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Ventilator blues

Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015

* Gov. Bruce Rauner barnstormed Illinois for days after delivering his State of the State address. That hasn’t happened since the budget address. He just hasn’t been out there stumping and he’s not making himself available to the media.

He’s changing that up a bit today with a safe audience speech, a public appearance and a cabinet meeting. But there will be no talking to reporters. Here’s today’s official schedule…

Daily Public Schedule: Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What: Governor Addresses Illinois Farm Bureau
Where: Crowne Plaza Springfield
3000 S. Dirksen Pkwy., Springfield
Date: Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Note: No additional media availability.

What: Governor Attends IDOT’s Today’s Challenge Tomorrow’s Reward Conference
Where: President Abraham Lincoln Springfield DoubleTree Hotel
701 E. Adams St., Springfield
Date: Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Time: 12:00 p.m.
Note: No additional media availability.

What: Governor Holds Cabinet Meeting
Where: State Capitol, Room 212
Date: Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Time: Requested Media Arrival – 12:45 p.m.
Meeting Begins - 1:00 p.m.
Note: Only Governor Rauner’s remarks will be open to the media. No additional media availability.

* The governor is beginning to push back against critics today, however, by showcasing some horribly ill-informed or deliberately misinforming (cough*Tribune*cough) editorials…

Governor Rauner’s Budget Proposal: What They’re Saying

One week ago, Governor Rauner delivered his budget address as part of his Turnaround Plan for Illinois. Below see what some of Illinois’ leading voices have had to say:


* A budget is not “honest” or “courageous” or “fiscally responsible” if a huge portion of its immediate savings is based on constitutionally dubious “reforms.”

I’m also not sure how much “waste and inefficiencies” he’s really targeted with that budget. For example, he complained bitterly about the state’s airplane fleet during the campaign and many of those above editorial boards praised him for it. But except for zeroing out his own office, Rauner is maintaining funding for the shuttle service to and from Chicago.

* And what’s with the complete and deliberate refusal by these editorial boards to even discuss one or two of his human service cuts? Here’s an informative piece about the impact on the social service not-for-profit sector by the Donor’s Forum

What is at stake is a valuable contributor to our state’s socio-economic engine. Consider these facts:

    The philanthropic and nonprofit sector in Illinois employs half a million people. (Approximately 523,000 according to recent census data, available at BuildingStrongerIL.com) About 1 in 10 people with jobs in Illinois work for a nonprofit organization. Whether education, healthcare, arts and culture, the environment, human services, or research, our workforce contributes daily to this state’s competitive edge.

    The nonprofit workforce in Illinois generates nearly $20 billion in payroll. Contrary to popular belief, working in a nonprofit does not mean that one is working for “good feelings.” Our $19 billion payroll represents our sector’s spending power within communities. And the taxes we pay on that payroll amounts to $1.5 billion.

    Our philanthropic institutions invested $2.8 billion in grantmaking to communities in Illinois. This grantmaking compliments the $29 – $35 billion investments government makes in arts and culture, education, health and healthcare, and public safety. It cannot replace government cuts. It cannot achieve the scale government can. It is a vital resource that works in tandem with government funding.

When for-profit employers consider relocation, they take into account quality of life, education for their children, and opportunities to thrive. These qualities are enabled by the work our philanthropic and social impact community perform together – with government as a partner. When a state deliberately sets out to dismantle the social good, that state’s competitiveness and attraction plummets.

* But how about starting with that budget cut to children on ventilators?

Anyone?

Bueller?

Ain’t nobody slowing down no way,
Ev’rybody’s stepping on their accelerator

/Rant

- Posted by Rich Miller        

79 Comments
  1. - Neglected stepchild - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 10:49 am:

    Once again, what’s your plan? If you think the state needs more revenue, dig into your wallet and dig deep, but leave mine alone.


  2. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 10:53 am:

    I’m still waiting for the “major media” coverage of the LIHEAP story. It looks like we’ll be waiting a long time.

