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A boldfaced lie

Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

“We should have billions of dollars every year as part of our budget process…(to) maintain and expand our infrastructure,” Bruce Rauner said last week, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Rauner has been doing his best to woo the road builders all year, and he was speaking to the Illinois Farm Bureau, which has lots of members who rely on roads and bridges to get their goods to market. So I understand the practical politics of his bold promise.

But this stuff costs money. Lots and lots and lots of money. And infrastructure is only his second priority. His top priority is education funding. He wants to spend even more money on schools.

Yet, Rauner says he wants to slash the state’s income tax rate. Can he really do all that with lower revenues?

There are three ways to pay for these pie in the sky plans: 1) Gin up the state’s economy to North Dakota levels; 2) Stop making the full state pension payments; or 3) Increase state total taxation far above current levels.

Let’s examine all three, shall we?

1) Rauner has been saying all along that economic expansion is key to generating the revenue needed to pay for everything he wants to do. Yes, Illinois’ jobless rate is down considerably over the last year. That’s good news. But unless oil and natural gas “fracking” turns our state into another Saudi Arabia, there’s just no way Illinois can hit Rauner’s fantasy projections.

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office issued a forecast that the nation’s economy will grow by a mere 1.5 percent in 2014. We’ll need state growth way beyond that just to start covering Rauner’s big promises. Does anybody out there really believe Illinois is capable of outperforming the national economy by that much, even with massive reforms to civil lawsuits, workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance?

2) Resuming the state’s sad history of skipping or skimping on pension payments would likely result in a major bond rating downgrade, perhaps even to junk status. That’s really not an option. The other move would be to force local school districts to take over the state’s role of funding the teachers pension system. But Rauner has also proposed another amazing magical fantasy of capping local property taxes.

He can’t shift pension costs and cap property taxes all at once without decimating the budgets of every school district in Illinois. Period. End of story. And if he doesn’t muscle this local fiscal nightmare through the General Assembly in a big hurry (fat chance), there won’t be nearly enough money available to pay for even a little of what he wants to spend.

Rauner has also said he wants to immediately put all state employees, teachers and university employees into a 401(K) type retirement system to ease pressure on the state budget. But considering the Illinois Supreme Court’s clear hostility to anything that even remotely pares back public pension benefits, that idea ain’t gonna pass constitutional muster. Not to mention the huge outstanding pension debt the state has accumulated over the years, which still has to be paid off.

3) After assuring Republican primary voters that he’d slash taxes, the candidate now says he wants to gradually roll back the 2 percentage point, 2011 income tax hike over four years. That’s somewhere around $8 billion in lost annual revenue by his target date - about a 40 percent cut in current income tax receipts, and the personal and corporate income taxes account for a little over half of all state revenues.

According to the General Assembly’s Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, state revenues, including federal sources and the 2011 income tax hike, have grown an average of just 4.5 percent a year since Fiscal Year 1998.

Rauner’s proposed service tax would have to be ginormously biggerthan the $450 million or so he’s advertised to cover a nut like that. And never mind that taxes on services will tend to drive down consumption, which reduces demand, which hurts economic growth, particularly at the middle and lower ends (see fantasy #1).

Say what you want about Gov. Pat Quinn, and I’ve said more than my share of negative things over the years, but at least he tries to live somewhere in the neighborhood of budgetary reality. In contrast, the new government spending that Bruce Rauner is proposing on the campaign trail transcends the political posturing we’ve grown accustomed to as Illinoisans.

I don’t say this lightly, but it’s a boldfaced lie, cheerily spoon-fed to an angry, disgusted populace desperate for even a hint of good news. He needs to be called out for this.

…Adding… Greg Hinz

In an exchange of emails, the Rauner campaign appears to have removed any ambiguity about asking workers to accept less or to get their checks later rather than when due. “All benefits accrued to date will be paid fully and on time,” a campaign spokesman says. That means the money will have to come from somewhere else.

But where? Mr. Rauner has said he wants to repeal Mr. Quinn’s income tax hike over four years. He says boosting education aid will be his top priority and that much of the money will come from reviving the state’s still-lagging economy. But doing so will take time, sweat and the political skills of a Lyndon Johnson.

