Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) announced Monday that the state’s budget deficit may require him to lay off thousands of state workers by the end of this week. Quinn said he plans to close a prison, a juvenile detention center, and some homes for the mentally ill.
The following statements by budget experts at the Chicago-based Heartland Institute may be used for attribution. For further comments, or to schedule an interview, refer to the contact information below.
“Gov. Quinn’s economically incoherent thinking – if it can be called thinking – boggles the mind.
“The governor claims ‘we can’t spend money we don’t have,’ yet he wants lawmakers to give him more than $2 billion to spend. He wants this additional money even though the state has a budget deficit in the range of $8 billion. It has this deficit even though the governor early this year signed a bill that sent the state’s personal income tax rate soaring nearly 67 percent and the state’s corporate tax rate soaring 46 percent.
“On top of all this, Quinn signed a deal with the government labor union, AFSCME, that guaranteed no layoffs – shortly after the government union endorsed him in last year’s election. Since then, Quinn has withheld promised pay raises, and now threatens layoffs.
“Quinn’s tenure as governor has consisted of him making promises he can’t keep and then making others pay the price for his failures.”
“State and local governments across the nation have been cutting jobs for two years now as the stagnant economy has kept tax revenues down. Ironically, the only way for Illinois to increase tax revenues at this point is to spur new business by reducing tax rates, as neighboring states have been doing. The Land of Lincoln is in a downward spiral of tax hikes and revenue losses that won’t end until the governor and legislature agree to cut spending and reduce tax rates.”
The Heartland Institute is a 27-year-old national nonprofit organization with offices in Chicago, Illinois; Washington, DC; Austin, Texas; Tallahassee, Florida; and Columbus, Ohio. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.