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I was actually being charitable

Monday, Jan 25, 2016

* From my intervew with Gov. Bruce Rauner

“(I)f we can get business regulatory change so I can recruit manufacturer’s here and more transportation companies here, and more businesses here, we can generate billions of new revenue without raising tax rates. That’s directly tied to the budget.”

* As you already know, I asked for proof of this. He had his staff send me a memo and chart that he distributed to legislators last September. I quoted from his own documentation that he projected increased revenues of $510 million.

That came from this particular page

Economic Growth

    • Personal Income Tax Savings by Ending Out-
    Migration: $140 million

    • Revenue Growth by Making Illinois “Average” in Unemployment: $150 Million

    • Revenue Growth if Average Gross State Product: $220 Million

* But then on the very next page, the governor’s own analysis only used one of those numbers

Net State Financial Impact from Reforms

    • Savings: $1.8 billion

    • Revenue from Economic Growth: $220+ million

    • Total Net State Financial Impact: More than $2 billion

So, $220+ million in “net” revenues from economic growth.

Those are the governor’s own numbers that he sent to legislators last fall to justify holding out for a better deal and shutting down part of the government in the process.

Hey, maybe the numbers are very conservative. Maybe they’re even wrong. But they’re not my numbers, they’re Rauner’s numbers.

The point is, why send this to legislators if it was a wild low-ball? Why then send those very same numbers to me? And then after sending it to me, why whine that I got the numbers wrong when they were his own numbers?


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Huh? - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 12:06 pm:

    Mr. Miller, it is obvious that you got the numbers wrong because you used his numbers that haven’t been independently corroborated and were taken out of context from a private presentation that shouldn’t have been made public.

  2. - the Other Anonymous - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 12:08 pm:

    It’s also questionable how he gets to $1.8 billion in savings. Virtually the entire amount is from “collective bargaining.” I wonder if he is referring to the magic asterisk in his FY2016 proposed budget of $2 bln in pension savings. If so, he can’t promise it because the Supreme Court really has the last word on that. Based on its past rulings, I don’t think you can count on the court to uphold the Rauner version of pension reform.

  3. - Eugene - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 12:08 pm:

    Because his strategy in politics (and in business, I wouldn’t be surprised) is to bury people in numbers laid out in impressive-looking power points and then just assume no one will drill down to see if it all adds up. And usually it’s a safe assumption.

  4. - Humm - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 12:09 pm:

    This is a guy who speaks without thinking and throws numbers out randomly. Your statement absolutely depict what the Governor’s Office had been telling legislators and staff.

    Also, this is a guy who decided it was a good idea to spend millions on a contract with Deloite to put together an annoucement on IT the same week hundreds of social service agencies are shutting down.

    Not exactly the most moral guy out there.

  5. - Stones - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 12:10 pm:

    Let’s not get facts in the way of the Governor’s message.

  6. - Earnest - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 12:10 pm:

    It’s hardly fair, the way you have to run a state. You can’t hide money in off-shore accounts. You can’t close a plant or lay people off somewhere far from your headquarters. You can’t refuse to interact with anyone other than your subordinates. You have to deal with people you can’t fire or lay off. Most important–you can’t just declare bankruptcy and walk away with what you got for yourself.

  7. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 12:11 pm:

    If he does this to you Rich, think what the poor AFSCME negotiators have to go through.

  8. - Flynn's Mom - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 12:12 pm:

    There are lies, damn lies and statistics.
    Mark Twain

  9. - Sam Weinberg - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 12:13 pm:

    This 2003 quote was ultimately attributed to Karl Rove, but I can’t keep coming back to it when thinking about Rauner. I would bet everything I own that this is Rauner’s way of thinking, whether he understands it or not.

