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Elections 2010, Governor General 2010, Illinois Budget

Illinois Budget: Senator Bill Brady and Governor Pat Quinn Duel over Budget “Failure”

(Chicago, IL) — July 1, 2010. At the start of the new Illinois budget, Bill Brady and Pat Quinn yesterday were hurling some version of “fail” at each other in dueling statements.

Welcome to the Illinois budget debate.

Senator Brady was first out of the grate, criticizing Quinn on the new Fiscal Year 2011 budget that the Chicago Democrat had just signed, slicing $1.4 billion from state programs:

Governor Quinn has apparently cranked up the old Rod Blagojevich razzle dazzle machine.

It’s too little too late. Despite the $13 billion deficit and increased government spending – Governor Quinn has done nothing to address the structural problems in state government. Instead he continues to propose his 33 percent income tax increase that takes more money out of the pockets of Illinois residents.

The taxpayers have had enough.

Governor Quinn today cut less than one-half percent from the state budget with a supposed promise to cut more. The people of Illinois know that those cuts won’t happen. Last year, Governor Quinn promised to cut spending by $1 billion – and instead state spending increased.

Illinois has lost a record number of jobs. Unemployment is at a 26-year high. More than 200,000 jobs have been lost under Governor Quinn’s failed leadership.

Not to be out-outraged, Quinn spokesman Mica Matsoff returned Brady’s fire:

Governor Quinn’s strong action today makes the contrast between the two candidates even sharper.

After a thorough review of the state budget, Governor Quinn struck a balance – cutting $1.4 billion in state spending, while protecting healthcare, education, and public safety programs to nurture Illinois’ economic recovery.

As a member of the Illinois General Assembly, Senator Brady had the chance to lead this session.  Instead, he stood in the way of every constructive plan that was put forward and has routinely placed politics ahead of Illinois residents.

He’s proposed a billion-dollar tax cut for big businesses without specifying how he’d pay for it. He has called for a 10 percent across-the-board cut for state departments, which would drastically reduce vital services such as education, health care, and public safety while making the state ineligible for federal matching funds. And he’d lower the minimum wage for hard-working families.

Bill Brady‘s every economic proposal has been derided by experts. It’s apparent that Senator Brady fails to understand the complexities of our budget.

Now do you feel you have a better grip on the Illinois budget’s problems and solutions?

If you say yes, I say–”Liar, liar, pants on fire.”

These rhetorical cannon balls put the “dog” in the “dog days of summer”. Argh.

About David Ormsby

David, a public relations consultant and blogger at The Huffington Post, is an ex-Press Secretary of the Illinois Democratic Party.


2 Responses to “Illinois Budget: Senator Bill Brady and Governor Pat Quinn Duel over Budget “Failure””

  1. At the point in my life when I believe I can say anything I wish without concern for retribution, I have decided only to speak the truth, as I understand it to be. What I think might be the truth may in fact not be, and I apologize for that when it occurs.

    The problem with both Quinn and Brady is that they are refusing to confront the problems which are facing them, very little which either had to do with in creating.

    Therefore I wish to address the real problems and the possible solutions knowing that I will not please anyone totally, and will probably offend practically everyone in some fashion, shape or manner.

    I cannot state everything at once or in what might be interpreted as a logical order, but I think that each of the individual issues I raise might have merit and together present a somewhat rational plan for the present and future. What has happeneed in the past we are stuck with.

    First of all I am an unabashed and unashamed pro union individual — not just for the ‘working man and woman’, but for the whole concept of organized labor. However, I am not in favor of blank checks for everyone or anyone.

