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Keep calm and… Oh, nevermind

Thursday, May 28, 2015

* AP

Democrats have abandoned Gov. Bruce Rauner’s idea to privatize the state’s business-development agency but are moving ahead with Speaker Michael Madigan’s plan to make the state’s shrine to Abraham Lincoln a separate agency. […]

Democrats proceeded with their agenda, [Speaker Madigan’s spokesman Steve Brown] said, because Rauner’s press operation has been churning out anti-Madigan statements over disagreement on a budget plan and Rauner’s business reforms in the closing days of the spring session.

“We were trying to put together a plan in cooperation with the governor that had a lot of transparency,” Brown said. “But I guess I’d have to say right now it’s under review while the governor calms down.”

* Needless to say, the governor ain’t calming down. From a press release issued early this morning…

Will Legislators “Continue to be part of the Madigan-Cullerton problem, or will they stand up for the people of Illinois?”

On the heels of rejecting compromise worker’s compensation reforms to grow the economy, legislators controlled by Speaker Madigan will consider compromise lawsuit reform and property tax freeze legislation today.

Belleville News Democrat - Editorial: Same sad story for Illinois

    “We had hoped that this time it would be different, but no. Illinois lawmakers seem ready to wrap up their spring legislative session and once again kick the budget can down the road. No solutions? No problem. Guess no one really should be surprised that Democratic leaders Michael Madigan and John Cullerton are choosing not to work with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. The new governor wants to reform the way Illinois does business but the two grizzled veteran leaders have no desire to change. Illinois may be dysfunctional, but it’s a system that works just fine for them and political insiders. It’s so incestuous…

    It’s so blatant it’s breathtaking, and Republican lawmakers alone can’t stop them. They would need help from rank-and-file Democrats who are also fed up with refusing to address the state’s fiscal problems. What will our local Democratic lawmakers do? Will they continue to be part of the Madigan-Cullerton problem, or will they stand up for the people of Illinois?”

Rockford Register Star – Editorial: Who will right Illinois’ fiscal ship?

    “’You just can’t spend like a bunch of drunken sailors all the time.’

    No, that wasn’t Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner or one of his Republican allies who said that, although it certainly would have been appropriate after Democrats passed a budget that would have the state spend $3 billion or $4 billion more than it expects to take in.

    It was the state’s former treasurer and comptroller, Judy Baar Topinka, who died late last year. Topinka’s remark came after Gov. George Ryan’s 2002 budget address. Needless to say things have not gotten better in Illinois the past 13 years…

    …The governor wants reforms and Madigan has shot down those reforms. The governor asks for responsible spending and Madigan and his friends pass a budget that has a huge hole in it.

    Reform and budget negotiations should not be separated, as Madigan wants. There’s no better time to discuss one because it affects the other. When politics works, it’s a give-and-take process.

    You don’t have to buy into everything Rauner wants to acknowledge that Illinois must change to have a competitive economy in the 21st century…”

* The governor’s press shop also just sent reporters the Senate committee testimony this morning of Deputy Chief of Staff for Legislative Affairs Richard Goldberg. The following sentences were the ones specifically highlighted by the governor’s staff…

Unfortunately, no compromise is ever good enough for those who stand in the way of reform.

In short, while Governor Rauner says Yes to reform and Yes to compromise, the legislators in control of the General Assembly say No to reform, No to compromise, Yes to unbalanced budgets and Yes to higher taxes without reform.

Taxpayers are fed up pouring their hard-earned money into a broke and broken system. This morning, this Committee and those in control of the Senate have an opportunity to change course.

The bill before you is a critical reform we need to Turnaround Illinois – to make Illinois more competitive, to grow our economy and to create jobs. The bill before you represents compromise and reform.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Excessively Rabid - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 9:31 am:

    Revenue suggestion - tax the use of the word reform.

  2. - anon - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 9:32 am:

    The dems are gonna do whatever they want and what they have done in the past. That is why this state is in deplorable condition.

  3. - Peoria Guy - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 9:34 am:

    Difficult to argue with either the Rockford or Belleville newspapers.

  4. - dupage dan - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 9:37 am:

    reform and transparency. These jamokes bandy those phrases around like they actually mean what they say.

