A New Can Of Worms
16 January 2004
Hot Rod Devastates ISBE
The most revealing reason why ISBE needs to go comes from its chief defender in this morning's State Journal Regiser:
"But he [Schiller] added: 'How you improve education is research-based, it's systemic and it's sustained. It's not an initiative du jour. It is not randomly selecting initiatives.'
Earlier in the week, Schiller said he thinks Blagojevich is trying to shift attention away from the issue of 'wholesale school finance reform,' which could be achieved by raising state income or sales taxes....
'If you're not ready politically or economically to address the substantive issue, then you create the alternative reality,' Schiller said. 'You roll out ... initiatives of book of the month, the community service, no sugar in the schools, good nutrition, parental responsibility, read to your kid, et cetera, et cetera.'"
First, as the Governor pointed out, Schiller's only answer is a higher tax burden. Second, is the penchant for the educational establishment to rely magic bullets of the latest research fad on how kids learn. Finally and most shockingly, Schiller refers to parental responsibility as part of an alternate reality.
15 January 2004
This piece in the Chicago Sun-Times says that by 2005, 65% of married couples with two kids with combined incomes btween $75K and $100K will pay the Alternative Minimum Tax.
The tax came about in 1969 to punish the rich who it was alleged were hiding income and paid no taxes. Somehow, it wasn't indexed for inflation -- go figure.
This reminds me of the Pat Quinn sur tax proposal on those making $250K. It to isn't indexed for inflation and will "catch" more and more "rich" in the out years if it is passed. The AMT is a good example of how when liberals punish the rich, they hit everyone else too.
13 January 2004
In Other Words, He Lied About Taxes and Guns
Blagojevich is sitting pretty and it has gone to his head:
"As he begins his second year in office Tuesday, Gov. Rod Blagojevich is vowing to deepen spending cuts, to consider gambling expansion and to resurrect the passionate advocacy for gun control he demonstrated before running for governor.
Despite a festering budget problem and strained relations with lawmakers and top state leaders, Blagojevich is celebrating the anniversary of his inauguration with plans to step up an activist agenda that won him high marks from Illinois voters, according to a new Tribune/WGN-TV poll."
I've criticized Republicans in the General Assembly for simply waiting for Hot Rod to screw up and then reap the gains. I still think it is a recipe for more of the same should it happen. You need an agenda. But that strategy may pay off if Hot Rod veers left.
I beginning to wonder out loud whether conservatives should push the notion that Illinois is like California -- i.e. liberal. It seems they'd be stupid enough to fall for it.
Free Spending Hot Rod
Gov's book plan worries librarians writes the Sun-Times:
"Gov. Blagojevich wants to put a book in every child's hands, but library officials say state budget cuts have been forcing them to reduce the number of books on their shelves.
And they worry whether the $29 million Blagojevich wants to spend on his latest proposal -- giving every child under 5 a book a month -- will hurt libraries even more.
Decreased state funding has already led public libraries to reduce hours, curtail book purchases and increase the wait for student research materials ordered through interlibrary loans, officials said Monday"
On WMAY-AM Radio today in Springfield, we learn that the Governor wants to expand sales taxes to services. Obviously, it is pay for items such as this.
I Know Who They Won't Be Asking
From today's SJ-R:
"HELP WANTED: Policy whizzes for large Midwestern state. Must be willing to work under tough economic and political conditions.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich is advertising at prestigious colleges and universities across the nation for a team of eight or nine policy experts. Job postings were sent to Ivy League schools, the University of Chicago and the three campuses of the University of Illinois early last month, according to a Blagojevich spokeswoman."
The Governor says he wants fresh ideas. Last idea his side had was during the Great Depression.
12 January 2004
Leave Us Alone Hits the States
Sowing the Seeds of GOP Domination from Today's Washington Post:
"Democrats used to anger him, Norquist said. He's past angry now. 'Do you get mad at cancer? We'll defeat and crush their institutions, and the trial lawyers will go sell pizza. We're not going to hang them. Most of the people on the left will be happy in Grover's world. I feel about the left the way [Donald H.] Rumsfeld felt about the Iraqis.'"
Between me calling Illinois, "...enemy occupied territory..." and Grover's comments highlighted above, I'm sure we inspired some hyperventillating at breakfast, today.
Another Krauthammer Must Read
Charles Krauthammer outlines how taking out Saddam is paying dividends in the region. It remains to be seen whether these are lasting achievements, but the short term looks better now than it has in a long time.
WLS radio pulls Meier off the air
Roe and Gary kill me. It won't be the same.