Maybe you have heard of a little island called Easter Island. Easter Island is one of the most remote inhabited places on planet Earth. It has a population of less than 6,000 people and it is famous for its Moai statues. Why is Easter Island important? The history of Easter Island can teach the politicians of Illinois a valuable lesson.
You see Easter Island had a peak population of 15,000 people centuries ago, but economic and environmental collapse lead to war, disease, and destruction and the population hit a low of 2,000 people. What happened on Easter Island? The people there kept building their useless Moai monuments, using valuable resources, such as trees, to do so. This loss of trees led to a loss of wildlife, which led to a loss of food, which led to a tremendous loss of life.
So, what do these events hundreds of years ago have to do with Illinois? Well when Illinois faces economic disaster and has limited resources, like those on Easter Island, the General Assembly has seen fit to expend $31 million dollars to “improve” the Capitol Building in Springfield. These expenditures include $323,000 for four chandeliers, $160,000 for two sculptures, and $670,000 for doors.
Now, the Capitol Building is a beautiful and historic building that needs preserving, and while these expenditures are ridiculously high regardless of when they are spent, it is that current timing that causes greatest concern. Illinois faces billions of dollars in pension liabilities, and retirees are looking with fear at Detroit as to what may occur with their pensions. High taxes have driven businesses and individuals out of the State, yet the General Assembly feels that improving the building they work in, at an extreme taxpayer expense, takes precedence over improving the roads, schools, or lives of the People who allow them to work and SERVE in that building. This is just another case of the misguided priorities of the leaders of Illinois.
I find this spending on the Capitol to be wholly inappropriate. We should first limit all spending in Illinois until we get Illinois' financial house in order. Any spending that is done should be prioritized to projects that benefit the most people, and it should not benefit the politicians that got us in the mess to begin with. I abhor this spending on the Capitol at this time, and I will do what I can to stop it when I am in Springfield.
I will be a different Representative. I will lead by example. I will refuse to take a pension to lessen the burden on the taxpayer. I will fight to lower taxes, and restructure the pension system to ensure its viability. I will prioritize State spending on the projects that benefit the most people of this State and not its elected officials, or the special interests that put them in office. I will put Illinois first.
Jim Wozniak is running for Illinois 71st House District including Dixon, Sterling and Rock Falls.