    What these terms really mean to Illinois residents is not printable here.

  5. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 9:39 am:

    ===The bill before you is a critical reform we need to Turnaround Illinois – to make Illinois more competitive, to grow our economy and to create jobs. The bill before you represents compromise and reform.===

    The Turnaround Agenda isn’t going to be the catalyst for a budget to get pass.

    Boy, that Legislative Affairs Office the Governor has… they aren’t educating us as to what’s going on, they are being schooled, and are failing at the math of 60/30, and seem more than willing to make this all about 71/36… and antagonizing the group(s) that control where those 40 votes are going to have to come from in the end.

    The Press Shop and Gov’s LLs, they are failing the governor, they either just don’t know it, or dong know any bettrr TO know it.

  6. - VanillaMan - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 9:43 am:

    The Governor’s words and his actions contradict one another. His words are not suggesting compromise. He is using words that cannot force a compromise. Bruce Rauner is not using words or taking action required for compromise that could lead to any reforms.

    The Democrats will do what they want to do and it was the Governor’s job to convince them to do it. Rauner failed. His failure is not due to some scandalous immorality rampant among the majority in the General Assembly. His failure is due to his inability to do much more than browbeat, insult and put up money looking for legislators willing to prostitute their votes. Bruce Rauner’s tactics might have gotten him elected, but he cannot govern this way.

    Some things money cannot buy, even if you are a multi-millionaire. We don’t sell our votes. We don’t cash out our democracy. We value our social commitments to one another. We don’t believe equality should be for sale.

    Governor Rauner might believe he can convince everyone to trade in their morals for quick cash to balance our state budget - but fortunately, he is wrong.

    Balancing our state budget is important, but we don’t sell off our souls or cash in our values, just to do it.

    Sorry Governor - you just don’t get it.

  7. - Bluefish - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 9:44 am:

    Can someone from the Rauner camp explain how freezing LOCAL property taxes has anything whatsoever with solving the STATE’S budget problem?

  8. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 9:45 am:

    Perhaps the gov’s staff needs realize they won a 4-year term, not a 24-hour term.

  9. - Calhoun Native - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 9:45 am:

    I think we’re now seeing the real Bruce Rauner at work.

  10. - LBJ - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 9:47 am:

    Vanilla Man, you nailed it!

  11. - ash - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 9:51 am:

    From what I have seen of the AFSCME “negotiations,” Rauner does not know the meaning of compromise. Compromise, to him, means just the other side gives up something or he attacks them.

  12. - Century Club - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 9:51 am:

    Rauner says the GOP legislators need to stay unified, but when the Dems do it, they’re “controlled” by Madigan and Cullerton.

  13. - anon - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 9:53 am:

    Vanillaman, your take is simply precious.

  14. - Ducky LaMoore - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 9:54 am:

    Are there certain requirements to be on an editorial board? Do you have to be completely ignorant, or is that just a perk?

  15. - Wordslinger - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 9:56 am:

    “…pouring their hard-earned money into a broke and broken system.”

    Yet, according to reports, the governor is willing to pour billions more of your hard-earned money into that system if legislators sign off on his reactionary social agenda that is unrelated to taxes and spending.

    The “broken system” phrase is meaningless. Rauner is willing to pour billions more of your hard-earned money into existing budget line items. He hasn’t proposed changing the tax and spending “system” at all.

    For example, you could put more money into epilepsy programs to cover the nut of that $250K ghost payroller crony the governor is hiding there off his staff budget.

    I’m curious if this is what Rauner voters signed up for: higher taxes in exchange for the Rauner social agenda to reduce everyone’s future income.

    I don’t remember that as being the proposed deal from the campaign, at all.

  16. - walker - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 9:57 am:

    Too bad the editorial writers don’t understand that the turnaround agenda items don’t actually impact the 2016 budget numbers, like the Governor’s press shop has been spinning. Both should be dealt with, but they are not linked except by pretense.

    Whatever. Can’t expect newspaper folks to be well-informed these days.

