Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democratic politician, gave his State of the State Address today and asserted something of which many in the state disagree. Pat Quinn asserts that “Illinois is making a comeback,” according to the Chicago Tribune on Wednesday. He also made a brash attempt at promoting himself as the governor of Illinois who - he claims - has had some great accomplishments. His ongoing, extremely low approval ratings from his constituents beg to differ with his allegations that he has accomplished great things in the Land of Lincoln during his time in office.
In the state that is reportedly one of the very most financially-broke states in the country, Quinn wants to spend more money on early childhood education. While it is a wonderful thought, the state is incredibly in debt. Incredibly. He continually asserts how others should spend their money as well, as he called for businesses to increase minimum wages in Illinois – up to $10 from $8.50. He spoke about a new office position on his staff that will deal with improving small business in Illinois. This “executive order” to create the new position comes just a day after yet another company bailed out of the state. Cancer Centers of America are heading south to Florida for a better climate – financial climate, that is. The business taxes during Quinn’s five years have sent businesses, big and small, scurrying. How a new person on the payroll to undo the harm of Quinn's increased-taxes in the past - which sent businesses scurrying to other states - is not clear.
He reminded everyone that he has been at the helm for five years to-the-day. He spoke in the past tense about financial instability, economic collapse, and government corruption. Regarding the first two – financial instability and economic collapse – it appears as though the governor spoke in the wrong tense. Illinois is still in economic and financial disarray, to put it politely. Additionally, as many have learned about Illinois - unfortunately - never say never when it comes to the amount of corruption that is in the state.
“Birth to Five” is an initiative of which the governor spoke. Quinn wants to conjoin schools, hospitals, and churches for pregnant women who are in need of prenatal services and care. Additionally, there was more “education talk” from Quinn which asserted that he wants to provide every child with access to “quality early learning opportunities.” Again, it’s nice talk – but Illinoisans have heard such statements before and many believe that the state has gotten nowhere during Quinn’s administration on educational matters. Educators, in particular, are not reportedly content with Quinn's educational moves in the past five years.
Of course, the governor called for his educational desires with the claim that it is a budget priority. That, naturally, is meaningless talk since there was no mention whatsoever of the financial cost of his desires – not to mention from where the money would ultimately come.
In summation, Quinn said that “By following the steps I have outlined here today – creating more jobs, making early childhood education a top priority, and building an economy that works for everyone – we can create a stronger economy than ever before and reform Illinois for the next generation.”
Talk is cheap – likely the only cheap thing in Illinois. Getting real, let’s not worry about the next generation just yet – let’s concentrate on tomorrow for Quinn’s constituents – and concern ourselves with the next generation after the present has been tackled.
As campaign speeches go, Quinn gets a grade of D- for effort.