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Question of the day

Tuesday, Sep 24, 2013

* The Kankakee Daily Journal’s Phil Angelo interviewed Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner

The Illinois budget: Would make cuts by inviting 30 senior business executives to examine state practices. “It is time to downsize and outsource.”

* The Question: Do you think senior business executives would have enough expertise to find significant state budget cuts? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.

survey hosting

Also, sorry for the typo. Can’t get the poll to update my fix. Ugh.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - The Captain - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 1:33 pm:

    Isn’t Rauner a senior business executive? Does he really not have any ideas other than to phone a buddy?

  2. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 1:33 pm:

    Ok, sounds great!

    Now, I suggest 30 of the Bureau of the Budget Auditor, along with Bill Holland and a Crew he puts together and they should audit the companies these business Gurus are from, and find all the waste, and all the redundancy.

    Where are Rauner’s petitions?

    Where is Rauner’s running mate?

  3. - Anon. - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 1:34 pm:

    There is no reason to expect them to have any expertise. The criteria they should be using in business — “Can I charge enough to earn a decent profit” or “Can I cut costs without losing even more in revenues” — are not particularly helpful in making government policy.

  4. - nothin's easy - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 1:35 pm:

    Running government like a business will end up in an indictment. There’s a reason for all those statutes and regulations…

  5. - Linus - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 1:36 pm:

    I voted no. And to clarify: I’m quite sure biz execs would make many, many suggestions for significant cuts, but not based on any background that would render those recommendations any more “expert” than the ideas of 30 senior anybody-elses with an interest in how the state budget treats their own causes.

    The equation of “business sense” with “governing sense” is as maddening as it is persistent …

  6. - Former Downstater - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 1:37 pm:

    Have we not learned that when corporations prosper average people don’t? We don’t need that same mentality when it comes to government services.

  7. - So what? - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 1:37 pm:

    Bruce Rauner was at an event earlier in the day and must not have had anybody give him any guidance from his usual ’schtick.’ It was an older crowd and he emphasized how Governors in Illinois often end up in jail. Quite confident that some people were offended. People in Kankakee still like G. Ryan and L. Small because they like(d) them have real relationships with the families not crony politics. It could have been the reason that Kankakee Republican Party sent out a fundraising request from Dan Rutherford just this AM.

  8. - Waffle Fries - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 1:42 pm:

    I admit my observations are dated, but when I read this I thought about initial meetings of the Governor’s Budgeting for Results Commission - several individuals who were not involved in state budgeting or programs - and struggled to understand it.

    Its easy as hell to identify a number and hit that target, but its not easy to discuss the consequences. Fact is state government means too much to too many people.

  9. - ZC - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 1:48 pm:

    Total dodge of an answer.

    Translation: “The people of Illinois should elect me first, and I’ll tell them what they voted for afterwards.”

    Though in fairness, according to recent opinion polls, the Illinois electorate isn’t really that much help in solving the state’s budget crisis. They pretty much do seem to want their cake, and to eat it too, and not have to pay for it.

  10. - Old and In The Way - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 1:49 pm:

    Government is NOT a business. The old line about running government like a business is utterly absurd.

    I’d love to hear what Brucey’s friends would recommend….eliminate corporate taxes? End all business regulations, eliminate minimum wages and unions……..starts to sound like Texas! Why doesn’t he just move to Texas? He and Perry could compare jackets……

    Who is his running mate and where are his petitions?

  11. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 1:50 pm:

    I voted yes. I think business leaders could find significant savings in the budget if given a chance.

    Unfortunately, they probably wouldn’t get past the General Assembly, so they’d never be realized. Further, once they get briefed in on the state’s procurement code and the other mandates the state operates under, half of their ideas will also be moot.

    The budget doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

  12. - Just Observing - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 1:50 pm:

    === I voted no. And to clarify: I’m quite sure biz execs would make many, many suggestions for significant cuts, but not based on any background that would render those recommendations any more “expert” than the ideas of 30 senior anybody-elses with an interest in how the state budget treats their own causes. ===

    My thoughts too.

  13. - Eugene - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 1:51 pm:

    Sounds like the kind of nonsense you would hear from one of the Speaker’s tier one candidates.

  14. - Bill White - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 1:52 pm:

    === Do you think senior business executives would have enough expertise to find significant state budget cuts? ===

    Q: Would those budget cuts be in the best interest of the People of the state of Illinois?

    A: No.