  17. - Demoralized - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 9:58 am:

    I laugh out loud when anybody tries to make an argument that one side or the other isn’t compromising. Neither are in the mood to compromise right now. That’s the reason that, as of right now, the house is going to burn down before they decide to build it again.

    So, in short, enough with the crap that “my side is compromising.” Bull. A pox on both of their houses.

  18. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 9:58 am:

    “It’s so incestuous…”

    Right wing hysteria is in full bloom.

    I want reforms also: marijuana legalization, major criminal justice/prison reform, legal pension reform, a progressive income tax, state and national campaign finance reform (so a very few billionaires and multimillionaires don’t crush others with money), etc. Most if not all of these things are not going to happen any time soon.

    We shouldn’t let these things stop us from coming up with a fiscally sound budget, which we desperately need right away.

  19. - Ahoy! - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:01 am:

    If the Independent Map folks could be ready (and it was legal) this summer should be prime ground for gathering signatures, the voters will be fed up either way. Of course, I don’t see this getting fixed soon, so there is plenty of time for signature gathering.

  20. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:01 am:

    It is difficult to see how Madigan and his minions can continue down the same path of fiscal impropriety leading the State into bankrupcy without creating some sort of voter rebellion. Or wait they have done it for ten years. If they were members of the Board of a public company they could be criminally charged with fiduciary irresponsibilty.

  21. - Demoralized - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:01 am:

    Anybody think we aren’t at DEFCON 1 yet?

  22. - The Dude Abides - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:02 am:

    So Rauner is for deceasing local Government’s share of income taxes and also wants to freeze property taxes? That should work out nicely for local Governments. I want to see how many GOP members would actually vote for that. So far none of them have, they are voting “present” on everything. If they vote for some of these Rauner reforms their political careers are in jeopardy but if they vote against them they fear that Rauner and his deep pockets may also end their careers. Yet they claim that the Democrats are making a sham of the political process.

  23. - Out Here In The Middle - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:03 am:

    If I can speak for “the people of Illinois” for a moment, I’d say that we don’t have a “Madigan-Cullerton” problem. We have (in no particular order) a Rauner-Cullerton-Radogno-Madigan-Durkin problem.

  24. - Liberty - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:04 am:

    How’s that flat tax working for Illinois?

  25. - Xavier Woods - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:08 am:

    Vanilla Man for comment of the year!

  26. - Skeptic - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:08 am:

    Bluefish: First of all, I’m not in the Rauner camp (far from it) but I think the logic is that if you hold the line on taxes (i.e., freeze them) then that frees up people’s money to spend on other things, which grows up the economy and plugs that $3B hole. Sorry for any typos, I was laughing while I typed that.

  27. - Anon - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:09 am:

    Rich, when is it time for a Talking Heads song to start the day. There seems to be a fitting one.

  28. - Crispy - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:09 am:

    @Excessively rabid and dupage dan: add “compromise” (misused) and “broken system” to the list of taxable terms (along with “corrupt bargain”), and you’d have a real revenue source.

    Also, it’s hard to discuss those two laughable editorials without using banned words. They’re further examples of the pathetic decline of news analysis generally. Oh, the humanity. Sigh.

  29. - A guy - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:10 am:

    Demo, I’m not laughing out loud about any of this, but I agree with much of your sentiments. There is a very real realism here that many are simply unwilling to embrace. Rather than running around high fiving with agreement and all the fanny patting going on, it’s time to realize there is equal and mutual resistance on the side of each (poxed!) house. It’s time for both sides to reassess what the priorities are and hammer out agreeable, if not optimal turns.

    I fear the only positive outcome here is one where everyone loses in the short term. Such is the situation we find ourselves in. It’s more than shared sacrifice at this point. It is now truly shared pain.

  30. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:13 am:

    >>Sorry Governor - you just don’t get it. - VM

    Oh, he gets it. He just doesn’t care about any opposing points of view. His way or no way.

  31. - illinoised - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:13 am:

    I’m with Crispy. Today’s media too often just re-prints press releases which then are mis-identified by mis-informed citizens as real news and real facts. We live in a lazy society, and the plutocrats who run our country are quite happy about it.

  32. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:13 am:

    Dick Goldberg said “Yes” with a capital letter?

