Illinois: So Much More Than Just A Deadbeat State

Illinois: So Much More Than Just A Deadbeat State
Fuhgettaboutit! (Image: Chicago Tribune)

So what's new in Illinois Politics? Absolutely nothing as Illinois Senate President John Cullerton was able to easily defeat the only logical and sensible proposal that could have put a sizable dent in a State Pension System that is putting the state on a sure path to bankruptcy. Oh well, Cullerton would rather placate the unions than worry about Illinois' solvency or Madigan's ire on this issue.

Now, I am no big fan of Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan. After all it has primarily been his three decades of iron grip control over state politics that created the financial mess the state is in. But, Madigan's usual right hand goon in the Illinois Legislature, Senate President John Cullerton decided that playing hardball with the boss on pensions would bolster his standing with the unions. Then again it could be nothing more than these two playing good cop / bad cop since both have a record of sticking it to the taxpayer. Still, with Cullerton preventing the Senate from accepting the best reform measure (thus far) that could have saved the taxpayers real dollars he only solidified his reputation for being a politician who hasn't seen a tax or fee he didn't like. And believe me, there will be more of those as the pension stalemate continues (and the rife abuse) that has only expanded the Illinois Public Pension System debt.

But hey, haven't I tried my best to repeatedly warn taxpayers and voters of this state that their loyalty to a corrupt and empty political party would make them equally complicit in furthering a political system designed to prey upon each and every person of this state? Sadly no one seems to care that they have been paying more than fair share in corruption induced taxes in exchange for a false sense of security that their political party of choice is the party of the people they think it to be. Well folks the way I see it if they really were the party of the people then they wouldn't continue hitting-up the people repeatedly with more and more new taxes while providing the people nothing in return.

And if the people think that their tax burdens are bad now, well they just wait and see what the latest round of inaction will cost them. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that there will be another Big Bang in taxation right around the corner. Hell, the state's credit rating is already the worst in the union and they will soon be downgraded again for their lack of reform. That alone will cost you as the state must now pay more to borrow any new debt. I dunno, but the Illinois Democrats seem to be the gift of taxation that just keeps on giving...er I mean just keeps on taking!

This has just become a vicious cycle with no end in sight as John Cullerton and Michael Madigan continue to play their little games at the expense of each and every resident in the State of Illinois. Sadly, Illinois is now so much more than just a deadbeat state because of these two adolescent acting adults - it has become a global laughing stock as well as the standard dictionary definition for bad government.

But again, Illinois has no one to blame but themselves for what Illinois has become. After all, this political fiasco rests squarely on those who continue to accept the deception that Illinois Democrats somehow are a party that stands for the people. Well, I suppose if that means standing up for political insiders and interlopers, then that would be accurate. But if we are talking about the average everyday people trying to eke out an existence here, then the answer is a resounding NO!

You know I found it rather funny the other day when a Chicago Tribune editorial declared that Illinois Lawmakers had a golden opportunity to be hailed as heroes if they would only, for once, show some real courage and conviction in fixing this state. All I could think about when I read that was "Gee, have the Tribune left Illinois and moved their headquarters and editorial staff to the Planet Mars? I mean, how long has this sort of shit been going on around here anyhow? We already knew that this latest legislative session was going to end in exactly the same manner as it has done so many times before. Let's face it Illinois Lawmakers don't have a very good record when it comes to meaningful legislation unless it is designed to fill their pockets. The peoples business? Fuhgettaboutit!

But there is one thing though that I do know - until the people of Illinois get up enough courage to wrest back control of their government from the Illinois Democrats (and most notably the Chicago Democrats to whom they put so much trust in) there can never, ever be real and/or a meaningful change in the way Illinois politics are conducted.

Oh well the more things change the more they stay the same in this Deadbeat State of ours. Political corruption, nepotism and sweetheart deals have made Illinois resemble something more of a communist nation than that of a constitutional democracy. But hey as I said earlier, the people couldn't be bothered as they have remained more than content and happy with the status quo.

I suppose the only explanation for this is that there must be more people than I thought in Illinois who are dependent upon the spoils of its corruption. And if that is the case than that also explains why reform of its multiple pension systems will never be addressed with any seriousness. These people are just unwilling to give up the perks and/or the ability to take more money out of the system than they have legitimately earned.

Of course that doesn't mean that there aren't any losers because there are plenty of everyday Joe's and Josephine's who don't work for this dysfunctional state government of ours in addition to the many hard-working state workers who don't game the system. Ironically, though, those everyday saps are the one's who have been paying most dearly for those slugs taking advantage of the pension system and are also the one's who who have been most loyal to that empty ideology.

Sadly, the biggest losers are also the one's who are least able to afford it.

Oh well, I guess it's time for people to look into a mirror, isn't it?

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  • Back in the early Blago days, Madigan was the one portrayed as fiscally responsible. Maybe he wants that mantle back. Maybe it is all a smokescreen.