    Actually make that “%&#@ No!”

  15. - Keyser Soze - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 1:53 pm:

    The poll results suggest an obvious skew in your audience toward political/government folks. Having once worked in government, my experience is that virtually anyone who put their mind to it could find a way to cut expenses in the typical office. It’s just that there is no incentive in rocking the boat.

  16. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 1:53 pm:

    Can we have a list of the 30 business executives he has in mind for running the state?

    Or should we just assume he means he’s planning to outsource his individual responsibilities as governor to his fellow members of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago?

  17. - A guy... - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 1:54 pm:

    Kind of a loaded question that invites criticism of Rauner (which is deserved). Of course 30 Senior Business Executives could find significant cuts in the budget. 30 Junior Executives or middle managers could too. Every expenditure in the State Budget is there because some legislator(s) put it there. Getting an outside audit process would yield cuts because no one would be beholden to why costs are there. This would probably be a worthwhile part of the process. Government expertise would also be a must here for a companion panel. Together, something could get done.

  18. - BleugrassBoy - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 1:55 pm:

    Ditto what 47th Ward said.

    The Blue Ribbon Panel might have ideas of things to target but they couldn’t it past the GA, Procurement Code, Union Contracts, etc.

    We’ve tied ourselves in a very tight knot here.

  19. - otoh - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 1:58 pm:

    ==Q: Would those budget cuts be in the best interest of the People of the state of Illinois?

    A: No.==

    Oh, I’m willing to bet they would be in the interests of SOME people of the state of Illinois, if you get my drift.

  20. - TJ - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 1:58 pm:

    So… his plan to make cuts is to ask other people to come up with suggestions for what to cut at some point in the future?

    Yeah, that’s the epitome of a non-plan.

  21. - Darienite - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 1:58 pm:

    ==Unfortunately, they probably wouldn’t get past the General Assembly, so they’d never be realized. Further, once they get briefed in on the state’s procurement code and the other mandates the state operates under, half of their ideas will also be moot.==
    Which is why I voted no.

  22. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 1:59 pm:

    Voted yes.

    Initially, we all need to be honest. We are last or close to last in a long list economic categories. If you look at the numbers, we are not doing a very good job running our state.

    People who are around Springfield too long get used to doing things a certain way. It would be helpful to have people come in and question why things are done as they are.

    For some reason, it reminds me of when Mike Ditka first took over the Bears. He cut a bunch of veterans and people were shocked. They were used to seeing those players and assumed that they had real talent. Ditka came in with a fresh view and weeded them out.

    We the same sort of thing in state government.

  23. - Jim Oakparker - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 1:59 pm:

    Reagan was one who I heard first coin the phrase “we need govt to work like a buisiness”; not that 30 business PEOPLE couldn’t find a way to operate the govt. How would they be any worse than 30 trial lawyers and union officials who are currently operating govt!

  24. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 2:01 pm:

    Anybody can find “significant cuts” to the budget but if you don’t understand what’s in the budget you might as well throw darts at a board. You have to understand what you are cutting and be smart about it.

    And, like others said, government cannot and should not be run like a business. These business executives have no clue how government operates. I’m not suggesting you can’t change how things are done but you have to understand the beast before you change it. These guys don’t.

  25. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 2:01 pm:

    By the way, didn’t Brady make a similar promise four years ago?

    Wasn’t Brady’s solution to the budget to appoint a commission to go through it and find savings?

    So at least Rauner is finally acting like a mainstream Republican.

  26. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 2:04 pm:

    By the way, what the heck does he mean when he says outsource? I guess these business guys have outsourced enough of their stuff to foreign countries maybe we can have state government run by a hotline in India.

  27. - Ahoy! - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 2:05 pm:

    Yes i believe the right group would be able to identify them. The problem would be the politics and practicality. Operating business and government are very different. In business your senior management makes a decision and the organization follows. In Illinois government, our CEO isn’t even part of the budget process anymore.

  28. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 2:08 pm:

    In a publicly held corporation, short term profitability keeps shareholders happy; not a good model for a government. The state is most akin to a not for profit service corporation. So, if the leaders were from comparable organizations, then I might switch to yes.

  29. - Ggal - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 2:09 pm:

    No, egads, can’t anyone make a decision on their own and live with it?

  30. - Jimmy - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 2:11 pm:

    Yes, if they put in a significant amount of time to learn what’s mandated by the Federal government and what cuts would cost the state money in the long run. Even then, since they are not running for election (or re-election) their cuts would be geared to programs that they perceive as not valuable or that programs that they don’t use or don’t believe they will ever use.

