EDITORIAL: Well, Illinoisans, you elected him - Beloit Daily News: Opinion

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EDITORIAL: Well, Illinoisans, you elected him

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Posted: Saturday, February 9, 2013 10:00 am

Quinn’s answer to fiscal crisis? Raise minimum wage.


ACCORDING TO MYTH, the much maligned Roman Emperor Nero occupied himself fiddling as he watched what is known as the Great Fire of Rome. True or not, the imagery has become synonymous with tuned-out leaders who look the other way when confronted with big problems.

Which brings us to Pat Quinn, the abominable governor of Illinois.

He rose to deliver his “State of the State” address Wednesday night, amid considerable national interest in what he would have to say about Illinois’ pressing fiscal problems. State government’s slide toward bankruptcy is accelerating. The state’s financial rating has been lowered. Again. Arguably, Illinois is in worse fiscal shape than any other state. The word “crisis” — overused as it is — fits for Illinois.


SO QUINN TOOK to the podium to talk about raising the minimum wage. About banning certain kinds of guns. About asking legislators to pass tougher conflict-of-interest laws for politicians — fat chance, on that one.

Well. What’s to be expected from the former lieutenant governor who found himself sitting in the big chair only because the law caught up with Rod Blagojevich? And then stayed in the job because Illinois is so dominated by Chicago Democrats, who apparently would vote for a shaggy dog if it had a “D” after its name.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: The position of lieutenant governor offers the worst of all situations and ought to be scrapped. Voters largely ignore the understudy on the ticket. So, when a governor does his job legally and doesn’t die, the lieutenant governor is nothing but an expensive potted plant — costing taxpayers millions while doing no work at all, unless you’re inclined to count smiling and cutting ribbons. But if a governor turns out to be a crook, or dies, or quits, the do-nothing — and, often, know-nothing — lieutenant governor suddenly is awakened and told to sit in the big chair.

And we wonder why they fail.

In some states, there are efforts to do away with wasteful lieutenant governors. Wisconsin and Illinois should join that movement.


WHAT DRIVES THE fiscal mess in Illinois, of course, is too much spending and too many unfunded promises. The financial debacle threatens the most important government spending — school funding, for example, and road building — because dollars are drying up and lenders are increasingly worried about a deadbeat state that can’t even pay its vendors on time.

If there’s a number-one problem it’s this: Illinois has an unfunded liability for public employee pensions of about $100 billion. Yet Quinn has no solution, and his fellow Democrats in the General Assembly probably wouldn’t pay any attention even if he did.

Who knows? They might even get together and decide to raise taxes again. That was the last big idea, when Illinois raised personal income taxes by 67 percent and business taxes by 50 percent, then promptly reported an even larger deficit because the elected officials couldn’t find a nickel to cut anywhere.

It has been said that people get the government they deserve.

Illinoisans elected these wonderful public servants.

Nice job.


A FINAL WORD: In some circles Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker might as well have devil’s horns sprouting from his head. While we, too, have objected to some of his actions and, more particularly, his tactics, give Walker credit for moving Wisconsin away from the fiscal brink. While Illinois rides the fiscal Titanic, Wisconsin deposits budget surplus money into a rainy-day fund. That’s quite a contrast.

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  • Mr Data posted at 11:19 am on Wed, Feb 13, 2013.

    Mr Data Posts: 3834

    I am sorry, but I have to disagree with those of you like Rob who describe Illinois as being the worst state in the union. I think it's closer to a tie between California and Illinois. Both are out of control and decaying from within thanks to all of their liberalism and radically progressive policies.

    The number one city in Illinois is a prime example of how bad Illinois is as a state.

    CHICAGO is one of, if not THEE, worst liberal diseased cities in the USA. Like Illinois Chicago is financially mis-managed, and so far in debt, they're begging Obama for $ 5- $7 trillion from the feds to bail Chicago out; Chicago is as corrupt as any city in the whole wide world; and Chicago like Illinois and CA is decaying from the inside out thanks to its failed inept democrat leadership of the past 7 decades.

    I have said this before and I will say it again .. to those of us with our eyes and minds wide open --- CHICAGO is a LESSON LEARNED staring us in the face. Every single citizen, educator, media pundit / journalist, and politician, should recognize this .. but of course, many are just too politically biased to admit their allegiance to such bad liberal policies and practices could no way have resulted in this catastrophic disease called Chicago, or Illinois, or California. It has to be all George Bush's fault!

    But the fact is that for decades and decades Chicago has been continually led / controlled by leftist liberal, union loving, taxpayer baiting ... such as ... Mayor Daley for decades, then his liberal kid, and now by one Daley's discipled followers - Rahm Emanuel. They have never known how to lead .. they steal, cheat, lie, and SPEND!!!

    Chicago is representative (just as is California, and Illinois) of the kind of unstoppable, internal cancerous decay of a government that is caused by untethered liberalism, complete with its robust hypocrisy, its lack of fiscal discipline, and the absence of any leadership accountability.