    The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” … “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

  10. - pundent - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 12:15 pm:

    This underlies the issue that many have been saying here but few in the media have been reporting on. At what point do we hold Rauner accountable for ending his campaign and actually showing demonstrable benefits of the “turnaround agenda”. We can all agree that “reforms” are needed but Rauner has yet to make the case that it should be these “reforms” or that the consequences of his actions are justified by the benefits. The reason that he’s been hostile towards Rich is that very few people have called him out on the issue. Hopefully that starts to change.

  11. - the Other Anonymous - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 12:18 pm:

    @ Eugene:

    –Because his strategy in politics (and in business, I wouldn’t be surprised) is to bury people in numbers laid out in impressive-looking power points –

    Meh. Click on the Powerpoint. It’s plain black and white text. Not impressive at all. We don’t even get the illusion of something well thought out.

  12. - Just saying... - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 12:24 pm:

    $220 million net revenue growth…that’s about half of the money (we know about) that the Raunerites have spent on campaigning since the start. Maybe Madigan was correct in his push for the Millionaires Tax…I think that taxpayers might get a better rate of return than the Raunerites have thus far…just saying

  13. - Austin Blvd - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 12:28 pm:

    During the last campaign, Quinn et al put out what many considered to be inappropriately malicious ads about Rauner companies:
    - The nursing home sell offs and consequences for senior residents;
    - Threatening to destroying a female executive;
    - buying a biopharma company and raising the price of pharmaceuticals for newborns astronomically;
    - and more.
    It was difficult for many to believe those accusations. And fast forward to today, it is beyond comprehension for many to believe Illinois has a governor who can and will do readily throw the needy under a bus to get what he wants.
    That is the kind of person he is.

  14. - Albany Park Patriot - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 12:28 pm:

    Even the wildest HIGH-BALL wouldn’t make up the gap.

  15. - Ray del Camino - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 12:34 pm:

    This is a little one-state preview of what a Donald Trump presidency would look like.

  16. - Chicago 20 - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 12:36 pm:

    Rauner is whining because you spoiled his story with the facts.

    Rauner needs the suspension of reality during the theatrics.

    Next time when reporting contrary facts make sure to proclaim “Spoiler Alert”.

  17. - Stuff Happens - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 12:41 pm:

    You should have known those numbers would be inaccurate just because of the integrity of the source.

  18. - Flannery Fan - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 12:45 pm:

    Rich Miller have you been quoting $200mil or $500mil or $2bil? There are a lot of numbers floating around here.

  19. - Streator Curmudgeon - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 12:50 pm:

    Rich, you’re preaching to the choir here.

    You would not have lasted as long as you have in journalism if you were not an accurate, careful reporter. Editors would have dropped your columns long ago if you made stuff up.

    No, the Governor needs to stop the blame game and Man Up. His problem is that he hears enough “Hang in there’s” and “stay strong” while he’s touring the state that he’s believing his own PR.

    Just keep doing what you’re doing. You’re in the right.

  20. - Sir Reel - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 12:54 pm:

    He may be confusing economic growth (billions) with tax revenue growth (millions).

    After all, he’s so busy governing he can’t keep track of such details.

    Oh wait. I just came out of my daydream.

  21. - Flannery Fan - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 12:56 pm:

    Streator Curmudgeon nothing against your Rich Miller example but let’s not give the journalism profession too much credit. A lot of things get out in the mainstream media and not all of them would pass the smell test of a noble, red-bearded anchor of Fox 32 Chicago.

  22. - onfire - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 1:02 pm:

    I believe the Governor was telling you to back off Rich. You are on his radar now. He could not believe a member of the press would actually question him. Stay strong Rich. You are one of the few reporters to actually get the facts. We appreciate you.

  23. - Natalie - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 1:16 pm:

    $220 million from stopping out migration - for goodness sake!!! This number implies that no people move out of Illinois - are we going to build a wall? It seems that the data used to develop this “estimate” comes from the IRS. It is important to note that the Adjusted Gross Income associated with a given migrant’s tax return is the total AGI for the filer AFTER migration. It is not how much money they earned prior to departure, it is how much income they earned after arrival. The AGI reported to the IRS has no connection to the departure state and as such cannot be considered an “outflow.”