  31. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 2:12 pm:

    This gov’t by business model mantra is useless by have or half, or whatever. However, the electorate in this state seem to be moved by populist rhetoric. The issue for Rauner is that he has to out Huey (Long) Gov Pat (Kingfish) Quinn - no small task.

  32. - Jimmy - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 2:14 pm:

    Ggal - good comment - their really no “the buck stops here” with this type of panel.

  33. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 2:15 pm:

    I asked who is Rauner’s running mate very specifically to the point,

    “Who are going to be these 30 executives, considering it seems Rauner can’t decide on ONE person he is going to run with on a Ticket.”

    Are these 30 going to do this out of the goodness of their hearts?

    Who is going to teach these 30 about procurement, CMS, contract negotiations by a governmental body?

    Are these 30 going to hire a Staff to go over all this budget stuff … 2 per … Staff of 60?

    Where are they going to do all this Auditing? I mean, it’s not a weekend job, right, Rauner will want a full and complete Audit of a Billion(s) Dollar entitity, right? Where will all this be done?

    Who do they report to, “Governor Rauner” only? No imput by the Treasurer or Comptroller … Auditor General, or General Assembly?

    Finally, how is Governor Rauner going to impliment these changes withouth having MJM or Cullerton on board? Can a “Governor Rauner” pass a budget by “Rauner Decree” and sign it, bypassing the Constitution? That is will be the MOST fun of this. Take away the appointments, the cost of doing it, the office space, the report, the decisions … got to get this pass 1/3 of the state government, the General Assembly.

    It’s a “No”, on so many levels.

  34. - BMAN - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 2:16 pm:

    I voted “No.” I have trouble believing senior executive types would want to save the state, rather I believe they’d suggest changes that would put more money in their own pockets at the expense of the other 95%.
    Call me pesimistic, but I believe greed ebgets more greed! Just look at whose income has grown 58 percent in the last 20 years; here’s a clue, it ain’t the 95%.

  35. - Eugene - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 2:20 pm:

    “Initially, we all need to be honest.”

    Yes, we need to be honest about the fact that Illinois is one of the lowest spending states when it comes to education, human services, and the operation of state government (fewest state employees per capita of any state). We need to be honest about the fact that CEOs are paying an effective tax rate far lower than their secretaries or the people who clean their offices. If we aren’t honest about those things, we will never move this state in the right direction.

  36. - Downstater - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 2:24 pm:

    Yes. The state should be run like a business, but should be run in a business like manner.
    I am sure these 30 people could present some very sound ideas on outsourcing and more effective and efficient ways to run state government. The folks in charge over the last 15 years have made a mess of things.

  37. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 2:26 pm:

    30 senior business executives? Can’t he downsize that number?

  38. - back to basics - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 2:32 pm:

    “…when corporations prosper, average people don’t”

    I don’t get this type of comment. When do corporations hire people? When they’re prospering. When do corporations lay people off? When they’re struggling.

    I just don’t get the liberal mentality that corporations are all evil and that executives are all overpaid. It’s called capitalism. I’m not saying it’s perfect, but it’s better than anything else that’s been tried. If you want socialism, we’re headed that way, but other countries have tried and it has never worked as well as capitalism.

  39. - truthteller - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 2:34 pm:

    Who would he appoint? Sam Zell, Jeff Skilling, fromer Lehman Bros. execs.?

  40. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 2:34 pm:

    It would help to have a line-item budget for public review.

    Not just once every few years. Every year.

  41. - MrJM - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 2:39 pm:

    This is just a long-winded way for Bruce Rauner to say, “Even I don’t know what I’d do if I’m elected.”

    – MrJM

  42. - Ruby - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 2:43 pm:

    “It is time to downsize and outsource.”

    Except that downsizing and outsourcing has downsized the middle class by outsourcing their jobs.

    The 30 senior business executives will most likely do what they do best - widen the income gap between the “less than one percent” and the middle class. Some of the 30 executives would probably be Wall Street bankers.

  43. - Secret Square - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 2:44 pm:

    Of course, business executives could probably find significant things to cut in the state budget, as would just about any other interest group one could think of.

    The larger question here, though, is whether their expertise and opinions should outweigh those of others, or whether they should be held up as the “model” for government to emulate.

