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The Sun-Times demands a budget

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

* Sun-Times editorial board

We also understand that Rauner walked into a bad situation, and his only aim has been to do his darnedest to set our state right. Long before Rauner arrived in Springfield, Illinois was struggling with a weak economy, alarmingly underfunded pensions, a backlog of bills and a political dynamic that for too long has put one Chicago pol, House Speaker Mike Madigan, at the center of every major decision.

We’re just saying that passing a budget matters a whole lot more. If that was not obvious to Rauner in 2015, or even a year ago, it should be now.

Whatever pro-business gains Illinois might have made by reforming workers’ comp law, for example, have been overwhelmed by the damage done to our state’s public universities by the lack of a state budget since 2014.

Good point.

Gov. Rauner keeps saying that his reforms will spark an economic boom. It’s hard to see how that will happen considering the limited economic reforms that are on the table right now compared to the tax hikes and the cuts required to balance the budget.

But I will make one point in the governor’s favor. He is prepared to sign one of the largest tax hikes in Illinois history, if not the largest ever increase. He ought to get something for doing that.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

44 Comments
  1. - Grand Avenue - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 9:51 am:

    Is the IPI barking about GB2 like they were about GB1 or do they get the gravity of the situation now?


  2. - Anon E. Moose - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 9:54 am:

    “He is prepared to sign one of the largest tax hikes in Illinois history, if not the largest ever increase.”

    Is he? I know he says he will, but then keeps moving the goal posts.


  3. - Arsenal - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 10:01 am:

    ==He is prepared to sign one of the largest tax hikes in Illinois history==

    I just don’t believe that’s the case. Actions > Words.


  4. - Anon221 - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 10:01 am:

    “Gov. Rauner keeps saying that his reforms will spark an economic boom.”

    Well his reformation rhetoric and persistence has created a boom, but more of a mushroom cloud than a firecracker. As for the tax hike, he may be prepared but I’ll bet his pen runs out of ink before he signs it. And then, you know, he’ll use the “reasoning” that the state is broke and he can’t afford another pen.


  5. - Big Joe - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 10:02 am:

    Well, the tax hike that he is “prepared” to sign woildn’t have to be so great if he wasn’t so hardheaded these past 2 years. All he had to do was do the doable right away, then work on some reforms during those 2 years. I’m not gonna praise him for anything so far.


  6. - Gruntled University Employee - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 10:04 am:

    === He ought to get something for doing that. ===

    And I’m hoping that what he gets is his walking papers.


  7. - Reality Check - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 10:04 am:

    He ought to get something for doing that.

    He “gets” to fulfill his constitutional duty of a balanced budget.


  8. - Mokenavince - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 10:04 am:

    Rauner will find some reason to stall and fumble.


  9. - Ok - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 10:05 am:

    But I will make one point in the governor’s favor. He is prepared to sign one of the largest tax hikes in Illinois history, if not the largest ever increase. He ought to get something for doing that.
    ……..

    Can you cite any type of evidence for this? When and where did Rauner say this?


  10. - The Captain - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 10:05 am:

    But I will make one point in the governor’s favor. He is prepared to sign one of the largest tax hikes in Illinois history, if not the largest ever increase. He ought to get something for doing that.

    The Governor necessitated one of the largest tax hikes in Illinois history through two actions, both detrimental to the state: 1) he demanded the expiration of the temporary tax hike and claimed he could balance the budget without it, 2) he refused to discuss a budget until his non-budget demands were first met resulting in the largest bill backlog in the state’s history.

    He deserves no extra credit for being open to the corrective actions made necessary by his own intentional decisions.


  11. - Ole' Nelson - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 10:06 am:

    “He is prepared to sign one of the largest tax hikes in Illinois history”

    I am not convinced that this is true. He could just as likely be using that claim as cover for his true intention of destroying higher ed and social services (along with unions). Sure, he says he is willing to raise taxes (sometimes), but you really can’t believe anything this man says.


  12. - Ok - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 10:07 am:

    State workers do there job every day and get a 4 year pay freeze and threats of healthcare hikes.. Rauner doesnt do his job for 2 years and is supposed to get something for doing the most basic task of a governor?


  13. - Honeybear - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 10:07 am:

    I wrote a prayer this morning on the live post. Honestly I think it’s going to take nothing less than divine intervention to get a Budget done and signed.

