It’s unfortunate, but true. Even though some people are stupid that doesn’t mean they can’t vote. That’s how democracy works. You get to have a say no matter how politically impaired your views or self-centered your goals.
Is Pat Quinn running neck and neck against Bruce Rauner in the Illinois governor’s contest because people are stupid? It depends on who you ask and what they want. Quinn, like others of his ilk, has a lot of appeal to voters with their hands out. Their numbers include the flood of applicants for the Medicaid expansion and its “fast track” program simplifying the process for those receiving food stamps or other benefits.1 Has anyone reminded the governor that by 2017 Illinois, a state that still has problems paying its bills, will have to start picking up part of the tab?
It seems absurd that an organization can call itself “Taxpayers for Quinn” with a straight face, but in a state where a pro-Quinn “Freedom PAC” is organized by unions who bring us anything but, we shouldn’t be surprised. Some people are stupid. Those writing campaign propaganda know it. Quinn voters living in Waukegan, site of the newest teacher’s strike, probably haven’t figured out that they are being refused a service they paid for by a labor organization that traditionally supports Democrats. They should ask themselves why union concern for their kids always focuses on pay and benefits, not instruction.
No one talks about this Illinois jobs number
While Quinn’s office boasts that more people are working now than when he walked on the job,2 at 6.7% unemployment is higher in Illinois than in all but 15 states.3 The governor takes credit for job creation success, but no one is talking about underutilized workers. Bureau of Labor Statistics data through June 2014 shows that 14.8% of state residents are jobless, or working less than full time because of the economy.4
Income inequality for the rich, the poor, and the stupid
There is an enormous disconnect between the left’s views on income inequality and their ideas on how to fix it. Nothing speaks to income inequality like not working, whether by choice or misfortune. Whatever rate Democrats settle on for minimum wage income support, if you’re not working it won’t help you.
Speaking in Illinois on behalf of Quinn, the president continued to insist that only the uber wealthy benefitted from the recovery:
When nearly all the gains of the recovery have gone to the top 1 percent, when income inequality is at as high a rate as we’ve seen in decades, I find that a little hard to swallow that they really desperately need a tax cut right now, it’s urgent.5
This is an ironic stance, considering he also likes to take credit for saving the country from his Great Recession, but liberals tend to ignore their own irony. Consider the expectation that taxpayers should be handed tens of billions in pension debt.
Having to pay off other people’s retirements doesn’t improve life for the middle class. While Quinn trumpeted historic pension reform, a Civic Federation report showed that pension liabilities have risen to almost $20,000 per head for those living in Chicago, with taxpayers on the hook for $131.9 billion in unfunded liabilities.6 Will a minimum wage boost to counter higher property taxes help Chicago residents shoulder that burden?
Proof positive that people are stupid
If you are a voter who backs a minimum wage increase and approve of Quinn’s drivel about jobs and opportunity, how can you tolerate what the state has done for illegal immigrants who compete with minimum wage workers? Driver’s licenses for driving to work, hands-off sanctuary city Chicago, Illinois resident college tuition, administering social services, and Chicago’s offer to take part of the detritus from the border surge are all destined for the tab of taxpayers in a notoriously cash-strapped state. That makes Illinois’ government irresponsible. Anyone who supports it joins the ranks of the stupid.
Democrats focus on what Republicans take away
Maybe all these numbers don’t prove that people are stupid. Perhaps they are only greedy. Democratic campaign ads like to threaten voters with having their services and benefits taken away. In a country with so many opportunities available, putting someone in office whose focus is making it easier to depend on the government seems like a low-rent option, but low-rent describes Illinois politics perfectly. Aside from those willing to plunk down big money to listen to the likes of Quinn or Obama run their mouths at fundraising dinners, when people vote for a Democrat in Illinois, they know what they are voting for.