    While there’s nothing wrong with state government being friendly or at least not hostile to business, to claim that government should be “run like a business” is somewhat like saying your marriage should be conducted like a parent-child relationship, or that you should treat your co-workers or neighbors exactly the same as you would your immediate family. You can’t do that because the relationship of business to customer, or employer to employee, is not the same as that of the government (elected officials) to citizens.

  44. - Earnest - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 2:51 pm:

    I voted “no.” State funding, especially with all the requirements that come along with Federal dollars, seems extremely complicated.

    Could business leaders make the state “profitable?” Yes, by doing the things they do in business–cutting costs, probably by getting rid of their current workforce and contracting out those functions (same principle as moving manufacturing to low-wage workers in other countries). This could also extend to anyone the state funds to do things, forcing them to do similar. They could increase income (i.e. raise taxes) to balance the budget. No doubt they’d refinance any debt at a lower rate. They would not be able to use the business tactic of running up debt and declaring bankruptcy. I think the tools for successfully running state government are different from those of running a private business, perhaps with the exception of the government being a dictatorship.

  45. - circular firing squad - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 2:51 pm:

    Nearly 40 years ago this was calked the Cost Control Task Force by Big Jim. Didn’t work then won’t work now. Since then the biz world has given us the savings and loan scandal, tech bust and the recent Great Depression 2. Why anyone thinks this make sense must be afternoon drinkers

  46. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 2:55 pm:

    ==It would help to have a line-item budget for public review.==

    What are you talking about? You can see a line item budget every year. Ever look at the Governor’s Budget Book? How about an appropriation bill? And you can see detail online about how money is being spent. What is it with all of these inane comments from people that everything is hidden. It’s not that hard to look up.

  47. - Sir Reel - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 2:56 pm:

    No but I agree with some of the yes commenters. Making government more like a business requires repealing or amending State purchasing laws which has its pros and cons. Is Bruce willing to open that can of worms?

    That said there is value in having those outside government examine programs that may no longer be needed or are not cost effective. I’m not sure business executives are best suited for this task but a broader group could be.

  48. - And I Approved This Message - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 2:58 pm:

    Maybe he should ask President Romney to explain his success in promising to run the government like a business.

  49. - skeptical spectacle - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 3:02 pm:

    Let’s face it, what has been going on for the past 30 or 40 years has not been a rousing success.

    The concept of a fresh perspective on Illinois’ problems should be a welcome concept. Will it rankle some feathers? Yes. Will some bad policies be instituted? Yes.

    But folks, what we’ve been doing currently is not working and can’t continue. We need new ideas and new ways of operating government.

    The status quo must end.

  50. - Northsider - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 3:02 pm:

    No, for the myriad reasons already mentioned. Plus, we’re far enough down the road toward an oligarchy as it is.

  51. - Give Me A Break - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 3:13 pm:

    Would love here the conversations they would have with DHS and DCFS when they hear, “no you can’t cut that it’s part of a consent decree, or well if you cut that would lose Medicaid certification or well if you cut that we would lose Federal Match”. I think the 30 annointed ones would be lost.

  52. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 3:15 pm:

    ==We need new ideas and new ways of operating government.==

    That was the mantra of Rod Blagojevich. How did that work out?

  53. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 3:19 pm:

    Demoralized, I believe that Blago advocated breathing. Better stop doing that, because he was in favor of it.

    Give Me A Break, sure, but when the 30 said “Why are we paying for 18 press staff for the Gov., including at least two spokesmen, I suspect people in the Gov’s office might be lost.\

  54. - Big Muddy - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 3:19 pm:

    Yes. We suffer in this state because of fiefdoms. It’s natural for people to protect their “stuff” but we must streamline our state government. The way we’ve always done it just isn’t working here people. It’s time to look at new service delivery models and I’m sorry but new ways of doing things just don’t come from within the public sector. Businesses HAVE to be lean and well run, that’s how you make a profit. Government can rely on old models, outdated technology and crappy customer service because we’ve all been conditioned to it. People are starting to notice that as a state we suck.

  55. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 3:23 pm:

    === What is it with all of these inane comments from people that everything is hidden. ===

    This notion is either misleading or stems from a lack of exposure to the budgets and budgeting process of other states.

    In comparison to many other states, it is extremely difficult to track such things in Illinois. You have to compare multiple sources in order to determine some very fundamental facts.

    In a number of other states, you can find such information in a single source - approved and appropriated spending broken down not only by agency, but also the line-item expenditures of that agency and the individual working groups within it.