    Also, compromise does not mean what the governor’s office thinks it means. “Take it or leave it” is not compromise. You’d think this “superstar” staff would do better than a bunch of Fredos.

  33. - illinoised - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:14 am:

    P.S. The aforementioned plutocrats fund both parties’ candidates. We are a democracy in name only.

  34. - Cassandra - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:14 am:

    Out Here is so right. Maybe this is just posturing and we’re being distracted, but at this point it looks to me as though we desperately need a new political party in Illinois-neither of the current parties is up to the job, as they have demonstrated repeatedly over the past couple of decades. This means all five leaders need to resign. For the good of the people.

  35. - Percival - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:14 am:

    VM - It is hardly “moral” to engage in the fiscal irresponsibility through serial overspending and badly unbalanced budgets for over a decade, which has put the people’s government in a huge hole and places “at risk” (a phrase I hate but liberals love, so I’m turning it back on them) pensioners and state vendors.

  36. - facts are stubborn things - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:14 am:

    Someone needs to let Rauner know that bashing MJM is normally not a winning strategy.

  37. - Century Club - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:15 am:

    =I’m curious if this is what Rauner voters signed up for: higher taxes in exchange for the Rauner social agenda=

    Exactly. If the Rauner voters I know are any indication, they voted for him because he (and the editorial boards) convinced them that there is actually $3 billion to cut so a tax increase is unnecessary.

    Let’s remember, at least 650,000 Rauner voters also voted for a $10 minimum wage. And half a million of them voted for a millionaire’s tax.

  38. - Mama - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:15 am:

    All I hear is blame…Blame…BLAME those DEMS & @*&$ unions for everything. What makes those news-reporters think Rauner has all of the answers? What makes people think the guv can actually make the State of IL better while burying the staff in debt? How is IL money problems the unions fault?

  39. - walker - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:16 am:

    @anon: We all have heard your short and simple pro-Rauner shots multiple times, on whatever issue. Can you elaborate, explain, give evidence, relate experience, argue, anything?

    Looking forward to a worthwhile comment. We always can appreciate those.

  40. - dupage dan - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:17 am:

    Rauner has a master plan. He is engaged in asymmetric “warfare”. He has to come at this from an angle not used before. He has to bring MJM down while an underdog. He has to do this in such a different way that we just simply don’t understand his genius.

    Or what VM said.

  41. - ChiTownSeven - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:19 am:

    Look. Rauner has never had to do any really work in his life. He knows how to buy companies, install new managers, tell them them to extract value from the companies, and fire them if they don’t do it. That’s it. That’s all he knows. He’s like a kid who’s trying to play soccer while everyone else is playing baseball. He and Arduin are inexperienced and inept, but too vain or full of themselves to know it. Good luck passing a budget with those guys at the helm. OW keeps harping on the fact that the LLs aren’t doing their jobs — but with a guy like Bruce as the CEO, there’s nothing the LLs can do. They’re merely the cavalry on Brucie’s charge of the light brigade.

  42. - Team Sleep - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:20 am:

    Compromise has to happen.

    But how much “compromise” has Speaker Madigan ever really WILLINGLY done? He went into overtime with Governor Edgar. Governor Ryan met Speaker Madigan’s demands in a lame attempt to not be remembered as the turd in the punch bowl. He went into overtime with Governor Blagojevich. From what I understand, he did not have the best relationship with Governor Quinn.

    By the same token, Governor Rauner has to realize that he is facing super majorities in both houses. Yes, he can pick off a few votes in the House if an override attempt happens in a few weeks. But even the Senate Dems who voted against yesterday’s budget bills may decide to stand firm, which would put Governor Rauner in another tight spot.

    I personally would love to see a budget number in the middle of the (current) expected revenues and the amount the Dems want to spend. Split the difference and bump up the spending to $34.5 billion. Find some revenue enhancers (or whatever you wanna call it). That does not mean the Governor is caving. It means that he can then tell people that he got a much better “deal” than his predecessor would have gotten, and he can still say that he cut spending.

  43. - Langhorne - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:20 am:

    Public name calling is not negotiating. Reform and compromise for rauner is really just capitulation.

