Friday, July 6, 2012

Illinois--unwilling to make tough choices?

"Illinois in poorest fiscal condition of all states"--Chicago Tribune

Poor, poor Illinois--here's some sound advice from its neighbor to the north:

Wisconsin governor urges Illinois to make tough choices - By Scott Walker June 29, 2012 - "All too often political leaders have been afraid to tell the truth about the costs associated with pension, health care and other entitlement obligations. It is time for politicians to own up to these fiscal challenges. As is the case in Illinois, the truth is often sobering. I know the feeling. When I became governor in Wisconsin, the state faced a $3.6 billion deficit, was hemorrhaging jobs and had high unemployment. While I'm not an expert on the fiscal challenges facing Illinois, based on media reports I've read and stories I've heard from visiting your state, there are major budgetary issues that need to be resolved. Illinois faces a fiscal and economic crisis. In times of crisis, citizens should demand leadership. In the weeks leading up to the Wisconsin recall election, a supporter and friend told me: "If you hadn't gone as far as you did, you might have avoided this recall election." I responded, "We also wouldn't have fixed our problem. I'm not planning on it, but I'm not afraid to lose." The actions we took in balancing the state's budget and implementing collective bargaining reforms were solely aimed at ensuring that my two sons and other kids would inherit a state better off than the one I had. Burying the next generation under a mountain of crippling debt was never a realistic option.Economic growth and job creation are largely dependent on certainty, which government can provide by delivering stable services, predictable regulations and a favorable tax climate. . . ."

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