The governor still wants to raise the income tax rate on individuals by 50 percent. But now the governor says he’s open to negotiating the size of the tax hike on businesses.
“Some of our Republican friends I think would be interested in seeing that happen,” Quinn told reporters after a rally where thousands of people protested potential budget cuts if no more money is found.
Thousands of people squeezed into the Illinois Capitol to protest possible budget cuts and instead demand higher taxes.
They waved signs in support of programs for children, women, senior citizens, disabled people, drug addicts and more.
Authorities say Tuesday’s rally attracted more than 5,000 people. At one point, police stopped letting more people into the Capitol building because of safety concerns.
*** UPDATE 8 - 1:45 pm *** Here’s my intern Mike Murray’s video of the rally. Very good stuff. He learned how to do this all on his own…
*** UPDATE 7 - 1:32 pm *** Facebook post by Rep. Osmond…
I am in my seat at the Capitol and the building has been closed as to those 5000+ individuals here demanding a yes vote for a tax increase. Just like others have written it is not a good day with the outside 90+ degrees. They just cleared the gallery and told all they have to go thru a security check and the visitors are not happy. There is a security meeting in the back and they have called for additional manpower
It’s just one of those days where it is truly a blessing to have an office in the Capitol building. 5,000+ whining people, you can’t walk anywhere, seems like everyone has a drum, whistle, or microphone, and because its 96 degrees outside we get a really ripe smell to top it all off
8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. - Social service providers have a forum at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel in downtown Springfield to talk with local legislators about devastation caused by possible state budget cuts.
10:30 a.m. - Advocacy groups fighting domestic violence and sexual assault and others gather at the Abraham Lincoln Statue on the east side of the Capitol, with tents, to show the impact of possible budget cuts to their services.
11 a.m. - Service providers meet at the state Capitol’s Lincoln statue, then march nearby to Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office and the state Republican Party office in downtown Springfield to warn about budget cuts.
11:30 a.m. - About 5,000 providers, workers and clients rally in the state Capitol Rotunda along with Gov. Pat Quinn against budget cuts.
They’ve hit the phones, sent the e-mails and even had face-to-face meetings. On Tuesday, service providers take their message en masse to the state Capitol in hopes of getting better answers.
About 5,000 black-clad protestors plan to welcome the Legislature back to Springfield for a special session meant to hash out some of the state’s problems, including human service organizations that could see their funding cut in half in the next budget year.
They promise this won’t be another ordinary legislative rally.
“Every day, you can find another rally, you can find another group that is interested in their issue. What is different is this time … everyone is coming together as a whole,” said Sara Moscato Howe, CEO of the Illinois Alcohol and Drug Dependence Association.
Experience tells us that protest rallies — a big one is scheduled for Tuesday in Springfield — aren’t going to rile up average taxpayers. We’ve heard too many doomsday forecasts and are tired of political posturing that feels an awful lot like extortion:
Fund our programs or real people will really suffer.
My sense is that, this time, only a true crisis will generate popular support for a tax increase. And that even when the suffering is real, the public isn’t going to dig deep until legislators scrap all but the most urgent infrastructure-repair projects in the budget.
They’re not gonna “scrap” anything in the capital bill. Notice that neither side has pointed out the goofy projects in the bill? It’s a “gentlemen’s agreement” - albeit made with one female (the Senate GOP Leader) - not to stir up trouble.
- Posted by Rich Miller
- Captain America - Tuesday, Jun 23, 09 @ 10:58 am:
Figuaratively speaking,it looks to me its time for a return to the days of rage of the sixties. I’m not personally advocating violence or destruction of property all I can say symbolically is Burn Baby Burn!
Greg, unlike the tea parties, the sponsors identified themselves in press releases.
- He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Tuesday, Jun 23, 09 @ 11:17 am:
I have talked to a lot of people who don’t get involved in political discussions, they are all very discusted with ALL politicians not just state. The general belief seems to be that they don’t care about doing the right thing but about how it affects THEM, the PARTY and then the People.
I would bet that given the chance the voting public would pass term limits, open primaries and other reforms.
Protests won’t matter much to average voters, nor to the Capitol Clowns, I think. It’s the average voters who must call, fax, e-mail, tweet, etc. their representative and senator with a simple message: Quit fiddling while the state burns; pass the income tax hike and make real and meaningful cuts, or lose my vote.
Sorry, I should have said something like “tendency to dismiss” due to each’s sponsors. Personally, I’m dismissive of both.
One quick observation: I think many of CapFax commenters’ perceptions of voters’ concerns about these cuts are skewed, due to their relationship with public employees and service providers. Granted, I have no exposure to either–but I try to stay aware of this heuristic effect.
- Truthful James - Tuesday, Jun 23, 09 @ 12:10 pm:
I have raised this before. I shall do it again here.
While the use of current revenues to fund capital projects is politically self satisfying, we have come to the end of the revenue rope.
Capital projects need to be financed by a mixture of current revenue and debt with the emphasis on the latter, making sue that the average life of the project is less than or equalk to the average life of the debt allocated to pay for it.
This is the traditional and the correct way to finance long lived assets in the public sector. It involves setting up a five year funding program, adding a new out year every year and shifting projects forward which become more urgent.
I usually agree with your posts, and greatly enjoy your wit and skewering lyrics.
However, your “fatty” comment was way out of line. Perhaps you ought to come down and laugh at all of the people in wheelchairs, and suffering other disablities that have come out in the heat to protest.
I found your comments distasteful, mean spirited and frankly, offensive. You made yourself out to be a real jerk.
- Will County Woman - Tuesday, Jun 23, 09 @ 12:31 pm:
Northsider - Tuesday, Jun 23, 09 @ 11:22 am:
“Quit fiddling while the state burns; pass the income tax hike and make real and meaningful cuts, or lose my vote.”
How about the other way around: make real and meaningful cuts and then implement a temporary tax? Otherwise just let it burn!
- Look before you speak - Tuesday, Jun 23, 09 @ 12:39 pm:
VM - I too have been a fan of your posts, however that one was uncalled for, take some time to get to know some of these folks who your state is throwing under the bus. Even if it is a scare tactics, some providers can’t live through the time period until funding is restored because for years this state has been underfunding human services and lining the pockets at the top.
Around the state I’m hearing the refrain: “throw them all out and start over”. Trouble always is, we never throw out our guy/gal when it comes election time.
- No More Taxes!!! - Tuesday, Jun 23, 09 @ 12:49 pm:
I have not heard of one legislator proposing that his/her office allowance be cut, not even a token 10%. They need to show good faith and manage with less also. How many of these protesters have taken a vacation day or are we, the taxpayer, picking up the tab for them to be in Springfield.