  56. - Roadiepig - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 3:25 pm:

    hisgirlfriday - @ 1:53:

    Perfect observation! With the stuff that Brucie spouts sounding like ad-libbed press releases from the CCC, why wouldn’t he let them decide how the state should be run?

  57. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 3:27 pm:

    ==This notion is either misleading or stems from a lack of exposure to the budgets and budgeting process of other states.==

    I’m intimately familiar with the state budgeting process. It’s not that hard to find the information. You can see all the detail on approved appropriations and expenditures in one place on the Comptroller’s website. The detail you speak of is all there in one place. You can break it down by detail object code even which gets you to the nitty gritty detail.

    And if you want to see what vendors are getting money you can see that online too.

    I’m happy to provide the link and a primer on how to use it.

  58. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 3:27 pm:

    ==Better stop doing that, because he was in favor of it.==

    That’s nice snark but you would be dense if you thought that was what I meant. Grow up.

  59. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 3:31 pm:

    Then I must be dense Demoralized, because it sure seems like you are claiming that people who are for new ideas and new ways of operating government are just like Blago.

    If you had some other meaning, you didn’t include it in your post.

  60. - Chavz-respecting Obamist - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 3:32 pm:

    When do corporations lay people off? When they’re struggling to make more money for their stockholders.

    There, I fixed that for you.

    We had 8 years of the MBA President. No more.

  61. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 3:34 pm:


    Give me a break, will ya, and stop putting words into my mouth. All I meant is that the mantra of “new ways of doing things” isn’t always a panacea. You can have all of the ideas in the world but if you don’t have a clue then I’ll pass on those “new ways of doing things.” Blago and his people didn’t have a clue. I’m not convinced Rauner has a clue either which scares me. We don’t need another Governor that doesn’t know the rules he has to live within. Clear enough for you?

  62. - Mister Whipple - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 3:35 pm:

    A better idea, Bruce: Ditch the big company CEOs. Replace them with 30 or 40 of the most thoughtful and progressive city managers from Illinois’ larger communities along with managers of successful non-profits, all of whom have learned how to survive and and manage in an environment not unlike what the state faces. A further advantage is that this group deals with the state routinely and could have a much greater insight into the failings, foibles and waste (to the degree there is significant waste)in state government.

  63. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 3:37 pm:

    The people that know best what to cut already work in government. They work with this stuff every day and know what works and what doesn’t. But, as some have said, those ideas don’t get anywhere because every line is some pet project of somebody else. I don’t see how executives from the outside are going to change anything. The problem isn’t identifying things that could be cut or done better. The problem is getting those changes passed.

  64. - Belle - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 3:38 pm:

    No but not too long ago I felt it was yes.
    There are a lot of jobs missing in coporations that made things work better—maybe not cheaply but our lives worked better and regs were followed more closely.
    The gov’t would be worse. Not enough people to do the work—plenty of people to manage and attend meetings.

  65. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 3:41 pm:

    === It’s not that hard to find the information. ===

    In a state which frequently has at least four estimates for how much we’ll have to spend every year?

    - Governor’s OMB
    - COGFA
    - House
    - Senate

    The point is not that one can find the information if you know where to look, which websites to use and how to cobble it all together, such as the “accountability” site or the comptroller’s site (which even provides daily balances and daily expenditures from each of the various funds in our state).

    The point is that Illinois is not nearly as transparent, clear or easy for citizens to follow as many others.

    We can’t even get a single, common estimate on how much money we’ll have to spend that all groups use in the budgeting process.

    That’s not “simple”. That is convoluted.

  66. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 3:44 pm:


    We’ll have to agree to disagree I guess. I don’t see a lack of transparency or a lack of information and I don’t find it that difficult to find what I’m looking for.

  67. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 3:47 pm:

    Some folks appear to have missed the 2011 budgeting process in Illinois.

    For those unaware, it was heralded as a breakthrough in cooperation and clear, transparent budgeting. Information was widely shared and easily accessible.

    Don’t take my word for it. Take Rep. Nekritz’s words at the time:

    “In the last twenty years, the budget negotiations have mostly involved the four legislative leaders and the Governor. Those five would basically sit in a room, hammer out a budget and then hand it to legislators to vote on.

    This year, the House engaged in a much more open and transparent process. Back in March, on a unanimous roll call, we agreed on how much money we had to spend for next year. We then agreed how to divide that up between the various state agencies and put our five appropriations committees to work on individual line items within those state agencies.