    Beside the obvious that the Dems gerrymandered themselves into veto proof majorities and have insulated themselves from the voters to the extent that calls to contact your legislators (especially from the delusional editorial boards of both the Tribune and Daily Herald) are meaningless, one of the constant themes of recent legislatures has been "we negotiated with [later found to be corrupt] Redflex about the red light camera bill" "We negotiated with the race track interests on the casino bill" and now the Senate's "we negotiated with the unions on the pension bill." Nobody negotiated with the taxpayers or voters over anything, and you note what the consequence is going to be.

    Heck, the legislators don't even hold town meetings, at least in my area, like they used to.

    Since the Senate and House candidates cross endorse each other (at least did in the primary mailings here last year), why there is cross house deadlock is beyond me.

    The only time the Illinois General Assembly seems to do anything is when there is an imminent threat, i.e. shutting down transit in 2008 (and even then Blago shifted money to try to stave off the deadline) or that there would be no concealed carry law after the 7th Circuit's stay expired. Other than that, all it can pass are nanny laws. If it wanted to pander without any monetary cost, it could have at least done something about gay marriage. I figure, notwithstanding Dennis Byrne, if civil unions are already legal, the next step is inconsequential.

    But I figure that at this point, they may as well wait until January. How they perverted the Constitution into that laws passed after May 31 are not effective until July next year, unless it has a supermajority, but anything passed in the same session after Jan. 1 can be immediately effective is also beyond me, but that's how we got the 2 point income tax increase.

    Maybe Rutherford has a chance in 2014. At least he knows how broke the state is.

  • In reply to jack:

    Beautifully said Jack. The points you raise are all valid and on point, yes hopefully Rutherford is given a chance but somehow he must still contend with a Legislature that won't play ball with him. Again, my recurring warning to the people must be taken seriously - surely they must know they are being screwed. The Gay Block, no doubt, will reevaluate their support of Democrats after this latest fiasco and hopefully they will help create a tipping point. Thanks for your comment Jack, as always very appreciative.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    At least Rutherford doesn't seem to be the wimp with no leadership ability that Quinn is. He might get the populace sufficiently inflamed about their legislators. He might even call a special session.

    But as far as the gay block, unless they get even gayer Democrats, they aren't going to be voting for Republicans, even the occasional ones who now say they aren't blocking it. I only mentioned it with regard to the legislature trying pandering, but not successfully. Well, maybe to the pension ripper-offers, but that's about it.

  • In reply to jack:

    You are definitely right about Rutherford. And sure I understand Gays are more likely than not to vote Democrat but that is also a block that could go very Independent and with it find the Moderate GOPer who is accepting to be more appealing than what they have. After all, I am a Moderate Independent and have always supported Gay Rights despite my more conservative leanings elsewhere. You just never know Jack. Look at the Hispanics, there is a very Independent minded group (especially outside Illinois) who will accept someone other than a staunch DEM. So, hey who knows right?

  • An update on this one:

    Dan Rutherford was just on WLS. Roe said that he is going to ask all the candidates the question "Even Ray Charles can see that Madigan and Cullerton pushed incompatible bills so they could get union money for the 2014 election, and since the only way legislation gets done is backroom deals, what can you do about that?" Rutherford essentially dodged the question by saying that different parts of the state have different interests, even though Roe tried to follow it up with "but the whole state has skin in the failure to solve the pension problem."

    So, your "Rutherford must still contend with a Legislature that won't play ball with him" point didn't have a satisfactory answer from him.

  • In reply to jack:

    It Figures. Seems no one in Illinois Politics can be trusted.

  • Good comments about the Tribune. Yes I agree with them but after awhile I keep thinking where have these guys been the last thirty years. I've lost a lot of respect for the Trib over the last couple of years. They covered up for Daley all those years . Same for Ryan . But back to the main point. When people are asked why doesn't the state legislature do something I mean its so obvious right. State is going broke can't pay for things it needs is going to have to raise taxes again and again. So why don't they. well here is the reason well actually 700 thousand of them . There are currently 700 thousand active and retried people who are part of the state and local pensions systems. Teacher, university employees, cops, firemen etc. Add in maybe half a family member additional and suddenly you are talking 1M people but those aren't people those are votes. And they vote very regularly, they run phone bank, they hand out fliers, they make phone calls , write letters etc . In a close election they can make all the difference. Think of 2014 not a Presidential election year, low turnout you don't think those million votes wont make a difference in a few elections. You think those pols want to give up their cushy part time jobs. So they will ruin this state .So that is why things don't change.

  • In reply to ironmik:

    Absolutely right ironmik but I do believe that that one million give or take a few thousand can be beaten if the other 2/3 would bother to show up. At the very least it would hold elections close enough to send a message that jobs could be in jeopardy as opposed to uncontested wins. But yessir it is hard to beat a group that comes out to protect their turf. Thanks for your great comment and I hope you'll visit often and comment.

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