    (By the way, very nice Stones reference. There are rumors they’ll be coming back to Chicago this summer.)


  3. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 10:55 am:

    ===major media” coverage of the LIHEAP story===

    I guess I could’ve chosen “Winter,” by the Stones.

    lol


  4. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 10:56 am:

    Maybe the press is worried they’ll be fired if they don’t tow the line.


  5. - MrJM - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 10:56 am:

    “Once again, what’s your plan?”

    This question implies that critics need to offer a reasonable plan to counter the reasonable plan offered by Rauner.

    Rauner has offered no such plan.

    One doesn’t need to prepare an alternative recipe before observing that what we’re being fed is a load of garbage.

    – MrJM


  6. - How Ironic - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 10:56 am:

    @Neglected Stepchild:

    “Once again, what’s your plan? If you think the state needs more revenue, dig into your wallet and dig deep, but leave mine alone.”

    See you in Church. I often think back to Jesus’ words “Tell the poor and disenfranchised to get a job, and not bother their wealthy brothers. For those on ventilators will learn to breath on their own, once the yolk of assistance is ripped away”.

    Or maybe I’m not remembering the verse correctly?


  7. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 10:57 am:

    How do you yammer on and on about a proposed budget without once referencing a number?

    You take the governor’s press release and run with it.

    The Telegraph’s edit is particulary trippy.

    “Essential reforms,” “reducing unfunded mandates,” “living within our means.”

    What in the world are they talking about? Rauner’s proposal does none of those things,


  8. - Stones - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 10:57 am:

    Another great tune choice! Keep them coming Rich!


  9. - 47th ward mom - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 10:58 am:

    The Donor’s Forum piece is solid.

    Sharing this article from Huffington Post yesterday
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-creamer/il-governor-rauner-gets-7_b_6742500.html

    I feel like it pretty well sums it up (and looks like they cribbed some content from your blog).


  10. - archimedes - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 10:59 am:

    They’re buying the rhetoric and ignoring the reality.


  11. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:00 am:

    ===Once again, what’s your plan?===

    If I had a huge staff and a $30K a month “consultant,” I could probably produce a detailed budget plan.


  12. - Jorge - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:04 am:

    The tinfoil is deep in the Raunerbots.


  13. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:05 am:

    How Ironic wins comment of the week.

    lol


  14. - Frenchie Mendoza - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:06 am:

    Major media is trying way too hard to stay on Rauner’s side. Whoever keeps yammering about a ‘liberal media’ these days is delusional.

    Trib, Sun Times — they’re all in Rauner’s pocket, bought and paid for. It’s been that way since the primary. The only way it’ll change is if illegal or questionable stuff starts popping up.


  15. - Liberty - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:06 am:

    ===If I had a huge staff and a $30K a month “consultant,” I could probably produce a detailed budget plan===

    I’m Agreein I would add the best staff money can be buyin


  16. - bwana63 - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:07 am:

    Abject failure from the referenced editorial boards.


  17. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:08 am:

    “Once again, what’s your plan?”

    It’s the Governor’s job to propose a budget, not Rich’s. The Governor has done his job poorly, and the fact that Rich won’t do it for him doesn’t change that.


  18. - Rufus - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:08 am:

    ABC channel 20 -Springfield did do a good piece on LIHEAP this morning.


  19. - Toffee - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:10 am:

    That Tribune editorial is another abdication of responsibility: “we’re not going to think about the dirty details, we just love the window dressing.” As for Rauner, is he ever going to get real? Playing a fiscal crusader on TV is not the same as balancing a budget.


  20. - langhorne - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:10 am:

    lets see the bills. approp bills w all the numbers. and the accompanying substantive bills to delete mandates, program requirements and authority,etc.

    then lets see the dept directors and liaisons go before committee to justify them.


  21. - Owen, son of Gus - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:11 am:

    You mean deliverin’, stumpin’ and makin’. And changin’ and talkin’.


