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McSweeney’s path forward for the GOP

Thursday, Jan 17, 2019

* Rep. Dave McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills)…

“You can’t be for big government, big taxes, and big bureaucracy and still be for the little guy.” -Ronald Reagan

The most recent election night was not kind to Republicans in Illinois. Former Governor Bruce Rauner, who didn’t accomplish anything as Governor and presided over a massive tax hike and more out of control spending, was defeated in a landslide. The election was not a repudiation of Republican ideas – it was a repudiation of Raunerism.

The Democrats led by Governor Pritzker may be pushing Illinois to become the California of the Midwest, but we are still a long way from that. There is a path to victory for Republicans in Illinois.

The Republican Party will always lose statewide in Illinois if it doesn’t give voters a clear choice on economic issues. The Republican Party must stand united for lower taxes, less spending and real reform.

Republicans have made significant gains in the rural parts of Illinois. Districts that were once Democrat strongholds are becoming Republican districts, but the gains in downstate are not enough to overcome big losses in the suburbs. If the Republican Party is going to turn its election fortunes around, the party must be able to win in both downstate Illinois and in the suburbs.

Republicans must first focus on advancing a positive agenda for Illinois. Only talking about House Speaker Michael Madigan is not a cohesive message. The best way to weaken Speaker Madigan is for Republicans to pick up legislative seats. Republicans must make the case that big government and high taxes are hurting, not helping, regular people.

We must show how these taxes are hurting real families and make an appeal to stop driving families out of Illinois by continuing to raise taxes. Republicans must go on the offensive.

The progressive income tax, the linchpin of the Pritzker plan, wouldn’t hurt the wealthy a lot - they can easily move out of Illinois. It would harm the middle class. There is a reason we do not see a tax rate schedule from those supporting the progressive income tax. They do not want voters to see exactly who the progressive income tax will affect. Do you really trust Illinois career politicians to set your tax rates?

The Illinois Republican Party also needs to stand united for cutting property taxes. Specifically, the General Assembly should extend the statewide property tax cap (PTELL) to all units of government (including home rule units of government) and then mandate a 10 percent cut in property taxes levies over two years (5 percent per year). Property tax would then be permanently frozen unless local voters approve an increase.

Local governments would be forced to cut administrative expenses and make hard spending decisions just like Illinois families are required to do every day. Illinois has 7,000 units of local government. The key to long-term lower property taxes is to give voters the right to consolidate many local governments.

Republicans must oppose tax increases and offer solutions to reduce the cost of government. The most meaningful way to reduce spending is to enact meaningful pension reform. Arizona, like Illinois, has a Constitution that makes changing pension benefits very difficult. The best path for Illinois is to follow the Arizona model and, as part of an overall negotiation with unions on other issues, pass a constitutional amendment to limit annual benefit increases. Also, all new state workers should participate in a 401(k) plan.

Another important way to reduce Illinois spending is to do a much better job of managing the state’s Medicaid program. In addition to eliminating Medicaid waste and fraud, Illinois should be actively pursuing multiple innovative waivers that would save money and make the program more efficient. We should also be aggressively fighting to increase the federal government’s unfairly low 50 percent Medicaid matching percentage for Illinois. Many other states are receiving a far higher percentage of federal support.

In addition, Republicans need to present a positive agenda on health care. Republicans must strongly make the case for keeping coverage for pre-existing conditions at the state and national levels. Republicans must promote cost savings ideas such as allowing health care to be purchased on a national basis, providing vouchers for low income families to purchase health insurance and enacting meaningful medical malpractice reforms.

Finally, Illinois Republicans must recruit better candidates to run and that recruiting process must begin now – not later. Republicans must look for candidates who can connect with voters and offer fresh ideas. These candidates must be inclusive and must be diverse and most importantly must stand for something. Republicans Party leaders must also focus on better integrating the use of technology and vote by mail programs in their campaign strategies. Most importantly, Republican candidates need to work harder to keep up with their well-organized Democratic opponents.

Illinois Republicans must rally around lower taxes and meaningful reforms as the only way to save the middle class and stop the mass exodus from Illinois. As Ronald Reagan said, “Simple fairness dictates that government must not raise taxes on families struggling to pay their bills.”

It is time for Republicans to rally around the message of standing up for the people of Illinois by supporting sound economic policies that can turn our state around. If we do that, we can win again.

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

73 Comments
  1. - AlfondoGonz - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 12:45 pm:

    Republicans are irrelevant in Illinois if they can’t win in the collar counties. Republicans can’t win in the collar counties as long as “Trump” is the first thing voters associate with “Republican.”