Even if Mr. Rauner somehow persuades Springfield Democrats to enact tort and workers’ compensation reform, switch out a tax on service for the income tax hike and take other controversial steps, will that provide enough revenue to make the schools happy and retire $100 billion in debt?

I doubt it.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 9:39 am:

    It’s not possible that Rauner could be so stupid as to believe what he says, so the only conclusion is that he’s knowingly lying.

    So, in other words, he thinks everyone else is stupid. He’s counting on it. The casual contempt for the citizenry is breathtaking.

  2. - admin - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 9:39 am:

    Rich is right. It is media malpractice not to call Rauner out on his lack of a plan. He is just saying whatever he wants to get elected and most media aren’t saying a word. If the Tribune still thinks they can endorse him without calling him out on this, then let’s just say they aren’t a newspaper but a propaganda rag.

  3. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 9:43 am:

    Since we haven’t had a boldfaced liar as governor before, this indeed concerns me.

  4. - anon - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 9:44 am:

    Great column. Solid.

  5. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 9:47 am:

    First and foremost, great read Rich. It makes the case of what Rauner is saying, and what is truly reasonable and realistic, and finally not leaving it there, actually taking the last step, calling it, as it is…a recognizable bald face lie in what Rauner is trying to portray as realistic governing paths.

    For a man so versed in the financial aspects, the salesman that is Bruce Rauner sees reality different than his resume would AFTER acquiring the investment. This is the sales pitch to unload what a lemon his ideas are.

    Feed into the discontent, don’t look at solutions to sell yourself as the solution, but say what is “popular and winning”.

    This is “exactly right” about the term limits Ad. No one stopped the amendment, but Rauner and his language. Constitutionality doesn’t get votes, blaming those career politicians, who didn’t write the language, they are to blame.

    The Rauner campaign narrative is “The big lies”

    They are personal lies.

    They are professional/business lies.

    They are constitutional lies.

    They are…governing lies, like Rich points out, very clearly, without hyperbole, but with the critical eye calling out the salesman that his service that he plans to provide is utterly impossible.

    All these lies, make the big lie seem shiny and new, behind the facade, there is nothing truthful and what will be done, or needs to be done to govern Illinois.

    Labor Day passed, now who will pay attention, who else will point out the real, and the phony?

  6. - Bruce (No not him) - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 9:48 am:

    My God, a politian lying to get elected. What is the world coming to?

  7. - Streator Curmudgeon - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 9:53 am:

    Rauner is counting on emotions overruling common sense among the Illinois electorate.

    Politicians are so fond of comparing government to their household: “If you can’t afford it, don’t spend it.”

    Saying you’re going to cut taxes (income) while doing more (expenses) is a guaranteed formula for more of what we have right now: crushing debt. This should make for a great Quinn commercial.

  8. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 9:53 am:

    The Usual Suspects already out ready to give Rauner a pass.

    Isn’t he supposed to be different? Isn’t that the whole deal? Otherwise, what’s he selling, and why are you buying it?

  9. - walker - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 10:04 am:

    This is a dollars and cents analysis, using publicly accessible real numbers and logic. The conclusion that Rauner’s promises and resulting numbers don’t come close to adding up, is simple arithmetic, not partisan. Knowledgeable analysts from both parties have been pointing this out for weeks.

    The judgment that Rauner is lying on the numbers, more than Quinn, and even more than we have come to expect from Illinois politicians, is a dramatic charge. Is it a “win at all costs, by any means strategy?” Appears so.

    It’s the “Illinois Arithmetic Challenge” that Rauner fails. That’s core curriculum in this state.

    Why a man of his purported skills continues to be so bold in his misstatements of reality, stumps me. This is one area where he should temper the extremes of his political advisors. He wouldn’t stand for this in his business.

    Is he a man “without a fiscal agenda” as well?

  10. - Sir Reel - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 10:05 am:

    This is about ego. Winning is everything. If Rauner is elected and then decides he doesn’t like playing Governor, he will just sell the state for a loss and maybe buy another state.

  11. - Out Here In The Middle - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 10:05 am:

    Every potential voter in Illinois should read this column. (unfortunately given newspaper subscription rates that is not likely)

  12. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 10:19 am:

    Another great column by Rich.

