More Quinn logic that escapes us

Friday, July 09, 2010

We give Gov. Pat Quinn a hard time quite often, and we recognize that.

Thing is, he makes it so easy.

Here's another editorial idea he served up to us, big and delicious:

At the same time he's been traveling Illinois bemoaning the state's huge debt, he's been giving raises that average 11.4 percent to 35 members of his staff, according to an Associated Press analysis reported Tuesday.

Let us clarify:

That's also the same time he's been calling for one tax increase or another.

It's the same time the state has not been paying its bills, letting hospitals and schools and shelters and others just fend for themselves.

It's the same time huge numbers of Illinoisans have been out of work and many others have been underemployed, a time when thousands have had their homes foreclosed.

And it's the same time Gov. Quinn has been calling for deep budget cuts that he describes as "shared sacrifice."

Apparently, many members of the governor's staff do not have to share.

It's almost as though the governor was worried we wouldn't have anything to write about. What other explanation could there be?

Even members of Quinn's own party are a bit mind-boggled over it.

"Generally speaking," said state Sen. Michael Noland, an Elgin Democrat, "the state of Illinois is not in a position to be issuing raises at this point."

State Rep. Jack Franks, a Marengo Democrat, called it "insulting."

"It shows how out of touch he is with the real world, where businesses are freezing salaries and in some cases laying people off," he said.

Quinn defends the raises by saying he has reduced spending overall in his office. The answer to that is simple: If you hadn't granted these raises, Governor, you could have reduced spending even more.

We know Quinn has a tough job and that the problems are not all of his own making. He inherited a huge debt and chilling budget problems, and few in the legislature have worked with him to try to get things rectified.

But where's the common sense?

We don't think its unreasonable to contend that even raises that might normally be justified are not appropriate now when the budget is bleeding red.

And certainly not at a time when Quinn is asking for sacrifice all around.

What kind of message do the raises send?

The wrong kind.