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Illinois Tue Jun 16 2009

"Cutting Spending" Just Won't Work

The Daily Herald just went up with a piece about the state government and why all the "cut spending" talk is likely just more nonsense that will gut government services for working and middle class families.

Anders Lindall, of AFSCME Council 31, makes the point:

"You could shut down state government tomorrow and release 45,000 inmates, and say we're not going to provide any protection for abused kids, and we're going to turn our backs on the mentally ill and the developmentally disabled, we're going to close all the state parks, we're going to shut down all state services, and you would still have an $8 billion deficit," Lindall said. "Those who say that you should cut, it just doesn't square with the facts. There's no way to cut yourself out of this hole."

I'm all for seeking and destroying inefficiency, but public spending generates the services that make communities safe for business and families. Slashing it will have negative effects on our economy--first by further harming demand (layoffs) and then by degrading the infrastructure and services that keep people productive members of the economy.

Not all public services are created equal--but laying off working people is not the solution to a collapse in demand in the economy.

Here's Jim Tobin of National Taxpayers United of Illinois:

"I think they should lay off all the state troopers. I think they're a total waste of taxpayer money," Tobin said. "We have too many cops and state police have proven time and time again they're glorified Keystone Kops. We won't miss them one bit."

Tobin said lawmakers should also make state employees pay more into their pensions and pay more for retiree health care.

 
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Parents Still Steaming, but About More Than Just Boilers

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It's now been 11 days since the carbon monoxide leak which sent over 80 Prussing Elementary School students and staff to the hospital. While officials from Chicago Public Schools have partially answered some questions, and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool has informed that he will be visiting the school to field more questions on Nov. 16, many parents remain irate at the CPS response to date. More...

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Substance, Not Style, the Source of Rahm's Woes

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It's not surprising that some of Mayor Emanuel's sympathizers and supporters are confusing people's substantive disputes with the mayor as the effect of poor marketing on his part. It's exactly this insular worldview that has gotten the mayor in hot... More...

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Mechanics is the politics section of Gapers Block, reflecting the diversity of viewpoints and beliefs of Chicagoans and Illinoisans. More...
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