These people are the problem. They are public workers on the public dole. They pretend they are there for those in need, but they are really there for their own jobs. They don’t want to negotiate their pensions, they just want to keep taking from others.
Posters’ sentiments here as to the public mind are indeed skewed. My Reps tell me that their constituents are overwhelmingly against the tax increase. We actual taxpayers can’t come down to Springfield to yell and push- it’s Tuesday AND WE HAVE TO WORK to create the income that the protesters want us to pay over to them! And I can’t afford to charter a dozen buses. These ugly protests will prove counter-productive.
I think I didn’t make my point clearly. My point is that their organizations are not completely “private” since they are dependent on public revenues. How do we know they are dependent on public revenues—because they are in Springfield rather than their offices.
One wonders if these so-called private companies will treat this as a work-day for these protesters. Who wants to bet that they will?
Sure there can be some cuts. But even the inestimable Mr. Schnorf, well-regarded and experienced, acknowledges we can only cut $200 million out of this year’s budget.
And our burdensome taxes? Want to move to Iowa where the income tax is 8.89%?
Or MO or KY where it it’s 6%?
Or WI at 6.75%?
Or MN at 7.85%?
We’re even lower than Indiana at 3.4%.
So there’s room to move to help people who need day care, mental health treatment, case managers for the disabled, addcicts, foster parents.
C’mon guys. This ain’t that hard. Create a second pension system for new workers, put a sales tax on water and pop, raise the alcohol taxes a bit more (the capital bill only took half of what was proposed), cut the $200 million where Steve suggested and see what’s left. Then increase income taxes temporarily to fill the hole.
And let’s go home.
- Phineas J. Whoopee - Tuesday, Jun 23, 09 @ 1:27 pm:
I received information from our temp who is receiving subsidized child care so she can work. She is supposed to call legislators to tell them not to cut the child day care program. I didn’t know the state paid for day care.
When comparing what she makes as a temp compared to what the state pays to the day care we would save money by paying her to stay home and watch her kids.
ilrino, don’t forget that in Indiana cities and counties can (and often do) charge their own income taxes of 1 to 2 percent on top of that. So for all practical purposes, Indiana income taxes run closer to 5 percent.
You got it David. The industrial military complex is an albatross around the neck of good federal governance, just as so-called public service programs are an albatross around good governance in Illinois. Sure we need public service programs and we need a military, but these entities have become too powerful and rife with abuse. Trillions of America’s and Illinois’ tax dollars have been wasted.
The problem is that there are people I have talked to who think they are actually raising the tax to FIFTY percent. Not 50% of what the tax is now. I have tried to explain this to people I know and not all of them are getting it.
Well here’s the deal….can lawmakers ignore 5,000 or so people gettin’ right in their faces at the Capitol Building? Or will they listen to the tea baggers who held a few small rallies around the state a coupla months ago? Where are the tea baggers today? OH, they’re working…guess the tax issue isn’t as important today as it was then. They all managed to get off work for their tea bag parties, didn’t they? If these gutless wonders known as Illinois legislators want to stay in office, my guess is that they’re probably gonna listen to those involved in today’s “ugly protests!”
Rich, just because I don’t agree with you doesn’t mean I am spouting pure ideology. My point is logical, you have to admit that there is at least a kernal of truth there. If you can’t see the point, then it probably isn’t me who is being purely ideological.
These guys are in Springfield because they are dependent to some extent on public funds. If their organizations don’t get htese funds, some of these employee protesters may lose their jobs. Thus, to some extent these people are protesting for their jobs. It isn’t that controversial.
On top of that a lot of these people work directly for the state. While some of these people work for Catholic Charities etc., many of them are public workers and like I said before are generally unwilling to consider talkng about pensions.
You are right many of these protesters are from private agencies, but many of those agencies are funded almost exclusively with tax payer dollars so in essence are more public than private. However they do represent people in need of services and I give them every right to make their feelings known. On the other hand expanding public services as the legislators and Blago administration did with no revenues have exasperated our problem. Cut backs are inevitable even with a tax increase. I still maintain let’s take the non capital projects out of the capital bill and transfer some of that new revenue to the GFR.
Lucy, that could explain some of the comments I see on other blogs from people who claim they will “lose their homes” or “don’t know how they are going to survive” with the tax hike being proposed.
If you run the math accurately the total tax increase for someone making $20,000 a year (single person) with one $2,000 exemption would be about $270 per year, or about $23 per month, or about $5 per week. The entire tax increase, therefore, would cost them about the same per week as one fast food meal.
Yes, I realize that every dollar counts and expenses add up, but if people thought of it in those terms, it wouldn’t be nearly as frightening.
Or do they really believe it’s better to throw thousands of people out of work and thousands more out on the streets, than to have an extra $5 or $10 extra dollars a week taken out of their paychecks?
Wow- apparently it’s shocking to everyone that the social service organizations rely on grants from the government? That’s the system, sorry that you’re just finding out. There are not enough *willing* private donors to fund every needed service. If you have other ideas for income than reliance on government grants, I’m sure that they would all love to hear them right about now. Are you volunteering to donate? Seriously, go see your local rape crisis center with your checkbook and ask them what they need to have an advocate available at the ER 24 hours a day.
The VAST MAJORITY of these people work for the homeless shelter in your town, or food pantry, or domestic violence center in the next town over, etc. These people make about $12/hour and genuinely care about the well being of others, and took the day off to hop on a carpool to Springfield. The organizations being impacted by these cuts are primarily private, community-based non-profit orgs- the very nonprofits that small-government advocates often say should provide services in lieu of the state setting up giant, centralized bureaucracies. Well, if the state stops funding them through grants, they close down. That’s why they’re upset. For these people, there is no conspiracy, no motivation other than protecting people who need protecting. They are not politicians. Or mythical overpaid union workers. They are just well-intentioned people who don’t want to see others suffer. They do exist, you know. Even in Illinois.
All private hospitals receive Medicare as payment for their services - i.e. public funding. Does that make them public too? And yes, in most cases it comprises the most significant single source of revenue for them, exceeding any single private insurance company. Check your facts, the system is more complex than you think…
I believe what you are referring to is the County Option Income Tax (COIT) and the County Economic Development Income Tax.
These must be approved by the County and by the Cities, who then share in the proceeds, to be used in the second case as described.