    The appropriations committees decided on their priorities – again on a bipartisan basis – and put those spending priorities before the House. All the budget bills passed with strong bipartisan support.

    Just the way it is supposed to work!”

  68. - My Thoughts For Whatever - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 3:49 pm:

    The only guide in running a business is the “bottom line” with absolutely no moral conscience. This seems to be the same characteristic with “some” Illinois’ politicians. Thankfully, not all.

  69. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 3:52 pm:

    @demoralized - the tone of my last post may have been a bit harsher than intended.

    It does seem far more difficult than some other states, but it is out there (in great detail) if you know where to find it in Illinois.

    We can agree to disagree on this one. We may simply be approaching this from different viewpoints, and I have no doubt that you can find the information necessary quickly and easily.

    Look forward to the next time when we find something we do agree on, lol. Take care.

  70. - RNUG - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 3:53 pm:

    Voted no for multiple reasons.

    1) You can’t make big enough cuts to solve the revenue shortage problem.

    2) The CEOs won’t understand all the legal copnstraints, both federal and state. It will take 6 months to a year of full-time work to get them up to speed.

    3) Business managers take short term views and the State really, really needs to address the long term view on a lot of issues … if the State ever hopes to reduce poverty, gang violence, and other sociual woes … the solution is to improve educational opportunities, which will require more money, not less … an dyou won’t see the results for almost 20 years.

    4) Again, short term view is to patch things up when the State needs major investment in improving the infrastructure .. another costly long term project that also won’t show results for a decade or more.

    5) Etc …

  71. - olddog - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 3:55 pm:

    No. A thousand times no. Well, at least 30 times no.

    Same problem here as with corporate school “reform” — it would very easy for “30 senior business executives,” or anybody else as long as they didn’t have actual government experience, to propose sweeping solutions to real-world problems and run ________ (fill in the blanks: government, the schools, a local mosquito abatement district, whatever) like a business, but when they tried to apply their solutions in the real world they’d quickly find out they won’t work, they’re illegal, they’ve been tried before and/or they don’t have very much to do with the actual function and operating procedures of a government, school, mosquito abatement district, in the first place. It’s like any other walk of life: You learn by experience, and there’s no substitute for experience.

    This is typical Rauner, though. His idea of school “reform” would in fact cripple the public schools if enacted, and the few specific policy proposals he’s made so far would have the same effect on state government.

  72. - Norseman - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 3:58 pm:

    No this is more pabulum for the one-percenters, the extremists and the uniformed.

    We already see something similar to this almost every four years - its called a transition process. Most visible when there is a change in administration, but occasionally the incumbent will do it to appear that he is looking for fresh ideas. Transition teams comprised of businessmen, union reps, interest and advocacy groups meet for several weeks to come up with recommendations. Unfortunately, most of these transition reports aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on.

    The reasons for this waste of time have been outlined so appropriately by Old and In The Way, Bill White and Demoralized.

  73. - My Thoughts For Whatever - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:03 pm:

    Many people and especially business advocates, seem to forget the lesson about why Henry Ford paid his workers a good wage relative to the times. It wasn’t out of the goodness of his heart. Workers need money to buy the goods and services that business makes available, therefore stimulating economic conditions. Such a simple lesson that gets lost in the lust for greed!

  74. - langhorne - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:04 pm:

    this is right out of the “outsider’s” playbook of things to promise to do when elected. not bad on its face. i think thompson did this once or twice, and every new gov does some version of this, tho usually including some knowledgeable older government hands. it ends up being a tutorial for the private sector folks. exec A says, how much do we spend on x, y, z, and what are the cost comparisons by county/region, etc. then the staffers assigned on loan from some of the agencies put together a briefing book explaining the numbers, and why they are what they are. you can consolidate social service offices, closing 15%, for example. then the interest groups and locals scream. while we are talking this hokum, is rauner anticipating he will sweep a repub majority into office with him, willing to follow his lead? no? then how will any of this delusional gyration get across the finish line? (or will rauner just shake things up and do it anyway, like ….. blago?)

    their first briefing will be from a bob mandeville type, explaining the huge share of the budget that is “pass-thru” money, the share that is locked into mandates and entitlements, and the share that is tied to federal funding and matches. you see this little slice down here, blue bells? that you can screw with.

    briefing number two will be on the economy and revenue cycles. as revenue flow decreases, demands increase.

    briefing number three will be on rauner’s downsizing and outsourcing. lets start by taking the most “business-similar” agency and outsource it to increase revenue and efficiency. that would be the lottery! oh wait, we already are trying that. and how is that working out for us?

    hokum, def, something apparently impressive or legitimate but actually untrue or insincere, nonsense; foolish or untrue words or ideas; a stock technique for eliciting a desired response from an audience.

    maybe rauners hokum can hook ‘em.

