It is not easy to decide which is worse: watching the Illinois Democratic Party candidates for governor debate, be interviewed individually, or slogging through their fantasy-filled TV ads or campaign websites.
Generally speaking, those vying for the top job in Illinois on the Democratic side agree that —
- our state doesn’t currently raise enough in taxes,
- K-16 schools and health care are underfunded,
- recreational marijuana legalization won’t be a problem but a positive,
- more money for early childhood education is needed,
- free college tuition isn’t an insane notion,
- state taxpayers should contribute more so state employees can continue to enjoy an above average retirement income and health care benefits,
- the federal government should be ignored when it comes to immigration law,
- and rich white men are bad.
Democratic Party policies have dominated in Illinois for decades — and because of that, even people around the country know this state as a pathetic failure.
What’s odd about watching the Democratic governor candidates debate in 2018 is that Leftists are already getting almost everything they want. Without providing evidence, the candidates talk as if Governor Bruce Rauner is standing in their way.
A state doesn’t get into this kind of mess culturally and economically through the fault of only one political party. Republicans here, led by the Rauner-like approach to governance, share in the blame.
It was mentioned during one of the debates that Medicaid spending constitutes 42 percent of the state’s budget. The website USGovernmentSpending.com has it lower. Many news reports for months say that Illinois’ government employee pension costs take up 25 percent of the budget. Again, USGovernmentSpending.com says it is lower.
For the sake of simplicity, taking the numbers from USGovernmentSpending.com, the big three ticket items in Illinois are:
- Health care 35%
- Government employee pension costs 19%
- K-college education 13%
That is two-thirds of our state budget in just three different line items.
According to the polls, the top three candidates in the race are J.B. Pritzker, Chris Kennedy, and Daniel Biss. Here is the long and short of their candidacies: None of what they propose is possible. The fact that one of them might be elected Illinois governor is a testament to Rauner’s failed tenure and the Illinois conservative movement’s failure in the information war.
Pritzker, Kennedy and Biss think increasing K-college education funding is the answer to attracting businesses and thus jobs. You can’t increase that funding without raising taxes. Here’s the fun part: the overwhelming evidence shows that the reason businesses and individuals leave is because of high tax rates.
Daniel Biss, who likes to portray himself as the reasonable one in the bunch, believes in miracles thinking that reforming the Illinois tax code will make it possible for single payer universal health care and free college tuition! He adds that we are underfunding education and public safety, and that the “state is already providing inadequate services.”
The word “invest” is used a lot by the Democratic candidates for governor — as in “state government needs to “invest more” in…fill in the blank. To be fair, one of the candidates, Robert Marshall, pushed back by telling the truth — the word “invest” in this context means higher taxes.
A physician, Marshall has been the only candidate thus far (from what I’ve heard) in either party to tell the truth that government employee pension systems have been grossly over-promised, not underfunded.
His three-state solution has merit (no, he’s not talking about Iraq), but it’s as likely as a mass conversion to Christianity in the Democratic Party. Marshall wants to divide Illinois into three separate states (Chicago, the suburbs, and the rest of the state).
Marshall makes the most important point: the pension systems cannot be saved. Dissolving Illinois ends our state constitution and allows each new state to renegotiate the debt it is responsible for, even pension debt.
Marshall is also against any tax increase. He believes they are already too high. Yes, you read that right. A Democratic Party candidate thinks taxes are already too high.
The rest of the Democratic Party governor candidates aim to pursue their policy fantasies — and they may well succeed in having the chance to implement them. How can that be? It is the result of conservatives failing to reach enough of our fellow citizens with the story of what works and doesn’t work and why. Too few Illinoisans understand that Rauner has actually governed from the political left, and not the right.
If one of them gets elected governor, U-Haul will have a tough time providing the trucks to meet the demand for the out-ward traffic. The only possible good news is that Illinois will force our federal government to change the bankruptcy laws to allow states to admit they are insolvent and start over again.