    Republicans won’t have a prayer in Illinois until 2022, at the earliest.


  2. - Blue Dog Dem - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 12:47 pm:

    Like Sen Schimpf yesterday, Republicans only want to reduce govt spending in other people’s districts. Stop the hypocrisy first. Then you might make some believers.


  3. - LizPhairTax - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 12:48 pm:

    Writing is editing


  4. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 12:50 pm:

    I will have much, much, MUCH more to add.

    This needs to be alone. It’s critical if Rep. McSweeney wants to make this about taxes, and smaller government, which, I’m not against, not at all, but…

    Rep. McSweeney, you can’t be economically rallying Republicans with less taxes and less government without fully explaining, in transparent detail as you have on where you want the cuts without that same transparency on where money will be cut, what areas will feel the cuts, and the rationale for cutting, some very severely, programs, agencies, and departments.

    I will delve into the political, but, for me to begin that discussion, this glaring miss is also what voters need to know… to trust us.

    OW


  5. - Saratoga - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 12:51 pm:

    This is why mcsweeney is so good. He fills voids. Agree or disagree with his points but he’s filling a void for republicans and laying out an agenda in a thoughtful manner and trying to move the party beyond the glib and caustic comments the IRP leadership is pushing. This is something Brady or Durkin should do also.


  6. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 12:52 pm:

    Pension reform already happened in 2011 numskull. I am already paying for GOP governor’s giveaways.

    Tier 2 pensions are probably less expensive than a comprehensive matching 401(k) plan would be for the state.

    Not to mention it would finally tank the illinois deficit once we arent contributing to the pension fund.

    The solution to failed raunerism… Is raunerism. Snore.


  7. - Red Ranger - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 12:52 pm:

    A couple things, first and this is a honest question, can the state legally tell local governments to cut their levies by 10%? Would the state have to use the threat of cutting off all state aid if they do not cut their levies by 10%? Does the state have the power to do this?

    Second, the reason that IL gets a 50% match in Medicaid is because we are a relatively wealthy state. Mississippi gets a much higher match than we do because they are much poorer than we are. Not sure how we “fight” for a higher match.


  8. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 12:52 pm:

    ===In addition to eliminating Medicaid waste and fraud===

    To my “above”, it’s this ignorance to actual numbers and putting off actual impact that will continue to repel voters, as Rauner himself used “waste, fraud, abuse”


  9. - Honeybear - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 12:52 pm:

    “The progressive income tax, the linchpin of the Pritzker plan, wouldn’t hurt the wealthy a lot”

    I’d go further. It won’t hurt them at all since income inequality has created the greatest cushion between income classes in human history IMHO.
    Like California, New York, etc, higher taxes have not driven off the rich.


  10. - Ray del Camino - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 12:53 pm:

    Hey, Dave–

    How you gonna pay for the stuff Illinois residents want when you swear to God you’re gonna take away the revenue source? (And can we *please* have some grownup data on how taxes cause people to move to another state? Wouldn’t moving costs eat up any savings?)


  11. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 12:54 pm:

    ===Does the state have the power to do this?
    ===

    Yep. The state created those local governments. Read up a little on federalism, although the states’ national powers got clipped by the Civil War and subsequent constitutional amendments.


  12. - Generic Drone - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 12:55 pm:

    Sure. Republicans are for the little guy like air traffic controllers


  13. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 12:55 pm:

    ===The most meaningful way to reduce spending is to enact meaningful pension reform. Arizona, like Illinois, has a Constitution that makes changing pension benefits very difficult. The best path for Illinois is to follow the Arizona model and, as part of an overall negotiation with unions on other issues, pass a constitutional amendment to limit annual benefit increases. Also, all new state workers should participate in a 401(k) plan.===

    71/36 signature, voters…

    Pushing this as a solution where at least in the next 4 years will be virtually impossible, we Republicans again will face “all they do is talk about this, want to do that, but won’t look at doing the doable to get to a bigger better bipartisan solution”.

    Again, without even going political yet, the fiscal rallying must be actual not theoretical wants and hopes.


  14. - Truthteller - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 12:55 pm:

    Statistics show the wealthy do not move out when state taxes go up. I would be proud if Illinois could be the California of the Midwest, budget surpluses, better min wages,


  15. - Brendan - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 12:56 pm:

    AlfondoGonz - If JB deos a good job, it may be a much much longer time than that.


  16. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 12:57 pm:

    This: “The Republican Party must stand united for lower taxes, less spending and real reform.”

