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*** UPDATED x1 *** WSJ says Rauner is capitulating, refers to him as “Governor Junk”

Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017

* Gov. Rauner loves the Wall St. Journal editorial page. That edit board is full of his class of like-minded folks. Back in the day, he would often send around clips from editorials to his pals with his own approving commentary.

I’m not sure he’ll be doing that today, however

The Illinois Capitulation - Gov. Bruce Rauner cries uncle on taxes and economic reform

Bruce Rauner spent a chunk of his personal fortune running for Governor in 2014 to save Illinois from its tax-and-spend political class. More than two years later it looks like the former private equity star has made better investments.

On Tuesday evening the Governor with the worst job in America explained why he and his fellow Republicans have offered to raise taxes for the sake of ending a multiyear budget impasse with Democrats. He said he’ll accept a four-year increase in the flat state income tax to 4.95% from the current 3.75%, expand the sales tax and implement a cable and satellite TV tax.

This is a political defeat by any definition since Mr. Rauner campaigned on lowering the income tax to 3%, not on restoring the rate close to what it was under the last Democratic Governor. The “temporary” 5% rate partially sunset in December 2014. Democrats who run the legislature refused to negotiate over a budget unless Mr. Rauner agreed to a tax increase, and now they’re refusing to make notable spending or economic reforms in return. […]

The Governor’s capitulation may have been triggered by the latest downgrade by Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s in the state bond rating to near junk status, with a warning that another downgrade could come this summer. Mr. Rauner doesn’t want to run for re-election next year as Governor Junk.

Oof.

They do make a good point about how he campaigned on lowering the rate to 3 percent by the end of his first term. He took his eye off that ball almost right away, however, and chose to fight a long, protracted war instead.

…Adding… Just as an aside, this could sting even more because the WSJ’s editorial page editor is Paul Gigot, who attended Dartmouth with Rauner.

…Adding More… The WSJ and Joe Walsh on the same day?…


*** UPDATE ***  Somebody (not me) bought up the GovernorJunk.com website domain name and auto-forwarded it right back to this very post. Click here to see for yourself.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

112 Comments
  1. - Blue Bayou - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 9:33 am:

    They left out his flamboyant promises to make cuts in areas in which he provided neither details nor evidence.

    Did they assess the damage to social services or higher ed? To what this fiasco will cost?

    I note the WSJ Editorial Board does not have to live in the experimental space they envision for others. Why haven’t they fled to Kansas with its dreamy tax structure?


  2. - Jerry 101 - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 9:36 am:

    Blue Bayou -
    Didn’t you hear? Kansas raised taxes!
    Their latest experiment with supply side tax policy failed miserably!!


  3. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 9:37 am:

    I think it’s spelled “capitchulatin.”


  4. - Slippin' Jimmy - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 9:40 am:

    Wondering if his Republican support also weakened?


  5. - pawn - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 9:41 am:

    Governor Junk. It’s catchy. I like it.


  6. - Gruntled University Employee - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 9:41 am:

    Note to Speaker Madigan, You’ve won, he is being eaten by his own. Take The Deal!


  7. - Fax Machine - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 9:48 am:

    Hey, someone just registered GovernorJunk.com this morning according to WhoIs.

    They used a registration proxy service so we don’t know which of the Dems or DGA did it (or maybe Rauner jumped on it so one of the Dems can’t use it)


  8. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 9:52 am:

    The 1.4% see their dream of an ALEC shaped Utopia in Illinois fading fast.


  9. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 9:55 am:

    Trouble in Randian paradise?

    BB makes a good point about the WSJ edit board. They talk a big game for others, but think anything outside the Acela corridor is the frontier, and that you need a passport to travel above 86th Street.

    They vote with their feet, too, and they choose the Upper East Side.


  10. - Cornerfield - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 9:56 am:

    I don’t know, at first blush it sure sounds bad for Rauner, but I also read it as perhaps helping him shift the blame for the tax increase to Madigan.


  11. - Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 9:56 am:

    It always gets nasty when these Ivy Leaguers turn on each other.


