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In a nutshell

Friday, Dec 18, 2015 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Dietrich

In his speech last week before the City Club of Chicago, House Speaker Michael Madigan offered what I consider the strongest hint to date of the depth of philosophical differences driving the budget impasse. Invoking Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Madigan explained that he sees government’s role as to “work always to create jobs, to raise wages, to raise the standard of living.” He has stated often that he believes Rauner’s efforts to reform workers’ compensation and remove prevailing wage requirements will do the opposite for middle-class families.

Madigan offers no acknowledgement that policies put in place over the 12 years preceding Rauner’s arrival might have had anything to do with creating today’s fiscal mess — or that today’s fiscal mess might hurt the middle class by driving jobs away.

Rauner, meanwhile, takes the opposite view on government’s role in the economy. It’s government’s interference that hobbles entrepreneurs, drives up taxes and drives factories to states that don’t value unions over job creators. In Rauner’s view, if government keeps its hands off the private sector, jobs will proliferate, taxes will go down and the middle class will be better off.

Rauner, however, offers no acknowledgment that he governs a state that elected both him and super-majorities of Democrats in its House and Senate. He has not mentioned the fact that far more voters statewide supported a tax on millionaires and an immediate increase in the minimum wage than voted for him.

…Adding… Tribune

Three of Speaker Michael Madigan’s campaign funds on Thursday reported collecting $445,400 in campaign contributions.

Nearly all of the money came from labor unions or trial lawyers that historically have backed Madigan and Democrats against Republicans and business interests.

All told, four Madigan campaign funds have reported taking in more than $5.87 million since Jan. 1.


  1. - Chicago 20 - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 7:49 am:

    There is no such thing as a free market.

    It’s the government’s duty to regulate.

    Obviously Rauner benefits from the trickle down economics myth, but the vast majority of folks know their standard of living has been declining since the 80’s while their tax burdens have increased.

  2. - 45 is enough - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 7:58 am:

    Simplistic and inaccurate
    Governor opposed to bad pubic policy geared toward political outcomes rather than helping middle class or business. Governor has never advocated anything like what Dietrich states. Yes, reforms, but not 1920 style approach to Government like Dietrich suggests

    Can u point to me to the Speaker’s compromise in recognition of a Republican Governor? Missed that one somehow.

    Millionaires tax and minimum wage increase—same could be said for term limits and redistricting reform. Its the will of the people when the dems try and govern by referendum, but political games to drive up turnout when r’s do it.

    Bottom line, you forfeit a lot of credibility when you don’t show up to the meetings–absent a reasonable excuse

  3. - Fool On The Hill - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 8:05 am:

    How does this compare to the prior year?

  4. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 8:11 am:

    - if government keeps its hands off the private sector -


    Rauner wants the government to intervene in bargaining between private companies and their workers.

    Rauner wants the government to set limits on awards decided by a judge or jury.

    Rauner wants the government to keep workers comp claims out of courts, but also change the rules deciding who has the burden of proof, as well as limits on damages.

    I could go on, but Rauner hardly wants the state to be hands off, he just has a different opinion of where the hands should be.

  5. - Fool On The Hill - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 8:13 am:

    Clarification: Madigan’s fundraising. Thanks.

  6. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 8:21 am:

    ===Bottom line, you forfeit a lot of credibility when you don’t show up to the meetings–absent a reasonable excuse.===

    Daughter having a child?

    You think on that.

  7. - illini97 - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 8:23 am:

    Hang in there, “45 is enough.”

  8. - VanillaMan - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 8:33 am:

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  9. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 8:34 am:

    The union money pouring into Cullerton’s funds is nothing to sneeze at either. And Cullerton is not exactly known for his fundraising.

  10. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 8:34 am:

    Free markets require government to establish property rights and courts to enforce contracts.

    Civil society requires police to maintain order and a way of controlling conflict and setting disputes.

    Common goods such as roads, ports and airports must be provided for our economy to work.

    Some on the right forget these basic requirements.

  11. - Jack Kemp - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 8:42 am:

    Chicago 20,

    The myth of “trickle down” is that any such theory actually exists. Find me an economist anywhere outside of an insane asylum who has ever advocated such a theory.

    Please make sure to include your citation.