    Seems disconnected from this: “Republicans must strongly make the case for keeping coverage for pre-existing conditions at the state and national levels. Republicans must promote cost savings ideas such as allowing health care to be purchased on a national basis, providing vouchers for low income families to purchase health insurance and enacting meaningful medical malpractice reforms.”

    It’s possible you could find some savings in healthcare costs by limiting malpractice awards or other reform, but I don’t think you’d save enough to bend the cost curve. Similarly, allowing health insurance to be sold nationally might save some money, but then what he’s really proposing is a national health insurance market that his party has long opposed.

    In healthcare like everything else, you get what you pay for. I’m open to good ideas that expand coverage while lowering costs. Lord knows we pay more for healthcare than any nation on the planet but we trail in many health outcomes.

    Also, I’m glad McSweeney finally agrees with President Obama on this stuff. He’s a little late to the game, but hey, better late than never.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 12:58 pm:

    ===This is why mcsweeney is so good. He fills voids…===

    (Sigh)

    ===In addition to eliminating Medicaid waste and fraud===

    This is void of actual facts. I know this because for “decades” we’re still chasing … “waste, fraud, and abuse”


  18. - lostintranslation - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 12:59 pm:

    ===“You can’t be for big government, big taxes, and big bureaucracy and still be for the little guy.” -Ronald Reagan===

    I’m sure the little guy is thrilled that “his” Social Security started being taxed in 1984 while the wealthiest received a huge tax rate cut.

    There seems to be a trend in support for increasing taxes on the wealthiest.

    https://thehill.com/hilltv/what-americas-thinking/425422-a-majority-of-americans-support-raising-the-top-tax-rate-to-70


  19. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 12:59 pm:

    “The Democrats led by Governor Pritzker may be pushing Illinois to become the California of the Midwest”

    That’s a bad thing? California seems to be doing pretty well these days.

    Put this together with his push for a “higher match” for Medicaid and big spending cuts and it looks like McSweeney’s model for what Illinois should be like is Mississippi or Alabama. Sorry, but I’ll pass. I would like Illinois to be more like California.


  20. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 12:59 pm:

    Same old, same old, and really old—the views of the aging Republican base.

    Many who complain about debt want to cut government for those who need it most, but they are lavishing tax dollars on those who need them least without caring about debt. Where are the tears and angst over the debt Bruce Rauner caused, and the debt Trump is causing from massive tax cuts for the wealthy?

    It’s about a moral statement, and in Illinois, many hold the view that we should help those who need it most and raise taxes on those who can most afford to pay. This is the best time to try to get a progressive income tax and fix the long-standing moral problem of the wealthiest paying low state income taxes.


  21. - The Captain - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:01 pm:

    The election was not a repudiation of Republican ideas – it was a repudiation of Raunerism.

    This is true … if you ignore the results of every other election at the state and national level held on that same day.

    Also, two consecutive days, two consecutive white papers written by Republican white men (in fairness, that’s kind of all that’s left), neither of which acknowledges the toxicity that has driven suburban women from the party and neither of which offers a remedy. McSweeney indirectly addresses it by advocating for a diverse recruiting program and pledging to commit to pre-existing condition protection, I guess.


  22. - Pundent - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:01 pm:

    I would disagree with much of what McSweeney lays out from a policy standpoint. But his approach is demonstrably better than anything I see or hear from party leadership today.


  23. - Dome Gnome - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:02 pm:

    I live in a suburban collar county that has recoiled from Trump and Rauner quicker than if we’d touched the surface of a searing hot stove. I think this danger will stay in our memory banks for a long time to come.


  24. - ste_wit a v_en - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:04 pm:

    Based on the exit polls from the last election, 1.5 million votes for Pritzker were to send a message of disapproval for Trump. Rauner got 1.7 million total. Not one mention of pushing for fair maps, or maybe expanding the base of voters, or even being critical the national Republicans on any level. If Republicans lose in 2020, who is he going to blame then?


  25. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:05 pm:

    The solution to failed raunerism… Is raunerism. Snore.

    This . All day. I could add much more, but Anonymous at 12:52 summed up my thoughts as I read down the list. I will say this - Anyone who stlll pushes putting state workers into a 401k plan and ending pensions (instead of the bad Tier 2 plan new employees now receive)without understanding how much more it will cost the taxpayers of this state loses my confidence in their ability to help run the government


  26. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:07 pm:

    ===The election was not a repudiation of Republican ideas – it was a repudiation of Raunerism.===

    Voters couldn’t help but connect the two, as Rauner bought the brand, ruined the brand, then left the brand “broke” with some ridiculous statewide candidates, who were then starved to try to help Rauner himself.