  12. - Twirling Towards Freedom - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 9:59 am:

    The line about Democrats refusing to negotiate a budget unless Rauner agreed to a tax hike is such garbage. Never has Rauner suggested anything that would make it even close to possible to enact a budget without a tax increase. Rauner is demanding concessions to agree to a tax increase he knows in inevitable. If Rauner really wants a budget without any tax increases, he should come out and say what he thinks that budget would look like. He’ll never do that because he knows he’d get buried.


  13. - Thoughts Matter - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:06 am:

    I am disappointed in the WSJ. They don’t seem to have even a basic understanding of the financial issues currently facing our state. On top of that, they went for political rhetoric.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:08 am:

    At this point of Rauner’s plan, the jig is found out, but the jig isn’t up.

    Rauner’s thin skin will be hurt for a while, but Rauner will take solace when Eastern Illinois University closes, when Social Services, but not The Ounce, close their doors… Rauner will feel better.

    The only thing that would make it better, besides the WSJ changing their own minds, would be Labor either being crushed by 2018 and or Rauner winning in 2018, getting to sign that next legislative map.

    This probably bruised Bruce’s ego… until he realizes and savors his planned destruction.


  15. - Mr. 305 - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:08 am:

    Way to cherry-pick from an article at the bottom of page 16 in WSJ. Clearly this is a big story! The article states, “mr. Rauner doesn’t want to run….as Governor Junk.” That is not the same as calling him Gov. Junk. The article also goes on to state “The political tragedy is that Mr. Rauner didn’t make thie mess; he was elected to clean it up. Former Govs Rod Blagojevich anr Pat Quinn, a crook wnr a schnook, borrowes some $17 billion through pension obgliation bonds….The biggest culprit is state House Speaker Michael Madiga, who fronts for the government unions. Mr. Madigan hasn’t said if he’ll accept Mr. Rauner’s offer, and perhaps he’s holding out for more concessions. Mr. Rauner may come out the political user, but the citizens or Illinois will sufder most.” Does that sound like the editorial board turned on him? It does not to me; but hey, in the world of fake news, everyone can make up their own facts!


  16. - jim - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:09 am:

    Dems should be happy with R’s capitulation, although he’s indicated all along he’ll trade tax hikes for government reforms.


  17. - Sue - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:10 am:

    What a shock that Rich left out the part in editorial explaining how Rauner inherited this mess from governor crook and governor schnook. Fair and balanced? NOT


  18. - whetstone - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:13 am:

    Behind a paywall; is there anything in the WSJ about the alternatives to raising taxes?

    I’ll give IPI credit: they actually put up a budget without them, and it even, if memory serves, didn’t rely on presumptive, unconstitutional pension changes. It’s a brutal budget, but that’s the realistic alternative.


  19. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:17 am:

    Wow, I thought Rauner was Governor Intransigent, unwilling to compromise on any of the 44 items of his “Turnaround Agenda” and he was solely responsible for the 25+ years of fiscal irresponsibility and mismanagement. The Editorial Board of the Journal should really spend a little time listening to Mike Madigan and his minions throughout the State of Illinois.


  20. - Chicago 20 - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:17 am:

    Reducing the tax rate was a keystone in Rauner’s turn around agenda.

    The theory was reducing the taxes would spur economic growth.

    The reality is it doesn’t work.

    Louisiana, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Michigan and Kansas all tried it and it failed every time.

    Rauner is a failure pushing a failed agenda.


  21. - AnonymousOne - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:17 am:

    Governor Junk! Fabulous and appropriate name for this leader.

    Pretty darn embarrassing when his leadership results are the lead story on national news. Pretty darn embarrassing for what used to be our great state, until this leader took over.

    Now those I know who reside in other functioning states will be calling me asking me if we’re all right. How embarrassing.


  22. - logic not emotion - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:18 am:

    I think Rauner terribly misplayed his hand. If he had negotiated some changes each year and done a deal, he would be able to tout those, he wouldn’t have all the budget baggage, he wouldn’t have some devout Republicans ready to vote Democrat, and his chances of winning reelection to influence the map would be better.


