Like many in Illinois with a job and money to lose, I am waiting for the hammer to fall. The state Senate’s failing “grand bargain” is a bad omen for those of us who have lived here a long time and know what it portends. Sooner or later a tax increase is coming. It will likely be a big one.
At the end of another abysmal 12 months Illinois can finally declare without a doubt what its greatest accomplishment was in 2015: talk. Lots and lots of talk.
This time there was a Republican at the helm.
Bruce Rauner has been sitting in the governor’s seat for a year. Before predecessor Pat Quinn left office, he made a final State of the State address that boasted progress that was illusory at best and at worst destructively expensive, or at least would have been if his plans had gone anywhere.
Where best to start with everything happening in Illinois? Do we begin with more credit downgrades,1 two Republican ex-governors turning on Governor Bruce Rauner,2 or Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to scrape up $250,000 to fund a Chicago gun buyback program?3 Let’s set these aside for the moment and focus on something that perfectly defines the budget insanity in Illinois and proves Rauner is right about the urgency of a turnaround, no matter what the consequences are.
Hopeless legislative stalemate happens when lawmakers don’t do their jobs. When they are too indebted to their big money backers or too obsessed with personal agendas and vendettas to perform their task of managing government, government fails. That’s when the courts step in.
Failed government means orders and outrage
Frustration from failed government causes the kind of outrage that Obama committed last November when he decided to throw the gates open wide for illegal immigrants.