    If anything, a mea culpa as a party, to the STATE, as a STATE party outside the national norm… that’s the real crux that needs to be addressed.

    Pointing at Rauner and then not accepting the complicit nature of being wholly owned by a Raunerism won’t move people to give the ILGOP another look on state issues.

    This sentence by Rep. McSweeney seems complete but is one half of a problem that needs addressing.


  27. - Anon E Moose - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:09 pm:

    What is up with Republicans are their devotion to St. Reagan? That was 31 years ago. And he did some truly awful things while in power.


  28. - Perrid - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:10 pm:

    “Do you really trust Illinois career politicians to set your tax rates?”
    Uhh… what? He’s upset that the government sets tax rates?
    And then he wants to cut revenue first, and hope than we can THEN figure out what cuts to make, and hope that the cuts don’t end in catastrophe. Frankly, and I’m sorry for the insult, that is beyond idiotic. Make the cuts to spending FIRST if you’re going to do it, and then match the revenue to it. Don’t decide how much money you want, and then try to figure out where you can keep the lights on.
    As to “the federal government’s unfairly low 50 percent Medicaid matching percentage for Illinois”, that formula is set by IL’s per capita income. IL is a rich state, so we get less federal help. Technically McSweeney is saying he wants IL to be poorer, so that we can get more federal money. Doubt he realizes that.


  29. - Cosgrove - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:10 pm:

    No doubt he/they still think running right-wing crazies who want to make abortion and birth control illegal is “the path forward for the GOP.”


  30. - Give Me A Break - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:10 pm:

    “You can’t be for big government, big taxes, and big bureaucracy and still be for the little guy.” -Ronald Reagan

    Clearly Ronny never saw the Sangamon County GOP. The party of smaller gvt who lives at the trough of State and County employment for their party members.


  31. - Ducky LaMoore - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:11 pm:

    “You can’t be for big government, big taxes, and big bureaucracy and still be for the little guy.” -Ronald Reagan

    Yet the most economically equal countries have all three. Spoiler alert… most have less crime per capita as well. He really lost me with that particular Reagan quote. The data does not back up that assumption at all.


  32. - Union thug - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:12 pm:

    Isn’t Cali the 7th largest economy in the world? Don’t they have budget surpluses? Don’t they have higher wages? Why is this all bad? On the “waste fraud and abuse” didn’t the last Republican governor address this over the last four years or did he jus like about that to?


  33. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:15 pm:

    Rep. McSweeney forgets that budgets, fiscal decisions, financial documents outlining government spending also outline social agendas too.

    A budget is a weighing and measuring of not only fiscal policy he discusses, but the social agenda matrix of where Republicans see monies in social issues, and where we don’t, and while this Medicaid thing and pre-existing arm are discussed, again, these cuts in taxes means less revenue so where in a social agenda will these cuts be found, and… can Republicans be a party to attract not only white rural voters, but urban minority, suburban women, and voters under the age of 25?

    Saying “Reagan” is not weighing or measuring a social agenda that will be faced by voters… no matter age, gender, location, and economic plight


  34. - Annonin' - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:16 pm:

    A lot of illogical mumbo jumbo. We should take 90 days from Dave.
    He fails to suggest one program or service to repeal. Dave make your list, draft your Bill’s and go get some votes. Your plan leaves everything on the books but cuts the way to fund. Utter nonsense.
    How about we dig into Big Rx spending and make them offer real prices? Try that.


  35. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:18 pm:

    Raunerism failed, but I’m sure McSweeney-ism is the ticket to GOP success.


  36. - anon2 - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:22 pm:

    McSweeney has a clear ideological vision. If the party follows his lead, however, then there will be no bipartisanship on the capital plan, which requires new revenues.

    Speaking of Reagan, while he cut income taxes, he raised regressive Social Security taxes that more Americans pay, as well as assorted other tax hikes. So Reagan was not a rigid ideologue when it came to tax hikes.


  37. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:24 pm:

    =offer fresh ideas=

    Next line, Ronald Reagan quote. That’s not a party looking forward, that’s a party looking backwards. All that’s missing is a “Make Illinois Great Again” hat.


  38. - Arsenal - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:27 pm:

    ==The election was not a repudiation of Republican ideas – it was a repudiation of Raunerism.==

    What’s the difference? McSweeney certainly doesn’t articulate one. No progressive income tax, cut property taxes, cut people’s retirement and Medicaid. Rauner tried all that. He campaigned on all that.


