Saturday, June 13, 2015
We can turn state around but not by spending more
BILL BLOOM had these opinions printed in the June 5, 2015 Dispatch/Argus. (..... marks paragraph breaks.) "What would you say if someone tried to convince you that gasoline can be used to put out fires? You would probably say "prove it" and watch in amusement while their experiment failed. The Democrats are doing that in Illinois by adding more spending to an already unbalanced budget. ...... The sweetheart deals between public unions and elected Democrats have resulted in higher costs of government and infrastructure than we see in neighboring states like Iowa. Recently our local school boards paid over half a million in penalties for over $4 million in salary increases in excess of the 6 percent legal maximum. Will penalties stop the school boards from lavishing money? Probably not. The people end up paying for the excessive increases and the penalties. This is only the most recent example. There are legions of others. ..... In 2014, 96,000 Illinoisans left to reside in other states. Since 1990 we have lost 1.4 million Illinoisans. The causes of this exodus are high property taxes, the inhospitable business environment and the absence of job opportunities. Last year, Scott County broke ground on 186 new houses. Rock Island County reported six new housing starts. Houses in Iowa sell much faster and command a higher selling price than houses here. We lead the Midwest in debt and have the worst credit rating in the nation. Illinois is hemorrhaging businesses, people and capital, and the flood is growing...... It is possible to turn Illinois around. First, we must question the Democrats' policies and politics which have led us to failure. Doubling down will lead to more failure. Gov. Bruce Rauner's plan calls for reining in excessive spending and helping Illinois businesses be more competitive. Not raising the gas tax and the sales tax is a start. Illinois is now within a nickel a gallon in the price of gas compared to Iowa. People are starting to buy gas here again. ..... Let's all prioritize restoring Illinois to greatness and have the courage to question what we know isn't working."