I wonder what Gov. Pat Quinn thinks when he looks at himself in the mirror. Because his budget “scare tactics,” as one person described them, were shameful.
When Quinn unveiled Illinois’ 2011 budget last week, he hit us where us where he knew it would hurt the hardest, with our children. He held education hostage, and basically said we either support a one percent increase in income tax (which is like a 33 percent increase if the tax goes from a flat tax of 3 percent to 4 percent), or, he lays off as many as 17,000 teachers.
Ouch. That hurts. Especially in a school system already taxed, as Illinois’ is. What Quinn proposed will affect every public school child in Illinois. Yet in his speech, Quinn called the 1 percent increase for education “urgent,” and he challenged the General Assembly “to take immediate action to enact the 1 percent for education initiative.”
“We cannot walk away from teaching our kids,” the governor said. “In America, in Illinois, we adults sacrifice some of our present in order to help our children's future. We are custodians of their future.”
That is one of the biggest crocks of bull I’ve ever heard. And I’m old enough to have heard plenty of it from politicians. Is this the guy I want as governor for the next four years? I really have to wonder.
The interesting thing is, both parties, Democrats and Republicans, are pooh-poohing the budget. Rep. Jack Franks D-Woodstock) said he’s “sick” about it. “It’s an absolute mess,” said Franks, who for the last nine years has voted against the budget. “It’s not valid. It’s not real. The system is broken. It needs to change.”
And Sen Dale Risinger (R-Peoria) said the budget Quinn gave last week was “woefully short on a lot of things.”
“I think the budget he gives us will not be anything like the budget we pass,” said Risinger. “It makes detrimental cuts in education but increases Medicaid. I think the General Assembly will probably pass the tax increase, but we’ll probably go back to the drawing board on what we’ll pass.”
Great idea, Senator. And do me a favor, please, and take the governor with you.