  22. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:13 am:

    I think I could be a lot more comfortable with this budget if it were paid with structural revenue reform. Yes, such reform probably needs a Constitutional Amendment, but if he were to say, “This budget is all I can give you without a Constitutional change to revenue,” I could accept that. Maybe.


  23. - A guy - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:13 am:

    We’re going to keep seeing stories like this and threads like this as the “forensic” search for savings, waste, duplicity, and worthwhile investments are defined.

    I’m not sure there’s any way to avoid it. Defining “need” is always going to be a bugaboo. It’s an ugly process- and sometimes can be as disingenuous as the process that put hid wasteful measures in places where true need exists. This isn’t fun.


  24. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:13 am:

    “paired”, not paid.


  25. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:15 am:

    Every time during the campaign Rauner couldn’t articulate a plan, we had a bevvy of political reasons he couldn’t.

    His first budget presentation during the campaign included real-live, CHICKENS. Had it not been for that bizarre moment, the vast emptiness of what he was presenting would have gotten a lot more focus. His PR stunt helped blunt his vague budget blather.

    Now this. He puts out a budget no one expects would work, let alone pass legislatively. He is behaving like one of my kids deliberately screwing up a chore, just to avoid doing it. Rauner seems more comfortable being called an idiot for a bad budget, than dealing with the reality of creating a realistic budget.

    I, like a whole lot of other people who want to see a successful governor during these times, are left flabbergasted at Rauner’s amateur hour administration. He hired name-brand “experts”, so what is he doing now? Waiting for them to pull those rabbits out of those empty coffer hats?

    Is Bruce Rauner just wasting everyone’s time? He really doesn’t know what to do with our current situation, and doesn’t know how to even start moving us into a direction he wants our state to move towards?

    Stump speaking got him elected. But, we don’t need to hear more of them after the inauguration - especially just weeks after. The clock is ticking and this new governor keeps hitting the snooze button instead of getting out of bed.

    Its like we are all just standing and looking disbelieving at this new governor and can’t believe he hasn’t shown us anything to prove he can do this job.

    Worse than Blagojevich at this point!


  26. - MrJM - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:17 am:

    Here’s the WICS 20 piece on Rauner’s LIHEAP grab: http://www.wics.com/news/top-stories/stories/vid_21232.shtml

    – MrJM


  27. - Give Me A Break - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:17 am:

    From the looks of how they are dealing with the media at today’s events, how long is it until they starting bringing him in the basement door on the south end of the Statehouse and sprinting up to the Second Floor?

    Maybe his detail guys could call some of Rod’s old detail for tips on doing that.


  28. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:18 am:

    ===Another great tune choice!===

    The way Stu comes in with that single chord always gives me the chills. Man, he sure knew his way around a keyboard.


  29. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:20 am:

    ===, how long is it until they starting bringing him in the basement door on the south end of the Statehouse ===

    That’s now standard procedure. More secure. I don’t really disagree, either.

    I park by that entrance, so I’ve run into him there.


  30. - Give Me A Break - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:23 am:

    Rich: I knew it, Rod truly was a cutting edge trend setter.


  31. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:24 am:

    Guy, tell us more about this ongoing forensic search.

    Sounds like that could mean something,


  32. - AnonymousOne - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:34 am:

    Lots of signs of trouble while he was running….the Secret Solution to be revealed once elected. But really, who would expect that a big numbers guy would actually have any feelings about the welfare of people? Numbers are black and white, people not so. He seems to me to show symptoms of a common disorder where he can only focus on one thing and not see the big picture. Voters wanted someone who knew about money (how to count his own).


  33. - Anonin' - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:38 am:

    BVR has been usin’ the south door since day one.
    Can we start askin’ the Tribbies to give us their list of programs to repeal. As we have been watchin’ over the decades there are lots of program enacted ’cause the Tribbies or some other bunch of newsies report on some wrong.
    Media react ain’t cheap.