  39. - Can't Believe It's Not Willie - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:30 pm:

    “…The most recent election night was not kind to Republicans in Illinois. Former Governor Bruce Rauner, who didn’t accomplish anything as Governor and presided over a massive tax hike and more out of control spending, was defeated in a landslide. The election was not a repudiation of Republican ideas – it was a repudiation of Raunerism…”

    Governors Own. They always do.


  40. - Dirty Red - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:30 pm:

    I think there is more viability to this offering than what was offered yesterday. Better recruiting is certainly a must. I do not know that rallying against becoming “the California of the Midwest” and quoting Reagan is the best idea. Raging against taxes might win some votes in DuPage, Lake, and even Cook, but it really boxes you in after victory. Bush 41 is a great example of how that strategy could play out long-term.

    (That’s not to say taxes should not be addressed, but if you hope to win for more than four years you had better have a solution that works and can get the necessary 60-30-1.)

    The people who will decide the GOP’s future are the ones Republicans are calling right now and asking, “What should I do now?” and, “Can you help me?” With all due respect to the Representative and Senator that offered their visions in op-eds, I do not think they are on the receiving end of those calls. We might see in a “newspaper” a vision from one of the individuals that is, but, lest we forget, Jonah Edelman did something similar. His opponents ended up cashing his dividend checks over that decision.

    “Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.”


  41. - Skeptic - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:32 pm:

    ===This is why mcsweeney is so good. He fills voids…===

    (Sigh)

    In his defense…filling a pothole with yesterday’s newspapers *is* filling a void.


  42. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:38 pm:

    Ok…

    Let’s go to the political, as this fiscal manefesto to the building a party where we “blame Raunerism” but not apologize for practicing Raunerism too far.

    (Sigh)

    ===Illinois Republicans must recruit better candidates to run and that recruiting process must begin now – not later. Republicans must look for candidates who can connect with voters and offer fresh ideas. These candidates must be inclusive and must be diverse and most importantly must stand for something. Republicans Party leaders must also focus on better integrating the use of technology and vote by mail programs in their campaign strategies. Most importantly, Republican candidates need to work harder to keep up with their well-organized Democratic opponents.===

    Ok. Here’s Rep. McSweeney’s political pitch to moving forward.

    Of all the words in this manifesto, here’s the political party building.

    “…Illinois Republicans must recruit better candidates to run and that recruiting process must begin now – not later.”

    Beaubiens and Murphys, Mulligans and Petersens. Rep. McSweeney is old enough to remember them all. However, in his recruiting, and… you add this fiscal manifesto that Republicans should rally around… where are these new ideas and open tent building going to find a common ground when the fiscal is usually the one most used for the rallying, but where is the flexibility of the Reagan Rule too?

    “Republicans must look for candidates who can connect with voters and offer fresh ideas.”

    They must mirror their districts while still being able to adhere to the Reagan Rule of 80%, Representative. That is the challenge and charge, then work that district within the parameters I see in my previous sentence. You are being too cute by half, threading a needle that needs not to be so small.

    “These candidates must be inclusive and must be diverse and most importantly must stand for something.”

    If something to rally is the fiscal parameters that need to unify, you can’t have this sentence without clearly having a social agenda that can be parsed too… to an 80% agreement that mirrors the district too.

    You can’t type as many words as Rep. McSweeney did without clarity to thought that is lost in simplistic sentences.

    “Republicans Party leaders must also focus on better integrating the use of technology and vote by mail programs in their campaign strategies.”

    That’s a party function, candidate function, political function. Ok. Agree. Next.

    “Most importantly, Republican candidates need to work harder to keep up with their well-organized Democratic opponents.”

    Working harder is critical, but Raunerism’s defeat wasn’t the lack of work or messaging, but was the measure of unpopularity.


  43. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:39 pm:

    Many are missing the point here. California’s largest in the country (by a massive margin) is not bad, that isn’t what McSweeny is talking about.

    His whole message avoids stating directly what his point is.

    Somewhere along the way the ILGOP decided that paying bills that are due, namely the pensions that hey absolutely hate and want to welch on. His whole statement is just an indirect way of saying that.

    Cut local levies 10%? Why? Why is 10% a magic number? What are the demonstrable outcomes beside saying that it was made? What data supports an uptick in anything?

    Local levies are local dollars and do not effect the state budget or revenues in any way. Just pandering for the sake of pandering.

    McSweeney, same old same old. Rauner cost us a ton of money and the McSweeney’s of the world will do the same thing.


