Whom to blame for Illinois' dismal state?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Still undecided about who gets your vote Nov. 2? Then consider:

Who has turned Illinois into perhaps the most financially crippled state in the Union? The Democrats who run it.

Who's the ex-governor who, among other things, is charged with trying to shake down a children's hospital? Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat.

Who's the politician who rules the House with an iron fist, blocking every reasonable proposal that would help Illinois climb out of its financial cesspool? House Speaker Michael Madigan, a Democrat.

Who's the scaredy-cat governor who would sink us further into the state's financial hellhole by not standing up to Madigan? Democrat Pat Quinn.

Who is the state's chief law enforcement officer who's too busy with other stuff to prosecute public corruption? Lisa Madigan, Michael Madigan's daughter and, of course, a Democrat.

Whose solution to the current budget problems is to borrow billions more when the state's credit rating is among the nation's worst, sending the cost of further borrowing into the stratosphere? Whose policies have turned Illinois into the nation's leading deadbeat, making health care and Medicaid providers, schools, substance abuse and senior centers, as well as hundreds of other social service agencies, cut services? Who is stiffing the public employees' pension funds? Democrats, Democrats and Democrats.

Nationally, who has racked up more national debt in such quick and historic proportions? DemocratPresident Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress. Who has shoved future generations into multitrillion-dollar hock with costly and utopian fiscal policies that, by creating a climate of such uncertainty, is dragging America into one of its longest economic declines? Again, Democrats. Whose delusional spending schemes have exceeded what the nation has spent in two wars? Democrats.

Which political party controls perhaps the most corrupt major city and state in the nation? Who has elevated insider dealing and profiteering to heights that far eclipse the venality of Aldermen "Bathhouse John" Coughlin and Michael "Hinky Dink" Kenna, Chicago's iconic crooks? Who has been filling the buses heading for the slammer, from city clerk to enough aldermen to field the offensive and defensive units of the Chicago Bears? Which party unhesitatingly endorsed the two biggest buffoons ever to serve here in public office — Blagojevich and Cook County Board President Todd Stroger? The answer: Democrats, all.

Quickly will come the response: "But Republicans have had their share of crooks too. Former Gov.George Ryan, who occupies a federal prison cell, for one. Then there's, umh and umh … ." I'll let someone e-mail me the complete list.

Republicans indeed have been carted off to the slammer and have botched their share of state, federal and local governments. Republicans, such as Ryan, betraying campaign promises to GOP voters, have teamed up with Democrats in the state Combine (© John Kass) to fleece taxpayers and create the Chicago and Illinois model of government hell.

But Republicans aren't in charge now. They didn't create the present shambles. Democrats did.

I agree with the candidate who said in an ad, "Why in the world would we put back into power the same people who made this mess? ... We deserve better."

Incredibly, though, that came from a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, whose handlers haven't noticed the growing, steaming piles of rubbish that now pass for federal, Illinois and Chicago governance. That candidate, Alexi Giannoulias, stood by as Bright Start — the college loan program he oversees as state treasurer — blew tens of millions of dollars that parents had saved for their kids' education. Whose explanation about his role in his family bank's failure and its loans to mob figures is so hashed that he, apparently, can't keep it straight? Whose answer to what programs he would cut amounted to "Gee, let's see, umh, just a second, let me think ... "

Giannoulias and the rest of the Democrats know who made this mess. They're counting on you not to know.

Or care.