  34. - olddog - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:44 am:

    Isn’t the “Rock Island Dispatch-Argus” in Moline? You’d think the governor’s press office would be professional enough to know that.


  35. - Angry Chicagoan - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:49 am:

    I still find it odd that people are surprised by Rauner’s conduct. He hasn’t built enterprises up. He has betted on their success, and/or asset stripped them, and he clearly believes he knows better. The archetypal consultant, if you will, but certainly not a chief executive.


  36. - A guy - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:53 am:

    === Wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:24 am:

    Guy, tell us more about this ongoing forensic search.

    Sounds like that could mean something,===

    Just keep reading here Sling. Little gets by Miller. And if it does…it really doesn’t.


  37. - Streator Curmudgeon - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:54 am:

    All those fawning editorial accolades remind me of when Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize before he even got into the White House. For what, for Pete’s sake?

    Are these all Republican-slanting newspapers or just more fanboys who can’t tell the difference between style and substance?


  38. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:55 am:

    As long as Rauner is supported by his editorial cheerleaders, we’re not going to hear anything substantive from him.


  39. - vole - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:55 am:

    How long before Illinois businesses kick in enough GDP to balance the lost GDP from Rauner’s austerity plan? Not counting the negatives and externalities caused by the budget cuts that will also add to GDP in a bad way. As a prior vendor to the state of Illinois, I paid state and local taxes and supported many local retail and service businesses in the area — the multiplier effect. Rauner may not recognize it as such but state spending is a big chunk of the Illinois economy. Diminishing the quality of living that the state supports among its less advantaged certainly isn’t going to attract businesses or keep people from moving to other states. It is hard to see where the long term gain starts kicking in. Where is the balance?


  40. - Left Leaner - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:57 am:

    The Donors Forum piece brings up a good point. Government contracts with a lot of nonprofits to provide services, which is smart because (in my experience) nonprofits are more efficient, accountable, creative and flexible than government.

    It also reminds me that too often I speak with folks on the right who believe that charitable giving can and/or should take the place of government spending (i.e. ‘my taxes’). While debates about where government funds should go (and how much) are good, any thought that charitable giving - by individuals, foundations or corporations - can replace even a fraction of government funding for nonprofits is completely absurd.


  41. - White Denim - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:58 am:

    How Ironic, I remember that!

    Jesus said “don’t be charitable by your own virtue and of your own good will. Instead, encourage your legislators to force others do that for you.”

    Couldn’t agree more. The definition of compassion is demanding that everyone else divvy up the bill.


  42. - Anon - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 12:30 pm:

    Looks like he wants to make this a “right-to-breathe” state too.


  43. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 12:35 pm:

    ===It is hard to see where the long term gain starts kicking in. Where is the balance?===

    As people lose their jobs and have less to spend, businesses will begin to gain confidence as the state shows them that it can live within its means. They will begin to increase production to produce more widgits that people won’t be able to buy due to those program cutbacks and fewer jobs all around. Supply-side economics at work. Just like Santa, the supply-sider’s confidence fairy really does exist. You just wait and see…yup.


  44. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 12:38 pm:

    The Donors Forum piece brings out the most essential piece. These cuts will hurt the private and non profit sector in a much larger way than it will ever hurt state employees because the fact is a majority of direct service work has been in the private sector for over 20 years. If you pulled all the 990’s of the non profits in this state, you would see that they are funded through a majority government contracts not private donations.
    So the $27 million cut to substance abuse will affect every private agency that has a DASA/AOD contract. There are no state run substance abuse treatment facilities.
    The cut of 18-21 year olds from state wardship will decimate the private agencies who provide foster care/child welfare services - they service close to 90% of those cases and are the sole providers of many of the programs that may have to shut down.
    The same goes for mental health services which stands to take a very large hit on two fronts- mental health service cuts and Medicaid cuts. That population is served in the private sector. The state has been evaluating every contract with every provider and determining if they want to continue to fund your agency. That is what happened two weeks ago at my agency- they pulled no punches when they met with us.