You should be aware as well that all budgets for all taxing bodies are submitted to the State and must be approved by them before a property tax can be extended by the County. These are not routinized. The State seriously asks questions about why more dollars are being requested.
Although the Assessed Valuation method has been changed to reflect market value not 33 1/3% of estimated market value for every county in Illinois –except for the Cook County Circus) Indiana is for 2010 limiting all residential property taxes to be 1% of MV for any taxing body and increases from year to year are strictly limited.
There are in addition exemptions lowering the rate that vary from County to County and from type of property to type of property. There are more modifications than I can describe in the limited space we have here. I will say that the Indiana limits are onerous in the extreme to the operations of local government, made worse by the way units there are required to retire new debt.
In simple sum, your comparison is simplistic. I would be happy to show you in more detail what it means to St. Joseph County.
Of course, the Republicans might take offense at our Pat’s implying that they are closely aligned with corporate interests. After bailout fever corporate interests aren’t exactly popular. Plus we’ve already given them a break—close to $1 trillion worth.
What happens when a tax increase is passed and it doesn’t produce enough revenue to fill the massive hole in the budget?
Everyone needs to get realistic and realize that cuts will have to be made, IN ADDITION to the tax increase. This is not a problem a simple 1.5% increase can fix.
The hitch though is that everyone is fine with cutting the “pork” from the state budget, unless it is their funding. Their funding is not pork, it’s “vital and much needed revenue”. However, everyone’s “vital and much needed revenue” adds up to a substantial amount of money that cannot be fixed with a tax increase alone.
These social service agencies are going to have to do what they are telling the state government to do: Live with less. The only way out of this mess is a three way compromise where the taxpayers deal with an income tax increase, the state government cuts some fat, and the social service agencies trim back a little as well.
Obama says we all need to share the wealth. In Illinois, we all need to share the pain.
I want to thank everyone who took the time to travel to Springfield in support of the programs that help the citizens of Illinois. The organization that I work for helps people with disabilities obtain jobs. Not everyone can get work on their own. If you can, be thankful. Not everyone receiving social services is looking for a handout.
James, thanks for the clarification. I was not aware of all the details.
Still, the fact remains that as of right now, the statewide income tax rate in Indiana — regarded as a paragon of fiscal restraint and efficiency compared to Illinois — is higher than ours; plus, that state maintains a “rainy day fund” to be tapped only in emergencies, which its governor/legislature hesitated to do until recently.
Erickson, I think your ire should be directed at Rich, not me. I maintain that these institutions are not purely private, which is different than saying they are public. Rich, on the other hand, seems to maintain simplistically that they are purely private, although, to be fair, I don’t think he meant to maintain that and was making a slightly different point. So, no, the world is not more complex than I think, as I think it is quite complex. Thanks, though.
Wow, if ya ever need to mine some tin just turn to Fran Eaton’s ears.
Isn’t her son in the Army? Don’t taxes pay for soldiers’ salaries, benefits, basic equipment and housing?
Is Fran accusing her son of being a “tax eater”?
And, I’m sure those kids in foster care, the children and adults with disabilities, people who are out of work and training for new work and more would absolutely love to not be “enslaved” by their lot in life.
The word “greedy” is about the nicest one I can come up with for Fran…
I am a daycare provider who just happens to be 76% subsidized with 50 children and 13 employees. If the cuts are made, 38 of my kids could face losing daycare. Those parents make anywhere from min wage to 12 per hour and help pay for their daycare. Contrast that to the $12-40 per day I am paid to care for their children for 8-10 hours a day. Are you saying that it would be cheaper to pay for her to be on unemployment and/or welfare than it would be to pay a portion (remember she is responsible for paying a percentage) of the $12-40 I am paid per day? Perhaps you could provide a more thourough explanation?
Also, remember that if parent’s had other options that were free they wouldn’t be using daycare. If they made enough money to support whatever their family size was and to pay daycare they would. I understand that one could argue that daycares should be rich, but at 76% subsidized and the expenses (food, insurance, payroll, taxes, lease, utilities, upkeep, etc.) we have we just barely scrape by each month.
Subsidy is beneficial in that it is promoting working productive people who also pay taxes! None of my parents want to be on the subsidy, they would love to make enough money to pay me private rates or even stay home, but they can’t. Until that time comes, they do what they can.
I work for a highly succesful and still rapidly growing Chicago company. A 1.5% increase in the state tax is material for almost all of our employees; we’re talking hundreds of some of the best paid folks around.
Anyhow, their default mindset is to distrust government (and rightfully so, many might argue, given Chicago and Illinois history.) Therefore, you need to explain in a DETAILED manner exactly what SERIOUS cuts are to accompany this tax increase.
Sad anecdotes will not convince these people. Draft up a serious business plan that includes significant spending concessions, and maybe you’ll get their support.
Even if you don’t need their support to form a political coalition, you’ll want their support to minimize the chance they flee to another state (in my industry, that’s a very simple process that some are already in the process of executing.)
At stake is hundreds of millions per year in payroll for Illinois.
In sum, consider: you ask us to understand the plight of society’s weakest; that’s fine, but try seeing different perspectives yourselves.
Actually, Rob, it seems quite obvious to me that the poor, disabled and needy ARE being “enslaved” or held hostage to the whims and political considerations of elected officials in BOTH parties.
I think one could logically argue that what is going on now could be seen as proof that these programs never should have been allowed to become so dependent upon government funding. But that’s water under the bridge and we have to deal with the situation as it is now.
So, it’s bash the social service provider empployees day - I guess I should be happy state employees are getting a break.
Really, now, it is ignorant to bash these people - they may be rallying to save their jobs - so what? Didn’t the clothing store Hartmarx (Obama’s suit maker BTW) hold some rallies to save their jobs? Wasn’t there a local window maker that was forced to close after a bank which had received stimulus $ had called their loan bringing out dozens of employees to rallies which resulted in some jobs saved?
What is your point pmels? People whose jobs are affected will frequently bring their concerns to their employer. You make it seem as though there is something wrong with that since they are getting their wages paid for by the taxpayers.
I am familiar with many of the job titles that are at risk re the disabled population and the private agencies that run the programs. No one is getting rich doing this kind of work, pmels. The agencies struggle with the funds provided - try bashing them for providing needed services to vulnerable disabled adults - you look like you have been bashing baby harp seals.
I am sure you meant that the tax hike is to increase from 3% to 4.5%, not by 1.5%. That would be a much smaller amount. I think you have to be careful with your “state gov’t cuts some fat” comment. What fat? SUre, you can trot out the inflated pensions of a few people who have massaged the system but, state employee roles have been cut by thousands since RodB was elected and our budgets have been cut nearly every year in the last 6 years. We ain’t got any fat left. Certainly not enough to touch the $9 bill deficit.
