To the Editor:
I read former Gov. Pat Quinn’s budget director’s effort to convince us Quinn was a great success (The Herald-News, March 15). No surprise, Illinois Democratic leaders continually ignore history after their disastrous 12 years of one-party rule.
David Vaught’s piece is true to the Quinn legacy – vague references to constitutional amendments to prevent gridlock, yet no detail. The only specifics he offers is to raise taxes on Illinois citizens again.
Under Quinn, taxes went up 67 percent without solving problems or providing value to taxpayers. Spending climbed, the credit rating was downgraded and he left a $1.6 billion deficit when he was voted out. Even worse, the nation was adding 15 million jobs from 2000 to 2015 but Illinois was losing over 100,000.
Illinois elected Gov Bruce Rauner and his plan to fundamentally change the direction of the state. His reforms have met stiff resistance from Quinn’s allies – entrenched supermajority Democrats fiercely protective of the status quo that empowers them, who offer no plan of their own. Vaught should really be asking, “Where is Speaker Madigan’s plan? “
Vaught should be calling on his Democratic allies to engage in the negotiations necessary to get Illinois back on track. Rauner has offered numerous compromises repeatedly met by staunch Democrat resistance.
The simple truth is that Rauner is doing exactly what he told voters he would do before the election: challenging the broken status quo that has systematically crushed opportunity in Illinois for years.
Rauner knows that solving the state’s budget problems starts with putting more people to work. The people of Illinois want both parties to work together to reach that goal. Rather than re-fighting the last governor’s race, or setting the stage for Vaught’s boss to run again, we should encourage Madigan and his legislative majorities to respect the will of the people. Let’s look forward and help Illinois reach its vast potential.
State Sen. Matt Murphy