    Our biggest problem is the budget. As others have said, the turnaround agenda has little actual state revenue impact. It is all about an ideological victory for Rauner.
    Rauner believes he can torch state government, blame it on
    the GA, the public will agree, and that will translate into movement on his agenda. Instead, I think all will be painted with the same tar. After great suffering, (weeks from now) the repubs will eventually have to go to rauner and tell him its over.

  44. - Kerfuffle - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:21 am:

    Unless Rainer changes his strategy, he is in trouble. You can’t lead by brow-beating - it might make for good press - but the people of Illinois want leadership. If he can’t provide the leadership to affect meaningful change he will have a very long and painful term in office to be followed by no future terms in office. Stop with the name calling and hyperbole. Accept the compromises you can get and declare them as victories. Then go to work trying to obtain even more compromises - you will never get the whole pie!

  45. - Wordslinger - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:22 am:

    – .,.badly unbalanced budgets for over a decade.–

    Really? Want to break that down, year by year, for “over a decade?”

  46. - Madison - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:22 am:

    We do need a constitutional amendment, but not the ones they talk about. We need a parlimentary form of government, one where coalitions can be formed at will, and simply vanish when support does as well. We have reached the point (in Illinois) where our brand of Democracy has reached its limits.

  47. - Mama - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:25 am:

    Thank You to all of the experts whom comment on Capitol Fax’s blog. Mr. Miller you share a wealth of information on your blog. I can not thank you enough for all you do to inform us, and keep us on top of what is happening at capitol & beyond…

  48. - SICK OF IT - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:28 am:

    So we just continue the same old same old as Illinois has done for the past 15 years….makes no sense. Democrats and Republicans both need to have the courage to do the right thing. Madigan and Cullerton need to go so the Democrats can start using their brains.

  49. - Demoralized - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:30 am:

    A guy

    You have to laugh sometimes at what’s going on or you’ll go mad. Believe me, I’m front and center to the pain that is shortly to ensue. As with many, the financial welfare of my family is currently in danger and it’s not a pleasant thing to think about.

  50. - Capitol Fax Follower - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:31 am:

    Mama @ 10:25am said it all: thank you so much, Rich, for the excellent source of info as to what is going on in so many important areas that affect our lives. It is greatly appreciated by all.

  51. - From the Stateline - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:32 am:

    Pretty well sums up my feelings at this point:

  52. - Mama - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:34 am:

    ++ Can you elaborate, explain, give evidence, relate experience, argue, anything?++ Mr. Walker, tell me how decreasing people’s pay will improve the financial problems of the STATE of IL? If people’s pay is reduced there will be less income taxes coming into the State of IL.

  53. - Mason born - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:44 am:

    You know Michele brought up a good point. I’m really curious why BR thinks he has to ram the whole shebang through now. He has 3 more budgets to negotiate and 3 more years to make his case.

    Both sides are dug in at this point and share in the blame. Expecting either side to do all the giving in is preposterous no matter which side you prefer. The gov. is doing himself no favors with the hyperbole.

  54. - BMAN - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:46 am:

    Maybe Rauner would be a little more transparent if he would just say “Let them eat cake!”

  55. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:51 am:

    ===OW keeps harping on the fact that the LLs aren’t doing their jobs — but with a guy like Bruce as the CEO, there’s nothing the LLs can do. They’re merely the cavalry on Brucie’s charge of the light brigade.===

    At some point, at the Executive LLs level, you aren’t just a cog, you’re suppose to be a resource to help in the passage of the legislation.

    They can find anyone, I guess, to just do as their told.

    I’d expect more from professionals(?)

  56. - Anonin' - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:55 am:

    OK where can we start
    GOPies defying GovPeace on Police Refo and headin’
    off the shutdown of 9-1-1 service across the state
    Wisconsin scandal with their DCEP/P3 crimping GovPeace proposal here
    Highly paid ED Aide defending ghost payrollin’ from at CA “conference”
    Yup Springfield we are shakey

  57. - Wordslinger - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 11:02 am:

    Mason, I think the governor went for the whole shebang because he had to at least make an effort for his national funders.

