* Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner was in Washington, DC yesterday meeting with the congressional delegation and stopped to talk to the media…
“To be clear, Illinois is in dire condition,” Rauner said. “Our financial condition is far worse than has ever been discussed publicly before.” [Emphasis added.]
* Um, no. I’ve already pointed to the column I wrote in June that found even more budgetary gimmicks and pressures than Rauner has talked about so far. The Senate Democrats also released this informative PowerPoint presentation in July…
Also in July, the CTBA released a detailed budget analysis that you can read by clicking here. And the Civic Federation released a report in October discussing the same stuff.
Rauner, on the last day of May, ripped the spending plan as “phony” and “the same type of broken, dishonest budget that career politicians in Illinois have been passing for years.”
The “If only I’d known how bad it really was!” pose from newly elected pols trying to lower the expectations of those who actually believed their commercials is always galling. But it’s especially galling here, given that Rauner spent much of the last year refusing to answer with any specificity questions about how he plans to address Illinois’ deep financial problems.
Rauner spent decades buying up companies. He has loads of experience doing “due diligence.” As some commenters have noted here, did he not do any due diligence or is this all just an act?
I’m betting on the latter.
It would be nice if the rest of the news media would start pointing out this stuff.
…Adding… Mike Flannery did a good job of rebutting Rauner’s claims this week…
“The voters have been misled intentionally by the politicians,” Rauner said.
Those politicians include Democrats, Republicans and Mr. Rauner himself. Among his campaign promises: billions of dollars in tax cuts, as well as increased spending on education, not to mention the re-opening of a Downstate facility closed to save money. He seemed to ignore six months of watchdog warnings about the current state budget.
“You would think the whole General Assembly was on medical marijuana when they were passing this thing. It’s grotesquely out of balance. It doesn’t have nearly the revenue that they claim. And they emptied their whole dirty bag of tricks to make it look balanced,” [said Mike Flannery] in early June.
In early October, the budget watchdog Civic Federation issued a detailed report on Illinois’ budget crisis. Their conclusion is one no politician wants to hear.
“There is no easy way, there is no politically attractive way to get through this. It’s gonna require sacrifice from all parties. The taxpayers are gonna end up having to pay more money. They’re gonna get less service. The employees are gonna have to take less benefits,” President of the Civic Federation Laurence Msall said.