The most amazing thing about Illinois politics is that voters have to think about their decisions. So little good comes from Springfield that a trip to the voting booth should mean little more than voting out whoever is in office. If you care about your kids, though, things are more difficult. Illinois parents sticking around until the bottom falls out of the state’s economy because they nurture hopes of making a life here have a big decision to make. Should they stay, or flee this evolving train wreck for the sake of their children?
Regardless of who wins this year’s gubernatorial race, the election will answer a question that has nothing to do with who will be hanging out in the governor’s mansion. Illinois parents, you will get to prove whether you care about your kids. Next year, those living in Chicago will get to do it all over again when they cast their vote for mayor. Should Chicago voters lose sleep over whether Karen Lewis is a better choice than Rahm Emanuel, or should they be looking at houses, jobs, and school systems in Wisconsin or Indiana?
Big issue for Illinois parents: are you foolish enough to stay here?
The Labor Day campaign season kickoff is still two weeks away, but the Quinn-Rauner contest turned ugly long ago. The campaigns have shifted voters’ attentions away from the only real issue in this election: is there any point to living in this state? Is the decision to stay in Illinois foolhardy for anyone who is not either terminally ill or too broke to live anywhere else?
While we listen to demands from the Quinn campaign for Bruce Rauner to produce his tax records, how does the governor’s office explain its scheme to keep a tax hike permanent while it answers questions about the state’s outrageous financial mismanagement? Funding handouts to the losers in Illinois’ economy is not enough. Taxpayers also have to make up the losses for big mistakes and wasted money. In a state that has problems paying its bills, how do we justify coming up short by almost a half billion dollars in lottery revenue1 and wasting tens of millions more on Quinn’s anti-gang program?
We all pay for these lapses, but Illinois parents have even more to worry about. If you care about your kids, do you want them to learn the lesson being taught by our state’s leaders, that government will be there to bail them out if they don’t make enough money or don’t want to work because the supply of tax revenue for handouts is endless?
Parents who care about their kids won’t back a poor man’s governor.
Quinn’s legacy is a mess because his majority in Springfield has allowed him to force-feed taxpayers portions of the Obama agenda that won’t fly in Washington. The country got lucky. Illinois did not.
Illinois parents aren’t making a choice between Quinn and Rauner. They are deciding whether to hitch their kids’ futures to a poor man’s governor. Quinn has already told us all we need to know about where our paychecks will go if he wins: illegal immigrants, public employee unions, minimum wage workers, tax breaks to companies for doing business here, government worker pensions, and social insurance handouts. When handouts mean reelection, how much incentive do Illinois politicians have to grow the state’s economy?
Liberal notions about social responsibility put a lot of bills on the public plate and lots of taxes on the table. Parents have to pay for more than college for their kids. They have to pay for resident tuition for illegal immigrants, a benefit their own kids may not qualify for. We owe untold billions to public employee retirements. We will be paying even more if the state and city of Chicago minimum wage hikes are passed and businesses are forced to dump the costs on consumers.
Unlike elected officials, taxpayers with something to lose understand that the costs for this kind of irresponsible pandering have to be paid by someone. The more you make, the more you are held accountable for someone else’s bad decisions. The permanent extension of higher state income tax rates is still on the table, but let’s face it. If Quinn wins reelection, the decision is already made.
Should Illinois parents put a monkey in the governor’s mansion?
Short of springing Rod Blagojevich from the pokey, we would be better off electing a resident of the primate house at the Brookfield Zoo than risking another term with Illinois’ current governor. Campaign season means pleas for the future of our children. So far we haven’t seen much coming from Illinois government to secure that future. Only an irresponsible parent or one with money to burn would decide to stay in Illinois and cast votes in favor of the spendthrift power elite in Springfield.
For Illinois parents who claim to care about their kids, one thing is certain. No Republican governor would be capable of doing more damage than has already been done to this state. Will a GOP pick make things better? If the balance in the legislature doesn’t change Rauner won’t get much done, but at least he won’t help lawmakers speed up the state’s death spiral. What about Pat Quinn? If you have to ask, you don’t care about your kids. If you do care about your kids, you will soon have your chance to prove it.