    I agree with those who criticize Rauner because he’s supposed to be better than what we previously had. His plans have been pretty bad. No wonder he always kept saying he’s working on them and didn’t come up with plans for a long time.

    “This is “exactly right” about the term limits Ad.”

    He said in that ad that it’s Quinn’s and Madigan’s fault that term limits aren’t on the ballot–just like it’s Quinn’s and Madigan’s fault the IL Supreme Court ruled in favor of workers in the retiree healthcare case.

    “somewhere in the neighborhood of budgetary reality”

    Reality is this tangible thing, man, that can be, like, experienced on many levels, you know?

  13. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 10:25 am:

    He brought his Seinfeldish campaign schtick to the Metropolitan Planning Council lunch last week. You’d think with Lester Crown giving Jim Farrell an award right before he spoke, Rauner might have guessed his audience wasn’t a bunch of yahoos who would fall for his nonsense.

    You’d be wrong. His entire appearance was an insult to the collective intelligence of his audience.

  14. - W.S. Walcott - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 10:27 am:

    It’s September of an election year. The only real care of either man is, “I must win.” Politics has long stopped being about winning to make this state better. It’s only about winning, or ego as Reel said, but maybe just his first sentence. Setting a political agenda is second to winning, and the margin is widening, but can you blame either man for trying to win? It’s the Amercian way.

  15. - CircularFiringSquad - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    So Mitt is just another empty Carhart hoping no one notices. Looks like that did not work. Now he had rented Durkie and the House GOPies via the rental fees paid to the IL GOPie swamp…Guess that makes them “Yes” votes for Mitt’s tax hikes, employee 401ks and minimum wage cuts.
    Meanwhile the Wall Street Journal snuck in a editorial for Mitt on Saturday. It misstates his tax hike plan and repeats their long held view that the Bush/Wall Street/predatory lender world economic collapse was all Madigan’s fault
    The most glaring fact is the WSJ did not have a single positive comment about Bungler Bruce’s bizwiz career. None, Zip, Zero, Nada.
    His only credential is shredded.

    This will be painful 60 days now that Capt Fax and the WSJ have caught on.

  16. - Jocko - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 10:33 am:

    Rich is spot on!

    Between his spiel on term limits and promises of funding education and infrastructure at no additional cost to the homeowner, Rauner is running a “right brain campaign”, long on emotion but short on logic.

  17. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 10:34 am:

    == We should have billions of dollars every year as part of our budget process…(to) maintain and expand our infrastructure ==

    We should, but we do not.

    Someone forgot to tell not just Mr. Rauner, but the ILGA and Mr. Quinn as well. Magically rushing through that $1.1B “mini-capital” bill at the end of session was apparently Raunernomics 101.

  18. - Langhorne - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    BVC: i have nothing to say to critics, who have never run a business, never made millions, who criticize my plans and have spent their careers hanging around with that springfield crowd.spend enough time with them and you start thinking like them, i guess. thats why we need term limits. thats why we need to shake up springfield.”

    wht ever happened to his crew of superstars who were going to analyze things and set us on the right path? who is on his advisory/fiscal policy group–beyond campaign hacks?

  19. - foster brooks - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    There is no doubt in my mind that rauner will skip the pension payment to try to gin up a bigger crisis than what there is.

  20. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 10:50 am:

    He can’t do that without the Legislature’s approval, Foster, and I don’t see Madigan being accommodating.

  21. - Robert the Bruce - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    Excellent column. You called a lie a lie.

    ==He can’t shift pension costs and cap property taxes all at once without decimating the budgets of every school district in Illinois.==
    Agree completely. But is there a chance that the legislature and Rauner would do exactly what you describe: decimate the school district budgets?

  22. - walker - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 10:57 am:

    If his real plan is to just skip pension payments, and to blame everything on the GA when he cannot deliver what he has promised to every interest group — he’s sounding more like Blago every day.

    I have resisted that scary thought as too far-fetched, until now.

  23. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 11:02 am:

    I think you meant “Bald faced Lie” as in not having a beard to hide your identity.

  24. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 11:18 am:

    == There is no doubt in my mind that rauner will skip the pension payment to try to gin up a bigger crisis than what there is. ==

    That sounds just like what the ILGA did with our last budget. They blew a hole so large that by this time next year the only way out anyone will be able to see is “more revenue”.

