Wisconsin Reality vs. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's

Wisconsin Reality vs. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's "Reality Rendezvous"

Imagine what would happen in Wisconsin if they gave private sector employees the same freedoms. "Our rendezvous with reality has arrived."  That is what Illinois Governor Pat Quinn said this week as he unveiled his state budget.  Their economic slap in the face comes nearly one year after we took steps to get our fiscal house in order. As we were passing legislation requiring state employees and teachers to make modest contributions to their health insurance and pensions to help offset necessary cuts, Quinn and Democrats in Illinois passed massive tax increases. I told you then that our path, although a more difficult one, was the correct path to take.  Now, it couldn't be more clear that we were right.  We closed a massive $3.6 billion budget deficit without raising taxes and without massive layoffs. Illinois, meanwhile, is in even more economic peril because of  tax increases that clobbered their families and businesses.  To try to fix the mess he created, Governor Quinn is out with a budget that proposes the closing of numerous prisons, 60 state offices, laying off 1,100 state employees and cutting Medicaid by $2.7 billion. It's so bad that $8 billion in bills would still go unpaid and state worker pensions costs will rise by more than $1 billion.  Even faced with that, Quinn and Illinois democrats are refusing to tackle the issue, instead calling on "task forces" to be created to look into ways to reign in skyrocketing health care and pension costs.

Wisconsin Reality vs. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's "Reality Rendezvous"

Wisconsin Reality vs. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's "Reality Rendezvous"

Imagine what would happen in Wisconsin if they gave private sector employees the same freedoms. "Our rendezvous with reality has arrived."  That is what Illinois Governor Pat Quinn said this week as he unveiled his state budget.  Their economic slap in the face comes nearly one year after we took steps to get our fiscal house in order. As we were passing legislation requiring state employees and teachers to make modest contributions to their health insurance and pensions to help offset necessary cuts, Quinn and Democrats in Illinois passed massive tax increases. I told you then that our path, although a more difficult one, was the correct path to take.  Now, it couldn't be more clear that we were right.  We closed a massive $3.6 billion budget deficit without raising taxes and without massive layoffs. Illinois, meanwhile, is in even more economic peril because of  tax increases that clobbered their families and businesses.  To try to fix the mess he created, Governor Quinn is out with a budget that proposes the closing of numerous prisons, 60 state offices, laying off 1,100 state employees and cutting Medicaid by $2.7 billion. It's so bad that $8 billion in bills would still go unpaid and state worker pensions costs will rise by more than $1 billion.  Even faced with that, Quinn and Illinois democrats are refusing to tackle the issue, instead calling on "task forces" to be created to look into ways to reign in skyrocketing health care and pension costs.

Big Labor 'Medicine' Making Illinois Sicker

Big Labor 'Medicine' Making Illinois Sicker

Union-label Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has run up his state's public spending and debt to Greece-like levels. Credit: www.chicagonow.com Compulsory-Unionism Stronghold State Drowning in Taxes and Debt (source: National Right To Work Committee February 2012 Newsletter) In early 2012, as the national economy continues struggling to recover from the severe 2008-2009 national recession, many states are in financial dire straits. But Big Labor-dominated Illinois is very arguably the worst fiscal basket case of all. Early last month, Moody's Investors Service downgraded Illinois debt to A2, finding its creditworthiness to be the worst of any of the 50 states, including even government union-controlled California. In its report, Moody's specifically berated Illinois's "weak management practices." On January 22, a Chicago Tribune editorial observed: "Deadbeat Illinois owes some $8.5 billion in old bills, tax refunds, employee health insurance and interfund borrowing debts. That's roughly one-fourth the state's spending this year from its general funds." Over and above that, Illinois has "nearly $200 billion in debts and unfunded obligations." Burdened by labor policies authorizing union monopoly bargaining and forced union dues and fees in both the private and public sectors and a tax and regulatory climate that are hostile to private-sector job and income growth, the Prairie State has been in trouble for a long time. Big Labor 'Cure-All' For Rapidly Rising Government Debt: Massive Tax Hikes But Illinois's outlook grew even bleaker after union-label Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and like-minded legislators acted in January 2011 to put the state, in the governor's words, "back on sound fiscal footing."

