Surely, the representatives of our great state of Illinois are congratulating themselves for finally doing their job! Haven't you heard the biggest news to come out of Springfield in years? All the news media is trumpeting this glorious achievement. Yes! That's right. The state of Illinois — you know, the state with the nation's most miserable credit — has a BUDGET!
Now I don't mean to be cynical. After all, folks will finally get paid what they have coming after waiting far too long. But shame on the legislators for not paying our bills like any other respectable human being. The hypocrites. They have been more than happy to pay themselves for accomplishing nothing with money we don't have — as other hard-working folks wait and wait for payment honestly earned.
Not that having a passed a budget is all that wonderful in the first place. A piece of paper with figures and promises and projections. And taking more in tax revenue to make it appear balanced. (Just wish they could show a modicum of wise stewardship with the tax dollars they already collect). Unfortunately, the tax paying citizen will suffer in the end. Again. He is compelled to support a broken state government that refuses to alter course after years of utter failure. None of the underlying structural problems are being resolved. More kick-the-can down the road mentality. You know — pass the bill to our kids. And drive more jobs out of state as the corporations are soaked and gladly exit our company.
It takes courage to make the hard decisions that need to be made. Pensions, legal reform, workplace rules, term limits, and redistricting just to name a few. Sadly, courage is in short supply. Much easier to go along with party leadership that is so firmly entrenched, it has lost all sense of fiscal reality or moral judgment.
Which brings us to my final point. Our great state — the Land of Lincoln — is the laughing stock around the entire country. Want to know how NOT to run a state government? Illinois would be a case study extraordinaire. But who is to blame? Ultimately, it is we ourselves who are to blame. We have allowed this nonsense to continue for way too long. The beauty of a true republic is it is a government for the people, by the people. When things get out of kilter, it is up to the citizenry to correct the course. We have abdicated our responsibility to poor leaders who are unaccountable. Sorry to say it. Shame on us.