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”.