* WTTW’s Amanda Vinicky interviewed Gov. Bruce Rauner this week. You really should click here to read the whole thing, but here’s an excerpt…
AV: You just sent out a fundraising letter that says Illinois residents deserve “a balanced budget without any tax increases.” At the same time, you said you want the grand bargain, which contains a tax increase, to pass and it’s closed. So which is it?
BVR: I introduced a balanced budget my first two months in office, and it had no new revenue, no new tax increases and had spending cuts. I was ignored, and the majority and the general assembly have said they don’t want to cut much, if at all, and they would rather support a tax hike. I’ve said I’ll go for new taxes, so amount of new revenue democrats are recommending. If we’re going to do that, we need structural change to make sure—
AV: That’s not what your fundraising letter said. It said without any tax increases—
BVR: No, that would be the first choice. The first choice is always that. But if we can’t do that, and the democrats have made it clear they won’t cut enough to balance the budget, they want new revenue. I said I’ll go along but only if we have structural changes to grow new jobs, because if all we do is raise taxes, we might have a balanced budget for one year, but within two or three years, we’ll be unbalanced again because we’ve done nothing to slow down government spending. And our economy has been flat. We’ve basically created no new jobs for 17 years. We have to change that or our budgets will never stay balanced.
Getting him to answer a question is not easy. At all.