Thursday, February 5, 2009

Illinois faces $9 billion budget shortfall -- and it's all Blagojevich's fault. Right!

Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his troubles could not have come at a more convenient time. Not for the people and taxpayers of Illinois but for the "pass-the-buck" circus that impersonates responsible elected officials in our state.

Suddenly, everyone is saying the trouble all started because of Blagojevich's corruption. He insisted that the state give senior citizens free CTA passes as a part of a tax increase plan to bailout the mostly Chicago sevices. It costs $30 million a year to do that.

And, he also insisted that the state provide free healthcare to little children whose families are low-moderate incomes and don't have health insurance, something that costs $250 million a year.

So that leaves what, about $8.6 billion in massive spending that Blagojevich had nothing to do with. For example, the billions needed to fund the state pensions, which mainly go to state workers and hacks and relatives of elected officials who double dip into several public service jobs and get full pensions for serving only a few years in public office -- while you and I have to work 20 years just to get maybe 60 percent of our salaries in pensions and have to wait 20 years till he hit 62 to start collecting it all.

Not our selfish, buck-passing elected officials in Illinois.

Jim Tobin of the National Taxpayer's United of Illinois will help us sort through all this tax muck and try to understand where the real pork and waste sits in our post-Blagojevich budget and how much exactly with the acting Gov. Pat Quinn and De facto Gov. Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan will shove down our throats in the coming legislative session. He'll be on our radio show this morning at 8 am on WJJG 1530 AM (also broadcast live on the Internet at

Increased taxes are coming and even if the economy finds even kilter, the fact is those increases will hang around our devastated taxpayer necks for years to come.

-- Ray Hanania

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