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The harsh realities that Bruce Rauner is avoiding

Monday, May 26, 2014

* Paul Merrion runs the numbers

Mr. Rauner opposes making the tax hike permanent, yet at the same time, “Bruce will make education a top priority and increase funding for it,” a Rauner campaign spokesman says.

Education accounts for about half of the state’s discretionary spending, which runs about $16.4 billion. If the 5 percent personal income tax rate rolls back to 3.75 percent on Jan. 1 as scheduled, the state would receive roughly $1.75 billion less in revenue for the second half of its fiscal year.

Spreading the cuts evenly, the governor’s office estimates that education would lose $875 million, including $224 million for Chicago schools (see the PDF).

If Mr. Rauner wants to increase education funding in spite of lower revenue, the other half of the discretionary budget would have to be reduced by more than $1.75 billion, a cut of upward of 21 percent. He has not revealed his proposed budget.

* Meanwhile, the SJ-R editorial board wants some answers from Rauner

It’s not necessarily advantageous to his campaign for Rauner to reveal what his budget plans are at this point. In a more typical Illinois gubernatorial election, observers may not expect to hear such details from candidates until later in the summer. But this is no typical election, and taxpayers deserve to know more than what’s simply thought to be politically advantageous. Illinois has major, potentially devastating financial difficulties.

Rauner may have a revolutionary plan that would save Illinois and relieve taxpayers of an additional burden on their pocketbooks. He won’t show his hand, though, and that’s maddening for people trying to determine the right path for the state.

* In a related story, the Daily Herald editorial board is upset

The legislature says community colleges should provide this education, but it doesn’t compensate them for the expense of doing it.

Well, we should say, the state doesn’t necessarily compensate the community colleges for this expense. Because in some cases, the state disperses grant money to subsidize at least some of that education.

But our state legislature being our state legislature, it doesn’t do this fairly or openly or without, at the very least, the appearance of political cronyism or favoritism.

As the Illinois News Network reported earlier this month, a House appropriations bill would award $1.25 million in veterans grants to the state’s community colleges, but only 18 of the 43 community colleges in Illinois would receive them.

None of the community colleges in area suburbs would see a dime.

Not College of DuPage, not College of Lake County, not Elgin Community College, not Harper College, not McHenry Community College, not Oakton Community College, not Waubonsee Community College. None of them. Not a single cent.

Community colleges collect property taxes, so the simple answer is that those suburban schools have relatively thriving property tax bases when compared to other schools. Ergo, the different treatment.

* Other stuff…

* House Democrats on the spot with tax, budget votes

- Posted by Rich Miller        


9 Comments
  1. - Waffle Fries - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 1:48 pm:

    I don’t know about anyone else but I’m pretty excited about the pre FY2014 days of failing to appropriate to our liabilities and payment delays.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 2:32 pm:

    ===If Mr. Rauner wants to increase education funding in spite of lower revenue, the other half of the discretionary budget would have to be reduced by more than $1.75 billion, a cut of upward of 21 percent. He has not revealed his proposed budget.===

    Reduce taxes, increase spending must lead to answers as to “How?”

    Until someone, or some Press, or some group goes negative, “Hard” on Rauner so he and his Crew want to change the Narrative to fiscal and be responsive to substantial facts to offset the negative Press or stories, Rauner will continue to scoff, laugh, and belittle Press “pressure” and questions to the “lower taxes, more education spending” conundrum.

    I expect no answers until white hot heat on something else “Rauner” makes them all in that Camp shift gears.


  3. - Anon - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 4:22 pm:

    It’s not only education where Bruce promises to increase spending. Rauner wants to keep open the Murray Center, re-open Tamms and spend more on infrastructure improvement, although sans an increase in the state{s motor fuel tax.

    It reminds my of what Bush 41 called using “smoke and mirrors.”


  4. - NoBody's Perfect - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 4:44 pm:

    Here at the Rauner HQ we are surprised anyone really thinks we will ever have a plan. We won’t, but hey NoBody’s Perfect
    Now the real question is if any reporter ever looks at the 400 companies we financed and plundered for GTCR? What if they came across TransFirst a credit card processor that once compromise EIGHT MILLION ACCOUNTS. We paid $180 million of borrowed pension money and dumped it right before the crash for $683 million.


  5. - Schock Girl - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 5:17 pm:

    Rauner is never going to answer any questions from anyone who asks for details about how he plans to fix x or y.

    Do you really think he is going to reveal his real plan on camera or a recording ?

    Outside of Rauner not giving away anything,well except money, I have not seen him talk to millenials. If he wants to gain the millenial vote he needs to reach out to that age group and answer the questions and not simply smile laugh and walk away.

    Oh gee, who did i just sound like ? *not a rhetorical question*

    Anyway, by him not answering it reminds me of a quote I heard a couple years ago.

    “…we have to pass the bill before we and you can see it..” - D-CA Rep. Nancy Pelosi


  6. - Almost the Weekend - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 5:22 pm:

    I love how the Tribune Editorial Board has no comment on this situation. Keep allowing Rauner Team to write op-eds on your back page and use his press releases for free media. Keep up the great work.

    I have no problem bashing Quinn he deserves it. But it’s a two way street. And there’s no congestion in the Rauner lane in the Tribune Editorial room.


  7. - ZC - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 5:51 pm:

    The Trib editorial board has I believed occasionally commented on the matter. And they approved the “Rauner will not talk about his pension plan” story that ran recently.

    Expect a condemnatory op-ed on the subject at some point this summer … and then an endorsement this fall.


  8. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 27, 14 @ 7:19 am:

    –Mr. Rauner opposes making the tax hike permanent, yet at the same time, “Bruce will make education a top priority and increase funding for it,” a Rauner campaign spokesman says.–

    There is no plan. At some point you’ll get “cut waste, end corruption, run like a business,” followed by “growth in revenue from a Rauner economy devoted to education funding.”

    That doesn’t even rate “smoke and mirrors.” That’s just snake oil.


  9. - siriusly - Tuesday, May 27, 14 @ 8:20 am:

    The suburban community colleges like College of DuPage and Harper College are some of the wealthiest, most over-built and over developed community colleges in the country. The Chicago Tribune should worry a bit less about them. Last thing the state needs to do is spend more money on those Royal Palaces.

    The Rauner plan “spend more tax less” is a great idea. Let’s elect him Governor and not even worry about the details. He is a “business man” clearly he knows exactly what to do.

    If this is how transparent he plans to be as Governor, we can expect great things.


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