    It's sad when you read the numbers that show that those among the minority community are doing worse than the average person in America is doing; they have a higher unemployment rate, thye have a higher poverty rate, they earn less money, they are less healthy and have a shoirter life span, their kids are performing worse than average in the public education system, they have a higher single parent family rate, and they have more teenagers getting pregnant and also being shot and killed than average.

    I'll never understand why .. but for some reason minorities (many who were made free men and women back in the 1860s by Republicans) love the liberals, and they give them their undying support in election after election. Yet, it is those same minorities who are continually victimized by the liberal policies like the Keynesian theory of economics by BIG government. Has anyone noticed the clear absence of anyone from the liberal community helping the minorities improve their status, except to do so with more government / taxpayer paid 'handouts' to appease their undeniable, unstoppable plight into obscurity and further decline.

    To me, and maybe it is only me, who cares .. but I view the actions of the liberals, and their more radical progressives, as being the HIV of America. They have proven they have the UNDESERVED image they hold of being on the side of the little guy (especially the minorities) across America. In reality Chicago and Illinois are prime examples of how they have failed disastorously at doing their job even adequately when they are the ones put in charge!

    They have failed in Chicago, they are failing Illinois, and now they are failing us in Washington after just 5 years with our liberal Chicago trained community organizer President in charge of Washington using the same failed tax and spend liberal policies.

    It is clear we cannot, nor we should not, expect the liberal and radical progressive policies, or their liberal or radical leftist politicians to do anything of value or good for us. They are unable to that.

    Look at the plight of Chicago. Look at the plight of Illinois. And it's already happening across our nation in just a few years of liberal / radically progressive Obama/Pelosi/Reid leadership.

    When will the liberal taxpayers and minorities wake up and learn they need to lean more towards the center to get the real help they need?

  • billtinder posted at 10:52 am on Tue, Feb 12, 2013.

    billtinder Posts: 4698

    You don't really need pitchforks and torches just yet. First what you need is for the 90 percent that never show up at the polls to get off their lazy A$$es and come let their chioces be heard. Maybe we need that E-Trade baby to make some more commercials showing how easy it is to cast a vote so the chickens can finally come home to roost.

    Small wonder so many people are fed up with government, when only 10 percent are running the show.

  • billtinder posted at 10:44 am on Tue, Feb 12, 2013.

    billtinder Posts: 4698

    Well badbubyu,
    Here's my take on the street crew issue.....

    Our new council decided that they couldn't afford our street crew so they "laid-off" two workers and a superintendent.
    They also didn't much care for the seniors having a sand castle for the sake of social gatherings and after kicking them out; decided that they could use it for themselves after buying fancier doors and painting the place up. This little remodeling project was deemed to be far more important than any silly potholes, so our remaining skeleton crew street guys were redirected to that project. Of course, I would have to admit that those guys did a beautiful job on the sand castle, but if your going to redirect street crews to this type of work, then maybe you should be bringing our other guys back off of lay-off; instead of rubbing salt in their wounds by passing out big raises and hiring other non-essential friends of the city attorney. That helps to cut down on the unecessary lawsuits!

    Sorry I blew up, but you asked!

  • 1badbubyu posted at 7:08 pm on Mon, Feb 11, 2013.

    1badbubyu Posts: 1261

    Hey Mr. Tinder whats the deal with all those ENORMOUS potholes down in S. B-Town? Is it just me or are they HUGE this year?!!!

  • 1badbubyu posted at 7:05 pm on Mon, Feb 11, 2013.

    1badbubyu Posts: 1261

    It will take a statewide revolution in IL. to turn it around....pitchforks and torches people......pitchforks and torches.[beam]

  • billtinder posted at 6:15 pm on Mon, Feb 11, 2013.

    billtinder Posts: 4698

    Oh, Luckydog wouldn't want to trade, He already has the type of government he prefers; here in South Beloit.

  • LesMore posted at 10:17 am on Mon, Feb 11, 2013.

    LesMore Posts: 1

    I'm ashamed to be from IL. Can they take the time to figure out how to fix the economy? of course not. Can they waste time talking about banning guns and forcing "gay marriage" on us? ABSOLUTELY...because those are MUCH more important issues.

  • jmartin posted at 10:03 am on Mon, Feb 11, 2013.

    jmartin Posts: 248

    Delavan Mike would probubly trade Governors along with Lucky Dog. That's all I can think of off the top of my head.

  • billtinder posted at 11:32 am on Sun, Feb 10, 2013.

    billtinder Posts: 4698

    What Illinois is launching is businesses and jobs to surrounding states.
    Just when we thought things couldn't get worse this modern day Einstein, pulls this rabbit our of his hat.

    Thanks for nothing, Quinn!

    Hey, Wisconsin.... want to trade Governors?

  • Rob posted at 7:58 pm on Sat, Feb 9, 2013.

    Rob Posts: 83

    Illinois is owned by liberals, the absolute worst state in the union, corrupt corrupt corrupt

  • 1badbubyu posted at 2:14 pm on Sat, Feb 9, 2013.

    1badbubyu Posts: 1261

    Sooooooo GLAD I live in Wisconsin!

    Illinois doesn't just "kick the can down the road" they put it in a cannon and launch it into next century!


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