  23. - Daniel Plainview - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:19 am:

    He said in Quincy during the campaign that he could get the rate down to 1%. He and the WSJ edit board are as clueless as they come.


  24. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:19 am:

    Sue, it’s simply not news when the WSJ attacks a Democrat like Madigan way down deep in an editorial. It is news when it whacks a dreamboat Republican like Rauner right off the bat.


  25. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:21 am:

    ===Way to cherry-pick===

    Using its headline and the first four out of five paragraphs would not in any way fall under the definition of “cherry picking.” Go back to the spin room and reload.


  26. - Ron - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:22 am:

    Illinois with a shrinking tax base and one of the highest state and local tax burdens in the nation, may just implode. So sad for a once great state.


  27. - Last Bull Moose - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:22 am:

    The Editorial Board at the WSJ has never been good on economics. Our Econ prof used to assign us to review their editorials and show how they failed to get the economics right.

    Rauner did not understand the financial structure of Illinois and how little flexibility he had on the spending side. Not sure if he has learned it yet.


  28. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:24 am:

    ==What a shock that Rich left out the part in editorial explaining how Rauner inherited this mess==

    Another victim heard from. Do you know how juvenile arguments such as these are?


  29. - Arock - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:24 am:

    I would say they have a basic understanding as the meat of the problems as it relates to past administrations and GA failed to fund the pension system that now consumes over 25% of the budget. Also a political system that has hog tied industry and business with costly over regulation. You can’t promise benefits(pensions & healthcare to retirees) that you aren’t going to make the proper payments in too. What is the constant in all of this is a legislative branch led by Madigan and his goons. Yes OW the man knew about this problem for decades and did nothing to fix this problem, the school funding problem, the corruption and the list goes on and on. But he does have his gerrymandering that is so dear to his heart to keep him in power.


  30. - Mr. 305 - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:25 am:

    - WSJ says Rauner is capitulating, refers to him as “Governor Junk” -

    How is that not misleading when the article actually says he “does not want to run for reelection as Governor Junk.” Referring to him as Governor Junk and the way it was stated in the article are not the same thing.


  31. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:26 am:

    The Governor isn’t agreeing to raise taxes out of some desire to appease the Democrats. The Governor is agreeing to raise taxes because he understands the gravity of the problem and the inability to solve the problem mathematically without raising taxes.


  32. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:29 am:

    ===Referring to him as Governor Junk and the way it was stated in the article are not the same thing===

    As I explained to you offline, this is one definition of the phrase “refer to”

    ===to mention (someone or something) in speech or in writing===


  33. - SAP - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:29 am:

    At least Governor Shnook signed a couple balanced budgets.


  34. - Ron - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:30 am:

    Can we layoff some state workers in the process? Tier 1 all of them.


  35. - don the legend - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:33 am:

    Governor Junk has campaigned non stop on the knowledge that voters won’t go deep into his record.
    Now the Raunerites are upset that Rich didn’t go “far enough down” the WSJ article.
    Sheesh!!


  36. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:33 am:

    ===What is the constant in all of this is a legislative branch led by Madigan and…===

    By nearly every measure, Illinois is worse off since Rauner became governor.

    “Because… Madigan!”

    LOL


  37. - Cook County Commoner - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:33 am:

    What may be more pertinent is that Illinois seems to be appearing in national press and blogs more frequently. And it’s not flattering.


  38. - PlayK8 - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:34 am:

    Que the soundtrack… Governor Bond..Junk Bond.


  39. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:35 am:

    ==Not sure if he has learned it yet.==

    I’m confident he hasn’t learned yet. He hasn’t gotten a grasp on how to govern. I would imagine former businessmen have a hard time figuring out how government works. The limitations aren’t something they are used to.


  40. - ZC - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:36 am:

    >> The Governor isn’t agreeing to raise taxes out of some desire to appease the Democrats. The Governor is agreeing to raise taxes because he understands the gravity of the problem and the inability to solve the problem mathematically without raising taxes.

