Saturday, September 19, 2015

If only Rauner would listen to himself, let alone thoughts of Catholic church

The unfortunate truth is the longer we take to resolve our issues, the more painful the choices we must face will become. The cuts we will have to make become deeper, and what we ask of taxpayers will be steeper” – Gov. Bruce Rauner, in a letter to the Illinois Legislature concerning the lack of a state budget.


RAUNER: He should listen to himself
I couldn’t agree more with the statement that Gov. Bruce Rauner made this week with regards to the ongoing delay in putting together a state budget. Even if for not the same reasons he intends with it.

It has been just over two-and-a-half months since Illinois Fiscal 2016 began, and we’re no closer now to resolving the split that keeps state government officials from approving the Constitutionally-required budget for government to operate properly.

THE REASONS FOR the split haven’t changed – Rauner was interested in gaining political power because he wants to use it to ram through a series of measures meant to undermine organized labor in Illinois. He wants to blame it for society’s ills, or the fact that it hurts the financial bottom line of the corporate interests of he and his business colleagues.

Meanwhile, the overwhelming Democratic Party-majority of the General Assembly is taking up the cause of the labor unions, particularly those who represent the employees of state government.

Both sides are clinging steadfast, which is why there isn’t a budget in place and no sign that there will be one approved any time soon.

I still wonder if we’re destined for Fiscal ’16 (ending June 30, 2016) to be the year without a budget – which would be a financial disaster for so many entities, as Rauner conceded this week.

MADIGAN: As stubborn as the governor!
BUT LET’S BE honest; his intent in making that statement was to try to scare his political opposition into thinking they are the ones who need to concede. That just won't happen!

Then again, it would be equally arrogant for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, to think the Rauner opposition will suddenly “come to its senses” and back off.

This really is about compromise – something we haven’t seen any signs of during this political brawl. Which is why we could go for the fiscal year without a budget unless we get a catastrophe that forces the two sides to come together.

Although I can’t conceive now of what catastrophe would achieve such a goal – I could envision both sides being more interested in assessing blame on the other.

CUPICH: Will anyone listen?
WHICH IS WHY I found it intriguing that Catholic Archbishop Blasé Cupich felt the need to get himself involved (and also invoke the names of Pope Francis and former Cardinal Joseph Bernardin) in the mess.

For the pope made it clear the Catholic church is siding with the labor unions, while adding that business, government and organized labor need to cooperate for the good of Illinois. “In the church, we call that solidarity, a word I know is very familiar to union members,” Cupich said when speaking to the Chicago Federation of Labor.

Whether anyone in government will be swayed is questionable. A part of me would fully expect certain people to think (if not tell him outright) that the church ought to mind its own business.

WHICH IS CURIOUS. The ideologues of our society seem to approve when the church tells people (such as on abortion) what they must do. But call for cooperation, then they think the church should shut its mouth.

So I don’t expect that anyone with the governor is going to be swayed by the archbishop. Both sides are entrenched so deeply that the governor’s words come across as mere lip service.

Not even the Pope’s emissary in Chicago can change their mind. For all I know, God himself could speak on the issue, and nobody would be swayed.

That’s how stubborn the state of Illinois has become these days!


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