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The Tribune editorial board rides to the rescue

Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Oy

So: Has state government’s fiscal condition worsened under Rauner? Yes, it has, largely because he won’t go along with budget gimmicks and because he wants reforms that would give employers confidence in Illinois’ economic climate and future governance.

He won’t go along with budget gimmicks?


* For crying out loud, go back to his very first proposed budget. This is from the spring of 2015

In a scathing report being released this morning, the Civic Federation, a Chicago watchdog group largely funded with corporate cash, says the new governor’s $31.5 billion operating budget does not add up and asserts that it could leave the state in worse shape than it was under former Gov. Pat Quinn. […]

For instance, it says Rauner’s budget assumes $2.2 billion in immediate pension savings from changes that have not yet even been introduced to the General Assembly, much less approved or run through a gantlet of probable legal challenges. “It is unlikely that the governor’s new reform proposal could be implemented in FY 2016, and the state’s fiscal condition would worsen if the savings were budgeted but not achieved,” it says. And passage of a possible constitutional amendment to clear the legal path is “not feasible” next year.

Also “unrealistic,” the report says, is a projected $655 million cut in spending on group health insurance for state workers—a reduction of about one-third. Similarly, cuts of hundreds of millions of dollars in Medicaid and other social welfare programs will require the approval of federal officials or federal judges. For instance, it says, a proposed $167 million reduction in support for young adults who were in the foster care system could run afoul of a 1991 consent decree requiring the state to provide such coverage.

And then, year after year, it only got worse. And his current budget proposal is full of things like magical pension savings and one-time fund transfers.


  1. - Galena Guy - Saturday, Jun 24, 17 @ 11:02 am:

    What else would you expect from the Trib? SMH.

  2. - Roman - Saturday, Jun 24, 17 @ 11:04 am:

    Let’s not forget “working on a Grand Bargain.”

    Yes, actually wrote that into a budget document. Nothing gimmicky about that.

  3. - Driveby - Saturday, Jun 24, 17 @ 11:09 am:

    Catastrophe was certain before Rauner took office. It was just the math, that Rich and so many others always denied. Yes, Rauner has made major errors, but it would have made little difference had he not. This whole “Rauner’s fault” spin is just a despicable continuation of the lies.

  4. - wordslinger - Saturday, Jun 24, 17 @ 11:23 am:

    They’re either willfully ignorant or terrible liars.

    Either way, it’s a conscious choice. What a way to make a living. Must sting sometimes.

  5. - Lt Guv - Saturday, Jun 24, 17 @ 11:28 am:

    Rich, you want reality. C’mon. . . you know better.

  6. - Oswego Willy - Saturday, Jun 24, 17 @ 11:28 am:

    ===Has state government’s fiscal condition worsened under Rauner? Yes, it has, largely because he won’t go along with budget gimmicks and because he wants reforms that would give employers confidence in Illinois’ economic climate and future governance.===

    1.4% or $500+ million is the Rauner ROI.

    By nearly every measure, Illinois is worse off since Rauner became governor… for 1.4% or $500+ million.

    Is that what the Trib is saying? That’s fun.

    That’s fun to think the billions of forced debt, social service closings, state universities crumbling… is worth all this Rauner damage, “Because…

    … “… he (Rauner) wants reforms that would give employers confidence in Illinois’ economic climate and future governance.”

    … that the Governor’s crew measure out… failing to cover costs of the damage… but might make businesses feel good?

    I could ask the Civic Committee but they said a budget, with revenue, would do more than…

    …”… reforms that would give employers confidence in Illinois’ economic climate and future governance.”

    K? K.

  7. - northsider (the original) - Saturday, Jun 24, 17 @ 11:34 am:

    Brilliant words from the editorial board that endorsed Gary Johnson for president.

  8. - Oswego Willy - Saturday, Jun 24, 17 @ 11:34 am:

    ===Yes, Rauner has made major errors, but it would have made little difference had he not.===

    A budget existing would have had little difference?

    ===This whole “Rauner’s fault” spin is just a despicable continuation of… ===


    Rauner having no budget, social services not getting paid, higher education being crushed…. all on Rauner, all Rauner’s choices.

    Willfully ignorant, blissfully unaware, I let you choose which describes you.

  9. - perry noya - Saturday, Jun 24, 17 @ 11:39 am:

    Driveby, ignoring your partisan ranting, just raising a factual question: When did Rich ignore the math?

  10. - Anonymous - Saturday, Jun 24, 17 @ 12:06 pm:

    Trib ed board = lint

  11. - Captain Ed Smith - Saturday, Jun 24, 17 @ 12:11 pm:

    The only budget gimmicks that have been proposed in the past 2 1/2 years were by the Governor; Illinois is worse off because pro-business agenda that has nothing to do with the budget.