  45. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 12:49 pm:

    Guy, I know Rich knows the budget, I thought you were saying that the Rauner peeps were striving to learn it.


  46. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 1:10 pm:

    Rauner’s folks are doing a “forensic audit” of the budget and all of state government and finances. Right? And, they just started in January because they had no way of accessing any budget info until they took office. Right? They’ll have a balanced budget with lower taxes and more spending on education by May. Right?

    Right?

    One thing that seems obvious is that their primary goals budget goals are: 1)Save money by destroying Unions. 2)Increase revenue by keeping taxes low. 3)Cut state funding of “taker” programs such as health care assistance for the poor and transition service for wards of the state.


  47. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 1:19 pm:

    Please don’t refer to “forensic” audits, budget examinations, or the like, unless you fully understand what a forensic examination means. Ask bill holland for a tutorial. It involves rigorous, very expensive, methods.


  48. - Frenchie Mendoza - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 1:19 pm:

    I suspect Rauner’s number one goal — more than anything else — is to destroy the union. In fact, I believe that’s why he ran for governor. It has nothing to do with helping people or being “compassionate” or making the state a “better place to live.”

    The goal is to destroy unions — period. That’s it. Once he does that, he’ll lose interest and move on — probably in the same trajectory as Walker.


  49. - Frenchie Mendoza - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 1:20 pm:

    I mean to say “unions” — plural. Destroy the unions. All of them, if possible — but certainly AFSCME first and foremost.


  50. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 1:31 pm:

    @ White Denim

    Taxes aren’t about charity, they’re about paying for a functional society.

    And as for me, I’d gladly give back the extra $50 a month I’m now getting to avoid these cuts. I’m not asking anyone else to pay for it while I’m held harmless.


  51. - 618662dem - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 1:42 pm:

    @ white denim
    I suppose you are one of those people who also think that Ayn Rands philosophy meshes with Jesus’.

    Let’s be real honest you can’t love yourself more than your neighbor. That’s not what we were asked to do.


  52. - A guy - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 1:49 pm:

    When our host ended his commentary with /Rant….. I took it as face value.

    When the first child is ripped off of a ventilator, you’ll know they’ve gotten to the “need” column. Seriously, I do not believe that any child will be pulled from a ventilator, or any of the other truly doomsday scenarios that have been the response to any effort to cut costs.

    I do think there will be some undue pain caused in a number of circumstances that will have to be dealt with very quickly. Every measure being discussed has turned into a human tragedy. That really does cheapen the message for when that really happens.

    I argue with my share of editorials regularly, but to read here sometimes you would just have to conclude; they’re all wrong, all the time…and especially if they miraculously agree with one another. It’s not a good mindset.


  53. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 2:03 pm:

    The editorial boards who support Rauner’s flawed austerity budget ideas will keep trying to justify them, no matter how weak the defense. They will just keep uttering talking points.

    Again, I am encouraged at this point by the opposition to Rauner’s plans and attacks on unions. Illinois is not Wisconsin and Indiana. We have enough people in this state who care enough about the poor and sick to stand up and oppose austerity plans that seek to fix very old and complex problems solely on the backs of our poorest residents, and our workers.


  54. - How Ironic - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 2:27 pm:

    @White Denim:
    “Couldn’t agree more. The definition of compassion is demanding that everyone else divvy up the bill.”

    I’m sure you’re familiar with Matthew 22: 17-22?

    17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax[a] to Caesar or not?”
    18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” 21 “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” 22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.

    If the State has determined that it’s the right thing to do, and help the downtrodden and forgotten with their health, heat or food assistance, it’s pretty clear we as a society should pay the tax bill.

    If you truly feel that the extra 1.75% tax is going to cause the collapse of your personal finances, then you have greater problems.

    The truly cruel, and indiscriminate cuts being suggested, no demanded by Rauner and crew are inexcusable in our State. We can’t balance the budget on the backs of the elderly, crippled and hungry.

    To suggest otherwise is criminal.


  55. - anon - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 2:34 pm:

    I wonder what the backroom threat is to big media. “Ten things and you get a golden parachute because one of my holding companies makes me technically your boss.”

    @how ironic– BOOM! Excellently crafted and spot on my friend.


  56. - crazybleedingheart - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 2:42 pm:

    ==His first budget presentation during the campaign included real-live, CHICKENS. Had it not been for that bizarre moment, the vast emptiness of what he was presenting would have gotten a lot more focus.==

    And it is just killing me that this bizarre media moment is being responded to with total crickets now.

    His budget cut a lot of things but it did not cut the chicken plane.

    I don’t want it to cut the chicken plane.

    BUT THE MAN HELD A CHICKEN PLANE PRESS CONFERENCE, PEOPLE, AND THEN HE CUT KIDS ON VENTS INSTEAD

    Hello??? Media??? Commenters?? Is this thing on??


  57. - CapnCrunch - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 3:27 pm:

    “The Donor’s Forum piece is solid.”

    I’m not so sure. According to their report over 61% of payroll taxes are paid by something called ‘Health’ which includes non profit hospitals like Carle in Urbana. The concept of “nonprofit” is simply a state organizational law concept. Carle makes a handsome profit, about $188 million I think, but because they don’t pay it to stockholders as dividends they can call themselves a non profit. Instead they put up more physical plant. (As folks in Urbana know, this physical plant pays no real estate taxes.) According to The Donor’s Forum the average non profit organization has assets of $9,197,720. Carle’s assets are $2,500,472,000. I don’t know how many other hospitals in the group operate like Carle but I don’t see how the cuts being discussed will have a serious impact on Carle. With less Medicare and Medicaid revenue they will simply build fewer new buildings.


  58. - AnonymousOne - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 3:29 pm:

    =if you truly feel that the extra 1.75% tax is going to cause the collapse of your personal finances, then you have greater problems=

    So true. The people who are desperate to keep that 1.75% away are people who could afford to be taxed another 10.75% and not feel anything different in their budget. These are the people who are behind our governor. You really have to wonder about the morality of that, don’t you? But then again, those who have that kind of money didn’t get it by being kind and charitable. That’s for the little people.


  59. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 3:54 pm:

    I think the Gov has a plan, and we saw the first phase of it last week. I personally think it was a well done first step. He showed us how much government our current revenues will support and he was even a little bit generous.

    Its pretty easy for us to debate what should be cut, but very hard for us to argue the math, that our current state income will support more total spending than he proposes.

    That’s phase two of his plan, and its working. I don’t here anyone anywhere arguing that we can spend more total dollars, based on our current state revenues, than he proposes. I only hear people saying, “hey, this would be a truly terrible cut, and it is immoral, or it would cost us more in the long run.”

    Now, do you have a hint what the next couple of phases will be?


  60. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 4:04 pm:

    Schnorf, how does banking the pension and health benefit “savings” fit into your theory? Isn’t he proposing, in effect, to spend those “savings?”

    If, as I think you’re suggesting, it’s a doomsday budget to demonstrate the need for more revenues, how does the phony baloney savings help make that case?


  61. - How Ironic - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 4:15 pm:

    @ Steve Schnorf:
    “He showed us how much government our current revenues will support and he was even a little bit generous.”

    A little bit generous? I’m guessing you are not having trouble with your gas bill Steve? Got a child on a ventilator?

    Well at least the state airfleet has been spared! Wouldn’t want to have to drive by all those pesky pheasants as they freeze to death in a snowbank.

    The budget as proposed was not even realistic. If you can propose throwing families off heat assistance while not even considering a 1.75% increase in taxes…you’re not dealing in reality.