    What they’re going to get for their money other than a lot of talk remains to be seen.

    Rauner didnt campaign on his social agenda. There has been no grassroots demand for it. The GA votes for it were never there. It’s not even clear now many GOP votes there were for it.

    Zero, up to now.

    The governor knew it was a representative democracy going in, or should have. You don’t get your way by stomping your feet.

    For those pining for compromise, look to the budget. They’re all in the same ballpark on the need for revenue.

  58. - okgo - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 11:08 am:

    Add “Rich Goldberg” to the list of people who don’t know how to use the its-an-adjective-not-a-verb “Turnaround.”

    Next, are they going to “sparkling” Illinois? Or “tall” Illinois? Or how about “greedy” Illinois?

  59. - okgo - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 11:11 am:

    For clarity:

    “Turnaround” = adjective
    “Turn Around” = verb and adverb

  60. - Juvenal - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 11:18 am:

    Many seem to be under the mistaken impression that the governor’s goal is to reach an agreement and pass a budget.

    Stop reading his lips, and start watching his actions.

    When a general says he wants to compromise and reach a peaceful solution, yet is amassing his troops on your border, what do you conclude about his intentions?

    His goal is not to reach an agreement on anything, not his Turn Around agenda, not the budget, not anything.

    If you want to coach the governor, you need to understand his true interests and intentions.

  61. - Aldyth - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 11:19 am:

    Calling it compromise doesn’t make it compromise. Calling it reform doesn’t make it reform. Calling it transparent doesn’t make it transparent.

    You can dress it in a Carhart jacket and it doesn’t make it one of the common folk. It sure isn’t making it as a governor, either.

  62. - Mason born - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 11:22 am:


    A very valid point. However at this point someone in his camp needs to realize that he is at the point of diminishing returns. He has got his agenda to the public as well as highlighted who is opposing it in the terms he wants. If we get a government shutdown his ability to play the well intentioned reformer slips. Now would seem to be the time to bend a little (actually a while ago) make some progress (as he views) and get a budget.

    Every qb want the long pass td but without first downs the opponent controls the game. It’s time to take the first down.

  63. - Enviro - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 11:32 am:

    Illinois needs a reasonable state income tax increase to fund state government as other competitive states have done. We are trying to fund a our state with an income of tax less than 5%.

    On a U.S. map, the Tax Foundation shows that the following 10 states (and counting the District of Columbia) have the highest individual income tax rates in 2014:

    California, 13.3%

    Hawaii, 11.0%

    Oregon, 9.9%

    Minnesota, 9.85%

    Iowa, 8.98%

    New Jersey, 8.97%

    District of Columbia, 8.95%

    Vermont, 8.95%

    New York, 8.82%

    Maine, 7.95%

  64. - Enviro - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 11:34 am:

    Here is the link:

  65. - Amuzing Myself - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 11:37 am:

    OK. The comments have now gone beyond ridiculous on both sides. Thanks for providing this forum Rich, but I’m going to have to just read your stories now and ignore the comments.

  66. - DuPage - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 11:40 am:

    Rauner requested the 5% income tax NOT be extended. He said he did not need it. He got exactly what he asked for.

  67. - A guy - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 12:07 pm:

    ===Demoralized - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:30 am:

    A guy

    You have to laugh sometimes at what’s going on or you’ll go mad. Believe me, I’m front and center to the pain that is shortly to ensue. As with many, the financial welfare of my family is currently in danger and it’s not a pleasant thing to think about.====

    Demo, I sympathize with where you’re at. I’m certainly not criticizing the “laugh” comment. In your shoes, I might feel the same. My perspective from a distance simply evokes a different feel. I’ve known for a good time you’re a good guy trying to get things done in a situation often stacked to make it difficult. It’s why I show a little less contempt than others who see the world with less gray. I appreciate that you try very hard to do the same.

    Chin up dude. Sanity will have to enter the system at some point. I do feel pain for those whose careers are being toyed with. There’s a better way. We don’t always agree. But we always weigh the other side. The battle is fought in inches. Hang in there. The good guys fare better.

