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Proclivity for status quo

By Jim Killebrew

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[August 14, 2014]  During each election cycle it never ceases to amaze me to see and hear the promises made by the politicians. They all come out with their best behavior siding up with the electorate to convince each of the voters to cast their vote in their favor. There is a covey of "for and against" around every issue important to a wide variety of voters. It seems odd as the slate of candidates on all sides of the fence seem to put their wetted finger in the air to test which way the political wind and preference of voters is blowing. Usually, the citizens bunch up in the middle somewhere; there might be a few "radical" positions on either side of the issue, but generally most folks fall somewhere in the middle with just a little to the right or left.

Of course, after elected, sometimes we see the politician govern in a way that suites him or her, regardless of what the constituency might have to say about it. Take the current Governor for instance, he started out running on a "tax increase" platform, but the General Assembly feared the electorate might rise up and smite the re-election chances if they supported a tax increase before the election. So the General Assembly members decided to wait for the vote to increase taxes. Additionally, the current Governor must run on his past behavior since he has had more than one term under his belt in the job.

So when the current Governor, who is also running for re-election, actually wanted to increase the taxes, tried to decrease the pensions of those state workers who have already retired, gutted the insurance benefit of retirees by taking 2% of the annuity from the state worker retiree when it was a Constitutional benefit, and had to be reined in by the Illinois Supreme Court so as not to get away with it, and finally wants to significantly change the benefit package and retirement structure of present state workers, and has already said if he wins the General Assembly will likely increase the taxes for all state citizens and corporations in the "lame-duck" session, the question citizens must ask is, "Does he continue to be the best candidate for Governor?

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Oddly enough, even after the state public employees' unions have fought the Governor in court by suing him and his administration for all those actions that finally were decided by the Supreme Court, their answer is "Yes" he continues to be the best candidate for Governor. They seem to believe that the alternative candidate on the republican side might actually be worse than the current Governor who has already proven he has a proclivity for higher taxes and more spending, thus increasing the state's debt and lowering credit ratings. So even if their man wins re-election, it sounds like the state public employees' unions will likely have to start gearing up for more lawsuits after the election is over.

However, if doing the same thing over and over without getting better or different results, what does that mean?


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