    And I gather he’s understood that now privately for years.

    Too bad he ran on such a blatantly dishonest platform in 2014 that IL didn’t need a tax increase, that it could -cut- taxes and he’d mumblemumblemumble, magic-beans, I’m-a-Businessman! my-budget-plan-is-coming-any-week-now-whoops-it’s-Election-Day fix everything.

    He deserves to be fired for that alone. I haven’t forgotten nor forgiven.


  41. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:37 am:

    Mr. 305, I added the Joe Walsh update just for you. Thanks for playing. :)


  42. - Glengarry - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:39 am:

    EnRon, how about we lay you off from your keyboard soapbox….probably would save more money.


  43. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:40 am:

    Mr. Walsh:

    Nobody is stuck. You’re free to leave anytime. There are plenty of places you can go and be with like minded folks if you are unsatisfied at your inability to elect like minded folks to office in Illinois.


  44. - cover - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:42 am:

    = Governor Bond..Junk Bond. =

    I feel bad for Illinois’ first Governor, Shadrach Bond.


  45. - tberry - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:43 am:

    Polls show the people of Illinois are against a tax hike.

    The Democrats want a tax hike; the Republicans have no problem with a tax hike; thus, the majority of the people have no champion. Many people are already of the opinion that the total economic failure of the state would be no worse than the status quo or acceptance of any of the proposed solutions. They may just be right!

    This is the kind of thinking that led to Trump’s election—but he did get elected!

    Just something to think about.


  46. - Mr. 305 - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:44 am:

    Appreciated and noted.

    To the update: is it 2010? Who takes a one term congressman from 7 years ago seriously? When has Rauner ever catered to the tea party wing?


  47. - Fax Machine - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:44 am:

    I smell a Rauner v Walsh primary, with William Kelly as his running mate


  48. - Dick Butka - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:44 am:

    ==Can we layoff some state workers in the process? Tier 1 all of them.==

    Does anyone know if this is mathematically feasible? Reducing the size of the state workforce in a courteous and humane manner doesn’t get brought up enough. You’ve got to think that we could cut a lot of government jobs with automation and computers.

    Problem is, it would potentially decimate the middle class of Sangamon County. Oops. Can’t have that……….


  49. - Ron - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:45 am:

    The state also needs to shut down either WIU or EIU. That would save some money. Oh, and close CSU immediately.


  50. - Dan Johnson - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:46 am:

    This post, in a nutshell, is why you kind of have to feel for elected Republicans.

    They all know the math. They all understand the tax cut starting 1/115 is a recklessly dumb expense that we’re paying for in payday lending rates. They know there isn’t any other responsible path than a 5% income tax and now, thanks to the debt the tax cut has created, an expanded sales tax base.

    But their elite opinion leaders and their populist voices and their base deny math.

    They just don’t want to accept the reality of math.

    It puts elected Republicans in a tough spot. (No snark).


  51. - Mr. 305 - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:46 am:

    Adding: I also do not even see how Walsh’s comment is relevant to my original point.


  52. - Ron - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:46 am:

    Of course it’s feasible, Dick Butka. Go to any SoS office and look at all the people doing nothing.


  53. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:47 am:

    Woof, the Rauner Delicate Daisies are in full bloom. And that gentle soul never says a bad word about anyone.

    After you recover from your fainting spells, perhaps you should consider developing an interest in knitting or scrap booking, something that isn’t inherently chock-fulla conflict and different opinions.


  54. - Ron - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:48 am:

    Dan Johnson, if you really did the math, you would see that Illinois is about to implode demographically as we likely go from top five highest state and local tax burden to the highest in the nation.

    Illinois is not California.


  55. - Rod - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:50 am:

    Ultimately its Rich’s blog so I have no problem with his emphasis on certain particularly sharp aspects of the WSJ editorial. It was analytically just a very weak editorial as “Thoughts Matter” post above indicated. I read WSJ regularly and in many respects the level of journalism is superior to that of both the Washington Post and the NY Times. A good editorial explaining what Rauner should be doing in the interests for its readers many of whom may be investors in various forms of public debt by local governments and the State government might be of more value. My guess is WSJ has no idea what he should do and is just taking shots based on its mantra of low taxes equal economic growth.