- I'm Just Saying - Tuesday, Jun 23, 09 @ 2:42 pm:
ou know those differently abled kids, who will need the care of the state the rest of their lives
Or the Cop who got shot and will spend his life in a chair, under the care of the state
or the Veteran from Iraq, who basically has Shell Shock and will never be the same, living in the veterans home in Manteno Tax Demanders all,
or the Fireman who was injured in the line of duy, Anotehr one…….
Let them eat cake I tell you
- I'm Just Saying - Tuesday, Jun 23, 09 @ 2:45 pm:
it takes a certain coldness to say crap like that, jsut abstract coldness
and you dont’ look really christian saying it either
What would Jesus do, throw the Differently Abled on the street?
When I said a 1.5% increase, I meant an increase from 3% to 4.5%.
As for the cutting the fat, there is bound to be some fat left to be considered. For example I would consider any unfunded programs created during the last six months that would initially get funding this upcoming budget year as fat. The state needs to put an immediate freeze on new programs, not create new ones.
The fat isn’t always found in the payroll department either. For example, many state agencies pay high amounts in office rent, when it is possible to obtain cheaper office space. Let’s get creative with the solutions, because the basic cut and dry solutions have already been tried.
I will admit to not knowing the intricate details of the state budget, but within a $55 billion beast, there is bound to be some room for belt tightening.
The state mandates what they pay me based on the age of the child and how many hours they spend in care. My private business can’t take any cuts as accepting subsidy is already a 25-50% cut in what we charge private pay parents (which we don’t have many any of). However, I DO think there are some areas of the child care subsidy program that could feasibly be cut without affecting the payments to the direct care providers, temporarily or even permanently. And btw, thanks for the understanding my position!
- I'm Just Saying - Tuesday, Jun 23, 09 @ 2:54 pm:
I’m Not the great Catholic all the time, But I definitely think i’m a better Xtian than Ms. Eaton
Did you forget about what the Lord Said about the Angry Tax Demandors in the bible, Book of Matthew I believe…….
* Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs the kingdom of heaven. (Verse 3)
* Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land. (Verse 4)
* Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted. (Verse 5)
* Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill. (Verse 6)
* Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. (Verse 7)
* Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God. (Verse 8)
* Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. (Verse 9)
* Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Verse 10)
dupage dan, I am glad that you agree that they are rallying to save their jobs. Now we are finally being honest around here. Shall we tax corporations at a higher rate who then may have to layoff private sector workers, or should we cut spending for programs who may have to fire public workers. That is an honest assessment of what is at stake.
Personally, I think the private sector has already made huge concessions because of the economy. The unemployment figure represents private sector workers not public sector. The public sector in Illinois is still spending at housing boom rates (I understand 31% higher than just 6 years ago). (Its a bit of a catch 22, however, because the struggling private sector creates more stress on the public sector). Recssions suck. But it is time for Illinois to start cutting. Do what the private sector does. Identify and eliminate programs that are least efficient. Identify and eliminate workers who are least efficient. Ask remaining workers to work harder for the same or less money. Like I said, recessions suck, but they are also cleansing and lead to better product down the line. A tax increase will also be necessary, but secondarily to cutting. Sorry for the ramble.
I really stepped into it this time, didn’t I?
I don’t know how “fatties” ended up in that posting. I rewrote it a couple of times using very different language.
My intention was to point out that the heat will impact attendance. I also wanted to point out those expecting a 1960’s style march will be disappointed due to the changes in our lifestyles since then. It was easier to march in the streets when we often lived without air conditioning, and folks were thinner back then, which would help marching on hot days.
How this sloppy posting ended up under my name surprises even me. But I take full blame.
Fran Eaton challenges Springfield writer Rich Miller’s Southtown Star column tomorrow in my Southtown Star column. We’ll see if it gets published. ;) Come up and visit us in the south suburbs before you lecture us on willing to be more sacrificial and pay more in income taxes, okay, Rich? Vacant car dealer lots, empty businesses and higher Cook County taxes don’t put us in a squishy mood to pay out more.
PMELS I’ll give you this point:
“These guys are in Springfield because they are dependent to some extent on public funds. If their organizations don’t get htese funds, some of these employee protesters may lose their jobs. Thus, to some extent these people are protesting for their jobs. It isn’t that controversial.”
Those are facts. However, you are assuming falsely and making a judgment that any job that uses public funds is not necessary or not related to the state’s public policy priorities. These agencies are essentially “privatizing” services which our government and our society deems as necessary. You may have your facts right, but your outright demonizing of any public services or publicly-funded service is just wrong.
Mom to 50: I agree; you do one of the most important jobs in the world. When I had a small subsidy as a working mother of a baby, I still ended up paying my caregiver more than the state asked me to pay, because THEIR cap was $20/week lower than I was paying BEFORE the subsidy.
For everyone else: The days of the poor, middle-class, working-class, veterans, students, elderly, and disabled taking cuts so that the upper 5% can have more is over. That upside down triangle economic ideal has been in place for too long, and we now know that what happens is that the only people who gain are those who already have.
As Rich has pointed out Catholic Charities, Lutheran Social Services and (more local to me) groups like Clearbrook, etc. are unable to bring in enough private donations even though each of them does quite a bit of fundraising — just look at how full the collection plates get on Sundays as everyone tithes or how full summer golf outings are for secular groups.
Or are you saying foster kids, rape victims, out of work citizens, developmentally disabled folks, etc ought to just be denied help…?
If you’d like to put it in Biblical terms, are we or are we not our brothers’ (and sisters’) keepers?
- Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jun 23, 09 @ 3:13 pm:
And before the rabid folks on both sides hop on OneMan and ask him about his vacation home, Lexus, or nanny, consider $100,000 in Illinois taxable income could hypothetically be:
-the combined income of a married couple who are both teachers, nurses, or similar professionals.
-the single income of a middle manager, IT supervisor or healthcare administrator.
There are plenty more examples-my point here is that $100k in IL income is substantially more than Fed income (due to deduction differences) and that $100k household incomes aren’t uncommon.
(Source:Crain’s/Bureau of Labor Statistics, Chicago-Illinois Average Salaries 2008)
OTOH, there are people with 100k Fed income and zero IL income. How? Pensions and IL tax-exempt bonds, though the latter may be getting risky.