  62. - How Ironic - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 4:17 pm:

    Peasants, not pheasants. Although it would be a shame for game birds to also be targeted by the Gov.


  63. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 4:22 pm:

    word, I said that he was a little generous.
    How Ironic, are you suggesting that we can afford to spend more? How?


  64. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 4:28 pm:

    Steve, that’s why I’m not buying that there was a long-term strategy to Rauner’s proposal.

    If the plan was a doomsday budget to make the case in the future for more revenue, than it doesn’t make any sense to ease the pain with phony savings. You want it to be as nasty as possible.

    My guess is there wasn’t a plan at all, but just a rush job by some new peeps to slap something together before the budget address.


  65. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 4:31 pm:

    ==I personally think it was a well done first step. ==

    Except, you know, banking over $2 billion in savings that isn’t going to happen. I don’t consider that to be “well done.”


  66. - How Ironic - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 4:31 pm:

    @Steve Schorf:

    BTW, I’m not even advocating an ‘increase’ in current spending levels. Even maintaining the current levels is better than the slash and burn baloney being forwarded by Rauner.


  67. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 4:33 pm:

    ==Even maintaining the current levels==

    You can’t do that. There will be cuts. There has to be cuts. How much and to who is the fight now.


  68. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 4:36 pm:

    Word, the gut they have doing the budget is excellent, and very experienced in the state budget. No new peep there.And I think we’re morphing into phase 3


  69. - Ltl98 - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 5:57 pm:

    @steve
    Reality is going to hit Rauner here pretty quickly. He says he works for the people? Prove it. He does not tell the legislators what to do, which he can’t seem to understand. Let him get it out of his system he is an example of what you call crony-capitalism.


  70. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 7:14 pm:

    Word, do you think it needed to be even worse that it is to make the point?

    Ironic, so you propose spending about $6 billion more than we take in next year?


  71. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 8:28 pm:

    Steve, if the point is more revenue is needed, than banking billions in phony savings isn’t helping.


  72. - notice - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 10:06 pm:

    If Rauner cut another $2 billion, instead of booking pension savings, he would have received zero credit from his detractors for funding the pensions and the screamers would be screaming even louder about what a horrible person he is.

    I think this budget makes the point. Cullerton is already calling for Rauner to call for the tax increase. Another $2 billion in cuts would have only added to the hysteria.

    The breathless outrage being exhibited here is misplaced. Let’s see where this ends up.


  73. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 10:14 pm:

    Notice, by your logic, what is the point then of the phony pension savings?


  74. - notice - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 10:26 pm:

    I presume to put forward a balanced budget without a tax increase without knocking elderly and disabled people off of Medicaid.

    Because if he did that, you would be dismissing him as the worst person on the planet.


  75. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:17 pm:

    Notice, none of that makes sense.


  76. - walker - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:45 pm:

    Word: my fear is that in Rauner’s mind the real negotiations about the budget will be about everything but the pension payment. Pension saves, Steve’s logic might hold.

    Pension payment is likely already set at $2.2B less than the ramp would demand, and Rauner will go to all sorts of legal mats on just that issue. He’ll short it and make a name for himself fighting the ensuing battles. I don’t see what else he can do without booking a significant tax increase.


  77. - walker - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:52 pm:

    “pension saves aside, Steve’s logic might hold.” Meant to say above.


  78. - Wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 26, 15 @ 8:29 am:

    Walker/Steve, Rauner’s pension “savings” are just a back-door short of the system in order to avoid spending cuts or increasing revenues.

    Has that been done before? Could it lead to any problems?


  79. - MrJM - Thursday, Feb 26, 15 @ 8:49 am:

    ‘When the first child is ripped off of a ventilator, you’ll know they’ve gotten to the “need” column. Seriously, I do not believe that any child will be pulled from a ventilator’

    So Rauner’s just using kids on ventilators as political pawns?

    My mistake — I thought something untoward was transpiring.

    – MrJM


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