While Republican Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner claims to be a guy who wants to fix Illinois’s fiscal problems, his actions as governor say something much different.
For example, Rauner is paying Beth Purvis, a former head of a Chicago charter school, $250,000 in Illinoisans’ taxpayer money every year to advise Rauner on education policy:
In her role as Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s education policy adviser, Beth Purvis is pulling in a $250,000 annual salary, the Associated Press reports.
That salary is more than twice as large as the earnings of previous officials in the position. Of Rauner’s Cabinet members, Purvis, the former head of the Chicago International Charter School (CICS), is earning the largest salary, according to the news organization.
The former CICS CEO told the AP that the $250,000 salary is “commensurate with what I’ve been paid in the past.”
Given that charter schools divert taxpayer money from public schools and lower the quality of education for Illinois children, it’s horrible that Rauner would hire someone who was an administrator of a charter school to advise him on education. What’s just as bad, in my opinion, is that the Rauner Administration is paying a political adviser more than any of our state’s constitutional officers (governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, and comptroller) earn, which is a ridiculous waste of taxpayer money.
Our state’s fiscal problems are too severe for anyone in our state’s government to collect a quarter of a million dollar salary every year.
All right, Bloomberg News didn’t literally give Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker a lump of coal for Christmas, but they did figuratively give Walker a lump of coal for Christmas in the form of this article about how Walker, who is a likely Republican presidential nomination candidate in 2016, and his Republican allies in the Wisconsin State Legislature have wrecked Wisconsin’s economy:
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has his eye on the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, and as he tries to boost his national poll numbers, there are numbers at home that also bear watching — his state’s finances.
Tax cuts and Medicaid spending are contributing to a projected budget deficit that may reach $2.2 billion in the two-year period starting in July 2015, according to his administration’s analysts. While Walker aides call the projections premature, Democrats say the figures prove the governor’s policies — especially income and property-tax reductions — turned a $517 million surplus at the end of June into a shortfall.
Tax collections and decisions by Walker and the Republican-controlled legislature will determine the size of the deficit. Yet the swing to a shortfall limits Wisconsin’s financial choices as the governor prepares his February budget presentation. Last week, he called for more property-tax cuts.
“What they’ve opted to do is a policy choice of cutting taxes,” said Gabriel Petek, an analyst at Standard & Poor’s in San Francisco. “They’ve changed the fiscal trajectory of the state that had been on course for higher reserves.”
Obviously, Scott Walker deserves at least a figurative lump of coal for Christmas. That’s because his policies of cutting taxes for the wealthy, implementing a statewide school voucher program in Wisconsin, and handing out corporate welfare to his campaign donors have completely wrecked Wisconsin’s economy, finances, and business climate. Despite the fact that Walker’s policies of cutting taxes and spending money on bad policy that only benefits the politically connected have clearly wrecked Wisconsin’s reputation, Walker wants to hand out even more tax cuts to the wealthy. That’s absurd, since cutting taxes does absolutely nothing to reduce or eliminate a budget deficit, in fact, cutting taxes makes budget deficits even worse.