    The GA should just give him a balanced budget with no new revenue, the workers’ compensation reform he desires and his 4 year property tax cap and see how long it takes those pro-business reforms to pay off the $14 billion backlog.

  12. - Moe Berg - Saturday, Jun 24, 17 @ 12:22 pm:

    I suppose there are portions of the northern and western suburbs that care what the Trib thinks. But, otherwise I have to take a few breaths and realize that they are the equivalent of a drunk rambling on a bar stool in terms of their impact on events.

    Crain’s has overtaken the Trib as the state’s most relevant publication and, though not perfect, generally has a sane editorial perspective.

    Democrats should boycott the Trib’s endorsement process, since it has made clear it is only an adjunct of the Rauner messaging apparatus.

  13. - AnonymousOne - Saturday, Jun 24, 17 @ 12:38 pm:

    The Trib is nothing more than a better packaged Enquirer or Star. No one should take their word for anything but it’s disturbing that many do, especially in the suburbs. Their “facts” are misleading and often (more often than not) incorrect.

    But what’s realy disturbing is that no publication presents facts as they are anymore without the slant and editorializing of them.

    Where does one actually get cold factual information anymore?

  14. - Chicago Cynic - Saturday, Jun 24, 17 @ 12:51 pm:

    That level of delusion from the Trib never ceases to amaze and disappoint me. Tribsters - simple fact - Rauner has NEVER PRESENTED A BALANCED BUDGET. Never. Each budget has been more out of balance than the previous one.

    So you can say every mean thing on the planet about Madigan. But you can’t change this one inescapable fact. Your hero is a villain.

  15. - Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner - Saturday, Jun 24, 17 @ 1:45 pm:

    Let’s give these guys some credit. It was, after all, the Trib editorial page that had the insight to see Chicago needs another Katrina.

  16. - wordslinger - Saturday, Jun 24, 17 @ 2:22 pm:

    –Catastrophe was certain before Rauner took office. It was just the math, that Rich and so many others always denied. Yes, Rauner has made major errors, but it would have made little difference had he not. This whole “Rauner’s fault” spin is just a despicable continuation of the lies.–

    What math has been “ignored,” Pythagoras?

    You know, a sovereign state has the ability to adjust the math, on either side of the tax or spending equation.

    You pretend that the governor’s stated, public strategy since taking office in Jan. 2015 has not taken place. He’s been very open about no budget until certain pre-conditions are met. The results to the GRF operating deficit and any spending outside of court orders has been predictable.

    What do you get for that willful denial, Slick, Green Stamps?

  17. - Conn Smythe - Saturday, Jun 24, 17 @ 2:56 pm:

    Forget about what he’s proposed– look at what he’s had to sign to keep things afloat. A sweeps bill in 2015, tapping into special funds to keep higher ed and human services afloat last year. There’s probably not been a governor that’s benefitted more from “budgetary tricks” than BVR.

  18. - Telly - Saturday, Jun 24, 17 @ 5:14 pm:

    I agree with most of the Trib’s hits on Madigan, but they are beyond straining all credibility here.

    Newspaper editorial boards just don’t go in the tank for an elected official the way the Trib has for Rauner.

    The Illinois Policy Institute, which Rauner helped start with a $500k donation, has been more critical of the governor lately.

  19. - the Cardinal - Saturday, Jun 24, 17 @ 9:29 pm:

    The notion this was going to happen is correct it was just a matter of time. You cannot spend and spend and spend (ad infinitum ad nuaseum) and not reach a revenue breaking point.
    Major Tax increases were always part of the equation. The issue here is that NO One expected some outsider to ride into town (on a harley) and stick to his guns like Rauner has. The rank and file on both sides are now scared out of thier wits to cross thier leaders (instead of just one) which has created this clash of titans. Really wish someone on either side (or both) would stand up and do the right thing for the State and the people not just the party mechanism. Of course that is a very subjective notion.

  20. - Rabid - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 3:47 am:

    My govenor campaigned on the hidden turnaround agenda plan he kept in the dark, because the math didn’t add up. The turnaround standard bearer comptroller fell flat waving his flag

  21. - Lance Mannion - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 8:10 am:

    This gathering place of ideologues against the Trib is … funny. Sort of anyway.

    The Trib hit the nail on the head. Things have gotten worse because Rauner hasn’t bowed to Madigan’s BS.

  22. - Oswego Willy - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 8:14 am:

    ===Things have gotten worse because Rauner hasn’t bowed to Madigan’s BS.===


    “By nearly every measure, the state is worse off since Rauner took office.”

    What was before this line?

    “But Madigan is not the governor. Rauner is. And there’s no way to deny it:.. ”

    Governors. They own their time, fair or not fair, but even Candidate Rauner made clear… governors own.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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