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The two-year budget impasse caused most of our problems in Illinois, and Governor Rauner is to blame for that impasse. That’s crazy — Illinois was in a death spiral long before Rauner even took office — but it’s a central theme of this year’s election, constantly repeated by J.B. Pritzker and many Democrats, particularly Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza.

Suppose you are Mendoza and want to use taxpayer money to mail that message out. You’d have to water it down enough the avoid laws against campaigning with public resources. And suppose you want to brag about reducing Illinois’ backlog of unpaid bills, as Mendoza often does (though in fact she just performed the clerical task of applying bond proceeds against bills).

If you’re clever, you’d message that when people are likely to be receptive to you, like, say, when you are sending them a government check.

You’d produce something just like this, and include it with tax refund checks:

Yes, that’s an insert Mendoza included with a tax refund check sent to one of our readers, who was mighty angry about it. He was right to be upset. It’s thinly disguised politicking on your tab.

And note that mark in the upper right corner just below the heading. That’s a “union bug” — basically a kind of secret handshake that says you’re aligned with unions. The one on Mendoza’s insert for taxpayers is too blurred to read on the copy above, but it’s something like the one on the right, though the name and wording may be different.

Your tax dollars at work.

-Mark Glennon is founder of Wirepoints.

 

 

 

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Mike xyz

Missing from the Comptroller’s message is that instead of cutting expenses to match revenues, which is very difficult due to state laws mandating spending regardless of revenues, and instead of changing the state laws mandating spending, the state borrowed money by issuing bonds. So a challenge is how to fix a state which passed entitlements and spending which were not possible to fund with existing revenues…that was known when such laws were originally passed. The politicians who passed such entitlements and spending which resulted in votes from special interests are not going to scale the entitlements and spending back. Also… Read more »

Evan

Leaving Illinois is the only way to stop this madness.

nixit

Two of the three “Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Fast Facts” are from Fiscal Year 2018.

Heath

however, fortunately, no one will actually read it in the mad rush to bank the check.