Rauner’s budget-Is any of this going to happen ?

An interesting take on the new Illinois governor’s shot across the bow.

The Sun-Times doesn’t like it.

If we thought Gov. Bruce Rauner’s first proposed state budget stood a chance of becoming reality, we would be appalled.

Talk about cold. Rauner wants to eviscerate dozens of programs that serve the poorest and most defenseless among us.

C’mon, cutting tuition aid to orphans?

If the Sun-Times is anything like it was the last time I lived in Chicago, a long time ago, this is no surprise. It defined limousine liberal then with Marshall Field the owner.

Marshall Field III (September 28, 1893 – November 8, 1956) was an American investment banker, publisher, racehorse owner/breeder, philanthropist, heir to the Marshall Field department store fortune and a leading financial supporter and founding board member of Saul Alinsky’s community organizing network Industrial Areas Foundation.

I don’t know if things have changed the last 50 years.

But the governor’s fiscal year 2016 budget has zero chance of being passed into law by the Illinois General Assembly, as he well knows. Its real value then, which we’d like to believe is by design, is to sound the alarm like never before that Illinois is sliding fast toward becoming an economic backwater, a failed state among the 50 states. Time is running out. Hard and painful measures must be taken now.

If Rauner’s draconian plan has achieved that much, we’d say it’s about time.

That sounds promising. Maybe 50 years of economic stagnation has made a difference. Chicago is doing fine as far as the “Near North” part of it although a woman was raped in broad daylight across the street from my niece’s apartment two weeks ago. She is a nurse on the transplant team at Rush Medical Center and should carry a gun but we all know about Chicago and guns. Only gangsters are allowed guns.

Following that, we would expect to see a hard but healthy give-and-take, like nothing we have seen in decades, between the executive and legislative branches. And, in the end, Illinois might finally settle on a long-term spending and revenue plan that puts the state on a path toward solvency and growth for decades to come.

Hey, we can hope.

This sounds more realistic than I have ever heard from the Sun-Times. Is this progress? The little I know about the Tribune these days is not any more promising.

And Wisconsin lefties thought Walker was bad !

I’m sitting out here in La La land with Jerry Brown and 1/3 of the illegal immigrants in the US watching Los Angeles implode.

My wife needed to renew her drivers’ license on her birthday, January 13. Unfortunately, January 1, was the day that illegal aliens were eligible for drivers’ licenses. As a result, the first day she could get an appointment, as opposed to waiting all day in line, was today more than a month later. Unfortunately, she had pneumonia last week and came home Sunday. Today she felt too weak to go to her DMV office and called to reschedule. The next date she could get an appointment was in April.

I’m not sure Illinois is any better but at least somebody is trying to do something about it.

12 thoughts on “Rauner’s budget-Is any of this going to happen ?”

  1. I wonder is there is some way to obtain a data set sampling info about the languages used by the aliens applying that day?

    My conjecture is that the vast VAST majority of undocumented aliens in the US are Spanish-speaking people who, essentially, “walked” over the border. Most (I suspect, but lack data to test) never had any entry documentation at all.

    This is in contrast to speakers of Chinese, Hindi, Tagalog, (etc) who flew into the US and have, for instance, illegally overstayed their student visas or work visas or tourist visas… the entry documents that were obtained along with their airline tickets, back when.

    It seems to me impossible to discuss or negotiate about a situation we don’t define and measure. Getting more immigrants to work as California computer coders is a different problem that restricting, and raising the wages of, meat cutters in Nebraska. The problem of educating non-English speaking immigrant children is different if there is a MONO-lingual pool of immigrants, or a POLY-lingual pool. Even which political party the newcomers might support is an open question supposing we’re talking about groups that identify primarily as (say) traditional Catholic or (for instance) secular agnostics.

    It’s my impression that the weasel words used (undocumented immigrant, illegal alien, migrant non-citizens, “people living in the shadows” or whatever) really means Spanish speaking pedestrians. I’d like to see data to test my hypothesis.

  2. All the counties, cities, townships, school districts, etc can complain all they want, but everybody knows that for Rauner to get anything done, he has to only worry about one person.
    He has to somehow find a way to get it his agenda through the top boss of the General Assembly Mike Madigan.

    Regarding the newspaper situation in Chicago, the Sun Times used to be worthwhile to read for its columnists, but those days are long gone. Through attrition and atrophy and cutbacks, there’s not much there to read anymore. When Roger Ebert died, I think he took the soul of the paper with him.

    I quit subscribing to the Tribune when they cut the width of their paper down to save money. It looks like a school paper. In fact, I know several area high schools that put out better publications. Their website is awful. Almost unreadable with so many Flash videos and ads firing every time I open up the home page, crippling the entire operation.

    Even with the internet commandeering the Tribune newspaper’s traditional business, they made some strategic errors that accelerated it’s inevitable demise, not the least of which was letting lowlife, incompetent amateurs run it into the toilet. They never recovered from that, and they had to sell off the newspapers last fall. Now the website is trying to get people to pay for reading the news, but the terrible technology has to improve before that happens. Even with that, it’s not clear that people will pay for news content. Their entire future is based on an unproven gamble.

  3. This is just one more episode in the long running prog/collectivist soap opera that proceeds along an utterly predictable script that has become so internalized very few people even think to question it.

    Here is a big, difficult social problem.

    The state is the only agency which can muster the resources to adequately address this desperate crisis.

    The state program enacted to solve this crisis is well-intentioned but badly underfunded, and must be expanded to reach an ever increasing at-risk clientele.

