The editorial referenced a report that “found that Illinois had a $3 billion deficit in fiscal 2005, the worst in the nation. Illinois’ total debt is also the worst — $17.5 billion.”
So what are voters to do? Don’t ask us – since Republicans aren’t putting forward any answer to this problem. They certainly show no sign of wanting to stop spending. Topinka was quoted in the Rockford Register-Star yesterday lamenting the fact that there isn’t more money to spend:
“’Out of all 50 states, Illinois ranks last in net assets and second to last in government funds. Boy, are we limping. … We are drowning in red ink, and that means we lack in the ability to invest in our future, especially in critical improvements to our state’s roads and bridges and other transportation needs,’ Topinka said.”
Reading between the lines it’s easy to see an income tax increase on the way in a Topinka administration.
Are voters to just hope Republicans will do a better job managing the state? We certainly can’t look to past Republican administrations or Republicans in Washington, D.C. for evidence that hope is justified. Until big spending Republicans everywhere repent of their ways, the party will not be seen as a credible alternative.
The Belleville News-Democrat is right — “The deficit and the debt represent real money that our children and grandchildren will have to repay some day.”