  12. - Ahoy! - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 8:53 am:

    –Invoking Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Madigan explained –

    FDR also wanted to limit collective bargaining to public sector unions, but both sides of the aisle cherry pick their most favorite parts of history, or at least the ones that make them feel better.

  13. - Chicago 20 - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 8:53 am:

    Jack Kemp-

    Don’t you have Google?

  14. - HangingOn - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 9:10 am:

    ==government’s interference that hobbles entrepreneurs==

    Yes, because he knows he could have made much more money for himself stripping down nursing homes if it weren’t for those pesky rules and regulations set by the government.

  15. - Big Joe - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 9:12 am:

    45 is enough……You obviously don’t have any grandchildren. Otherwise you wouldn’t have said that about the Speaker missing the meeting.

  16. - GOP Extremist - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 9:19 am:

    Keep fight’n Speaker!!!

  17. - Liberty - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 9:23 am:

    Well Mr. Gov, if you want a free market, we will stop the fed from handing out all the cheap money and go back to greenbacks like Mr. Lincoln used.

  18. - Jack Kemp - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 9:29 am:

    Chicago 20,

    So basically, so-and-so says that somebody advocated for something that somebody else says is called trickle down? I don’t believe that’s what I asked.

    I’m looking for a concrete example. Somebody, preferably an economist, who actually says we should give money to the rich so that it can make its way down to the poor.

    I’ll wait.

  19. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 10:03 am:

    That decline in standard of living has rapidly accelerated for many in Illinois during the last decade. That’s not due to trickle down economics “from the 80’s”

  20. - Joe M - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 10:08 am:

    ==government’s interference that hobbles entrepreneurs==

    Except when they want an educated workforce to work in their businesses, transportation venues to be able to deliver their goods and services, and police to protect their businesses, to just name a few government services.

    Who was it that said when the wealth falls into the hands of too few, it is taken away? Government services to help those in need, and at the bottom end of our socioeconomic structure, are also essential, even to entrepreneurs.

  21. - Chicago 20 - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 10:13 am:

    Jack Kemp -

    The article referenced above names Jude Wanniski and George Gilder as the economists to promoted this economic theory. I can find no reference to their mental state when they wrote their opinions.

  22. - WhoKnew - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 10:15 am:

    “He has not mentioned the fact that far more voters statewide supported a tax on millionaires and an immediate increase in the minimum wage than voted for him.”

    Sounds like a couple of voter Mandates to me.

    VM - You Rock!

  23. - Chicago 20 - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 10:18 am:


    It started in the 80’s and continues to this day.

    The economic policies that were put into place during Reagan are still in place.

    Check out the chart from Pew.

  24. - walker - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 10:42 am:

    “That Vanilla Man, he’s bona fide.”

  25. - Cassandra - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 11:10 am:

    My guess is that when real decisions are about to be made, Mr. Madigan will be there. So while this may have been a nice meeting, an effort to signal bipartisanship to voters, it seems nothing significant was to be decided. It’s always possible that the parties will announce our big middle class tax income tax increase in January,
    but that’s awfully close. So maybe they are signalling March for the big tax heist that is supposed to solve Illinois’ financial problems.
    We really shouldn’t have to guess, but it’s Illinois, the land of bad governance, where ordinary citizens are largely ignored.

  26. - Striketoo - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 11:25 am:

    “Daughter having a child?
    You think on that.”

    Yeah, gramps has to be in the delivery room. Creepy.

  27. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 12:41 pm:

    The idea that government should help businesspeople make money is not new. The idea behind governments granting patents is to create a temporary monopoly to reward inventors. The transcontinental railroads were funded by land grants to the railroad companies.

    I don’t like the term trickle down economics. The idea that businesses need to make money to grow and thrive seems obvious. Trickle down puts a class element that is not needed.

  28. - A Jack - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 12:45 pm:

    The question is, why would the state of Illinois want a proliferation of jobs normally held by unionized labor?

    Shouldn’t Illinois be trying to draw in non-unionized high growth industries like information technology and medicine?

    The Governor is jousting windmills and has wasted a year doing it.

  29. - JS Mill - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 1:40 pm:

    =The Governor is jousting windmills and has wasted a year doing it.=


    Meanwhile unemployment ticked up this month.

    Nice work growin’ the economy ‘overnor.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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