  68. - Nony - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 12:11 pm:

    So let me get this straight- per the Capfax for today Madigan is upset the governor is calling him out “for being an obstacle to change” and his response is to become an obstacle to a previously agreed upon bipartisan change?

  69. - Emily Booth - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 12:20 pm:

    Rauner got $$ from a Houston, TX couple to change public pensions. His agenda is not local.

  70. - anon - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 12:20 pm:

    Enviro, I’m surprised you didn’t list the state tax rates of Texas, TN and Florida.

  71. - Enviro - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 1:26 pm:

    The national average per pupil spending was $10,607 for K-12 in fiscal year 2012.

    Florida, Tennessee and Texas do not tax personal income tax and also have a lower per pupil spending for K-12:

    Florida - Spending per pupil: $8,371

    Tennessee - Spending per pupil: $8,294

    Texas - Spending per pupil: $8,260

  72. - Demoralized - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 1:57 pm:

    I think we should all march on the Capitol chanting this:

    “Which one of you nuts has got any guts?”

    Remember what movie that’s from? The Capitol seems a bit like an insane asylum lately don’t you think?

  73. - IL17Progressive - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 2:02 pm:

    Dems did as Brucie demanded by not extending tax levy during Nov-Dec 2014 lame duck. Dems aided Brucie in solving the budget shortage that he caused by demanded no lame duck tax action. Brucie presented his corporate demands without recognition of anything existing. So Dem acted appropriate by following the standard golden rule of ‘Treat others as you see they treat you’. Brucie has shown inability to compromise which requires 1st recognizing the existing value.
    VanillaMan has a more polite statement.

  74. - Skeptic - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 2:04 pm:

    “I do feel pain for those whose careers are being toyed with.” See? Even A Guy and I agree on some things. You’d think somehow they could work out an agreement.

  75. - Peoria Guy - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 2:42 pm:

    I think calling the Governor “Brucie” devalues your opinion for many readers here. Hard to take you seriously when you speak like that.

  76. - A guy - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 2:59 pm:

    Skep, I’ll take your comment as genuine and mildly suggest there is room for agreement. There always is. But, the BS needs to be out of the way. I always appreciate the comments of Demo, Walk, and some others who look at things from other angles, even when their frustrated. We all get a little excited now and then, but…they are an oasis of decency nearly all the time. Be like them. It’s where I aim.

  77. - Wordslinger - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 3:33 pm:

    The governor did not campaign on this agenda. He did not try to build public support for it.

    That wasn’t an oversight. If he had spent tens of millions banging the drum for right to work, ending prevailing wage and the rest of his social agenda, he would have lost.

    As it was, he got 50.8 percent of the vote with no GA coattails. He’s tried to drum up local support for his agenda, with little success.

    Put it all together and that’s a “mandate” for oogats.

    He has to make noise for his agenda to placate his financial backers. And how he spends all that money this summer is uncharted territory.

    But it’s unrealistic to think there will be “compromise” this summer on much of his social agenda. He doesnt have the juice. How do you “compromise” on right to work and prevailing wage, anyway?

    The “leverage” of the budget is a bluff, as his actions to date have shown. You think he wants to be explaining in August that schools aren’t going to open on time because of some “Turnaround Agenda?” That’s absurd.

    Both his and the Dems budget proposals need about $3 billion in new revenue. They’ll get to it eventually.

    Rauner needs to figure out what he can get to declare victory now.

  78. - Demoralized - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 3:40 pm:

    ==Rauner needs to figure out what he can get to declare victory now.==

    I think what he thinks he needs is for the state to implode, which would give him (at least by his perception) some leverage. At that point it becomes a game of chicken to see who will blink first. I think he thinks he can keep his eyes open longer than they can.

  79. - walker - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 3:58 pm:

    Mama: Sorry, I think you must be reading something into my comment that isn’t there. I agree with your comment at 10:43 about not decreasing peoples’ salaries.

    My comment was directed at “anon” at 9:53 above. It’s hard to keep track of all the variations of “anonymous” used on the site, including the ones who simply didn’t use a nickname.

  80. - Wordslinger - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 5:11 pm:

    Demo, the thing is, the guy who has to manage that chaos is the governor. Is that what he signed up for? I hope not. The possibilities of severe unforeseen consequences from such a reckless action are not hard to imagine.