  44. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:40 pm:

    I have to give Rep. McSweeney great props for the Twitter rips on Rauner as he was leaving. Bravo. Terrible way to leave when your own party members (Ives, too) trashes you on your way out.


  45. - Can - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:45 pm:

    These “path forward” pieces are some of the most unintentionally hilarious things I’ve read in a while. Yesterday was Barickman, today is McSweeney. Who’s turn is it tomorrow? LOL.

    Earth to the GOP: The party that hates government has no idea how to run government. And regular, everyday voters are tuning into this fact nationally and locally. Your intellectually bankrupt ideas about lowering taxes, thus depriving the government of what it needs to function, only drives deficits and debt higher and higher. Sure, there will always be a percentage of people that buy into your nonsense, but it’s fewer and fewer with each passing day. Goodbye, GOP. And take Trump with you.


  46. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:46 pm:

    I’m purposely ignoring the silly “California” thingy in this fiscal manifesto as I also read it as

    “Uber-left costal liberalism”

    While touting California Governor Ronald Reagan’s later career as President, and the fiscal situation California… now enjoys.


  47. - Roadiepig - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:47 pm:

    Sorry- Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:05 pm: was me :-)


  48. - Blue Dog Dem - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:50 pm:

    California state income tax for married filing jointly. Income at $154k=8.45%. Heck of a tax on middle class. Enjoys?


  49. - Tired teacher - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:51 pm:

    Same old on pensions. Arizona , while similar , has significant differences to the law of Illinois. That issue has been addressed by the Supreme Court and the discussion now needs to be how to meet obligations; not shirk them. The arguments put forward here are all old talking points with no substance to provide evidence. If this is the future of the GOP in Illinois, then that party is in even more trouble.


  50. - anon2 - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:52 pm:

    Recruit better candidates? Good luck with that after the way the statewide GOP candidates except Harold were left twisting in the wind with no money. At some point, you can’t find anyone willing to fall on the sword. Look at the county of Cook, where Preckwinkle and other incumbents were unopposed last fall. That’s the future for the statewide GOP unless it can recalibrate and reconstruct, figuring out how to appeal to young voters, to Asian-Americans, to suburban women, etc.


  51. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:55 pm:

    Many post-2011 State workers would probably take a comprehensive matched 401(k) plan over the current crappy tier 2 pension. The thing is that it would bankrupt the tier 1 pensions in no time.

    McSweeney is getting panned here for a reason. When will ILGOP get serious about real governing? I guess tantrums and posturing pay better. What a shame.


  52. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:56 pm:

    Blue Dog, for the millionth time, you have to look at effective tax rates and, of course, you didn’t. Up your game.

    You could’ve made the same argument with the right number, which is 7.25 percent. https://smartasset.com/taxes/california-tax-calculator#knMUZbxNgK

    Final warning.


  53. - Not a Superstar - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 1:59 pm:

    ===The Democrats led by Governor Pritzker may be pushing Illinois to become the California of the Midwest===

    Get your facts straight. California had years of Republican governors, and in the early 2000s even a moderate GOPer named Schwarzenegger. Perhaps you’re familiar with his work? In any event, the state GOP’s refusal to negotiate on any serious revenue issue, plus their embrace of anti-LGBT culture warriors has transformed the state party to an insignificant minority. So if McSweeney wants to accelerate Illinois’ move toward the California model, he should do exactly what he proposes.


  54. - Harvest76 - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 2:05 pm:

    Mcsweeney states that a progressive tax would hurt the middle class, but then immediately states that we haven’t seen the structure. Can he have it both ways?


  55. - Jim Thompson ain't walking through that door - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 2:07 pm:

    ==the gains in downstate are not enough to overcome big losses in the suburbs==
    Is an understatement. Rauner won the suburbs in 2014 campaigning like a moderate. His economic extremism coupled with the Know Nothing tilt of the national party led to 2018’s result. Angry old white identity politics will not bring back the voters who left.


  56. - Blue Dog Dem - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 2:07 pm:

    Rich. Sorry. Rounding error. But it’s still one heck of a tax burden. BTW. I advocate a higher income tax if we can get property tax relief by upping state K-12 support.


  57. - Cog - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 2:18 pm:

    For a politician whose first race was over twenty years ago and who seems to have definite opinions on what tax rates should be, this seems like a poor choice of words:
    “Do you really trust Illinois career politicians to set your tax rates?”


  58. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 2:46 pm:

    =I advocate a higher income tax if we can get property tax relief by upping state K-12 support.=

    This makes sense, but it will take time. Forcing reductions in property tax rates is folly, creating the conditions is what the state needs to do.