    If Rauner did that, it would be a page straight out of the Madigan playbook.

    With the last budget we passed, they “ginned up a bigger crisis” in at least one way whether we make that pension payment or not. It is terrible and unnecessary.

  25. - Rod - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 11:33 am:

    I did see Rich in his column claim that Mr. Rauner is committing a “boldfaced lie” in his presentation of tax reductions and claims of statewide spending for education and infrastructure which was refreshing, and I expect at some point the same thing could be said about Governor Quinn. Because we know there will be little immediate savings for the state of Illinois based on pension reform legislation that the Governor agreed to, because it will very likely be struck down by the Illinois Supreme Court and Quinn knows it.

    So what both Quinn and Rauner might be lying about are variations of the same theme, the relationships between revenue, taxation, and expenditures. Because increased taxation is so politically unpopular both Rauner and Quinn will have to cut services in order to pay both the pension tab and keep a semblance of order in Illinois. The first area of cuts will be to human services, the second will be to the Illinois Department of Corrections, the third level of cuts will be to higher education forcing up tuition payments, and the last level of cuts will be for k-12 education because its so politically unpopular. I am unclear totally about where we will be going in relation to cuts for the Illinois Department of Transportation and various infrastructure projects. As Rich noted there is money to be made in that area by contracting firms.

    Quinn’s cuts would be of a much lower magnitude than would be Rauner’s cuts. Even if Rauner can’t deliver the full income tax reduction and pulls back after the first year, its likely citizens of Illinois would experience lower taxes under his administration. Citizens of Illinois aren’t a particularly altruistic bunch given our history on one of the worst funded mental health systems in the United States and prisons are marginally better than the mental health system. Illinois spends around $38,300 per prisoner yet the prisons are overcrowded, whereas Rauner’s model state Indiana spends only around $14,900 per prisoner. It seems obvious Rauner will target the IDOC for big cuts and most taxpayers in Illinois would go along with greater suffering in the prisons until there is a revolt and corrections officers are wounded and or killed. Then everyone will start crying tears.

    The lie, boldfaced or not, has been perpetrated for a long time in our state, it’s in fact institutionalized.

  26. - anon - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 11:47 am:

    Rauner’s entire campaign is based on the idea that he would shake up springfield and bring business sanity to the state. If he is lying about his financial plan or unwilling to share it because of election fall-out - then his entire campaign is a sham to get elected.

  27. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 12:02 pm:

    The guy wants things, the best of things. He’ll spend, do and say whatever it takes to get them. He needs them.

    A great bottle of wine from the store isn’t good enough, so he joins a $140K club for wine you can’t buy at the store. New Trier isn’t good enough, so he spends millions on property, calls in favors and drops big cash on Payton.

    Being a rich guy nobody knows isn’t good enough. He wants people to pay attention to him. He wants the title and the perks.

    Anc once he gets the gig, he’ll want something else. I’m sure he’ll start floating his name immediately for veep or pres, or senate if Kirk takes a pass.

    It’s all about being the center of attention. He doesn’t want the job, he wants the title.

  28. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 12:37 pm:

    foster brooks

    Exactly what Chris Christie did his first year.

  29. - Newsclown - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 12:38 pm:

    Agree with the entire piece, except, technically, the term really is “Bald-faced lie”, meaning specifically, that you know you’re lying and trying to bluff. Lying while wearing a beard made it easier to not give yourself away by facial expression; a shaved or “bald” face meant your face was easier to read. Bold-faced lying is a less accurate and artful version of the term, because it implies adding an emphasis (as in bold-faced type) to a lie rather than bluffing. See me after class:-)

  30. - RNUG - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 12:51 pm:

    After the real budget cuts in (more or less) discretionary spending the last couple of years, Rauner isn’t going to find much left to cut. Yes, I’m sure there is still some waste and mismanagement in State government; a certain level is just a fact of life in any organization. But there aren’t Billions and Billions being wasted every year unless you consider basic social services as waste.

    The end game, regardless of who ends up Governor, will be increased taxes next year … lots of increased taxes. The only real question is which path is taken to increased taxes; closing business tax loop holes, higher income tax (possibly graduated), new income tax on retirement income, new service taxes or a cost shift resulting in higher property taxes. Most likely it will be some combination.

