The spectacle of government union members booing the best friend they ever had off the stage Wednesday at the Illinois State Fair made for entertaining video. Gov. Quinn may not have liked the boos, but he certainly understands his starring role in this fiction of a drama.
Here’s the truth: the pension proposals under consideration in Springfield are fake reforms designed to pop the balloon of political pressure weighing on Gov. Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, and the Democratically-controlled legislature. If any variation of the bills in motion in Springfield pass during the special session on Friday, Illinois will remain the state with the worst-funded government pensions in the country, and pension costs will continue to crowd out health care services for the poor and disadvantaged, as well as and education spending.
Make no mistake: the unions will paint any attempt at reform – even fake reform – as too extreme. Gov. Quinn will portray himself in the media as an aggressive, reforming savior risking his political career for the sake of Illinois taxpayers. But if this fiction is played out, the legislature will pass tepid reforms, leaving in place the broken system that continues to bankrupt the state.
Another fiction is that the Republicans must provide votes for whatever reform passes. This, too, is a lie. Democrats have large majorities, and through some legislative maneuvers they have positioned a bill that can pass on Friday with a simple majority. Media who claim that Republicans must provide at least 30 votes to get to the 60 needed for passage in the House either are ill-informed or have taken a cameo role on the stage.
This is a political battle with three teams fighting for the money earned by taxpayers. More HERE