The Great Democrat Budget Con Game in Illinois

Democrats have run the corrupt state of Illinois into the ground, and now in classic fashion they are prepared to demonize the Republicans for the consequences. It is a drama that can be repeated elsewhere.

Disgusted voters in deep blue Illinois elected Republican Governor Bruce Rauner, and he took office in January this year, facing a fiscal crisis. There is simply not enough money for Illinois to pay its bills.  So some will get paid, others will not. Kristina Rasmussen of Illinois Policy describes what is happening:

How is the pie of available funds sliced? The worthiness of any given program has little to do with it. Everyone wants food pantries and crisis nurseries to keep their doors open, but tugging on heartstrings won’t get anyone far. Rather, it’s a game of who has rigged the system so they can jump to the head of the line.

Pensioners have a constitutional clause that guarantees their pension benefits can’t be diminished or impaired no matter how dire the state’s fiscal situation. State workers have binding contracts and court orders that ensure they get paid, even if the state government were to shut down. Lawmakers have a statutory continuing appropriation that means they also will get paid no matter what.

Who doesn’t get preferential treatment? Low-income working moms looking for help to pay for day care. Seniors who rely on community groups for help. Even lottery winners are getting stiffed. The comptroller can try to mitigate the pain the best she can, but she, too, must live within the constraints of the system.

In an ideal world, elected officials would balance these competing priorities against each other to make fair choices about what should be funded and by how much. Instead, the most important question when it comes to receiving money from the state of Illinois is who has the savviest lawyer and lobbyist on retainer.

So the retired government workers, many of them unionized and donors to generations of Democrat legislators, are safe.  They paid the piper and they call the tune. And the poster children of Democrats, the poor and vulnerable, will get cut.  The heart-wrenching stories write themselves and the social servcies bureaucrats are ready to help. And who will get blamed?

That’s right. Mean old Republican Governor Rauner, who can’t get the Democrat-dominated legislature to make priorities, and who would need a constitutional amendment to cut pensions.

It is a con game pure and simple. And with the help of the Illinois media, it will work once again.

Democrats have run the corrupt state of Illinois into the ground, and now in classic fashion they are prepared to demonize the Republicans for the consequences. It is a drama that can be repeated elsewhere.

Disgusted voters in deep blue Illinois elected Republican Governor Bruce Rauner, and he took office in January this year, facing a fiscal crisis. There is simply not enough money for Illinois to pay its bills.  So some will get paid, others will not. Kristina Rasmussen of Illinois Policy describes what is happening:

How is the pie of available funds sliced? The worthiness of any given program has little to do with it. Everyone wants food pantries and crisis nurseries to keep their doors open, but tugging on heartstrings won’t get anyone far. Rather, it’s a game of who has rigged the system so they can jump to the head of the line.

Pensioners have a constitutional clause that guarantees their pension benefits can’t be diminished or impaired no matter how dire the state’s fiscal situation. State workers have binding contracts and court orders that ensure they get paid, even if the state government were to shut down. Lawmakers have a statutory continuing appropriation that means they also will get paid no matter what.

Who doesn’t get preferential treatment? Low-income working moms looking for help to pay for day care. Seniors who rely on community groups for help. Even lottery winners are getting stiffed. The comptroller can try to mitigate the pain the best she can, but she, too, must live within the constraints of the system.

In an ideal world, elected officials would balance these competing priorities against each other to make fair choices about what should be funded and by how much. Instead, the most important question when it comes to receiving money from the state of Illinois is who has the savviest lawyer and lobbyist on retainer.

So the retired government workers, many of them unionized and donors to generations of Democrat legislators, are safe.  They paid the piper and they call the tune. And the poster children of Democrats, the poor and vulnerable, will get cut.  The heart-wrenching stories write themselves and the social servcies bureaucrats are ready to help. And who will get blamed?

That’s right. Mean old Republican Governor Rauner, who can’t get the Democrat-dominated legislature to make priorities, and who would need a constitutional amendment to cut pensions.

It is a con game pure and simple. And with the help of the Illinois media, it will work once again.