    I’d love to vote for Rauner but his math doesn’t add up. Quinn’s comes closer and the past several years have actually moved the State in a positive financial direction.

    At it’s most basic level that’s what this election should be about: a choice between digging a deeper hole or continuing to slowly fill in the hole.

  31. - Steven - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 12:53 pm:

    People are so desperate to see Quinn leave that they will believe anything.

    Bruce could promise everyone a unicorn and they would believe it.

  32. - downstate commissioner - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 1:09 pm:

    A lot of “anybody but Quinn” voters out there. Like Rich, I am not a fan of Quinn; but while he may not be the best leader we could have (inept?), I feel that he is not trying to lie or buy his way into the job. Rauner inspires nothing but fear in me…

  33. - Just curious - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 1:28 pm:

    47th - Did the audience at the MLP lunch hold him accountable and ask him to explain how his plan can work? I would be interested to know his response, if he had one.

  34. - Aldyth - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 1:40 pm:

    Wordslinger, as always, provides the most insightful comment of the day.

  35. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 1:47 pm:

    –At it’s most basic level that’s what this election should be about: a choice between digging a deeper hole or continuing to slowly fill in the hole. –

    Slowly filling in a hole is painful drudgery. Telling people that they can painlessly have everything they want is easy.

  36. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 1:57 pm:

    JC, the format did not allow for that kind of audience participation. Craig Dellimore was on hand to “moderate” but I didn’t see any evidence he knew why he was on-stage either. He didn’t offer much in the way of push-back.

    It was a sophisticated audience and Rauner treated them like they were a bunch of rubes. I think his act is going to get old very soon.

  37. - Anon - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 2:36 pm:

    Rauner’s plan doesn’t add up, but his backers don’t care. I can’t even find Republicans to say they don’t want new service taxes — though they would’ve been foaming at the mouth to attack such a proposal from a Democrat.

  38. - Andy S - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 2:37 pm:

    As much as I detest Quinn for knowingly violating the plain language of both the Illinois and US Constitutions, I have to concede that he is the most fiscally responsible governor Illinois has had in recent history. The way every governor from Thompson to Blago has massively underfunded the pensions, I’m not sure Rauner stands out as being particularly irresponsible, but his election would mark a return to the bad old days of pandering to voters that want state services but don’t think they should have to pay for them.

  39. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 3:40 pm:

    No Raunerbot replies. Interesting.

  40. - A guy... - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 3:41 pm:

    I have some points of disagreement, but man, this one’s just too hot to touch today.

  41. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 3:48 pm:

    –I have some points of disagreement, but man, this one’s just too hot to touch today.–

    It’s arithmetic, not opinion. Show your math. No one can argue with correct arithmetic.

  42. - Joey C - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 3:49 pm:

    Rich hits it on the head once again. I’m reminded of a Mark Twain quote about honesty that seems to pertain to many of today’s politicians - Honesty: “The best of all the lost arts”!
    Note: I totally get political posturing - especially in today’s “serve me know society”. But it sure would be great if we could actually have public debates of value in the Governors race to discuss these very important issues. Jeez!

  43. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 3:53 pm:

    ===I have some points of disagreement, but man, this one’s just too hot to touch today.===

    So, if you can’t defend “your Guy”, - A Guy…-, when the tools of budgetary math or the rationalization of monetary policy is available to you…

    I guess you are voting against your better self.

    You know you can’t defend it, but you will vote for the bald face lie anyway.


  44. - walker - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 4:40 pm:

    Of all the promises Rauner has made, “I will freeze your property taxes. Period.” will move the most votes in the suburbs. It alone, if believed, can win the campaign for Rauner at the margins.

    No one besides Rich has mentioned its giant potential fiscal implications, and its fundamental dishonesty to the voters. It is the Big Lie in this one.

  45. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 5:12 pm:

    Given that the Rauner rapid-response team is all over anything Quinn puts out in a matter of minutes, it’s very telling that there has been no response from them to Rich’s column.

    The reason is, there is no good response possible. They can’t begin to explain or rationalize all this nonsense.

    A phony “outsider” running against “corrupt” Springfield, who will say anything no matter how outrageous, who can raise tons of money from bigshots to dirty up his opponent. who clearly has no interest in or clue about governing, but who is simply in it for the ego stroke……

    I think I’ve seen this movie.