  56. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:52 am:

    ===It puts elected Republicans in a tough spot.===

    No, you don’t have to feel for elected Republicans. They’ve created the myth that you can cut taxes and still provide services and create an economic Shangri-La if only there were low taxes and no regulation.

    Shangri-La is a fantasyland, but they’ve milked the myth to electoral victory. Now the reap what they’ve sown. It’s called karma.


  57. - Jack Kemp - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:55 am:

    LMAO

    Wow. Wordslinger @10:47 - I have no idea how you were able to type that comment without even a hint of irony.

    Funniest thing I will read today, and I’m only halfway through my second cup of coffee.


  58. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:56 am:

    == Can we layoff some state workers in the process? Tier 1 all of them. ==

    If you are going to do layoffs, it has to be done by the union contracts and Civil Service rules. For the most part, this means the newest hires (Tier 2) will be laid off first, then the Tier 1 people with the least seniority. In the overall scheme of State debt and the non-budget, not that much money would be saved.

    If you want to get rid of Tier 1, offer them an early retirement deal, something like the 2002 ERI “5 & 5″. The 2002 ERI proved it wasn’t good fiscal policy, but it did shift the cost of those (SERS) workers from GRF to the retirement fund.


  59. - Wednesday morning - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:56 am:

    WSJ says Rauner is “the Governor with the worst job in America.” I’d change that to “the Governor doing the worst job of governing in America.”


  60. - Dan Johnson - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:58 am:

    Ron, all those retirees fleeing Illinois’ zero percent state income tax! What a demographic time bomb from our incredible oppressive zero percent income tax for retirees — oh, and their senior citizen property tax freeze!


  61. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 11:00 am:

    “Can we layoff some state workers in the process? Tier 1 all of them.” - Ron

    I’m not a religious person, but one violates the “Golden Rule” at one’s own risk.


  62. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 11:01 am:

    == The state also needs to shut down either WIU or EIU. That would save some money. Oh, and close CSU immediately. ==

    Because the State isn’t paying them anyway, it won’t save any GRF money … and the problem is not enough cash in GRF to pay the State’s bills.

    You know, Ron, statements like yours above make me believe you don’t understand the fiscal working of the State. You seem to have the same misconception Rauner has, that the money can just be shifted on a whim in violation of State law.


  63. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 11:05 am:

    If a first in our Nation’s history of a state challenging the federal government over the right to declare bankruptcy, then “Governor Junk” may be a Koch Brothers “gold star” for Rauner.

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/editorials/2014/06/02/koch-brothers-are-targeting-fair-bankruptcy-deal-detroit/dSAYIrvuIfC3tuhZUknLLK/story.html


  64. - Rabid - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 11:06 am:

    A dog whistle for a strong buy, govenor is bring home the bacon?


  65. - SouthernGirl - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 11:06 am:

    Oklahoma and Kansas just did the same thing. Balancing a budget isn’t just cuts, it’s revenue too, but for some reason that’s become a very bad word.


  66. - StatingTheObvious - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 11:07 am:

    Joe Walsh is “stuck” in Illinois? I will help him pack if he wants to go terrorize people in another state!


  67. - not again - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 11:10 am:

    Hey, Joe Walsh, you are not STUCK here. You’re welcome to leave anytime. Really. I’ll pay for the moving van.


  68. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 11:11 am:

    “- Fax Machine - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 9:48 am:

    Hey, someone just registered GovernorJunk.com this morning according to WhoIs.

    They used a registration proxy service so we don’t know which of the Dems or DGA did it (or maybe Rauner jumped on it so one of the Dems can’t use it)”

    I wonder if this is IPI or Joe Walsh or one of the others on the right who is so upset. May not be someone on the left.


  69. - Chicago 20 - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 11:11 am:

    Walsh is placing the blame on Rauner instead of the failed ideology.


