It’s assumed that Rod Blagojevich‘s days in the state’s top job are numbered, and then the new governor and the legislature will have to decide how they’re going to tackle Illinois’ problems – all of which, they’ll no doubt blame on poor Rod.
The press has covered a little of the sad tale that is the state’s fiscal mess. They like the phrase “structural deficit” because it suggests that we ignore who built the structure.
The fact is once Rod is gone, and apart from a few new faces in the General Assembly, it’s mostly the same group of men and women in state office who presided over much of the mess that has been built up over the past several years. Soon, the Blago-b.s. excuses will have to end and these grown-up politicians will have to defend their own decisions.
Last summer Sheila Weinberg from Truth in Accounting revealed a $44 billion dollar lie that continues to be told by our state’s political leaders. Ms. Weinberg was also a guest on our radio show last year and spoke about this sad reality. The audio of it can be found here.
Illinois taxpayers continue to spend too much for a bloated public school system with no end or meaningful reform in site. While public school students may not be benefiting, we know who is. Bill Zettler noted yesterday that there has been an increase of 17 percent in the number of $100,000+ salaries for public school employees.
Medicaid continues to eat up state resources unabated. The state’s immoral pension system is not adequately being addressed (read more on that topic here and here).
So the stage is set for the post-Blagojevich era to begin.
The National Taxpayers United of Illinois released the following press release yesterday. It’s difficult to disagree with what Jim Tobin had to say.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2009
Contact: Jim Tobin (773) 354-2076
NATIONAL TAXPAYERS UNITED OF ILLINOIS
407 S. Dearborn, Suite 1170 * Chicago, Illinois 60605
(312) 421-5128 * Fax (312) 421-5139
REAL REASON FOR OUSTING BLAGOJEVICH: RAISE STATE INCOME TAX
CHICAGO–Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s indiscreet comments regarding Pres. Elect Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat are being used as an excuse to replace him with Governor-in-waiting Patrick Quinn, charged the president of Taxpayers United of America (TUA).
“Corruption has very little to do with it,” said Jim Tobin, TUA President. “The Chicago political machine politicians who wish to replace Blagojevich have set the standard for corruption. The real reason for replacing Blagojevich with Lt. Gov. Quinn is to have a governor who supports raising the state personal income tax.”
“What really galls the Illinois political establishment is that Gov. Blagojevich has kept his promise to oppose any increase in the state income tax. Multi-million-dollar pension benefits being enjoyed by retired government employees are eating through billions of taxpayer dollars. There are 2,500 retired government employees who are receiving pension benefits of $100,000 or more, and who will receive $1 million or more of pension benefits over a normal lifespan. Quinn, by raising the state income tax, would funnel billions more of these tax dollars into the state’s pension fund.”
“The solution to the state’s pension fund mess is to cap pension benefits at $50,000 and place all new hires in 401(k) plans instead of the present pension plan.”
“Quinn has stated his enthusiasm for a big state income tax hike. The media should do their job and ask Quinn directly if he will support raising the state income tax if he replaces Blagojevich. With the Illinois and national economy tanking, a huge state income tax hike is the last thing Illinois’ economy needs.”
Click here to learn more about National Taxpayers United of Illinois.
Click here to learn more about Truth in Accounting.