Did you pay your copay plus $20? For several years we did not charge anything in addition to copays but our decision not to limit the amount of subsidy we accept added to the continuing increase in costs of goods and wage hikes we have had to charge a small fee. As we consider our parents more family than customers we do wave that for families that can’t afford it, but in 6 1/2 years we have yet to make a profit…. I hate to charge additional but my family has to make a living too. Or were you one of those unfortunate families whose copay is so high it was almost like paying the state to be on the subsidy?
==== I think one could logically argue that what is going on now could be seen as proof that these programs never should have been allowed to become so dependent upon government funding. ===
Your argument asumes that historically these services were provided cheaper or not at all by the State. This underlying mistake is a comman part of the problem. Most of the social programs we have now are cheaper then what we used to pay.
Take foster care. if the state was to run an oerphanage, with state employees for staff, buildings and facilties etc to take care of children, tyhe cost would not be 4,800 per year per kid. The kids who can not be placed in foster homes cost the state an average of 2,000 to house in a residential faicility or nursing home.
The drug treatment programs help keep people out of jail where we pay on average 50,000 to prsoecute them and 24k a year to hold them in prison. and so on and so forth.
The day care costs for working moms helps limit or reduce public aid by allowing people to work. We spend less per family when a family can work.
Most of the social programs everyone wants to cut here as being too depedent, are actually the much cheaper version of the programs and costs we inccur without the program.
Please understand that many more high-income earners will support the state being brothers’ keepers when they hear more about reform than waste–regardless of validity.
It’s kind of like the AIG bonuses. A miniscule slice of the bailout, and not necessarily inappropriate, but they destroyed the populace’s appetite for more support.
Like I said in my post above:
Step 1. Accept that Illinois middle/upper classes are pessimistic about giving more money to the state.
Step 2. Create a sophisticated plan that pitches governmental reforms alongside spending cuts, packaged with temporary tax increases.
The tax thing can be a toungue twister - no harm/fowl.
Our small agency left private pay offices back when Edgar was the Gov. We pay no “rent” since all our offices are in state owned buildings/facilities. I can’t comment on other agencies but there was a big push years ago to do that. It still is an easy thing to say that with such a big budget, there has to be some way to cut. One example would be the unrequested (by senior groups, anyway) seniors ride free gimmick that RodB pushed into the public transit funding bill. However, when you add up the savings on these programs you will not get anywhere near the reductions that will have any significant benefit to lowering the deficit. I believe that the leaders (GA/GOV) must make clear that they are cutting everything out that can be since they have no credibility otherwise. We just have to be realistic about how much can be saved here.
Arthur, Ya forgot about the exemptions…. Try running the numbers again.
Greg, Your points 1 and 2 are valid… Who starts talking about the reforms rather than the waste?
Anti-tax folks on this blog are pouncing as soon as anyone points out that the cuts are going to hit social services provided by charitable groups (and these comments are tame compared to those on some of the newspapers’ comment functions)
- Will County Woman - Tuesday, Jun 23, 09 @ 3:25 pm:
@Anon - Tuesday, Jun 23, 09 @ 2:01 pm
what happened to shared sacrifice? this is a recession and everybody is hurting or is slated to be hurt at some point in some way. I do not think it selfish for me to ask as a taxpayer and citizen of illinois, what do I get out of all of this? if i am expected to sarifice and help out, then I want to see cuts in government across the board and i want reforms. I want shared sacrifice. this is no different than when the cta kept coming to springfield for money, yet wasn’t curbing its mispending. I rely on the cta for transportation, and I got fed up to the point where I didn’t care about doomsday scenarios–let the cta stop running.
No, I’m not saying they ought to be denied help. I realize private donations don’t fully fund most of these efforts. Yes, we are our brother’s keepers, but many people would argue that what the Bible commands us to do is to take PERSONAL responsibility for helping the needy, not ask the government to do it for us, or force us to do it through taxation. Of course, that is far easier said than done, and at the end of the day, private donations rarely provide enough to meet the need. So government has to pick up the slack. There has to be a balance between government and private charity but it isn’t easy to figure out where that balance should be, or to foresee the unintended consequences of either increasing or cutting back government assistance.
If I’m reading you correctly, I think we basically agree that cutting spending within the budget will not cure the entirety of the problem.
This budget crisis will only be solved when everyone is forced to feel a bit of the pinch. The GA needs to cut as much spending as they can from the budget. This includes some non-vital projects from the Capital Construction Plan as well as member initiative projects. Government cuts won’t solve the problem entirely, but it will help to an extent.
Additionally, the health and human services agencies need to understand that there is no way they are going to be guaranteed 100 percent of their past revenue. These agencies are going to have to make cuts just like everyone else.
Finally, the people of Illinois are going to have to deal with an income tax increase. However, it is only fair to the residents of our state to have Quinn and the government produce a list of all approved spending cuts before a tax increase is voted on. The tax increase will need to happen, but it has to happen only after the government trims itself back.
“I wnat to see cuts in gov across the board” Wow. What a wonderful thought. I love that line. Especially when a legislator runs with it. Shows some real forthought and nerve to implement such a brain-dead policy.
Thats like me going home and letting my family know that because I took a pay cut/furlogh days we won’t be eating dinner on Thursday evenings anymore because I’m making a “cut across the board”.
Or that I’m only going to buy 90% of my kids school supplies next year because “I’m cutting across the board”.
Pure genius. It’s nice to have such lazy intellectuals posting today.
I agree that cuts must be identified and made public if only to assist in bringing credibility to the GA/Gov. the GA/Gov also claim that reforms have been made but I don’t think they have done enough - I think the GA/Gov should submit to an outside audit of sorts, non-partisan, to see if the cuts/reforms they propose really make the grade. If they do this I think they could generate some credibility. I don’t believe for a minute that will happen but I don’t find too many people, even those sympathetic to the social service agencies, who believe a think coming out of Springfield.
I am a taxpayer, too, and am tired of the games and lies. I keep hoping someone with some Reaganesque leadership/communication chops could seize the day and get something done here. Daydreaming again, I suppose.
- Will County Woman - Tuesday, Jun 23, 09 @ 3:42 pm:
many of these social services are rife with abuse and waste.
I can appreciate all that you wrote from and administrative standpoint, but when I look at and hear from the users of many social services I see where well intentioned polices have done more harm than good in many instances. I can appreciate why some view government supported welfare programs as problematic and enablers.
Oh, I’m not confident anything good can come out of this budget mess. I’m just a faceless guy on a blog that can say whatever and go back to my life. The legislators have to make their votes public and live with them, and that’s why we’re going to see a lot more waffling before this is over. It won’t surprise me a bit if somehow we can cobble together a six month budget to put off the hard decisions until after petitions are turned in next January.