  46. - Last Bull Moose - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 5:43 pm:

    Rauner is mathematically challenged and selling a pig in a poke. Quinn would do well to build from Rich’s article.

    Challenge the math. Challenge the ability to quickly change a huge organization. Show that Rauner cannot do what he promises.

    Then sell the more limited things you have done and can do. Trust the voters to choose reality over fantasy.

  47. - Anon - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 7:17 pm:

    When are those Republican mayors and township supervisors going to speak up about the implications of a true freeze? Perhaps they are counting on Democrats to kill the freeze, but they better not be so sure. If Madigan sees it as a winning political issue, he will support it instead of being seen as the one who killed it.

  48. - Percival - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 7:53 pm:

    I’m more curious on whether the top members of the Rauner Campaign even care. All pols distort, and distort even more in election season. But this new stuff appears to be based upon one of two assumptions, either (1) the Illinois electorate has demonstrated time and time again that they have no remaining ability to think or to see through nonsense from a pol; or (2) the Illinois electorate is so scared and desperate that they will swallow whatever Bruce Rauner offers like a parched man in a desert swallowing sand because he was told it was water. The entire GOP is rapidly adopting the partisan delusion that any lie is justifiable if it helps a conservative Republican supplant a liberal Democrat to save the (country / state / district / city / other). I suspect that the Rauner people are using that same self-rationalizing flow, i,e, “just do what you have to do to win, so we can get in office and finally fix things.” It used to be a rule that the ends never justified the means. I remember Harry Truman saying that (and he once burned a letter highly embarrassing to his opponent’s personal life that had been given to him, hardly because he liked the opponent, but because he would not win that way.) But we as a people crossed the Rubicon on the principle after 9/11 when terrible things were done, openly justified by the asserted necessity to protect the American people from devastating attack. We have never retreated back across, and it now infects our politics as never before. The Rauner Campaign is just an example, so don’t be too hard on them.

  49. - DuPage - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 8:27 pm:

    I think Quinn is the first governor in a long time to actually fully pay the pension systems what was due each year.

  50. - Observing - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 9:20 pm:

    Rauner reminds me of George W. Bush. Rauner wants to spend billions on infrastructure and education and he wants to cut taxes. Bush started two wars and pushed a trillion dollar tax cut. And, how much did we have to borrow from the Chinese after that????

  51. - DuPage Dave - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 9:37 pm:

    Kind of late to comment on this one, but thanks, Rich for the plain language on Rauner’s act. He is supposedly a very smart guy who’s not an ordinary Republican, but he’s selling the same baloney that the GOP has followed for years: cut taxes, cut taxes and cut taxes. The schools and roads and fire and police will magically take care of themselves.

    It was baloney coming from Reagan, coming from Bush and now coming from Rauner. You have to pay the bills, Bruce. Stop pretending that you don’t.

  52. - Yobagoya - Wednesday, Sep 3, 14 @ 2:23 am:

    Hard not to giggle at the Obama voters here wailing about Rauner running on emotion and dodgy numbers.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Question of the day
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* Business Groups Plea for Budget Solution in Let.....
* Will “right to work” pop up again? - The Capito.....
* A little bit of what's at stake this week - The.....
* The loophole that unleashed an unprecedented fl.....
* Closer Look: Task force looks to shrink Illinoi.....

* Cities, counties struggle during Illinois budget mess
* 1st weekend of Illinois firearm deer hunt beats last year
* Police investigate break-ins at 4 Champaign-Urbana hotspots
* Urbana chef taps family members for his kitchen staff
* Chicago police: Man steals van with 2-year-old girl inside
* Man in custody after bodies found in Lake County home
* Report: SAFB considered for new spy agency office since 2005
* Chicago announces expansion of police body-camera program
* No notable delays for holiday travelers at Chicago airports
* Closer Look: Task force looks to shrink Illinois government

* Cities, counties struggle during Illinois budget mess
* 'Pot doctors' pushing boundaries in Illinois, other states
* Burger King manager: Police erased video of Chicago shooting
* Local free community college plans may be template for U.S.
* Rauner faces challenges in move to block refugees
* Vendor Payment Program suspended due to budget impasse
* Rauner pardons man found innocent of 1999 attack
* Springfield jobless rate falls again, to 5.1 percent
* Springfield police chief sees problems with body cam law
* Lawsuit challenges Illinois ban on marijuana campaign money

