Free Markets, Free People

Illinois – "let them eat cake"

Illinois seems bound and determined to take the title of "poster child for failed state government" away from basket cases Michigan and California.

Illinois is now billions behind in paying its bills. As Comptroller David Hynes points out:

“This is what the state owes right now to schools, rehabilitation centers, child care, the state university — and it’s getting worse every single day,” he says in his downtown office. Mr. Hynes shakes his head.

“This is not some esoteric budget issue; we are not paying bills for absolutely essential services,” he says. “That is obscene.”

Well not that obscene apparently, to the governor. In the midst of all of this, he’s decided now is a great time to give many on his staff 20% raises.

No, seriously – raises. How freakin’ politically tone deaf can you be?

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has handed out raises—some of more than 20 percent—to his staff while proclaiming a message of "shared sacrifice" and planning spending cuts of $1.4 billion because the state is awash in debt.

The Democrat has given 43 salary increases averaging 11.4 percent to 35 staffers in the past 15 months, according to an Associated Press analysis of records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Remember all the jaw flapping that went on by Democrats about CEOs getting bonuses while their corporations were circling the drain?  Well here’s the governmental equivalent. 

And as if that’s not bad enough, the state is handing out 7% “cost of living” raises to government unions:

On July 1st this year, 40,000 or so AFSCME state employees happily collected a 7% percent “cost of living adjustment”. July 1st next year, they will get another 7%. In short, in 2 years, they will get a 14% raise. Even in good years, 7% is well over inflation.

Almost 6 billion in debt and unable to pay for “absolutely essential services” and yet handing out 7% cost of living raises to government union employees and up to 20% raises to staffers in the governors office?

Given that, how can anyone take Governor Pat Quinn seriously when he yammers on about “shared sacrifice”?  Why should they believe him?  The government aristocracy in Illinois has apparently completely removed itself from any sacrifice whatsoever.  They give new meaning to Marie Antoinette’s famous words – “let them eat cake”.


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15 Responses to Illinois – "let them eat cake"

  • I have to wonder if some of these people have themselves decided that the financial problems of various governments are beyond solution, and so have decided to just loot what they can while the getting is good.

    • That’s essentially been my theory of the Obama presidency and the Democratic ascendency in the Congress from the beginning. That they have no interest in America other than that of scavengers out to pick the bones clean of any meat. The “Stimulus” was the tipoff on that. Remember the fevered hurry, the insistence that it had to be done yesterday, to save the country from ruin and yet on examination it was nothing but a political payoff, a looting. And that was the foundation stone of the Obama administration.

      A similar situation exists with national security, but there the action is aggressively malignant. Look at the pattern: Give the White House bust of Churchill back to the Brits (which was like pissing on their leg), then literally bow to the political head of Islam. Give the Russians the missile defense commitments to the Czechs and Poles in exchange for nothing, but demoralize the U.S. relationship with the Czechs and Poles. Offer the Islamists a planetary stage by attempting to do the KSM trial in Manhattan. And now, today, send ten Russian spies back to Russia in a big big hurry. If the Russians were the ones in a hurry, that’s a reason to slow down. It was Obama and Holder who were in a hurry. Why did they want to get these spies out of U.S. custody so fast? Why? They sent some administration source out to the NY Times to anonymously tell it that the spies had no further intel value. That’s a prima facie lie, but the Times wanted to buy it. It would take years of questioning to get full intel value from these spies. They were never turned, not in two weeks. We got no value out of them.

      • I don’t know. Stupidity, inexperience, and their general belief  system could generate these results without a grand conspiracy.

        • Then again, I used to believe that liberal media bias was like that as well, no secret cabal, etc. Then we find out about Townhouse and Journolist.

        • Well, if you went out and said, “Let’s come up with a plan to destroy a great country and go at it with a vengeance,” you would be hard-pressed to come up something more effective than what we watch unfold from this White House and Congress every single day.

          And the Gulf oil spill is the perfect metaphor for a president who never shuts his mouth in his cause of destruction.

    • I don’t wonder at all.  If you’ve gotta go out, go out big.

    • I think it might be partly that.  But also that we’ve been led to believe that government can spend and spend and not worry about consequences.  How often have local governments reached the brink and somehow crawled back and become ‘prosperous?’  People have griped about deficits for decades now and nothing gets done.  I think that we don’t really believe that government will pay for its fiscal mismanagement.  Someone will always come in and save the day.

  • Even in good years, 7% is well over inflation.

    Boy, I think 7% inflation is NOT good…!  Maybe he meant that even in good revenue years, that kind of increase would be hard to justify.  Which would be true.
    But this is how they roll…

    • I think he meant that a little inflation would be expected during a boom, whereas now we have deflation.
      These numbers are completely insane. If you extrapolate 7% a year, how soon until they are earning million dollar salaries to clean toilets?

  • Upon hearing of the raises, the Brady campaign had the following statement: “Thanks for the win. If you wanted to lose this badly, you could have just quit.”

  • It appears to be in line with the size of the pay increases given to incoming Obama Administration employees.

  • Illinois is getting exactly what it deserves.

    I see no problems there.

    People should get what they want.