IF you find such a Reaganesque leader, let me know… I’m waiting for them too.
- Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jun 23, 09 @ 3:49 pm:
Rob, I didn’t forget the exemptions. I ignored them for the purpose of my exercise, which was to illustrate that $100k isn’t the filthy rich.
That’s why I used the phrase “taxable”. For most IL taxpayers (and I’m edging a bit out of my zone of expertise here) in that income bracket, I would guess that they are picking up the individual exemptions, the property tax deduction, and maybe the state tax refund and interest deductions. That gave me scenario overload for the purpose of my post.
I’m hopeful that AA doesn’t get placed in the category of “lazy intellectual” based on this omission.
I might not become too popular here but I can attest first hand about some of the abuse going on in the child care subsidy. I have been a victim of it. There are far too many parents out there who understate their income or provide false information about how many family members they have. There are parents who unjustly receive subsidy and when they are caught I end up paying for it. I would like to think there might be stricter ways of verifying information and that would help the waste of money, but then peoplel just find new ways around it. Can’t provide first hand information on other programs, but the little lies here and there do add up. It just hurts those who really need the help sometimes.
- Will County Woman - Tuesday, Jun 23, 09 @ 4:07 pm:
How Ironic - Tuesday, Jun 23, 09 @ 3:31 pm
I don’t have cable tv or a car or a lot of things that others have. I’ve had to stretch meals. I have had to prioritize what little money I have, so as to avoid mispending. I am accustomed to having to make cuts and adjustments in my budgeting to make ends meet, when the need arises. like most people the current state of the economy has me very scared and worried about my future. but again, I have to be open to making cuts, no matter how painful to my quality of life, because that is just the reality of the situation. I don’t have the luxury of sitting back and whining about it.
I often find myself having to do more with less, or having to go without.
when governor quinn gave his budget and called for “shared sarcifice,” what exactly did that mean to you?
WCW reminds me of some hit and run posters that I see in other sites.
I, too, would like to see some of the egregious examples of the run away abuse and waste in the social service agencies. Hey, WCW, come on down to the sheltered workshops in Chicago where developmentally disabled persons are trying to master basic skills with the high paid staff (how’s 15k a year sound? Don’t spend it all in one place.) taking long lunch breaks to travel to Springfield to hold up some signs for the 6 o’clock news.
WCW, you can make your point without sounding like a fool. Most people who post here take time to make sure their posts are thoughtful and have some backing if not in statistics/facts then at least in logic. Breathless noisy chest-beating is just silly.
I am sure much of the anti-tax outrage represented by Fran Eaton and others stems from a general conviction that state government just can’t be trusted with our money and doesn’t deserve a single penny more. It wouldn’t matter how big or how small the tax increase proposed was, they would be against it. I can understand that sentiment, but only up to a point.
However, I wonder how much of the outrage coming from legislative constitutents, newspaper site bloggers, etc. is based on misunderstanding of the size and impact of the proposed tax hike, which the media constantly refers to as a “50 percent hike”?
Little Lucy knows people who are convinced the tax rate is going up TO 50 percent from the current 3 percent. Others may falsely assume that “50 percent increase” means the tax is doubling, and they will pay twice what they are now (which is not true).
While an increase from 3 to 4.5 percent does represent “real money” especially to higher wage earners, how much of a real hardship will it pose to most people?
The waste you highlight appears to be perptrated by those receiving the service rather than those who provide it. It is an important distinction. In order to ferret out the “welfare cheats” you need investigators who can verify income and the make-up of the household. That costs alot of money. To some, more waste. It doesn’t matter what enterprise you run, some people will take advantage of same and get something for nothing. Unless the agency is in cahoots with the client it is hard to discover the bad guys. Shouldn’t shut down the provider cause some cheats are stealin’.
WCW, I like your 4:07 pm post - a little better sounding w/out all the arm waving. However, you were asked to provide examples of the waste and abuse and all you wrote was about your circumstances. It sounds like you are dealing with some tough circumstances.
AA, whether you ignored the reality out of laziness or for purposes of avoiding too much math homework the result is the same… your scenario isn’t realistic.
Though I see One skipped over my challenge that he put the context to his numbers.
And yes, I understand it’s “real money” but chances are good that the higher the amount of real money the more likely you’ll be able to afford it… that’s why the exemptions exist.
PS, One: your friend and mine Fran Eaton did a similar pump fake over at Illinois Review this morn, ignoring the actual formula Quinn proposed in favor of sensationalistic, but out of context, Big Numbers.
Now take your income and cut it 50%. That’s the “across the board” cut that the GA gave the Governor.
Again, if you have examples of “abuse and waste” post them up.
This isn’t a matter of “belt tightening” or reducing spending. It is gutting programs.
I have a feeling that if your boss came to you and said today “Well, times are tough. I’ve lowered your income 50%”. Odds are you would start looking for either a second or 3rd job.
The state doesn’t have that choice. Taxes ARE the revenue.
Most people get some sort of increase in their pay because of raises etc. The states expenses (think Medicare/Medicade/corrections/education) continue to grow, but revenues haven’t been increased in years.
Too me “shared sacrifice” means paying a little bit more each month in taxes and not punishing those that need these services simply because I’m not smart enough to look past the talking points of my favorite brain dead talk show host.
- Will County Woman - Tuesday, Jun 23, 09 @ 4:24 pm:
@ How Ironic - Tuesday, Jun 23, 09 @ 3:50 pm
oh, please… why should I bother to prove anything to you. you’ll only dismiss anecdotal evidence to suit your vitriolic purposes. but, mom to 50 is right and I agree with her, and would add that not only do users abuse the system, but so do social service providers too (in the administrative/operational cost sense).
Please don’t misunderstand me…I am not advocate entirely for the concept across the board cuts where budgeting is concerned. Obviously in government acorss the board cutting is not a good solution (I agree with that). But, at this point to move on and hopefully learn from this foolishness that is called the illinois budget process every year, just do it make cuts across the board or just gut social services all togther.
- Will County Woman - Tuesday, Jun 23, 09 @ 4:27 pm:
- 815Sox - Tuesday, Jun 23, 09 @ 4:05 pm:
These cuts will effect social services. My office is facing at least 30 layoffs in our foster care divison alone.
Rob_N I thought AA gave the context
=And before the rabid folks on both sides hop on OneMan and ask him about his vacation home, Lexus, or nanny, consider $100,000 in Illinois taxable income could hypothetically be:
-the combined income of a married couple who are both teachers, nurses, or similar professionals.
