It would be easy to take shots at healthcare.gov. But who needs more of that; plenty of electrons have already been killed in that regard. How about we bring it a little closer to home for government failure. Yes, we’re Ron Swanson mode.
- ITEM – Neighboring school district Riverton cut their elementary school art program this year.
- ITEM – Springfield class sizes continue to grow and at my kids’ school they’re averaging 27 kids per class.
- ITEM – Even in the neighboring wealthy school district Chatham, they’re dipping into their funds and considering selling some land assets to fun operations.
For Part II of this exhibition we go to the highways and byways, where rural roads outside the small town of my youth will soon become nearly impassable. The combination of bad weather and no repairs in years will turn back the clock to Great Depression-like conditions. Meanwhile, bridges around Illinois age towards structural failure.
What do people really want from state and local government? Do they want subsidized healthcare. Do they want obtuse regulations and fees? Do they want free stuff like food and cell phones? Well, probably they do. But what do they need…
Roads. Schools. Public Safety. Even Ron Swanson might agree to that.
And Illinois cannot deliver. Under the leadership of Governor Quinn and Mike Madigan, the General Assembly recently concluded their fall veto session. Under consideration were such topics as how many tax breaks to throw at ADM in an attempt to keep them in state, pet lemon regulations (you know, for pet stores selling sick pups and kittens), and gay marriage. And while we recognize the above topics are vitally important to some. How about we get to some schools, and roads, and public safety.
For the latter, we did have much debate this year over concealed carry gun laws, finally mandated by the courts. Our legislators spent considerable time and effort on that one, and they’ve spent yet more coming up with additional regulations in an attempt to end-around the courts. It’s not exactly effective government.
But there’s no time for roads and schools. Just like there’s no time to address the ridiculous budget shortfalls and unfunded pension obligations that essentially steal money from the education and transportation. You see, roads and schools aren’t re-election issues unless people are really pissed off, and sadly, we’re not quite there yet.
But don’t be too hard on ol’ Qunnie and Mike. They’ve only been in state politics for, what, three-four decades each? It’s just hard to get stuff done. Especially with all the debate, the opposition of a two party system, divided government and… Oh wait. That’s right. In Illinois we’ve had a single party controlling everything for about a decade now. One party controlling the whole of state government.
Guess kicking that can down the road is extremely tiring. Piling all that debt on future generations so current policies can fail ain’t easy. Just ask the President.