Big Labor 'Medicine' Making Illinois Sicker

Big Labor 'Medicine' Making Illinois Sicker

Union-label Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has run up his state's public spending and debt to Greece-like levels. Credit: www.chicagonow.com Compulsory-Unionism Stronghold State Drowning in Taxes and Debt (source: National Right To Work Committee February 2012 Newsletter) In early 2012, as the national economy continues struggling to recover from the severe 2008-2009 national recession, many states are in financial dire straits. But Big Labor-dominated Illinois is very arguably the worst fiscal basket case of all. Early last month, Moody's Investors Service downgraded Illinois debt to A2, finding its creditworthiness to be the worst of any of the 50 states, including even government union-controlled California. In its report, Moody's specifically berated Illinois's "weak management practices." On January 22, a Chicago Tribune editorial observed: "Deadbeat Illinois owes some $8.5 billion in old bills, tax refunds, employee health insurance and interfund borrowing debts. That's roughly one-fourth the state's spending this year from its general funds." Over and above that, Illinois has "nearly $200 billion in debts and unfunded obligations." Burdened by labor policies authorizing union monopoly bargaining and forced union dues and fees in both the private and public sectors and a tax and regulatory climate that are hostile to private-sector job and income growth, the Prairie State has been in trouble for a long time. Big Labor 'Cure-All' For Rapidly Rising Government Debt: Massive Tax Hikes But Illinois's outlook grew even bleaker after union-label Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and like-minded legislators acted in January 2011 to put the state, in the governor's words, "back on sound fiscal footing."

Caterpillar: Goodbye Illinois, Hello Indiana's Right To Work

Caterpillar: Goodbye Illinois, Hello Indiana's Right To Work

Caterpillar digging into Indiana Caterpillar has been a mainstay Illinois-based company for generations but no longer.  The power and influence of big labor has impacted the company for too long, damaging its bottom-line and hurting workers. Now that Illinois' neighbor, Indiana, has become a Right to Work state, Caterpillar is exploring their options, according to The Detroit News' Robert Laurie: Back in 2009, Barack Obama announced that Caterpillar had promised to rehire some of its laid-off workforce if his stimulus proposal passed. This week, the nation's largest manufacturer of mining and construction equipment announced that it would be moving a factory from Canada to Indiana. In the process, it will create 450 new jobs in the state. You'd think the president would be happy, but this is not quite what he had bargained for. Take note, Governor Snyder. Caterpillar's move came almost immediately after Indiana passed a right-to-work law, which will make union dues voluntary in the state. Labor officials claim Right To Work will deplete union funds, making it much more difficult for them to organize factories. Coincidence? Workers who were formerly employed at the London, Ontario factory have been locked out since the beginning of the year after their union refused to accept pay cuts which would have kept the operation profitable. As a result of Big Labor's obstinance, these jobs have been permanently eliminated and the plant relocated. The work will now be done in Muncie, [Indiana].

Caterpillar: Goodbye Illinois, Hello Indiana's Right To Work

Caterpillar: Goodbye Illinois, Hello Indiana's Right To Work

Caterpillar digging into Indiana Caterpillar has been a mainstay Illinois-based company for generations but no longer.  The power and influence of big labor has impacted the company for too long, damaging its bottom-line and hurting workers. Now that Illinois' neighbor, Indiana, has become a Right to Work state, Caterpillar is exploring their options, according to The Detroit News' Robert Laurie: Back in 2009, Barack Obama announced that Caterpillar had promised to rehire some of its laid-off workforce if his stimulus proposal passed. This week, the nation's largest manufacturer of mining and construction equipment announced that it would be moving a factory from Canada to Indiana. In the process, it will create 450 new jobs in the state. You'd think the president would be happy, but this is not quite what he had bargained for. Take note, Governor Snyder. Caterpillar's move came almost immediately after Indiana passed a right-to-work law, which will make union dues voluntary in the state. Labor officials claim Right To Work will deplete union funds, making it much more difficult for them to organize factories. Coincidence? Workers who were formerly employed at the London, Ontario factory have been locked out since the beginning of the year after their union refused to accept pay cuts which would have kept the operation profitable. As a result of Big Labor's obstinance, these jobs have been permanently eliminated and the plant relocated. The work will now be done in Muncie, [Indiana].