The Illinois Legislature has been the driving force behind the state's financial collapse. Ironically, the people of Illinois have stood largely silent and have continuously reelected lawmakers that have displayed little or no concern for representing their constituencies versus lining their own pockets. The Chicago Tribune has put together an eye-popping investigative series on Illinois Lawmakers manipulated the system and voted themselves outrageous pension benefits. Emil Jones, for instance, enjoys a lifelong spike in his pension because of a bill he sponsored!
Now, one would think that such action amounts to at least the usual conflict of interest in which our politicians routinely engage in, however I have a much different take. I believe that what Emil Jones and his fellow lawmakers did was nothing short of being absolutely criminal!
You know, people all over the country are pissed as hell at the Wall Street fat cats for how they operate under the radar, but why do they not show the same anger towards politicians doing the same thing? I mean, is there some sort of a difference here? I don't think so! As such, I am again asking the good people of Illinois to stop supporting the Machine / Combine Politicians and start finding suitable opposition candidates who are committed to representing you.
As you can see, I am not asking you to abandon your personal political ideology. Advocating one political party over another just isn't anything I desire nor is it my intent. My only concern is that people elect candidates who hold their values above that of themselves. Yes. I realize that that may be a difficult task given the rampant corruption in Illinois. But the time has come for We The People to fully engage the system before the whole thing goes down the drain.
Besides, without greater participation than what we have now - we will never be able to forge substantial change. As it currently stands, Illinois politicians have the advantage because they have more or less perfected their game plan to alienate voters. Low turnouts only benefit the status quo.
Surely the people must see that Illinois Lawmakers covet the public trough. What else would explain why they must continue to find new and ingenious ways to replenish it by adding new fees and taxes instead of doing the right thing politically. The bottom line is that Illinois politicians refuse to seriously address the need for "Real Reform." Yeah, Yeah I remember when Governor Quinn tried to smoke us back in January when he announced that Illinois was finally enacting more reform measures. Unfortunately every reform bill passed to date has been meaningless given the loopholes stipulated therein. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that Real Reform cannot hinge on adding exclusions and exceptions! Yet that is exactly the sort of shell game we have been given for decades. And not only has that scam been played over and over again, but the residents of Illinois have allowed themselves to be victimized by the representatives they elect without so much as a whimper.
And unless there is larger outcry from the people of Illinois, Lawmakers will not abandon the their only solution - which is to enact legislation to increase taxes and fees again and again. Strangely, though. All those increases never see the monies collected being used for what they were intended. Instead, those monies are used to perpetuate their own perks and benefits. Everyday people, meanwhile, must accept the closure of more human services, the diminished support of education, state infrastructure, etc., etc..
Let's also make something else abundantly clear here. The misuse of public monies is just not limited to the Illinois Legislature, although they are the biggest culprit. The truth of the matter is that nearly every city, village or town has politicians who are adherents to the Machine / Combine Politics philosophy. The thievery of public funds is rampant and the amounts are staggering. I suppose people might say that misuse of monies and/or political corruption may be inevitable, but it still maddens me to no end that we are being denied the basic services and infrastructure from the taxes we have already paid. And let's call an ace an ace here - in some cases we have already paid multiple times for the same thing!
As it stands right now - Illinois has become one hell of a shit hole to live in. The middle class has been bled dry, the poor have gotten poorer and still politicians show no shame or restraint as they take more and more. Politicians are senselessly raping its people. And if you think about it real hard, it isn't so much the fact that the State of Illinois isn't generating cash - it is because they continuously divert that cash to support themselves and a bevy of political insiders. Exactly how many times must we read about another ousted politician who has gotten recycled into yet another high paying state government job and/or appointment? That, by the way, is just another way politicians continue to game the pension systems at our expense.
Look, I don't know about the rest of you out there. But I am more than mad as hell right now. It seems to me that the majority of Illinoisans don't seem to care about how they are governed. And especially galling is the lack of concern that our elected officials have been (and continue) walking away with our hard-earned money while we get nothing in return.
Seriously folks - don't you think it is time to wake up?