    Schools do not trust the state right now, Pritzker can change that and needs to do so.


  59. - Blue Dog Dem - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 2:49 pm:

    Js. I dont see it as heavy lifting. If you want more state dollars in your district, here are the conditions.


  60. - illini - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 2:53 pm:

    I found the Barickman op-ed yesterday and the McSweeney press release today to be interesting reads. Both gentlemen appear to have problems with reality, perception and any kind of recognition that they followed and supported the wrong and destructive path dictated by their leaders. As the election results verified.

    I live in a part of the state where anyone with an “R” behind their name will get elected 95% of the time. To this point Willy is absolutely correct, but if this is their base one of two things will happen. They will lose and alienate their reliable base or they will continue to be the super minority that they are destined to become unless their leadership in the GA changes the tone of their dealings with the Democrats.

    Words mean little - actions will tell all of us how serious un rebuilding your party and becoming relevant once again in the GA.


  61. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 2:56 pm:

    The first comment in this post is probably the most accurate. We aren’t discussing the party of Ronald Reagan, or the party of Bruce Rauner, or the party of Dave McSweeney. This is the Donald Trump party. No amount of “conversation” on effective tax rates or candidate recruitment or anything else is going to change that. The first thing that comes to mind when anyone hears or sees the word “republican” is Donald trump, and nothing that McSweeney or Proft or anyone else can do will change that for a long, long time.

    The electorate is divided between those that love trump, and everyone else. There likely isn’t a single republican anywhere in Illinois that can safely bash trump in order to attract the moderate voters they need to win a statewide general, without losing their base voters (which also means not winning in the general). McSweeney should go back to bed for several more years, because that dynamic isn’t changing anytime soon.


  62. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 2:58 pm:

    –“You can’t be for big government, big taxes, and big bureaucracy and still be for the little guy.” -Ronald Reagan–

    The record shows that Reagan didn’t have a problem with big government or big bureaucracy and was a mixed bag on big taxes — tax cuts in ‘81, tax increases in ‘82, ‘84 and ‘87.

    One thing for sure, Reagan was a big Keynesian, spearheading massive, stimulative deficit spending not seen before in peacetime.

    Pay attention to what people do, not what they say.


  63. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 3:06 pm:

    ===The first thing that comes to mind when anyone hears or sees the word “republican” is Donald trump, and nothing that McSweeney or Proft or anyone else can do will change that for a long, long time.===

    Explain how Republican governors in “blue” states won like in Massachusetts…

    It’s understanding a STATE party and candidates that can reflect to the electorate a trusting leader who has their best interest at heart.

    This idea that Illinois is “too blue now” is buying into the premise that the Illinois Republicans will continue to see the “old ways” as the best ways and thinking the ILGOP, it’s next leaders, and current officeholders won’t decide to issue a mea culpa for Raunerism and actually build a real ILLINOIS alternative in a GOP party willing to govern.

    Now… if I were laying odds, I’d say, today, that rebuild is as likely as me starting as the Cubs second basemen on opening day….

    To say it’s impossible, i say no… but… leaders need to emerge.

    Where these leaders are STILL is the cry… former “Raunerite’s” letter… and Reagan disciple manefesto… notwithstanding.


  64. - The Dude Abides - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 3:31 pm:

    AFSCME nor any other Union could negotiate pension benefits on behalf of retirees even if they wanted to. It is a contractual agreement between the individual retiree or worker and the state.
    I was expecting to hear the tired old GOP argument of making state government more efficient and saving enough money to make the tax increases unnecessary. They could eliminate entire state agencies and not produce enough savings to avoid a tax increase. Rauner said that paying down our debts isn’t a big priority. He was wrong about that. Once this state is on a stronger, more stable fiscal footing more businesses will be interested in coming here.


  65. - Louis G Atsaves - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 3:39 pm:

    I’m reading this while waiting for a connecting flight . . . In California.

    McSweeney is now a darling of the anti-Rauner faction of the ILGOP for his strong language against him. Ives is a darling of the right wing for taking on Rauner during the primary. Both use over the top language.

    So who identified the issues important to voters last year? And when I went door to door canvassing and talking to voters, why was I being peppered with questions that the party ignored. Like preexisting medical conditions? Safer communities? Better schools?

    When I reported back to the Lake County GOP these problems, I was told I didn’t know what I was talking about.

    Where is the infrastructure? Recruit candidates and send them out blind to struggle with no backup and little help? No ground game except for a few hockey pucks like me who still walk precincts? Swamped by early and mail votes for a decade?where is the learning curve?

    The ILGOP is burned to the ground and so are the collars. Go ask the voters what they want. And respect their opinions. Then build your infrastructure to give your candidates a fighting chance at winning.

    The odds of that happening in the ILGOP and Lake County? Vegas would not take the bet.

    I’ll let you know how I survive California.


  66. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 3:42 pm:

    ==Explain how Republican governors in “blue” states won like in Massachusetts…==

    I wasn’t talking about Massachusetts, I was talking about Illinois. Charlie Baker was entrenched in Massachusetts Republican politics long before trump bought the national GOP, and can get away with bashing trump whenever he feels like it with only a little blowback. Same goes for Larry Hogan in Maryland, and Phil Scott in Vermont. And not a one of them govern like most republicans, because none of them are conservatives. Look at the policy sections of their websites - this could be from Al Gore circa 1999. Union support, pro-environment, progressive tax rates, etc

    Who can do that now, in Illinois, and still win a statewide GOP primary? Edgar, maybe (a big maybe)? I can’t think of anyone, but since you’re a republican maybe you have a name in mind?


  67. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 3:49 pm:

    ===And not a one of them govern like most republicans, because none of them are conservatives. Look at the policy sections of their websites - this could be from Al Gore circa 1999. Union support, pro-environment, progressive tax rates, etc===

    … or a Jim Thompson… maybe GHR… hint of Edgar…

    Hmm…

    That’s really my point, isn’t it?

    This idea that a national type GOPer, “today”, couldn’t win statewide now, and the Rauner model will repel voters in a way far worse that Rauner so none like him *will* emerge.

    These examples, walking you there, was purposeful to show… “local” GOPers with cache to speak TO the Illinois centric and attract voters from middle-right to right… that’s the ask. In the districts, again, mirror the district while embracing 80% of the Reagan Rule and make it a “local” thing.

    Will a ILGOP see that? A new ILGOP? Dunno.

    ===Who can do that now, in Illinois, and still win a statewide GOP primary? Edgar, maybe (a big maybe)? I can’t think of anyone, but since you’re a republican maybe you have a name in mind?===

    If I pointed to any Republican I’d favor in Illinois, that would put an unneeded target on their back… until they themselves decide to step forward.

    Since I’m still waiting…


  68. - DuPage Bard - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 4:50 pm:

    Watch Jennifer Pritzker Channel 11 from last night. You’ll see the problem with the Republican Party at this point. She agrees with monetary policy of lower taxes etc. However she literally says why am I supporting a party that wants to erase my very existence?
    So where do you go?


  69. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 17, 19 @ 11:25 pm:

    If the GOP doesn’t get right — honestly — with pre-existing conditions, it will reap the whirlwind.

    That ain’t a partisan issue. And the lies the congressional GOP have been peddling about their support for pre-existing coverage won’t last.


  70. - PublicServant - Friday, Jan 18, 19 @ 5:23 am:

    Yes, McSweeney’s way should be what the ILGOP leads with, Hey Dave, there’s a ton of windmills in central Indiana along I-65 that you and your buddy Don can flail against. Lemme know how that goes.


  71. - Rabid - Friday, Jan 18, 19 @ 6:54 am:

    “lower taxes, less spending and real reform” and after three days the turnaround agenda raises from the grave


  72. - Pundent - Friday, Jan 18, 19 @ 7:54 am:

    =If the GOP doesn’t get right — honestly — with pre-existing conditions, it will reap the whirlwind.=

    The GOP claims that they don’t want to do away with coverage for pre-existing conditions. But they also want to gut all of the infrastructure needed to allow for pre-existing conditions to be covered like the requirement that everyone has to have insurance.

    The opposition was never about healthcare, it was about the guy who brought the idea forward.


  73. - Suburban Mom - Friday, Jan 18, 19 @ 8:38 am:

    Leaving aside Trump and Rauner for a second:

    “The Republican Party must stand united for lower taxes, less spending and real reform. […] not enough to overcome big losses in the suburbs”

    You can’t win the suburbs with this message. Schools need money. Parents of minor children see the effects of tax cuts everywhere, from long waiting lists and few resources available for children with disabilities, to cash-strapped schools, to parents who can’t get daycare, to college costs that are unimaginably oppressive.

    Every time the Illinois GOP “saves” me money on my taxes it somehow ends up costing me much, much, much more than it saved because now I have to pay out of pocket for things that ought to be handled by the state … if I can even access those services, some of which disappear completely without state support, and then I pay four times as much to cobble together a solution.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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