  70. - don the legend - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 11:13 am:

    Runerites, Do you see your ignorant simple solutions to complex problems in all areas of your life? If so please count your blessings every day as you obviously have been spared what most others have not.


  71. - City Zen - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 11:15 am:

    ==Can we layoff some state workers in the process? Tier 1 all of them.==

    Better to freeze Tier 1 salaries indefinitely and let Tier 2 continue on as normal, citing differences in pension costs for each tier.


  72. - not again - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 11:17 am:

    ==- Sue - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:10 am:
    What a shock that Rich left out the part in editorial explaining how Rauner inherited this mess from governor crook and governor schnook. Fair and balanced? NOT==

    Sue, this statement shows your utter lack of actual information. Rauner did not “inherit this mess,” rather he created this current mess.

    Was the state in financial trouble before Rauner? Yes, like 36 other states following the recession. But for all of his faults, Quinn did start us on a road toward rebuilding. Could he have done more? Of course. But we were paying off bills and making cuts. Then Rauner took over. Did Rauner do anything to improve the situation? No. He has made it worse. Instead of swirling toilet water, we are now in the sewer with the rats. Hell, the State may even be the rats at this point.

    We can spend the next decade arguing about how we got to this point, but you have to recognize there is one person — ONE PERSON - elected to LEAD the State. THE GOVERNOR.


  73. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 11:18 am:

    ==Wondering if his Republican support also weakened?==

    I doubt it, at least not as relates to this. The Republican electorate, especially since Hurricane Trump, has become much more suspicious of economic elites, and they don’t get much more L33T than the WSJ. The fact that he’s not effective serving a supply-side agenda doesn’t mean much to them.


  74. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 11:20 am:

    ===I wonder if this is IPI or Joe Walsh or one of the others on the right who is so upset===

    That idea has to scare the heck out of Team Rauner. If the WSJ thing leads to erosion on their right flank, they’re in deep doo doo.


  75. - Ducky LaMoore - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 11:21 am:

    ===Joe Walsh is “stuck” in Illinois? I will help him pack if he wants to go terrorize people in another state!===

    He tried to leave but all his properties outside IL were foreclosed on and it is tough to get a loan when you are six figures behind on child support.


  76. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 11:25 am:

    ==Wondering if his Republican support also weakened?==

    Sooner or later the Republicans will need to distance themselves away from the Rauner implosion or they’ll get dragged into his downfall.


  77. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 11:25 am:

    As a conservative Illinoisan, I must remind my fellow travelers that what Rauner said and campaigned on isn’t acheived by HOW Rauner attempted to enact what he said and campaigned on.

    Favor efficient government?
    Then you’d sicken over this governor’s inefficiencies!

    Favor cutting waste?
    Rauner wasted more billions through sheer ignorance and incompetence than any liberal Nanny Stater!

    Favor a traditional culture?
    Rauner threw away more family-friendly policies or turned his back on more help for working families than a Portland or Santa Monica activist!

    No one who cares about sustainable efficient tax friendly government should support Rauner. His administration has turned ILGOP into a circus filled with Can’t-Do Emmett Kelly characters, or bumbling Rodeo side-show Bobs. Rauner hurt Illinois and ILGOP in ways it will take decades to clean up.


  78. - Sideline Watcher - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 11:29 am:

    Dan Johnson: Ron, all those retirees fleeing Illinois’ zero percent state income tax! What a demographic time bomb from our incredible oppressive zero percent income tax for retirees — oh, and their senior citizen property tax freeze!

    Thank you for pointing that out! It just reinforces the willfully ignorant rantings of people who want everything for nothing. Every time I hear,” if we tax retirement income, they will all leave.”

    Well then ok. They ain’t paying nothing now, even though they get a boat load of benefits. Funny how no one calls them tax eaters. Unless they are poor of course. Then screw ‘em. SMH.


  79. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 11:36 am:

    ==You know, Ron, statements like yours above make me believe you don’t understand the fiscal working of the State.==

    I do not believe a fiscal analysis lies at the root of these suggestions.

