Dems in control; same old, same old

Well, it didn't take long. Before echoes of a New-Day-is-Coming died down, Democrats in Chicago and Illinois were back to pulling the same old stunts.

In Springfield, J.B. Pritzker rambled on and on in his inauguration speech about, gee, "better roads, better schools, better wages" and "fearless ideas." But he ignored the biggest issue--pensions. Not a word. 

As Joe Cahill succinctly put it in Crain's Chicago Business:

He went on for 2,600-plus words without mentioning the most urgent and potentially destructive crisis facing Illinois. The new governor had nothing to say about $130 billion in unfunded pension obligations to state employees, a yawning black hole of debt that threatens to swallow the state budget and suffocate Illinois’ economy.

You'd think that the governor would have something to say about an expense that eats up a quarter of state funding and will only grow worse. That's unconscionable. But it's what I expected and I don't regret saying "told ya so."

Not to be outdone, a couple of panels of candidates for Chicago mayor pulled the same stunt: Dodging and weaving or simply refusing to answer what they'd do to solve the same kind of pension problem that is about to push Chicago over the edge.

ayoral candidates Bill Daley, from left, Gery Chico, state Rep. La Shawn Ford, Willie Wilson and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle meet with the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune)

Mayoral candidates Bill Daley, from left, Gery Chico, state Rep. La Shawn Ford, Willie Wilson and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle meet with the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune)

As the Tribune reported, the five candidates interviewed in the paper's first editorial board meeting with the hopefuls all "declined to outline a specific plan on how they would cover a $300 million pension hole in a matter of months if elected later this spring."

Bill Daley was asked afterward what specifically what he would do, he responded, “I’ll tell you when I’m mayor."

What unconscionable arrogance. This is exactly the jig danced by candidates in both parties who are afraid that if voters are told the truth, they'll kill the messenger. Too many voters don't care that they're being treated like chumps. Northing changes.

dennis@dennisbyrne.net

www.dennisbyrne.net 

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