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Looking on the bright side

Monday, Oct 28, 2013

* Kurt Erickson has a response for those who are upset at the General Assembly for doing next to nothing last week

If you are a state retiree, the lack of action on pensions is a good thing. It means you will continue getting your current pension benefits.

If you are opposed to gay marriage or Emanuel’s tougher gun laws, the so-called “do-nothing state legislature” is perfectly OK. Gay marriage is still not legal. The controversial weapons law is not in effect.

The concept of gridlock, in other words, depends on your perspective.


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - phocion - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 2:46 pm:

    Hard to disagree. “Doing nothing” to some means “Doing something” for others. Winners and losers - that’s the name of the game.

  2. - Logic not emotion - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 2:46 pm:

    Good point.

  3. - DuPage Moderate - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 2:47 pm:

    Sounds like a page out of Senator John “there is no pension crisis” Cullerton’s playbook.

  4. - Soccermom - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 2:51 pm:

    There is actually a large body of research on this. Gridlock indicates that the status quo is acceptable to at least a large minority of legislators.

  5. - E Man - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 3:04 pm:

    Wha wha? There were real live legislators in town last week??

    Had no idea.

  6. - Jaded - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 3:06 pm:

    Yea, lobbying 101. If you are playing offense, gridlock sucks. If you are playing defense, bring on the gridlock.

  7. - walkinfool - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 3:10 pm:

    If keeping the status quo for the people is the goal, ok, fine.

    If simply making sure the other party won’t get credit for doing something worthwhile, then a pox on the obstructers.

    I’ve seen both.

  8. - foster brooks - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 3:16 pm:

    The best thing that could happen in Springfield.”nothing”

  9. - Under Influenced - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 3:19 pm:

    Sometimes inaction (or a slower process) is good. It can lead to fewer mistakes and slows the fringes.

  10. - Henry Clay - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 3:21 pm:

    After reading Kurt’s comments, I immediately began to feel much better. The clouds went away and the sun came out. I had been looking at a 1/2 empty water glass instead of the much preferable 1/2 full one. Perspective, rationalization, and self-delusion can certainly change one’s outlook on life much for the better. Thank you, Kurt.

  11. - Calhoun Native - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 3:24 pm:

    Speaking as a retiree I’m breathing a bit easier.

  12. - Joan P. - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 3:33 pm:

    Mark Twain is alleged to have said, “No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.” He had a point.

  13. - Judgment Day - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 3:34 pm:

    “Don’t just do something, stand there”.

    As much as it applies in medicine, also appears to be appropriate for legislative bodies.

  14. - TJ - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 3:39 pm:

    Voters: What the heck is wrong with you guys down in Springfield? You can’t even do anything?
    Legislators: Look, we’re going to level with you guys…. you hate everything we’ve done that you can name off the top of your head the past few years and we’re the cause of all the state’s woes, right?
    Voters: …. yeah….?
    Legislators: So, by doing nothing, we’re not breaking the state anymore.
    Voters: …. carry on.

  15. - Soccermom - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 3:56 pm:

    the status quo isn’t always a bad thing. It’s a technical term — it means the way things are right now. I mean, right now murder is illegal. That’s the status quo. And I’m fine with that.

    The problem arises when the status quo needs to be changed, but a vocal minority won’t let those changes take place.

  16. - Pete - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 4:08 pm:

    When the ship is ‘fiscally’ sinking, doing nothing is not a win.

    That’s the status quo we’re living with.

    The selective list of pensions, marriage equality, and gun laws doesn’t deal with the largest problem the state has. DEBT. Pensions are a scapegoat for excessive spending. We’ve been conditioned to associate the Illinois budget problems, debt, and bond rating with pension reform. But the most serious problem is government spending. It’s pretty obvious that the elected politicians have over spent/promised benefits to a great many voters.

    The media in Illinois should be looking at the trends associated with state union contracts and elected officials. I think if that correlation was on display with Mr. Erikson’s comments about Status Quo, I think we would find that there are no winners with an ineffective/’do nothing’ General Assembly

  17. - PolPal56 - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 4:22 pm:

    Always look on the bright side of life…

    Who whistles best in the GA?

  18. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 4:24 pm:

    I was told this many times when it came to government;

    Until the outcome is done….

    If you are “for” something, or “against” something, you still have the chance to “do” something.

  19. - Norseman - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 4:43 pm:

    People unfamiliar with the process had too many expectations as to the veto session. Especially, the first week. If there is truly momentum to do something significant, it would most likely occur in week 2.

  20. - Just The Way It Is One - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 5:25 pm:

    It’s true–nothing done means more of the same…!

  21. - Fed up - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 5:48 pm:

    Nothing happens until the last day.

  22. - live in Il and proud of it - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 8:09 pm:

    As the old saying goes “I know what I have” once politicians get involved who knows what we are going to get. Keep doing nothing, after all it was not legislators lack of action that got us in this boat.

  23. - James the Intolerant - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 8:17 pm:

    I don’t agree for pensioners, the more the GA delays action the worse off we are.

  24. - Anonymous - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 8:37 pm:

    James, please explain your position about retirees.

  25. - Norseman - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 8:39 pm:

    Oops. Anonymous 8:37 was me.

  26. - Ted - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 8:57 pm:

    The logic behind that is beyond me, Rich. It truly is. I received my health insurance termination letter today so, along that same line of thought, I’m ok since it isn’t going to be terminated until Jan 1? I’m a bit touchy today, I guess. Apologies.

  27. - mokenavince - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 10:17 pm:

    Weather their in Springfield or at home the results are the same nothing.
    Yes they will be paid, their pension’s are safe,
    our legislator’s lead charmed lives.
    Full time pay for part time work, WoW.

  28. - DuPage - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 10:46 pm:

    To Joan P., I see the quote from Mark Twain, and I slightly modified and updated it to present day Illinois. “No public employee or retiree’s life, liberty, medical insurance or pension are safe while the Illinois legislature is in session”.

  29. - Pacman - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 9:18 am:

    Do nothing, do nothing wrong

  30. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 9:39 am:

    Just like waiting for the other shoe to drop, uncertainty is the spice of legislative life. There is not much positive about indecision and uncertainty. Perhaps Mr. Erickson was just being snarky.

  31. - pensioner - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 9:39 am:

    On the pension, no news is good news.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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