I know I'm repeating myself, but repeat myself I must:
More precisely, this is how ward-heeler politicians operate. There's a symbiosis between desperate people who like having a ward-heeler "fighting for them" and a ward-heeler who mau-maus the rest of the polity about the continued parlous condition of his or her constituents. A ward-heeler cannot call out the constituents for engaging in self-destructive behavior, nor get re-elected in a district in which constituents discover, or re-discover bourgeois habits. Better to have constituents rendered helpless by years of Democratic policies.Give Mr Quinn full marks for chutzpah, though: one of his political action committees, which pays for some of these invidious comparisons, is the delectably named Taxpayers for Quinn. Which taxpayers are those? The ones who fled Illinois, or who might still work in Illinois but live in Wisconsin, or who closed businesses in Illinois? Or the Link-card dependent Democrat base? Or perhaps Mr Quinn's cronies are attempting to make a virtue out of a perceived necessity by giving the impression that there is some sort of public support for making permanent the temporary state income tax increase that hasn't helped make much of a dent in the state's backlog of unpaid bills. Illinois: the land of cash-flow games. Just ask the accountant for any clinic that accepts patients on state insurance.
Fortunately, some opinion makers are seeing through it.
You'd expect Crain's Chicago Business to say Enough to the Machine.
Key to Mr. Rauner's fiscal fix is rolling back the “temporary” income tax hike passed in 2011, the one that Democrats seem hellbent on making permanent. Phasing out that tax probably will take longer than the four years Mr. Rauner would like. But in the end, he would release individuals and businesses from an anti-competitive levy. His plan to make up the lost revenue is better for the state, too: an overhaul of the tax code that would reduce the overall sales tax rate while expanding it to many services. Meantime, he would put a ceiling on property taxes.That may be wishful thinking, but getting out of an abusive relationship is an act of hope. And the relationship of Illinois with Springfield Democrats has been abusive.
Our endorsement of Mr. Rauner is not an act of partisanship. We have rallied behind Democratic candidates for governor in the past, including Glenn Poshard over George Ryan in 1998 and Rod Blagojevich over Jim Ryan four years later.Double oops.
Yet all too often, Mr. Quinn has seemed deliberately indifferent to the needs of business owners. Exhibit A is his “temporary” income tax hike.Sometimes, a good house-cleaning is in order. That appears to be the perspective of the Daily Herald, out of the northwestern suburbs.
Originally an outsider, Mr. Quinn unfortunately has fallen victim to the vices of one-party rule, promoting patronage and passing around political favors. He has not garnered enough political support, among voters or in the Illinois General Assembly, to serve as a counter-weight to House Speaker Michael Madigan or Senate President John Cullerton.
Is Rauner the perfect candidate? Who could be? To be sure, we are more than a little troubled by the vagueness of his economic proposals, the outright naiveté if not political opportunism of his call for a property tax freeze, the sometimes simplistic framework in which he contains Illinois' complex problems.Now, if we could just get past the Cult of the Executive. As long as editorial boards expect that state governors, or presidents, are able to make good on their promises of bright shiny things, people will run for office promising bright shiny things, or to "fight" for those bright shiny things. Just once, just once, I'd like to see someone run for state or national office on a platform of consolidation, and an aversion to change for its own sake, or just to recognize the limitations of government.
But we are clear on his ultimate objective for the state -- an objective, frankly, that we believe Gov. Quinn and most Illinoisans share. The question is which of the two men can change the course of Illinois history, and that dramatically.
Whatever small steps he has taken, Gov. Pat Quinn has had six years in which to put the state back on course, but ultimately has shown he is not the leader we need.
Bruce Rauner is.
It's progress, though, for the Chicago Tribune's editorial board, in endorsing Mr Rauner, to call out Mr Quinn for mau-mauing successful people.
Quinn's obsessive attacks on a man who can afford several homes may be a deft way to change the political debate, but the crucial issue on Nov. 4 is that in today's Illinois — with so many jobs going to Texas and other hiring-friendly states — many families here can't afford one house. All of us should focus on that.(Excerpt courtesy NBC Chicago.)
The editorial board at the DeKalb Chronicle, located in a university community with a lot of Democrat operatives with tenure, has also had enough of Mr Quinn.
Gov. Pat Quinn has had more than five years to guide Illinois toward a brighter fiscal future.That's encouraging: higher tax rates used to be a progressive policy. But:
Instead, his incompetent leadership and regressive policies have driven the state to the brink of financial collapse.
Illinois is bleeding jobs. State data released last month show there are 102,000 fewer Illinoisans in the workforce now than when Quinn, a Democrat, took office in 2009. That’s good for worst in the country. Illinois also is the only state in the Midwest where food stamp enrollment has outpaced job creation – by a 2-to-1 margin – since the Great Recession, again under Quinn’s watch.Explain to me why it is bad form to speak of a food-stamp governor, or a food-stamp president? Oh, wait, that's the Democrat base.
Deadbeat state government owes social service agencies, school districts and other employers almost $5 billion for work completed months ago. Illinois’ worker’s compensation costs are fourth worst in the U.S., driving businesses and jobs elsewhere.And a graduated income tax, or increasing marginal tax rates, sometimes sails as a progressive tax rate. Priceless.
Quinn and Democratic state lawmakers also foisted a 67 percent income tax increase on wage earners in 2011, costing a household with annual income of $50,000 an additional $1,000 in taxes. Quinn promised it would be temporary, but now wants to make it permanent. He also wants to introduce a graduated income tax, another jobs killer.
The editorial writers take a tone skeptical toward the Cult of the Executive.
Rauner admits he does not have all the answers. He understands Illinois’ financial situation is so dire, he will need help. He vows to surround himself with talented people whose focus will be righting the state’s fiscal ship, not political cronies looking for more taxpayer-funded handouts.I suppose it would be too radical to write an endorsement that didn't have "hope" or "change" in it, someplace.
Rauner doesn’t need this job. He said he’s running because he believes in Illinois and wants to make it a better place to live. Bruce Rauner gives Illinois hope.
Gov. Pat Quinn offers more of the same failures.