Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Now that the World Series is over, it seems we need a new ‘sport’ to follow - Madigan/Rauner isn’t fun any longer

If one views the ongoing spats between Gov. Bruce Rauner and Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, as pure gamesmanship, rather than a serious effort to settle the state’s finances, things make sense.
Do Madigan/Rauner think winner gets trophy?

Maybe the two figure that since we no longer have the World Series taking place, we now need two new teams to challenge each other while we cheer them on, and heckle mercilessly the one whose presence we cannot stand.

THE SAD THING is that this isn’t a game. Come Jan. 1, we revert back to the budgetless status that we in Illinois endured for the entirety of Fiscal ’16.

Which caused its own level of chaos and uncertainty whose harm to the state is still being felt. Now, we will wind up enduring more because these two men seem to want to show the rest of us they have “bigger hands” than Donald Trump.

Seriously, that is the level of nonsense we have reached. We, the people of Illinois, will be the ones who suffer when our government is no longer able to live up to its obligations (although I realize for some ideologues, that in itself would be considered a good thing).

It is with this attitude that I perceive the latest round of inaction that occurred Tuesday morning – the day that Madigan actually showed his face at meetings between the governor and the legislative leaders.

ALTHOUGH IT SHOULD be noted that state Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, didn’t bother to say much. This really isn’t a Democrat vs. Republican or a Chicago vs. rural Illinois fight – although both Rauner and Madigan will try to make us perceive it as such to give them a moral high ground to cling to.

This is the same ol’ nonsense between two over-bloated egos. It’s not even really a fight concerning organized labor and whether or not it has too much influence over state government.
Maybe the key to resolving budget ...

It has come down to two men who are determined to say they “won” the political battle, and “crushed” the opposition.

For what it’s worth, the sides met on Tuesday at the Statehouse (totally appropriate since the Legislature is in session to consider gubernatorial vetoes) and Madigan said he would appoint state Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, to represent his interests on a budget negotiating team.

THE ONLY PROBLEM is that none of the Republican interests realized that anyone was considering a budget negotiating team. They seem to want to deal with this one-on-one, Rauner vs. Madigan. May the best “man” win.
... is to take both egos out of equation

Even though it could be argued that if one really is putting together a budget for the remaining six months of Fiscal year ’17 (which began July 1), putting the financial experts in charge of talks rather than the political egos makes all the sense in the world.

If anything, we’d probably have a better chance of getting a budget proposal approved if we’d take the political egos out of the equation altogether.

Then again, what would be the point of politics if partisanship and egos didn’t somehow manage to gum up the whole works?

IT WILL BE interesting to see what happens on Wednesday. For Madigan gave the impression that the negotiations could begin seriously on that day. While Republicans are giving the impression that nothing of significance can happen on that day.
We need a budget long before groundhog hides from shadow

Except for the comments made previously by Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, that the General Assembly ought to deal solely with budget issues and not even consider vetoes. Which is quite a switch, since the usual conservative ideologue position is that the fall veto session should be NOTHING BUT veto considerations – and that bringing up any other issue is inappropriate!

Everybody’s looking for blame to place come Jan. 1, which may be the meaning of Durkin’s remark Tuesday about how Madigan is trying to “run out the clock” to force budget negotiations to proceed.

Which may mean my World Series analogy is off. Perhaps Madigan and Rauner think they’re performing their very own Super Bowl? All I know is that if Feb. 5 really comes around and we still haven’t resolved this issue, Illinois will be in a serious bind.


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