    Between 1978 and 2005 I may have made several hundred thousand dollars in consulting fees from labor unions, and I earned every penny, maybe more. So I do, or at least did have an obvious conflict of interest. But to use a coarse, but nonetheless accurate word, I’ve never ‘pimped’ for the unions. For example I am opposed to automatic lifetime tenure for teachers. This is a topic that needs much greater exposition, but I do believe in competition in the marketplace of education, and while I support public education as the basic deliverer of services, I do not believe in monopolies. My new good friend Rev. Sen. James Meeks, my older great friend, Joseph P. Hannon, the very best General Superintendent of Schools in Chicago’s history during my lifetime (and I am a graduate of Le Moyne, ’54 and Lake View, ’58 – way before his time) and I are pretty much on the same page. We all believe that every youngster deserves access and choice to excellence, that responsibilities go with rights, and that its best if possible, especially for elementary school and pre school students to be educated as goeographically close to their own home as possible.

    Therefore, I believe in high standards, appropriate peer review, and other ways of evaluating educational personnel.

    Teachers’ unions tend to support total lifetime tenure. This is not fair to the students or the taxpayers.

    On another point, I believe in effective labor management bargaining and support the concept of a prevailing wage, but often that concept is misused, especially in a city like Chicago where the average plumber or electrician is only working 1,000-1,200 hours a year, but the government employed craft laborers are being paid on a complete 2,000-2,080 hours of work; thus making the ‘prevailing wage’ a bonanza for those with the ‘clout’ to get union jobs in government agencies.

    Furthermore, I am ambivilent about public employees’ unions. We have come to a point where the taxpayers are working for the employees, not vice versa. These are all big issues and not easily resolvable, but compensation, pensions, security should all be discussable.

    The issue I should have tackled first is probably that of taxation. At the end of the day, you have to pay the bill. In our private lives it is normal to have a mortgage on our principal dwelling place (and its a good idea to have a monthly principal + interest + taxes and insurance total which is manageable); we also consider it standard procedure to have a ‘car loan’, also based on affordability.

    I’ve never owned a Mercedes, BMW, Cadillac, Lexus or Infiniti. My car does not represent who I am. My standards are simple: is it safe, comfortable, dependable; will it get me from point A to B, can I use it in the city and on the road, etc.

    But all of us understand that our daily needs such as food and clothing need to be paid for upfront, at time of purchase; and if we do use credit cards its only to get the air miles or other similar benefits, and then we pay off at the end of the month to avoid interest (I will admit that in this area I have been lax and guilty of stupidity). But not anywhere near as stupid as our state and local governments which have borrowed to pay operating expenses.

    The States of California and Illinois have been notoriously living off of borrowed money and underfunded pension contributions. Forty others are guilty as well in varying degrees. It has come time to pay the piper and also to change our way of doing business in the future. Usage fees need to be increased, and so do taxes, hopefully in a progressive manner.

    Karl Marx I believe was right on one thing, in which not only I, but Bill Gates and Warren Buffett seem to agree: “To each according to their needs, from each according to their abilities.” Especially the latter. Taxes should not be punitive or confiscatory; neither should we treat the person who is unemployed the same as the wage earner, or wage earners the same as multi millionaires and billionaires, nor among the billionaires, those who are coupon clippers the same as those who are reaping from their inventions.

    This is just a beginning, but in my mind for many reasons the only candidate for Governor who can and will afford to deal with all of these problems is William ‘Dock’ Walls. I have confidence he’ll do the right thing, even if it isn’t popular, and though he might well only be a one termer, he will have a record of which to be proud.

    The solution(s) to our problems are going to hurt, but they should hurt reasonably, understandably and equitably. More later. I expect to be attacked from both sides, but please remember that what I’ve said has been out of a sincere desire to reach a solution, not to grind anyhone’s axe.

    Posted by Phil Krone | July 2, 2010, 1:54 PM
  2. I am so very graeful to David Orsmby for providing this forum. While my principal loyalty is to John Powers and Tom Roeser who are kind enough to pay me generously for my thoughts publishes in the Chicago Daily Observer, David was the very first person to praise my observations and explications under his signature.

    It means a lot to be appreciated, and that includes the criticism receive baseed on honest, even if misguided or innacurate differences of opinion.

    Posted by Phil Krone | July 2, 2010, 1:58 PM

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