Friday, August 17, 2007

Letters and Madigan, Hynes and Blagojevich budget battle

Here are some letters:

Dear Mr. Hanania;

I've just read your column about the Illinois state budget battle and felt compelled to share my thoughts with you. It's a topic I've been following closely and am passionate about as an Illinois resident. You have identified one of the key problems in the budget situation, that being the power struggle between the Madigans and Blagojevich. Having control over the budget has been an obvious point of contention. However, to suggest that this conflict is the overriding issue holding up the budget seems to overlook some very important details. For one, Blagojevich's plan for universal health care, while filled with the best of intentions, is one of the largest sticking points. While lawmakers have been able to agree on a budget after many disagreements, Blago wants desperately to shove his health care plan in at the last second. But his plan is unfunded and will likely remain so; and for him to shove it onto to the budget after the legislature has already said their piece is stupid and stubborn. It's almost as if he's trying to pull a George Ryan and cover his corrupt legacy and empty list of accomplishments with health care. Now is just not the time. Also, Dan Hynes maintaining that gov't could shut down is still a legitimate concern. The comptroller cannot dole out funds for paychecks and the like without a budget; that would require changing the Constitution. And if this frustrating budget situation continues on, many gov't workers aren't going to see a reason to come into work unless it means money in the bank. And really, who can blame them? Blagojevich has had his share of chances during this budget process and he's used them all up. He's acted like a fussy baby by missing meetings and generally being unwilling to compromise. A good politician knows when he or she doesn't have the political capital to push for their pet projects. As much as he wants to blame this on pork (and I'm sure there's some in there; this is Illinois after all), this budget crisis has a lot to do with Blago's poor choice of timing. He's going to be in office another three years, so let's give it a rest already.

Steve Mizek

[HANANIA COMMENTS: My only comment is I do not accept this lame excuse from politicians like Dan Hynes that they are helpless to get things done. He's the freaking comptroller and while the State Constitution may legally prevent him from paying employees, the fact is he is STILL Collecting taxes, employees are STILL working. How come them not him? And further I think that the politicians have set up a system where they can pass the buck faster than a casino dealer in Illinois. In fact, I'm going to write the column. Cook County Taxes is the scam of all scams where one official does one thing, one does another and another does another, so that when taxes rise they all shrug their shoulders and plead, "It's not our fault." Still, your letter was the sanest out of the bunch and you make some great points.]

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