    I do not have any faith that Rauner would sign a tax hike.
    None
    His hostage demands have not been met.
    Labor does lie at his feet by the destruction of local collective bargaining, PLA’s, and Prevailing Wage, ruination of state/university worker healthcare.
    That is his must.
    Until he has that he won’t sign

    The Governor LIVES perfidy


  14. - Anon221 - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 10:07 am:

    If Rauner is not re-elected, then he will not be signing off on a tax increase. So, there is another way for him to not “own” a tax hike. Is that a campaign point for him;)


  15. - Collinsville Kevin - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 10:07 am:

    Great use of the word “darnedest” by the Sun-Times shills. Kind of like BVR droppin’ his n’s. Yes, maybe he is realist enough to know more revenue is needed, so why doesn’t he submit a balanced budget?


  16. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 10:08 am:

    Rauner’s rhetoric and actions are often in conflict. From his track record, I don’t put too much faith in his words.

    And I don’t understand his sense of entitlement that he should “get something” for doing the bare minimum of his job. Is that some government welfare program for bored old retired dudes or something?

    But I think that’s all just talk. He’s getting away with what he can, while he can. Squeeze the beast is progressing nicely.


  17. - Go Getter - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 10:09 am:

    >>>He is prepared to sign one of the largest tax hikes in Illinois history, if not the largest ever increase. He ought to get something for doing that.


  18. - Ok - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 10:10 am:

    Rich

    You are starting to sound like ck and other Rauner staff.


  19. - Skeptic - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 10:11 am:

    “He ought to get something for doing that.” Ok, I promise I won’t vote for his opponent because of that. But that still leaves me a gazillion (minus one) other reasons.


  20. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 10:14 am:

    “I will make one point in the governor’s favor. He is prepared to sign one of the largest tax hikes in Illinois history, if not the largest ever increase.”

    And I’m prepared to write a personal check to cover Illinois’ $12.4 billion in unpaid bills. (But you probably shouldn’t hold your breath waiting for either.)

    – MrJM


  21. - Gruntled University Employee - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 10:15 am:

    === Honestly I think it’s going to take nothing less than divine intervention to get a Budget done and signed. ===

    I hope it’s not the locusts, I can take the frogs and even the raining fire but not the locusts.


  22. - The Captain - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 10:15 am:

    But I will make one point in the governor’s favor. He is prepared to sign one of the largest tax hikes in Illinois history, if not the largest ever increase. He ought to get something for doing that.

    Just to expand on this point further, off the top of my head I can’ think of anything more dangerous to the state than the idea that if you’re willing to take corrective action for a crisis you caused yourself you “ought to get something for doing that.” It would be a terrible, dangerous precedent.


  23. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 10:15 am:

    “But I will make one point in the governor’s favor. He is prepared to sign one of the largest tax hikes in Illinois history, if not the largest ever increase. He ought to get something for doing that.”

    The same goes for Democrats, because their names will be on it too. Democrats will have to make cuts that affect many of their voters and raise taxes.

    Rauner and his supporters should learn to temper their wants. Others want a millionaire surcharge, more government investment in job creation and other job-creating reforms, like marijuana legalization and expansion of the MMJ program.

    There are other ways to proverbially skin the cat to help the economy grow. They are unattainable in the near future. Their proponents will have to wait. Let’s not derail budget negotiations and again fail to pass a budget because we can’t get certain things we absolutely want.


  24. - Honeybear - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 10:16 am:

    Sorry Labor does not lie at his feet.


  25. - Liberty - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 10:19 am:

    Wonderin what you base this on because I don’t see compromisin happinin.


  26. - Ok - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 10:19 am:

    Rauner claims that he is a volunteer… Since when do volunteers hold budgets hostage or get something for doing there job? Being happy that he got Illinois a budget is the only thing a true volunteer would want.


  27. - Honeybear - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 10:23 am:

    ILGOP bet everything that this Laffer/ALEC scheme would work. It has failed and destroyed the state in the process.

    Rauner made the deal the devil at the crossroads at midnight

    We all know how this story ends.

    A double down only works if you have something left to bet


  28. - AlfondoGonz - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 10:23 am:

    “He is prepared to sign one of the largest tax hikes in Illinois history, if not the largest ever increase. He ought to get something for doing that.”

    I give him all the credit he deserves for such preparation, though I’m sure it was not too hard to find a pen. I’ll reserve distributing any more credit until he does something.


  29. - Juice - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 10:25 am:

    For someone who spends quite a bit of time denouncing Chicago politics, I wasn’t expecting his personal governing philosophy to be “ubi est mea?”.


  30. - illinoised - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 10:26 am:

    Rauner has no one to blame but himself should he actually “sign one of the largest tax hikes in Illinois history.” He painted himself into a corner.