    ==What a shock that Rich left out the part in editorial explaining how Rauner inherited this mess from governor crook and governor schnook.==

    #Forever2014


  80. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 11:41 am:

    JK, I’m guessing you have no idea about a lot of things.


  81. - Smitty Irving - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 11:53 am:

    Dick Butka -
    ” … cut a lot of government jobs with automation and computers.” Beyond ignoring the news this week about CMS and Morneau Shepell, you comments are veering very close to the March 24, 2014 comment of Nonplussed
    https://capitolfax.com/wp-mobile.php?p=20796&more=1
    that kiosks or the Internet meant a lot less government employees were needed. He got whacked pretty hard for that, as you may.


  82. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 11:56 am:

    Heh. Click here: Governorjunk.com

    Lol.


  83. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 11:59 am:

    ===Heh. Click here: Governorjunk.com===

    For the record, I didn’t buy that URL and had zero to do with this.

    It is funny, though.


  84. - Lynn S. - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 11:59 am:

    If we’re starting a “Help Joe Walsh move out of state” fund, I’ll toss in $3. Might even make the trip up north to help folks load the truck. Should we slap a “minimum distance” requirement on our assistance, so that our friend Joe doesn’t go just a few miles over the state line and start a pirate radio station broadcasting his drivel back to Illinois?

    On the other hand, a Joe vs.Bruce primary would generate some nice revenue for the media outlets, and could provoke some fascinating discussions within Sinclair Broadcasting.


  85. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 12:10 pm:

    Oh, and just as a reminder, the unpaid bills balance just leaped up to $15.4 billion.

    www.Raunerbudget.com


  86. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 12:23 pm:

    “Gov. Junk” is a no-brainer. The WSJ just went there first.

    The Superstars didn’t see that coming? What were they expecting, Mr. Fiscal Conservative? You have a record on your watch.


  87. - Macbeth - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 12:28 pm:


    You’ve got to think that we could cut a lot of government jobs with automation and computers.

    People always say this. Hey, let’s just replace humans with computers. That’s fine — and that’s what, for example, Amazon is doing — but stop and think about this: who programs those computer? Who runs those computers? Who fixes the hardware when it breaks down? Who updates the software when it needs updating?

    Rauner is decimating — has decimated, essentially — higher education. Higher ed is where programmers learn to program. Sure, you can self-teach — but for the most part, you still need a degree. You elimate in a “humane” way the dummies in the state workforce. Which, according to most folks in Illinois, is 90% of the workforce. I mean, everybody’s a dummy, right? We hear Drury thinks DCFS is populated with slackers. They don’t do anything, they don’t care. So, yeah, let’s just humanely say, okay, Ace, here ya go: pink slip for you.

    Now what? Now you’ve got vacant offices. Who’s gonna install the computers to replace these dummy slackers? Who’s gonna *test* the computers to make sure they do a better job than the idiot slackers?

    Now, you’re faced with a real dilemma: this computer stuff is expensive. The hardware, the softare, and — above all else — the problem-solving human brainpower to run the things. So, yeah, the dummies are gone, but now you’ve got to find smart folks — and fast. Outsource to a foreign country? Sure, try it and see how far it gets you. You’re still gonna pay. And boy are you gonna pay.

    So the “let’s get rid of the dummies and replace them with computers” argument doesn’t make much sense to me. Of course, I’m one of those folks who programs computers — writes code — for a living. Good luck finding people knocking down my door who can do my job. Sure, there are some. But not a lot. Not many at all.


  88. - Ron - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 12:41 pm:

    “Better to freeze Tier 1 salaries indefinitely and let Tier 2 continue on as normal, citing differences in pension costs for each tier.”

    Sounds great to me. Anything to stop the growth of the pension liabilities that have destroyed our state. Also, create tier 3 for all new employees with defined contribution retirement with a 1% or 2% match.


  89. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 12:46 pm:

    == Anything to stop the growth of the pension liabilities ==

    It won’t stop the growth; it will just slow it down a bit by not having the Final Average Compensation increasing.

