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National Columnists

Another view: Illinois income growth worst in nation, yet lawmakers want higher taxes

The playbook is being followed, pretty much like Gov. Bruce Rauner predicted.

The Illinois House wouldn’t even bring a budget bill to a vote before they adjourned May 31.

Rauner said House Democrats would spend the summer holding news conferences and “sham” hearings with those hurt by the budget. Democratic state Reps. Jay Hoffman and LaToya Greenwood followed the plan and did just that.

Well, it is easy to believe the pain of folks suffering from the lack of a budget. A day care for the elderly only is open because they won the lottery. There is evidence everywhere, from our university campuses to the gargantuan,
$15 billion pile of unpaid bills.

Now this: Illinoisans’ income growth is the worst in the nation.

Since 2007 when the Great Recession started, our average income growth has been 0.8 percent a year. We are tied for last place with Nevada.

So the pain is real. The question is whether Hoffman, Greenwood and their fellow travelers really care.

They point fingers at Rauner and say 700 days have passed without a long-term spending bill.

Well, whose fault is that? Who is responsible for passing a spending bill? Who has allowed three years to pass without figuring out a budget bill? Who controls the Illinois House? Who is likely to go through the 2018 gubernatorial election without doing their duty, as mandated by the Illinois Constitution, to deliver a balanced budget bill to the governor’s desk?

Instead, the Democrats on cue trot out victims, chant Rauner’s name and pretend their hands are clean. Their peers in Congress call out Rauner for not commenting on the American Health Care Act, but do any of them call out the state lawmakers whose last budget plan was to tax the nation’s highest-taxed population, with the lowest income growth, another
$5.4 billion?

They care about politics. They don’t care about the pain, or their fannies would be in Springfield doing the jobs they were elected to do.

Belleville News-Democrat

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