  75. - walkinfool - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:07 pm:

    Yes, new perspectives and methods could identify some potential cuts. Many private sector consultants and financial experts have looked deeply at Illinois operations over the years. Some good ides have worked, but most have not.

    Their identified potential cuts are often illusions, not doable, or not smart for a whole host of reasons.

    As to “outsourcing” functions: the reason Illinois has the leanest government in the country in terms of direct employees per capita, is because we are one of the most “outsourced” already.

    A very common rookie idea, from business types first running for office, that sounds good until you see the reality. (I was one of those who once held that delusion.)

  76. - skeptical spectacle - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:09 pm:

    so what do we do? just continue as currently?

  77. - Mongo - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:33 pm:

    No. Senior business executives would be able to point out ways to increase revenue, and perhaps decrease administrative expense. But government is in the service business, and I am skeptical that business backgrounds help with delivering services to vulnerable populations.

  78. - Amuzing Myself - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:34 pm:

    Sure, they could find them, but they’d never get through the legislature. Between union contracts, constitutionality questions and the usual special interest power around the rail, I have a hard time believing anything would be implemented any easier than real pension reform.

  79. - Trudat - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:47 pm:

    I’m sure that a great many of these business executive succeeded with lots of State money/business. And would profit greatly by any outsource plan.

  80. - Judgment Day - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:48 pm:

    “Who is going to teach these 30 about procurement, CMS, contract negotiations by a governmental body?

    Are these 30 going to hire a Staff to go over all this budget stuff … 2 per … Staff of 60?”

    Had a friend in management at DOR who used to say the best way to substantially improve performance within the State of IL was to line up everybody who worked at CMS, have them count off, and immediately fire every third person - no

    He wasn’t joking.

  81. - Perry Noya - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:59 pm:

    Why do we permit politicians to say government should be run like a business? The goal of business is to maximize profits. The goal of government is to serve people. Is this distinction opaque?

  82. - MyTwoCents - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 5:36 pm:

    I voted no for a simple reason. “Outsourcing” sounds like a good way for Rauner to give friends and donors a lot of no bid or sole source contracts and that potential worries me.

  83. - poolguy87 - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 6:20 pm:

    no unless he plans to rule by decree, or wants to spend most of his 4-year term counting all the GA veto overrides. if he doesn’t know about state procurement codes and purchasing rules like small biz set-aside and BEP, talk like this is kinda silly.

    this sort of reminds me of a story about a former Director at CMS with a business/private sector background. he came in and saw the state paid way too much for copy paper or office supplies. he had great idea to save tons of money, buying from a company he knew. only problem, that company was in Iowa or somewhere, not Illinois. when staff explained you have to purchase from Illinois suppliers, that pretty much burned his business background. I don’t think he realized that, just saw a great way to save on costs.

  84. - fake county chairman - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 7:19 pm:

    Look what happened at idot with the highway maintainers.There jobs were out sourced at look what happened.

  85. - x ace - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 7:47 pm:


    P.K. Wrigley proved long ago that a College of Coaches won’t work.

    If it couldn’t save the Cubs it ain’t likely to be Illinois’ salvation.

  86. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 9:03 pm:

    Yes, but only because I’m one who refuses to believe that “government cannot be run like a business.”

    I do have concerns, however, regarding the statement “It is time to…outsource” because the term has NOT been defined within this context and my first thoughts when it comes to “outsourcing” (have been privy to alot of it in the private sector”) revolves around DATA and the fact that NDAs–as we’ve seen in the private sector often mean “squat” and providing access to it to “wrong sectors” of workers can be much more damaging in the long-term than the bean counters often consider and in retrospect are willing to admit.

  87. - Country Girl - Wednesday, Sep 25, 13 @ 12:28 am:

    I voted no. Illinois is already outsourcing jobs however those jobs are now in OTHER states, not ours. Why hasn’t anyone discussed a forensic audit? What about predictive modeling so that we can decrease the amount of fraud within the various programs?

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