes against the Greek people and humanity.

  22. - Cheswick - Monday, Jan 28, 13 @ 4:26 pm:

    –I might add I consider that people on the state payroll are on welfare…I havent seen one do a days work comparative to the private sector yet.–

    Ah, excellent. We can let everyone go home, including the prison guards.

  23. - OneMan - Monday, Jan 28, 13 @ 4:40 pm:

    –I might add I consider that people on the state payroll are on welfare…I havent seen one do a days work comparative to the private sector yet.

    I might very well consider you an idiot…

    First, let me state that since college I have not been employed by the state. I have not been employed (part time at that) by government entity since 1996 (taught a class at a cc for two semesters). So lets get that out of the way.

    I always find it entertaining the narrative that people in the public sector don’t work and people in the private sector do..

    Don’t know about you but I have worked with a host of people in the private sector who would give the laziest people in the world a run for their money. No, they were not union members. Just folks who didn’t want to work too hard.

    In all seriousness, where does this come from? Do I see state police officers sitting around all day eating snacks, no I see them pulling folks over (not me for over 14 years, yeah).

    Ever had to call a state department with a question, when you can get a hold of someone they go out of their way to help.

    Yes, I know, the no one really works for works for government is an entertaining myth and helps you feel like a victim every time you pay taxes. But lets deal in reality here.

  24. - western illinois - Monday, Jan 28, 13 @ 6:14 pm:

    Yes Media Guy and they insist on 100% which is eqaully ridiculous. The Greek Debt is all actual bonds ususally owned by European banks.
    After auterity failed Geitner showed up and showed them how to do a bailout . Our ongoing bailout is called QE 2 and Europes is called an LTRO but both involve the central bank buying bonds for more than they are worth.
    Demint brought us up on one of the talking head shows which revealed that Illinois is just another way to attack Obama and those have really worked out like teh attack Madigan stuff.
    Rich had a great post last week that showed the way to control the pension problem.
    I think school didts and universities would be wise to not fall for the -gee cut pension and we get more money…….
    Let us look at Ohio
    University of Cincinati get 156 million in state aid out of a billion dollar budget For WIU that would mean a cut of 30 million a year…The penion money IS state education funding. The biggest expenese is personel so it should be counted when comparing to other states

  25. - Voter - Monday, Jan 28, 13 @ 7:39 pm:

    Yes that individual can as well as so many others here that seemingly only post during hours that state employees work.
    Now I just read an article about how Illinois leads in “blackmail employment” meaning that the state is the largest offerer of corporate welfare to attract employers
    Then we have my prior comments about state funded employment numbers.
    At one time Illinois was a literal powerhouse of jobs and employment. Sadly today it has declined into a world of rhetoric and handouts
    It is impossible to write on a few online sentences anything that s not subject to the usual attacks.
    Its too bad there is no room here for a column of opposing view from the norm from this quite well written blog
    Naturally it would be subject to the usual dart throwing but lets face it.
    Like it or not Illinois is now the lowest rated in debt obligations among other things
    Maybe its time for all of you to at least consider a differing opinion for once

  26. - Just The Way It Is One - Monday, Jan 28, 13 @ 7:55 pm:

    Since when shouldn’t the 3rd Branch of Government have an important role to play in resolving such disputes? Maybe it’s more the Politics, or political gamesmanship more precisely, that’s the real cause of the so-called “chaos,” a characterization I would dispute.

  27. - Norseman - Monday, Jan 28, 13 @ 9:45 pm:

    === - tired of politics - Monday, Jan 28, 13 @ 6:58 pm:


    Thanks for bringing wordslinger back to reality. He sure can sling it. ===

    Tired, I believe you misunderstood Word’s point. Both were responding in defense of public workers to a poster with the nickname “Voter.” I’ll add that both were kinder than I would have been - which is why I didn’t add a response. As Rich says, I was holding my breath.

    I don’t see “Voter’s” post anymore so I take it that Rich deleted it.

  28. - Norseman - Monday, Jan 28, 13 @ 9:46 pm:

    Oops I meant that Rich says “take a breath”

  29. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 28, 13 @ 9:47 pm:

    ===so I take it that Rich deleted it.===

    And banned the commenter.

  30. - wordslinger - Monday, Jan 28, 13 @ 10:39 pm:

    –Tired, I believe you misunderstood Word’s point. Both were responding in defense of public workers to a poster with the nickname “Voter.”–

    Indeed I was. I’m sorry I was misunderstood.

    What that dude was peddling, I ain’t buying.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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