I’m Pat Hughes with this week’s Upstream Ideas ‘Two Minute Warning.’
Talk to anyone about Illinois – anyone. Democrat or Republican. They understand how serious the state’s problems are. So, you would think that most of our legislators have a sense of urgency about solving those problems… but, you would be wrong. There is a reason Illinois is… well, Illinois.
In Springfield, State Reps, like Michelle Mussman and Barb Wheeler, are voting to defend and recognize bacon as a breakfast meat. Deb Conroy, Scott Drury, Carol Sente and Marty Moylan are resolving hot-button issues… like making cycling the official state exercise. And over in the Senate, Julie Morrison and Sam McCann worked to ban elephants from being part of traveling circuses.
Bacon, bikers and Dumbo. Sounds like my seventeen year old daughter’s legislative agenda…when she was nine.
Are these people serious? We haven’t had a balanced budget in two years!
Taken all together, it is tempting to characterize the Illinois General Assembly as a “Do-Nothing” legislature, but that’s not the real story.
In reality, Illinois government is working exactly as intended. Winning elections isn’t a chance to advance a set of principles. Winning elections is a way to distribute favors to friends and political allies.
Legislators are protecting a political machine that was carefully constructed by politicians and powerful special interests. The machine doesn’t reform itself. The machine grows itself by distracting voters with idiotic bills in public, so it can continue handing out favors in private.
State legislators don’t care that you are being taxed out of your homes, or are struggling with unemployment. They have spent 2 years ignoring these problems, passing wildly unbalanced budgets,and refusing to address the need for reform. Oh yeah…and defending bacon.
Change is not going to come from Springfield. It has to come from you: the people who play by the rules and are getting screwed. You – collectively – have the numbers, the resources, and the principles to end this nonsense. Whether or not you do will determine the fate of our once great state.
You’ve been warned.