* IMF adds China's yuan to basket of top currencies
* Obama's Chicago fundraisers slower to step up for Clinton
* Deere cutting 220 workers in Moline
* I like my old phone just fine, thanks
* Tribune Publishing refutes Murdoch tweet, says not in sale talks

* Cop who shot Laquan McDonald due back in court
* Is Anita Alvarez losing her Hispanic political base?
* Sports Illustrated: Blackhawks whiff on Stadium Series jerseys
* THE WATCHDOGS: How Midway clout king got out of property taxes
* Trump scraps endorsement event after black pastors object
* Chicago Teachers Union plans strike vote on Dec. 9: report
* Obama visits Bataclan, site of French terror attack
* Niklas Hjalmarsson skates swiftly and carries a big stick
* Bears may offer suite life at ground level
* Officials see uptick in historic renovations in Springfield

* Student with gun arrested at Barrington High School
* South Side shooting wounds man
* Tribune Publishing statement: Not in discussions to sell company
* Teen charged with shooting at Fuller Park that killed 3, wounded 2
* Winter overnight parking ban starts Tuesday
* Holiday toll: 8 killed, 20 wounded over Thanksgiving weekend
* Squad car crashes during chase of stolen van with girl, 2, inside
* No injuries when part of building collapses in Back of the Yards
* Skilling: This November one of wettest on record
* U. of C. cancels Monday classes after threat to Hyde Park campus

* James Durkin: Compromise needed to restore Illinois' standing
* Bernard Schoenburg: Book on Blagojevich impeachment lets reader 'be right there'
* Andy Shaw: It's time to crack down on no-bid contracts
* 'Pot doctors' pushing boundaries in Illinois, other states
* Burger King manager: Police erased video of Chicago shooting
* Kristina Rasmussen: Relying on one another, not the government
* Charles Krauthammer: The Syrian immigration cul-de-sac
* Rob Elliott: EPA ethanol ruling affects more than energy policy
* Local free community college plans may be template for U.S.
* Rauner faces challenges in move to block refugees

* Police seeking Champaign bank robber
* 11-30-15 Monday Morning Quarterbacks
* Thorne tears meniscus
* Illinois assistant leaving
* Chicago police officer who fatally shot teen due in court
* The Latest: Student leader says few details given on threat
* Ford to book $600 million 4th quarter expense for new labor contract
* Kevorkian archive opens as physician-assisted deaths rise
* Calendars show Clinton made time at State for supporters
* Suspect in Colorado clinic shooting to appear in court

* Student in custody after bringing gun to Barrington High School
* Meet the Maine West football player who moonlights as fire dancer
* Dolphins fire offensive coordinator Lazor after loss at Jets
* Thomas Bach: Hamburg bid rejection is 'missed opportunity'
* 'Suspicious activity' puts Barrington High School on hard lockdown

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Durbin Pushing for Spending Bill - Alton D......

* Manchin, Kirk introduce bill targeting gov......

* Morning Minute: Pending home sales headed slightly higher in October
* Chicago To Expand Police Body Camera Program
* Advocates Meet With Rauner's Office, Call For Acceptance Of Syrian Refugees
* Report: CTU To Hold December 9 Strike Authorization Vote
* Teen Viral Sensation Says McDonald Shooting Proves Cops, Conservatives Are Racists
* Harris runs to split black vote, defeat Zopp, and position Duckworth against Kirk
* GOP Hindu-American Political Arm Emerges for 2016 Elections
* Lack of Illinois Lottery payouts sending gamblers out of state
* OBrien: Laquan McDonald -- Victim of Liberalism
* Sixteen shots. The story that broke the silence.

* Emergency Management Officials, National Weather Service Encourage Winter Preparedness - November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois
* Keep Your Family Safe This Winter - November through February are leading months for carbon monoxide related incidents
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* Illinois Department of Labor Director Hugo Chaviano Awards Governor’s Award for Contributions in Health and Safety to the Illinois Refining Division of Marathon Petroleum Company LP
* State Regulator Elected Treasurer of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

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