A clear-cut choice in November
I agree with the editors that Illinois voters have a real choice between Governor Quinn, a career politician, and Bruce Rauner in the November election. I do not necessarily agree that this election will define the direction of the state for decades to come.
The financial condition of Illinois was in jeopardy when Quinn was re-elected four years ago. He has had a Democratic supermajority in both the House and the Senate for the last four years. Almost immediately after his re-election, Quinn signed into law a 67 percent income tax rate increase.
Today, under Quinn's inept leadership, the financial condition of Illinois is in even greater jeopardy. Illinois has an unsustainable unfunded pension liability of over $100 billion, against $75 billion four years ago, an unfunded post-retirement health care benefits liability of over $75 billion, an $8 billion decade old revolving backlog of unpaid bills, more debt than any other state, the lowest bond rating in the nation, an annual expenditure of $10 billion on education with less than 15 percent of high school graduates ready for college and an unemployment rate that is the 3rd highest in the nation.
Democrats did nothing in the last four years to improve the state's financial condition. If Bruce Rauner is successful in November he will face a very hostile legislature and it will be extremely difficult to make changes; if Gov. Quinn is re-elected nothing will change and the financial condition of Illinois will become even worse.
The editors can use the editorial page over the next seven months to inform readers in both parties why the policies in Springfield created and enhance these issues, why no changes have been made in the last four years, and what other states and municipalities with similar issues are doing to improve their financial health.