Sunday, December 1, 2013

Earth to Rauner: Oh, Hush!!!

There’s always going to be a malcontent, somewhere, for just about everything.

RAUNER: A Sunday pension statement
In Illinois this week, that malcontent seems to be Bruce Rauner, the wealthy business executive who has dreams of becoming governor – largely because he wants to mess with the labor unions that represent state government employees.

HE WENT SO far as to issue a statement Sunday reiterating his belief that the agreement the General Assembly will consider on Tuesday concerning the way the state funds its pension programs is a flawed one that he does not want to see passed into law.

I’ll be the first to admit that the agreement may be insufficient and may wind up being struck down by the courts as the result of an inevitable lawsuit by the unions.

But let’s be honest. Rauner doesn’t care much about any of this.

His political interests are best served if our Legislature is incapable of achieving any kind of agreement, and the problem is still lingering beyond the January 2015 date on which he dreams of being sworn in as governor.

HE CAN SPEND the next year ranting and raging about the ineptitude of a Democrat-dominated state government that is incapable of resolving a very serious long-term problem. That ignores the fact that this problem dates back decades and that both political parties are equally responsible for its existence.

But heck, the demagogues among us would rather whine about the issues, particularly if it lets them pretend they’re addressing issues rather than taking cheap shots against their political opponents.

Instead, this problem technically is resolved. He won’t really be able to address it as a campaign issue. He can, but he will come across as nothing but a crank!

As for Rauner and his statement, it gave me a headache. He may be running for political office, but the self-serving nature of the rhetoric was just too much to take seriously.

RAUNER EVEN MANAGED to mention the Republican legislative leaders (state Rep. James Durkin of Westchester and state Sen. Christine Radogno of Lemont), by claiming that the agreement up for a vote this week denies them a chance to “negotiate a deal … in good faith.”

That ignores the reality of the fact that there wouldn’t be any vote taken this week if NOT for the fact that the Republican leaders were included in the talks, and that concessions were made to gain their support.

“Good faith” may well be what is taking place, compared to the Rauner way that wants to put his ideological hang-up against organized labor above all else – a way that is sure to do nothing but antagonize those very unions into a fight against the state.

There’s one other part of Rauner’s rant that manages to annoy me so much – his claim that this plan is destined to result in higher taxes paid by Illinois residents.

THAT IS CORRECT in that it presumes that during the next three decades (the time period during which the pension funding reform plan will be implemented), it would be possible for the cost of nothing to increase.

That’s NOT reality. Costs are going to go up. There is going to be a need for more revenue for state government by the year 2043. And yes, I accept it as fact that the so-called “67 percent tax hike” of a few years ago will become permanent and we’re stuck with it!

Rauner tries to make it sound like he can somehow cap the cost of government, and that the issue of inflation and rising costs is some sort of plot conspired to by Democrats.

That’s nonsense. The people who want to think we can automatically vote “no” on anything that resembles a revenue increase in any way are being ridiculous.

THEY MAY BE the ones who decide to vote for Rauner. Although it should be noted that the polls showing him in the lead only have him taking a quarter of the vote.
QUINN: In common w/ Bruce

Which means some three-quarters of Republicans, along with all the Democrats, desperately want someone else to be the next governor.

Perhaps it is that reality that makes Rauner use the day upon which we’re supposed to rest to engage us in silly-talk about pensions. Just like Pat Quinn used to do when he was desperate for news media attention and had his Sunday afternoon press conferences on whatever pet issue he thought would get him the TV camera eye.

See? The two men have that much in common!


No comments: