Illinois Governor Pat Quinn gave the State of the State speech this past week. Illinois just saw its third credit rating downgrade in the past year, giving it the lowest bond rating in the country. The state’s pension debt conservatively is at $100 billion. That state is behind paying its bills by about $9 billion. The overall state debt is said to be around $200 billion. That state of the state is not very good, to put it mildly.
So, what does Gov. Quinn spend most of his State of the State speech talking out? Gay marriage, gun control, online voter registration and increasing the minimum wage to $10 an hour. Folks, welcome to the state of Illinois and its political leadership!
Illinois is on the brink of collapse and the governor spends more time on nonproblems than he does on problems. Businesses and residents are fleeing to other states. More people are taking a fresh look at Indiana, which balances its budgets, actually has a multi-billion dollar rainy day fund and has lowered the tax burden on its residents. Meanwhile, Illinois leaders look for new ways to punish businesses and residents with more taxes and fees.
Gov. Quinn, who spearheaded the creation of Squeezy the Pension Python to signify the dangers of the state’s pension system for its workers and retired workers, is so out of touch with reality that Illinois would be better off with one of the zombie creatures from The Walking Dead for governor. Or, perhaps Quinn is just living in the Land of Oz. If the communications folks at the state put a laugh track to his State of the State speech, Quinn’s speech would have gone unheard because that’s all folks would hear – laughter.
While Quinn’s speech was a joke, the unfortunate reality is that it was no joke. It was sad. It was shameful. It was embarrassing. The unfortunate reality is that Quinn and his Democratic leaders in the legislature – Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate Majority Leader John Cullerton – should be impeached for dereliction of duty; for committing crimes against the people and businesses of Illinois.
The Zombie Governor or the Governor of Oz or Governor Joke actually rattled off this bit of hysteria during his speech: “In our Illinois, small business means big business. Driving economic growth for small businesses requires doing all we can to make sure government is not in the way.”
Heavens! That is all Illinois does do with any business: it gets in the way. It impedes the way. In the same speech he says the minimum wage needs to be increased to $10 an hour. How is that NOT getting the way of small businesses? Illinois still has one of the worst worker comp laws in the nation. How is that NOT getting in the way of small businesses? Or any business, for that matter? And the state worker pension problem is such a mess that major employers like Abbott Labs are looking at contingency plans to get out of Illinois if nothing is done.
Meanwhile, the public employee unions are pushing for a tax increase. Another tax increase on YOU! They are threatening to take the state to court if pension reform includes any type of concessions by union workers. So, while the average retired Illinois government worker gets about $75,000 a year, you will get soaked with more tax increases.
While Illinois continues to self-destruct, Quinn talks about anything but. The increase in minimum wage is only going to hurt small businesses, lesser skilled workers and teen workers. Gun control won’t create jobs. Neither will gay marriage. Nor will online voter registration.
The only thing online voter registration will do is help the Democratic Party with its vote fraud efforts. Gun control is nothing more than a feel good effort that will only end up harming and taxing legal and careful gun owners. Gay marriage does benefit a small group of people and is certainly meaningful to them, but it doesn’t solve any of the state’s big problems.
The State of the Illinois? Dreadful. But don’t tell that to the Zombie Governor. Or Governor Oz. Or the bad joke that is Pat Quinn. Or whatever it is you want to call him. And don’t tell it to the state’s other leaders – Michael Madigan and John Cullerton. They prefer business as usual because they profit from it. Meanwhile, you get the shaft.
Welcome to Illinois, the State of Disrepair!