  24. - crazybleedingheart - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 1:18 pm:

    ==If he does this to you Rich, think what the poor AFSCME negotiators have to go through.==


    Nailing Jell-O to the wall.

  25. - Ahoy! - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 1:19 pm:

    I support much of what the Governor is trying to do (pension reform, workers comp reform, UI reform, maps, completely changing the way our government works because i don’t view it as working and I’m even ok with some of his efforts to curtail the public sector unions since they do have a monopoly and stranglehold on our government).

    One thing that does irritate me is his method and his theatrics, in other words, the how he is trying to get his agenda’s accomplished. The guy needs to learn to rain it in, go the edge but for the sake of pete stop jumping off the cliff.

  26. - Georg Sande - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 1:20 pm:

    Did someone mention whining?

  27. - Former Hoosier - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 1:20 pm:

    Austin Blvd. @ 12:28- You are absolutely right. So, rather than look malicious, those ads now appear pretty accurate.

    Ray del Camino @ 12:34- So true. Let Illinois be an example of what the entire country could look like under Pres. Trump.

  28. - Natalie - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 1:24 pm:

    Sorry, I meant to say $140 m.

  29. - Langhorne - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 1:32 pm:

    His “analysis” was laughable. A grad school Econ or public admin prof would give him a fat F.

    No way he made hundreds of millions based on such feeble work. He is the salesman, drivin’ results, does he know or care about details?

  30. - Hedley Lamarr - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 1:52 pm:

    Bruce: Who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?

  31. - TD - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 1:59 pm:

    Unfortunately, Rich, we’ve recently seen what being charitable in this state gets you.

  32. - Jack Stephens - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 2:00 pm:

    Good post!

  33. - CrazyHorse - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 2:47 pm:

    Rich didn’t you run those numbers past the IPI legal team? LOL

  34. - Mama - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 4:38 pm:

    Rich, no more governor’s reports for you! Didn’t you get the memo telling you not to check his numbers? /s

  35. - Natalie - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 5:04 pm:

    While we all wish our unemployment rate was lower - right now we sit at 5.7 percent while the national average is 5 percent - the above number of $150 million can not be justified by the data. BLS wage and unemployment data indicate that the estimate associated with an unemployment rate equal to the national average would generate approximately $75 million. Not sure how they came up with an estimate associated with higher GSP - I would be interested to see how that particular sausage was made.

  36. - wordslinger - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 5:15 pm:

    That’s why some of us were screaming so loudly and so long for the governor to show his cards as to his “economic and fiscal rationale.”

    It’s a joke. Even the numbers he came up with are unsupported and would not pass muster at any corporation.

    You have to show your work, there.

    Unless cheerleaders like the Tribbies, Louis, Guy, Federalist, FKA, Tone, et. al. can bring the goods and bail them out…..

    ….I guess I’d just have to question their honesty and sincerity after all these months carrying the governor’s water.

    You’re just for whatever he says, with no independent thought or analysis, at all.

    And you don’t care who gets thrown under the bus for that level of boot-licking.

    There’s a word for that.

    Many, actually.

  37. - Macbeth - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 6:17 pm:

    What I want to know is where are the investigative journalists tracking Rauner’s business deals? If he ran his businesses like he’s running the state, he’d get canned. Yet I suspect this is *exactly* how he ran his businesses — threats and all.

    Where are the stories?

  38. - Macbeth - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 6:18 pm:

    BTW == yes, I know there were stories during the campaign. But where’s the follow-through? Where’s the: “Hey, wait, this is a weird pattern …” stories?

  39. - Twinkle Toes - Monday, Jan 25, 16 @ 9:26 pm:

    Let’s be honest, the two reason GE didn’t want to come to Illinois is: 1. More likely because of Rauner’s inability to negotiate; 2. Inconsistencies in his management, as brought forward by this story.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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