The 2013 State of the State Address

I will not fisk Pat Quinn’s SOTS message…
I will not fisk Pat Quinn’s SOTS message…
I will not fisk Pat Quinn’s SOTS message…
I will not fisk Pat Quinn’s SOTS message…
I will not fisk Pat Quinn’s SOTS message…
I will not fisk Pat Quinn’s SOTS message…
I will not fisk Pat Quinn’s SOTS message…
I will not fisk Pat Quinn’s SOTS message…
I will not fisk Pat Quinn’s SOTS message…
I will not fisk Pat Quinn’s SOTS message…

Now that I’ve taken care of that, a few quick reactions. In a, roughly, 40 minutes speech Pat Quinn devoted less than a minute to Illinois’s public pension employee problem. Illinois has two problems of paramount importance: its Medicaid system and the public employee pensions problem. The state really needs a reset on its Medicaid system. Increasing the number of individuals eligible, as Rod Blagojevich did, was an error. However, in the final analysis the cost of Illinois’s Medicaid system is beyond its control. Unfortunately, the federal government, on which we must rely for solutions, has decided not to proffer any.

Illinois’s public employee pension problem is within its control. It’s just politically painful for our elected officials to do what needs doing and they’ve decided to hope it will all go away. That’s not nearly enough.

If Medicaid and public employee pensions devour all of Illinois’s budget, none of the other lovely aspirational things the governor mentioned in his speech will ever happen. First things first.

11 comments… add one

  • Icepick

    However, in the final analysis the cost of Illinois’s Medicaid system is beyond its control. Unfortunately, the federal government, on which we must rely for solutions, has decided not to proffer any.

    -and-

    Illinois’s public employee pension problem is within its control. It’s just politically painful for our elected officials to do what needs doing and they’ve decided to hope it will all go away. That’s not nearly enough.

    Seriously, how can you assume at this point that the leaders of the country and its states don’t know these things need fixing? And if they know and won’t do anything about it, how can you assume they’re anything other than evil? They’re flushing it all away for what? Their own personal gain, that’s what.

  • Seriously, how can you assume at this point that the leaders of the country and its states don’t know these things need fixing?

    I don’t conclude that they’re evil. My assumption is that they have a hierarchy of values that doesn’t allow them to grasp the solutions. Not quite the same thing.

  • Drew

    I was driving back from the board meeting and heard Quinn’s tripe. Embarrassing.

    I’m with ice. I know Dave is more charitable. But I have first hand experience with a certain alderman’s views. I think they laugh out loud at the Firehouse, Mortons etc at what they are pulling off.

  • What astonished me about it is that it was entirely aspirational. Not just mostly aspirational—I would expect that. It was entirely aspirational. Reality hardly intruded into it.

    I think that Pat Quinn is a nice enough guy. I’ve had lunch with him (as in sitting across the table in a downtown diner). I don’t think he has the fiber to take the steps or provide the leadership that’s needed.

  • PD Shaw

    Sounds like maybe the speech was directed at his potential Democratic challengers; he’s not going to spend the next year as Mr. Glum at war with the unions, while Daley or Madigan make all kinds of promises to the core Democratic constituencies.

    I do think the one thing Illinois has going for it is its career politicians; these people want to be in office a long time and then set their children up in office as well. These ambitions are starting to hit a wall.

  • Sounds like maybe the speech was directed at his potential Democratic challengers

    Yeah. No doubt about it, a bidding war is just what the state needs.

  • Icepick

    I don’t conclude that they’re evil. My assumption is that they have a hierarchy of values that doesn’t allow them to grasp the solutions.

    Is there any indication they are attempting any solution at all? “We’re due” and doing nothing doesn’t count here, either.

  • Icepick

    Here’s are a couple of examples from our wonderful governor here in Florida.

    His solutions to high unemployment are to encourage businesses to come here, and to encourage the unemployed to get back to work.

    To accomplish the second goal he has cut Florida’s already paltry UE compensation benefits. Guess what, it worked! The UE rates have been going down – just as fast as people could drop out of the workforce. The state has lost a few hundred thousand unemployed people while adding a few tens of thousands of jobs (at best). Hmmm.