-the single income of a middle manager, IT supervisor or healthcare administrator.==
or even I did
As a family about $100,000 (also the governor wants to cut my property tax deduction, so it will be more than an 50% increase for me)
You may think folks who make decent money sit around and light their cigars with $20s but the more I pay in taxes is the less I can save and/or spend locally==
What sort of context are you looking for.
Here is a couple.
That sort of tax increases just about matches the cost of my monthly train ticket.
What I pay for cable, phone and internet for a year (before the taxes on those things)
My electric bill for the year and then some
My car insurance and then some
Cost of childcare and almost all of my kids activities for the summer and then some.
I only dismiss anedotal “evidence” because it’s useless. For everyone of your “points” I can name 10 that go the other way. And it doesn’t prove anything.
If you have any real “proof” of waste, then as I stated I will work with you 100% to help eliminate it. If not, then it is a pointless exercise.
I went to McDonalds the other day. I saw a cashier speaking to another while a customer waited for them to finish. Should I demand that McDonalds implement a “across the board cut” and fire 1000’s of employees because of that? No. So why is it any different for State Workers?
And to your last point “just gut social services alltogher”. Well, that’s what the rally was about today. The GA voted to do just that. Suprise Suprise. You cut 50% of an agenices budget and bad things happen.
Mom to 50, == There are parents who unjustly receive subsidy… ==
True and I don’t disagree. On the other hand, there are those (though undoubtedly not as many) who don’t participate in the program simply because they don’t know about it. Case in point: Myself when I moved back to Illinois. It wasn’t until some time after I would not have qualified that I found out I could have qualified. I really could have used that help to keep the other wolves away from the door. Just showing another side to the coin.
We aren’t going to be popular in saying this, but the State is going down the financial drain. Like water in a basin it filled itself up with more and more programs and paid for them not by increasing taxes at the time and truly balancing the budget but by every ad hoc mechanism it could from sweeps of “surpluses” in other accounts, etc.
And by he way, any money swept should not have been there in the first place. It was more money than was needed for that function. There should be no net surplus — lower the appropriation.
This semi-year budget makes me want to throw up. That is unconscionable.
Cuts across the board are unfair to essential programs, no doubt about it. Cuts of programs needs to be considered en toto — going to zero based budgeting instead of adding additional revenue every year to be spent.
This is a basic principle.
Your basic politician could care less. The taxpayer ranks low on the totem pole. Reelection and subsequent pension comes first and if one can slip over and work a short time and be vested in a second pension, why, so much the better. (Applause, applause.) And don’t forget vestable positions for relatives and cronies.
Wel. the sink filled with water, but somebody pulled the plug and all anyone in Springpatch can figure out is how to open the faucet further as if the well of money will always flow, if not from taxpayers, then perhaps from Washington.
Some of you bring up programs which the Governor says he must cut. And like the slimy pols who he had previously criticized it is always the poor, the crippled, the needy he threatens to hurt, parading them like freaks (and they are not.)
I am surprised that Quinn did not threaten to cut State Police by one half or some other piece of blarney, but I guess that cutting public safety is the purview of cities and towns when they want more money.
And then some of you blame the big fat Wall Street cats, whom our President is rewarding with hundreds of billions. Rest assured that Joe Sixpack agrees with you on that. Neither Joe, nor you, nor I is getting any of that largesse.
In case you can’t tell, we are in a freaking depression in Illinois. Jobs run away and are not filled, small businesses and stores go belly up faster than you can count — look around at the vacant ma and pa’s in the strip malls.
Everybody that has bought a house in the last five years has seen the value erode so much that the down payment has disappeared. Same thing for every small investor. Refinancing is not there.
And you ain’t seen nothing yet. Indiana was frugal and built a rainy day fund with surpluses. Illinois…well there are biblical parables to relate about us.
Frankly, the only way out is what I said much earlier, Bond for capital projects like any sensible business would. Develop a five year prioritized plan.
Free up current revenue to fund essential programs. Establish a administrative cost/service benefit ratio for every program. And police the programs with an IG.
And, by the way do GA members really require the staffing they are getting?
It is so easy to say that there is waste and fraud in a system. It is another thing altogether to rid the system of same. You need investigators who are trained to sniff out the evil doers - that takes money, honey. The gov’t does have watchdog agencies but they are rarely fully funded since they don’t provide a direct service. The DHS OIG office is a prime example. They literally have only a handful of investigators statewide to cover the hundreds of physical abuse cases that are perptrated against persons with disabilities. There will be no more increased funding for this important group.
Your postings are just silly - get over it? - really.
There are ALOT who know nothing about the program and one of the first things we do is to tell parents when they tour. I am all for helping people who want to work and support the children they have. Thanks for pointing out the flip side! Unfortunately, most people who know nothing about subsidy wrongfully think it is for “deadbeats”. I think social services get a bad rap from those who misuse the programs. Cuts CAN be made and should but not to the direct service payments. By the way, great job on doing your part and supporting yourself and your kids!
Will County Woman - “Yeah, well, life is unfair. deal with it!”
That sure is a very mature way to make your argument.
What’s next, nanny nanny boo-boo, stick your head in doo-doo?
- Will County Woman - Tuesday, Jun 23, 09 @ 5:14 pm:
- 815Sox - Tuesday, Jun 23, 09 @ 5:01 pm
GREAT! congrats on deciding to go grad school. I understand that many will suffer, but sometimes suffering helps us to learn from our mistakes. I am optimistic, albeit cautiously with illinois legislators, that from the suffering better public policies and budgeting can and will result.
just stop reading my posts. ignore them. you can’t and won’t change my views anymore than i’ll change yours.
It may be real but it sure is squishy. But as long as you know all about these matters, perhaps you could explain how Quinn is going to make up for his gift to corporate interests via a reduced increase. Or how he’ll make up for his decision to back off of pension reforms after that meeting with the teachers. If every single one of these
changes is needed to meet the requirement of eliminating the deficit, who pays when the teachers and the corporates don’t.
- Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jun 23, 09 @ 5:35 pm:
Greg, duly noted. AA paid 2.915%.
Rob, AA is a lot o’ things, but lazy ain’t one of them. I wouldn’t have the privilege of paying so much tax here, there, and everywhere were I an indolent bum.
I ignored the exemptions because, as Greg reminds us, the more you are taxed, the less they are worth. Frankly, I’ve lost track of what the Lite Guv’s most recent “proposal” says with regard to changing the personal exemption. In any case, current or proposed, the value of the exemption was not relevant to my original post.