    Any criticism of this program, other than lack of funding or that it is too limited, evinces a callous, uncaring attitude.

    Any call for lessening the scope or funding of this humanitarian program is evidence of a cruel and hostile animosity towards the people afflicted by this terrible problem, and has no possible legitimate basis.

    This is the standard litany, repeated endlessly, without any conscious realization that the entire script is based on a lie, wishful thinking, and the adamant refusal to ever examine either the actual workings or actual results of the state program in question.

    The lie, for anyone who can’t see it, is that expansive state power is good and compassionate, while private agency is ineffective and demeaning. I hope the other elements are obvious, needing no further explication.

    It is pointless to argue about sums or details without challenging the idea’s premises—that state power is always and in every case a good, and, conversely, that private action is weak and ineffectual at best, and a dangerous evil if it blocks the expansion of state power.

    State power is the only true goal of all of this. Everything and everyone else are only grist for the mill, to be ground up and flushed away.

  4. Fixing Illinois is a problem of priorities, bottom priorities. No matter what the tax level and no matter your political ideology, there’s a dollar that does the least good for the people. But it’s a big secret what that dollar is spent on because nobody is asking Illinois politicians to identify the bottom half of their budget priorities.

    News outlets would get a series of easy and cheap stories and do the people of Illinois a real favor were they to ask these sorts of priority questions. I find it suspicious that few seem to think in these cost/benefit terms.

  5. It looks like the left is going after Emmanuel with the teachers’ union backing a far lefty in the de Blasio mold.

    Maybe this will help Rauner. I don’t know enough about Chicago politics anymore to have an opinion. Is it war ?

    Garcia also is competing hard for black voters. He has touted his close ties to the late Harold Washington, the city’s first black mayor. Garcia was Washington’s deputy water commissioner and remained a close ally as an alderman.

    He also has raised concerns about crime under Emanuel’s watch, decrying “10,000 shootings in the last four years” in a TV ad.

    I guess all those shootings are Emmanuel’s fault ?

  6. This is Chicago. Emmanuel has next to no chance of losing. I’m sure those other guys are nice and well intentioned, but they’re not serious contenders to win. Emmanuel and Rauner are friends. He’ll help Rauner tamp down the Madigans. That’s the way it works around here.

  7. Well, by all accounts Rauner and Emmanuel are indeed friends. Good enough friends to vacation together. However, they apparently met through Mrs. Rauner, who is a Democrat and works for certain Philanthropic causes downtown. I look at it this way – if you love your wife enough, you will find yourself hanging out with her friends that you normally may not have been hanging out with otherwise. That’s just what you do.

    I don’t know that there’s anything else going on. There were rumblings early on about Rauner’s daughter jumping a list to get into a downtown prep school some years ago, but nothing seemed to come of it.

    When I say that Rahm needs to work over the Madigans, it’s mostly speculation since he and Lisa Madigan are neighbors and undoubtedly find themselves in intersecting social circles. I can’t imagine Rauner, a genuine political outsider in Illinois politics, will find it easy working with Lisa’s father, the aforementioned ‘King of Illinois’. He’ll need to employ some sort of ‘end arounds’.

    There are probably still vestiges of the “Chicago Way” of not wanting nobody that nobody sent. It seems the midwestern social/cultural fabric runs pretty tight especially in Chicago. The same qualities, values, and dynamics that tie people together keep them interested in promoting their own group and keeping outside influences at bay, resulting in political stagnation.

    The tribalism has evolved though. Racial and ethnic ties gave way to economic and ideological ones. They’ve obviously spilled over to the national stage. Influences get diluted, the excesses domesticated, accordances get demarcated.

  8. I had a somewhat unusual childhood in Chicago as my father was in the juke box business and we knew some gangsters. My mother, at one stage, was worried that I would be an innocent bystander, if Danny Stanton was assassinated while I was sitting on his lap. My father and his best friend had a speakeasy during the era of Prohibition and knew a fair number of mobsters including Frank Nitti and Tony Accardo whose daughter went to school with my sister.

    After the War, the juke box business declined for two reasons. One was the shellac 78 rpm records were of poorer quality and the other was that the Mafia got interested in the business. A few times, my father would arrive at one of the taverns where he had a juke box and find it out in the alley. He took the hint.

    That led to some acquaintance with local politicians like Aldermen. I remember one friend of my father’s who needed to got to Cook County hospital for alcoholism. Instead of taking him to the hospital ER, they called the alderman’s office. That’s how things were done.

    Another good friend, from another side of the street, was Frank Flanagan who probably knew a lot of what went on but had to ignore it as he went about his business and stayed away from organized crime units.

  9. “…’King of Illinois’…” – this makes me sick.

    Well, we will see how the “king” does when he runs up against the reality of the debt and unfunded pensions that they have been kicking down the road for eons.

    The party is ending soon – and from what I have been reading and digesting, Illinois/Chicago has about two more years before everything goes “t.u.”.

    You can be a partisan all you want, but you can’t fight math.

  10. “Another good friend, from another side of the street, was Frank Flanagan”

    What a fantastic story. Here’s to the good old days. May they never be forgotten.

    Dan, I agree it is sick, and it can’t go on. Madigan was actually forced to face the music, and a modest pension reform bill was passed a year ago. However, it’s facing review by the state supreme court in a few weeks because it was declared unconstitutional. Amazingly, our 1970 state constitution defines public pensions “shall be an enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired.”
    It may be that we’ll unfortunately have to hit rock bottom before changes occur.

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