    But the other part has worked as well. Why, just last year the governor was here in town, at the ground breaking of a business new to Florida! Did I mention that the business was a Wawa? Yep, that’s right. The groundbreaking for a convenience store was enough to merit the attentions of the governor of the state of Florida, which has over 18,000,000 residents. No doubt these convenience stores will add jobs on net, and not just put pressure on other convenience stores.

    Convenience stores and less UEC, that’ll do it.

    (I presume most here will detect the note of bitter bile in my comments. Although I’m sure if the governor was a Democrat the party’s fan boiis would be here to tell me, “SEE! Things ARE getting better!”)

  • jan

    So, Icepick, what do you think are the chances of Scott being reelected?

    Here in CA we have Governor Moonbeam, aka Jerry Brown. He is now in a spitting contest with Rick Perry, who is running non-stop radio ads encouraging discouraged people to move to Texas where the “taxes are low and the regulations are reasonable.”

    It’s getting laughable living in the la la state of CA. Brown, in order to get his stupid high speed train in gear, is offering 2 million dollars, as an incentive to get bids — whether one wins or loses the bid. Apparently no one wants to spend time bidding on something where the State of CA hasn’t even negotiated or purchased the land for the train to run on.

  • Icepick

    I’m the wrong person to ask about elections – I picked nothing but losers last election. There’s not a single person in office now that I’ve voted for.

    But the mood isn’t great in Florida. Scott isn’t popular – the shadow of Jeb looms over him as much as it did Crist. (Jeb was one Hell of a good governor. You should here the Dem pols here have to admit it – it sounds about like I’d image if Eli Wiesel was forced to give props to Hitler for all their reluctance to do it.) But Scott has enough personal money that he will almost certainly win/buy the Republican nomination again, although a few people are considering a primary challenge.

    As for whether he can win the general election, who knows? Florida has elections two years apart from Presidential elections. In the past that has made the state very red for state-wide elections in those years. And in 2010 Scott had all sorts of advantages. First he bought the Republican nomination. And in the general election he had the 2010 Republican wind at his back. Plus he was running against a woman who had been a banker, lawyer, lobbyist and a politician. Add to that she was a Democrat and she didn’t stand a chance that year.

    But in 2014 who knows who the Dems will nominate? There’s no one that’s an obvious candidate at this time, and the media and the national Democrats are at least talking up Charlie Crist. Turncoat Charlie is working for a big-time shyster law firm now, Morgan & Morgan, and they’re big-time donors on the national scene with a pipeline to the White House. So Crist at least appears to have the backing of Obama and the national party leadership. However, Dems at the state level know him as a life-long Republican and aren’t too pleased that he seems to be getting into position to grab their nomination.

    In 2014 the state will be closer to being a blue state than a red state. By 2016 the state will flip completely blue, but in 2014 the Republicans get one more shot at the governorship. If somehow the Dems do pick Crist it’s likely that Scott will win again. We’ll end up with two men running for the governorship that no one actually likes or respects in that case, which is somehow fitting. If the Dems can find a decent candidate, though, they can win. I’m not saying they will, but they might.

    But the Dems haven’t found a decent candidate since Bob Graham WAY back when I was young (elected in 1978 & 1982), and they haven’t had a winning candidate since Lawton Chiles cheated his way to two terms in 1990 and 1994. So who knows?

    Actually, I take part of it back. There is one candidate in office that I did vote for, back in 2010, Dan Webster in Congress. I voted for him so that we could get rid of the execrable Alan Grayson, that drunk-driving carpetbagger who is Washington’s hand-chosen representative to Central Florida. Actually, if Grayson had won in 2010 I could see him gearing up for a run for the governor’s office this year. But since he lost then he had to spend too much time and effort clawing his way back to the House so I don’t think he has the governorship in mind. Actually I think he prefers DC to Florida anyway, so I expect him to maybe take a run at Rubio in 2016. 2016 ought to be a very good year for Dems.

  • Icepick

    Brown, in order to get his stupid high speed train in gear, is offering 2 million dollars, as an incentive to get bids — whether one wins or loses the bid.

    Holy crap! I need to get working on my proposal now! Let’s see, how many Erector Sets will I need to build a train from the Bay to San Diego….

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