  31. - anon2 - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 10:29 am:

    Now that he’s in campaign mode for 2018, I find it doubtful that he would sign such an historic take hike before the election. I hope he proves me wrong, however.


  32. - JTF - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 10:31 am:

    Rauner’s words are numerous and disengenuous, while his actions are few and mostly nefarious. He’ll get credit when all his actions and inactions have been weighed. I imagine he’ll be found wanting.


  33. - Miss Marie - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 10:38 am:

    “He is prepared to sign one of the largest tax hikes in Illinois history, if not the largest ever increase. He ought to get something for doing that.”

    I respectfully disagree. I know Illinois was a mess before he took office, but Gov. Rauner is pushing us off the cliff with his inaction.

    And he didn’t have to set himself up for this mess. He told Quinn and the G.A. not to enact any big changes before he took Office because “the voters had spoken.” If he hadn’t beaten his fists against his chests, they could have enacted the tax increase during lame duck session again, and given the state the revenue it needs.

    And he had another opportunity when he 1st took office. He could have blamed Quinn, said he inherited a situation much worse than he could have imagined, and then say he had no choice to raise taxes to fix Quinn’s mistakes.

    Since Gov. Rauner has taken Office, multiple entities have pointed to the fact that the State needs addition revenue–court decisions, credit downgrading, etc.

    No, Rauner doesn’t deserve any credit for dragging his feet. If you want to give credit to someone, you might want to credit all the social service providers that have been hanging in there.

    There are the domestic provider managers who have used their own credit cards to pay for services since they aren’t being paid by the state. There’s also the staff at homeless shelters who have continued to volunteer there after they’ve been laid off because the State hasn’t paid those providers. They deserve the credit.


  34. - A guy - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 11:23 am:

    ==But I will make one point in the governor’s favor.===

    For this group…one point is one too many. Things have become so jaded, that seeing the irony in the reaction is impossible.


  35. - cover - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 11:41 am:

    = He is prepared to sign one of the largest tax hikes in Illinois history, if not the largest ever increase. He ought to get something for doing that. =

    His problem is that he would probably get the same treatment in the next election as Gov. Ogilvie did after signing the state’s first income tax.


  36. - Ed Higher - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 12:02 pm:

    If Rauner’s a volunteer, you get what you pay for.


  37. - Ed Higher - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 12:21 pm:

    I appreciate the Sun-Times’s acknowledgement of the damage to state universities.

    On one hand, Rauner has a point: university administrators do sometimes spend too much on the wrong things. But when you suffocate the whole system, guess what? The admin’s are still in charge, and will protect themselves and their tribe at the expense of others.

    What we have in Illinois is a neoliberal laboratory experiment: axe public universities and see what happens. After all, though their constituencies vote, their numbers are relatively few. They by and large lack the money & political clout to raise much of a fuss.


  38. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 12:27 pm:

    His only aim is to destroy the state, Sun Times, not to do whatever his darnedest is to help anyone except himself.


  39. - Ghost - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 12:32 pm:

    By prepared to sign you mean have his il policy grp badmouth it and chase away gop votes so it never passes?


  40. - Anonymous - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 2:04 pm:

    Now if only the Tribune would.


  41. - Fool On The Hill - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 2:09 pm:

    The Governor has been all over the map on his support/non-support of taxes. However, the most important, damaging thing he did was say that he did not need the temporary tax two years ago. That is on him. Until he owns that, he gets credit for nothing.


  42. - ste_with_av_en - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 2:20 pm:

    “However, the most important, damaging thing he did was say that he did not need the temporary tax two years ago. That is on him.”
    Shouldn’t you blame the people who actually let it lapse then?


  43. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 2:25 pm:

    ===Shouldn’t you blame the people who actually let it lapse then?===

    Oh - ste_with_av_en -,

    Rauner, as candidate and Governor-Elect, ran on, begged, pleaded, cheered and congratulated the sun setting.

    Rauner asked for it to sunset, the lame duck GA obliged.

    Rauner owns that with everyone else.


  44. - peon - Wednesday, May 10, 17 @ 11:24 pm:

    Rauner did not inherit a bad situation accidentally - he spent a fortune to purchase the Governorship with his eyes wide open, lock, stock, and legislative minority party status.

    A sailor can’t spend his life complaining about the sea as the old saying goes. Get on with it.

    History is erasing Rauner’s record as a successful venture capitalist and philanthropist. His wikipedia page when he leaves in Jan 2019 will be dominated by very bad news. Ayn Rand, Dickensian horror stories, preserved for eternity.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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