April 7, 2015

AT THIS RATE JEB COULD BE COMPETITIVE IN IL:

The Rauner revolution: From campaign themes, an agenda to reinvent Illinois (Chicago Tribune Editorial Board Monday, April 6, 2015)

[H]e's focused on precisely one item: an agenda he calls The Illinois Turnaround. He's barnstorming the state this week, distributing thick binders and committing himself to transform our governments -- especially the broke, broken one headquartered in Springfield.

How refreshing to hear a governor devoted not to pleasing this or that constituency, or pushing this or that tax hike, or triple-thinking every utterance that might offend someone. Monday morning, Rauner spent an hour with the Tribune Editorial Board, and from start to finish he stressed the need for structural reform of a state government driven by insiders, for insiders. Balancing budgets, he said, won't be as hard as returning control of that government to its citizens: "The system is rigged for the insiders against the interests of taxpayers."

Who might those insiders be? If you're thinking of public employee unions that donate money to the politicians who approve their contracts, or lawyers who contribute to the campaigns of judges who rule on their cases, or officials who'd rather keep big staffs than modernize their operations, then your list is similar to the governor's: "The trial lawyers and unions have owned state government," he said (without then backtracking).

And as for the plaint from his predecessor that without more taxation, Illinois can't function: Rauner asserts that if Illinois transforms how it does business, it'll have enough revenue to meet its needs: "How we spend drives how much we spend," he said early on, adding later, "We get these structural reforms done, and we'll have a lot of money." We could insert here long passages from the new governor about nonsensical union work rules, multilayered university bureaucracies and copious state mandates, such as so-called prevailing wage standards -- all of which inflate government costs. With the savings, "think about how much more help we can give to our developmentally disabled, think how much more we can put into our schools, think how much more we can put into our help for our low-income kids, early childhood education."

Posted by at April 7, 2015 12:43 PM
  

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