OneMan, how’s it coming on establishing the Fraternal Order of Bloggers? That poker money would cover our tax increase!
OneMan’s last post gives me an idea for a QOTD that would require some homework on our part and the use of the Wonkish.com tax calculator.
“After accurately figuring how much more in state income tax you will pay per year under Quinn’s (current) plan (you do not have to reveal the exact amount if you don’t want to), translate that into an equivalent current living expense that you have (e.g. your electric bill for one year, your car insurance), and tell us whether you think this expense would be worth it. “
“sometimes suffering helps us to learn from our mistakes”
But haven’t the kids in foster care suffered enough? What about DV victims? Rape Victims? I could go on. Are they going to learn from the mistakes made?
The possibility that some of my clients in foster care may have to move yet again, to a new placement makes it difficult to sleep at night sometimes.
- Will County Woman - Tuesday, Jun 23, 09 @ 6:29 pm:
@815Sox - Tuesday, Jun 23, 09 @ 5:50 pm
thanks for asking…by mistakes of course I am referring to legislators and how taxpayer dollars are allocated to various social services.
actually children,the disabled and elderly are where I draw the line. I think programs for them should be sustained at robust funding levels (and I’ll add rape victims to this group). but I still would want tightened governmental oversight to avoid administrative/operational cost fraud and abuse of taxpayer money.
in order to provide robust funding for the groups above, funding for others would have to be severly cut and/or elimiated.
DV victims/drug addicts and substance abusers- most/, women with too many kids they cannot afford (by choice), etc. a lot of them perpetuate their suffering. taxpayers should not be funding such behavior. when the gravy train is no more it will be interesting to see how many people get off the pity pot, attempt to thrive and lead productive lives.
ok. good. you know how to agree to disagree without being a pompous vainglorious intellectual– something others around here sadly do not know how to do.
Nice how you lump DV victims in there as “taxpayers should not be funding such behavior”. I’ll let the next child who is a victim of domestic violence know where the door is because they are “perpetuating their suffering”. I’ll be sure to let them know that by helping them I am only “cutting them off the gravy train” so they will learn a lesson.
Or the mother who has children and is SEEKING help at a non-profit shelter such as Soujour in Springfield to escape her abuser that she needs to “buck up” and go it alone.
You got a real heart WCW.
And I tell you what! The next family that seeks help for their child that has fallen prey to drugs or alcohol, we should just cut them off. Maybe deport them. After all, who DOESN’T choose to throw their life away.
And to your last point, perhaps we should institute mandatory sterilization (Patient Pays!!) for those that we feel might have too many children. Or better yet, we can just institutionalize children “for their own good”. And if a parent that has children loses their job we should probably just lock them up “to teach them a lesson”.
I sure wouldn’t want to be lumped into the “pompous” catagory. At least I’m not fearful of being lumped into the “woefully ignorant but too brash to realize it” section. It seems to be where you are stuck.
I seriously hope you never need assistance from any of these programs. No one should. Ever. But as a society we owe it to others to offer a helping hand. And not so quick to cut it off when we don’t think we need them anymore.
Your attitude is sickening and your rational is even worse. Good evening.
- long time state worker - Tuesday, Jun 23, 09 @ 7:00 pm:
Maybe this protest should be titled ” I am a legislator, please get me out of here!”
When the 1996 Federal legislation eliminated ADC and replaced it with block grants (TANF), it was expected that local agencies would pick up the slack in welfare reform efforts. So therefore those agencies were funded. Now, they are going to be cut?
- Will County Woman - Tuesday, Jun 23, 09 @ 7:13 pm:
@How Ironic - Tuesday, Jun 23, 09 @ 6:57 pm
geeze… didn’t you say adios to me many posts ago— I hope that you actually mean it this time. I’ve volunteered for DV victims programs and homeless women. those experiences have shaped and informed my views. but, I know how you don’t like anecdotal evidence.
until illinois government can be used an example of government run right, don’t raise my taxes. in fact, lower them. the less money springfield has, the better. as to the “protestors”, please contribute 2 dollars a piece to pay my property taxes.
The conviction that taxpayer-funded government programs are the best means to assist the disabled, elderly, and poor, because private or voluntary charity will never be fully capable of meeting such needs, is accepted as virtually scientific fact in our society. To believe or suggest otherwise today comes off either as a denial of reality — on a par with believing that the Earth is flat and resides at the center of the universe — or as a manifestation of Scrooge-like callousness. (The tone of some of the more vehement anti-tax posters on this blog and others does lend credence to the latter view, unfortunately.)
Yet there was a time, not that long ago, when people of unquestioned sympathy for the poor did question that belief very sharply, and predicted that reliance upon government to help the poor would decrease — not increase — solidarity between the haves and have nots. I am thinking primarily of people like the English Distributists (G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc) and some of their later followers, such as Catholic Worker founders Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin. (Google their names to find out more about them.)
I cannot help but feel what happened today in Springfield, and the reaction to it, is proof that they may have been right. People who should be united in demanding reform of our state government — the disabled, the elderly, people striving to overcome poverty and addiction, people threatened with losing their livelihoods due to business closures or layoffs, state employees whose livelihoods are also threatened, homeowners struggling to pay ever-increasing taxes — are instead at one another’s throats, branding each other “tax demanders” or “Scrooges” and blaming one another for their problems.
Instead they should be placing the blame where it really belongs — on the past two administrations and on members of the GA who ran up vast amounts of debt, reneged on their obligations, refused to make difficult decisions, and told voters only what they wanted to hear.
Excellent post, bookworm. Our state is mismanaged. Taxpayers and those in need of government services should unite. But, as I posted above, this protest isn’t primarily about the needy. The needy are largely a pretext for preserving public jobs.
I’m not sure I understand the resentment being leveled against these social service workers, state employees in general, etc. by people who claim they should “join the real world” and suffer just as much as everyone else.
If private sector workers or self-employed business owners have a right to try to protect their jobs, so do public sector workers. Hey, at least they want to work! :) I understand people being upset about their taxes being raised, and about waste, fraud, mismanagement, etc. but I can’t blame ANYONE for not wanting to lose their job, no matter who they work for.
Now that being said, just because people have a right to TRY to protect their jobs, doesn’t mean they have an inalienable right to SUCCEED in doing so. The same is true in the private sector. It is up to the managers/CEOs (in the private sector) and the elected officials (in the public sector) to make the difficult decisions that will benefit the most people in the long run. When they don’t, we all have a right to be upset.