    The guy signed up for a four-year gig that has many real-world, practical responsibilities. Unless he’s a complete goof like Blago, I think at some point those responsibilities trump the dorm-room debating society for any reasonable person.

    At some point

  81. - RNUG - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 9:55 pm:

    == Can someone from the Rauner camp explain how freezing LOCAL property taxes has anything whatsoever with solving the STATE’S budget problem? ==

    - Bluefish -, not from the Rauner camp but it’s not about solving the State budget, its about advancing the anti-union agenda.

    The property tax freeze is intended to ’starve the beast’ (unions) at the school district level once the normal pension cost is transferred to the districts since the freeze will prevent the districts from raising taxes.

  82. - RNUG - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 9:58 pm:

    == I want reforms also: … legal pension reform … ==

    The State has ALREADY HAD legal pension reform back in 2011 … it’s called ‘Tier 2′. Now it has to do what the IL SC said and just pay for all the ‘Tier 1′ payments that were shorted.

  83. - RNUG - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:00 pm:

    == … After great suffering, (weeks from now) the repubs will eventually have to go to rauner and tell him its over. ==

    - Langhorne -, or they bypass Rauner and go to the people they know they can trust and cut a deal with Madigan and Cullerton to veto-proof budget bills.

  84. - Tom K. - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:27 pm:

    “The property tax freeze is intended to ’starve the beast’”.
    You are correct. And it is desperately needed, home prices are stagnant in Illinois largely because a buyer essentially has two mortgages, one to the bank and another to the Tax Man.
    To the poster stating that Illinois needs an income tax hike because we are low relative to the surrounding states, what they conveniently leave out is that the TOTAL tax bill in Illinois is much higher than the surrounding states. State taxes are basically a three-legged stool; income, sales, and property. Illinois currently has a low income tax, but the sales and property tax is among the highest in the country, and combined, are likely THE highest in the country. And that doesn’t include the myriad other taxes on gasoline, tobacco, liquor, etc. etc..
    Can anyone explain why my total tax bill is so high relative to my income? Why does the state of Illinois need so much income? Is it the fact that we have so many people on the public teat? (welfare plus pensions)
    Can anyone here dispute the fact that the state has been losing taxpayers and businesses at an alarming rate, and if the trend continues, total tax revenue will continue to decline? Can anyone here dispute the fact that keeping the status quo will accelerate this trend until the state is floating belly-up in the fishbowl? THEN who’s going to pay the pensions for the folks working now? Think ten years into the future, folks!

  85. - Property of IDOC - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:45 pm:

    Vanilla an @9:43-perfectly articulated!!

    Rich, if you know any political cartoonists:

    Rauner and Walker at a Dollar General. Walker picks up a wind-up action toy GAGOP says to rauner,”isn’t this cute,want one?” Rauner says,”No thanks, I paid $400K for a complete set last week.”

  86. - Lynn S, - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 11:14 pm:

    @RNUG - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 9:58 pm: Fantastic! Thank you!!

    == I want reforms also: … legal pension reform … ==

    The State has ALREADY HAD legal pension reform back in 2011 … it’s called ‘Tier 2′. Now it has to do what the IL SC said and just pay for all the ‘Tier 1′ payments that were shorted.

  87. - Enviro - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 9:34 am:

    - Tom K. - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 10:27 pm: == TOTAL tax bill in Illinois is much higher than the surrounding states. ==

    Combined sales and income tax leaders:

    The Tax Foundation interprets individual tax burden by what taxpayers actually spend in local and state taxes, rather than report these expenses from the state revenue perspective used by the Census Bureau. Its State and Local Tax Burden Rankings study reported that Americans paid an average rate of 9.9 percent in state and local taxes in 2010. According to the foundation, the five highest state-local tax states were:

    New York 12.8 %
    New Jersey 12.4%
    Connecticut 12.3%
    California 11.2%
    Wisconsin 11.1%

  88. - Enviro - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 9:42 am:

    to Tom @ 10:27 pm

    When comparing state taxes keep in mind that property taxes are used to fund local government, not state government.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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