* Steve Schnorf in comments today…
It seems to me that much of what we are seeing is rational behavior (although whether it is responsible is a different question). Both sides prefer to avoid, if possible, owning the tax increase that’s coming. Both sides prefer, if possible, to avoid owning the program cuts that are coming. Certainly the Ds want to avoid owning even the small things that are probably coming that will impair working people. Surely the admin prefers not owning the less moderate of the proposals it has made, at least in the minds of the people (and their supporters) most negatively impacted by them. The governor appears completely sincere in his belief that significant changes need to be made in Illinois’ business environment if economic growth and employment is going to even get back to it’s previous normal levels. And it’s hard to doubt the Ds sincerity in their defense of the pink/blue collar workers of the state (although the benefit to some of their traditional non working class funders is also a given).
If I’m even close to right, then it’s going to be very hard to get people to abandon what they believe to be rational behavior and engage in behavior that seems antithetical to their goals. But that is what a compromise is going to require. Very hard.
* And then an hour and a half later, another Schnorf comment…
Let me suggest another thought. Although we have a few hard left and right wingers posting on here, most of us are pretty moderate. Setting aside whether the governor’s specific proposals are the right ones or not, I suspect that most of us agree with the proposition that it’s pretty important to do some things to improve Illinois economic and employment climate. I believe that our moderate mindset is a part of what makes many on here wince at some of the governor’s proposals.
That’s not how we would do it at all, me included. Build consensus as you go, chip away at the problem as solutions are agreed to, use the agreed bill process, that’s how most of us grew up politically/governmentally, and we still believe in that approach.
I’m not trying to channel the governor here, I’m just trying to kind of intuit what he might be thinking. First, I think he believes the state’s situation is quite serious, more serious than most of us think, and I think that he believes a time consuming solution is inadequate. It would be pretty hard to argue that we’ve made a heck of a lot of progress in the past 10 or 15 years. Two recessions and our state government’s actions and inactions have left us with a lot of unpaid old bills, seriously degraded reputation in the credit markets, too much underemployment. too many people simply giving up and dropping out of the workforce, too much immigration out and too few people moving in, too few state employees in many program areas to do their jobs properly, you name it.
I suspect the Governor came to the conclusion that the gradual moderate approach wouldn’t adequately address our problem; essentially, we lose too much ground and time each year so that gradual solutions are a problem compounder, not a solution. Something pretty significant needs to be done as quickly as possible.
If you believe that, and also believe more drastic solutions are needed than can be accomplished thru the old tried and true approach (an agreed bill process is never going to lead to a dramatic change in one fell swoop) it is probably reasonable to say let’s do it all at once, not drag the pain out over two or three sessions with a lot of hard votes each year: rip the bandage off and fix the problems now.
Again, if I’m even close it’s easier to understand why we are where we are. But I don’t have a clue how we get out of it.
This shows, again, why I believe Steve Schnorf is one of the smartest human beings I’ve ever known.
And if even he can’t figure out how to get out of this mess, we’re in deep trouble, campers.