    For example, for a SERS coordinated employee, their pension (and the associated liability) increases 1.67% for every year they work. For non-coordinated, the increase is 2.2%.


  90. - City Zen - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 1:09 pm:

    ==It just reinforces the willfully ignorant rantings of people who want everything for nothing. Every time I hear,” if we tax retirement income, they will all leave…Funny how no one calls them tax eaters.==

    What’s the term folks here use for state workers who don’t want to pay fair share fees (Janus v. AFSCME)? Was it freeriders or freeloaders? Apply it to our un-taxed elders?


  91. - Ron - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 1:11 pm:

    It won’t stop the growth; it will just slow it down a bit by not having the Final Average Compensation increasing.

    Sounds fantastic.


  92. - Newsclown - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 1:13 pm:

    The Illinois state song has now been updated in accordance with the fine fiscal shape Rauner has put us in:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O20Sljxmy9M


  93. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 1:54 pm:

    You mean the fiscal state that Edgar, Ryan, Blags, Madigan and Cullerton put us in?


  94. - NoGifts - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 2:34 pm:

    I especially love the “junk” double entendre.


  95. - City Zen - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 2:34 pm:

    ==You mean the fiscal state that Edgar, Ryan, Blags, Madigan and Cullerton put us in?==

    Rauner deserves at least “featuring” credits. He’s like the Lil’ Wayne of Illinois politics.


  96. - SAP - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 2:38 pm:

    A faster way to stop growth in unfunded pension liability is for the state to actually make its required contribution on time instead of years later with gobs of interest on top.


  97. - Ron - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 2:43 pm:

    A faster way to stop growth in unfunded pension liability is for the state to actually make its required contribution on time instead of years later with gobs of interest on top.

    With what money?


  98. - Ron - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 2:44 pm:

    SAP, can we sue Edgar?


  99. - Ron - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 2:44 pm:

    And Madigan?


  100. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 3:01 pm:

    And now someone else is gettin’ in on the action.

    https://twitter.com/GovernorJunk

    Can I get an amen to bring us to 100?


  101. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 3:18 pm:

    Ron:

    Pensions have to be paid. Get over it. Tier II addressed the problem going forward. Tier I is what it is. No amount of stomping of feet is going to change the situation. I prefer to focus on solving problems rather than trying to wish something wasn’t the way it was.


  102. - Annonin' - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 3:24 pm:

    Will need evaluate if DOpeyDuct morphs to GovernorJunk.


  103. - Ron - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 3:30 pm:

    Until they can’t be paid. Which is likely what will happen in Illinois. Shrinking tax base and potentially the highest state on local tax burden in the nation.

    Puerto Rico, here we come!


  104. - don the legend - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 3:51 pm:

    Will somebody bump Ron. The needle is stuck.


  105. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 3:52 pm:

    ===Will somebody bump Ron===

    Or maybe unplug him for 30 seconds.


  106. - Ron - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 4:01 pm:

    Not sure what part of declining population and highest tax burden in the nation you folks don’t get.

    Illinois ain’t California.


  107. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 4:45 pm:

    == A faster way to stop growth in unfunded pension liability is for the state to actually make its required contribution on time instead of years later with gobs of interest on top.

    With what money? ==

    If I remember the studies correctly, it will take between $1B and $1.5B more than the currently scheduled level to reach actuarial (flat mortgage type) level payments. That’s something like another 0.35% - 0.50% on the flat income tax rate.


  108. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 5:53 pm:

    ==Sounds great to me.==

    It’s fun to play with other people’s lives…


  109. - anonymous - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 6:09 pm:

    Doesn’t Walsh and IPI work for Rauner? Who they kiddin?


  110. - Chicago 20 - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 7:25 pm:

    Illinois ain’t New Jersey, Louisiana, Michigan, Wisconsin or Kansas either.


  111. - Me Again - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 11:23 pm:

    I think that “Ron” is actually “Governor Junk” himself in disguise!


  112. - Former state employee - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 11:28 pm:

    My dentist is still owed a couple grand for work he did for our family. Embarrassing!


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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