-By Warner Todd Huston
Many businesses across Illinois are trying to stave off closing their doors by cutting salaries and hours for employees. Some aren’t so luck and are laying off thousands of workers. Add to that dismal outlook that the state’s budget is billions in the red and politicians are so at loggerheads on how to solve the crisis that no budget can be agreed upon.
Cue accidental Governor Pat Quinn whose job, as he sees it, has been to warn Illinois that we are broke, that we can’t afford the many programs we have, that the poorest of us are at risk and that taxes will have to be raised to “fix” it all.
It’s a very bleak picture, indeed. Bleak, that is, unless you are one of Quinn’s staffers. In that case you are living high off the hog and getting an up to 20 percent raise in salary thanks to the Governor’s generosity… oh, and at the taxpayers expense, of course.
The Associated Press found that Quinn has “given 43 salary increases averaging 11.4 percent to 35 staffers in the past 15 months.”
For months Quinn has been hectoring the state legislature to “hold the line” in spending, yet sees no hypocrisy in handing out juicy raises to his staffers when his own citizens are losing base pay and hours across the state.
But wait, as they say on TV, that’s not all. Also due to an Illinois Governor’s generosity, 40,000 state workers are to get 14 percent raises, too. And it’ll cost this tapped-out state half a billion dollars to do it.
And who are these state workers? The union members of AFSCME, naturally. Quinn has spent his entire term in office giving as many payoffs to the state’s public employees unions as he could due to the millions they’ve given him in campaign donations.
So, the moral of the story is one of common sense. In Illinois it is common sense to be a placeman for the state instead of working for a living. If you are foolish enough to actually work in the private sector in Illinois expect your salary to be on a downward spiral. But if you are sucking off the taxpayer’s teat, expect lavish raises and permanent jobs from which you can never be fired.
Must be nice, eh?