Murphy says Quinn's cuts based on 'fuzzy math'

Friday, October 01, 2010

Republican state Sen. Matt Murphy said Wednesday that Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn is using "deceptive numbers" and "fuzzy math" to claim he's made $3 billion in spending cuts.

Echoing a "fuzzy math" claim made by his party's candidate for governor, Murphy, of Palatine, said Quinn's declaration is "simply not true" and was based on the removal of a $3.4 billion pension payment the state borrowed money to make from Quinn's accounting of 2010 expenditures.

"If you borrow for money you spent in a given year, that's still money spent in a given year," Murphy said.

The spending cuts claim is accurate, responded a Quinn spokeswoman.

"From the moment Gov. Quinn took office he has cut spending by $3 billion," insisted Kelly Kraft, spokeswoman for Quinn's Office of Management and Budget. She cited how Quinn has trimmed 1,200 government jobs, implemented 24 unpaid days off for state employees, rebid contracts and generally cut agency spending.

On pensions, she added that Quinn is "the biggest budget cutter in Illinois history based on passing historic pension reform alone." According to her figures, pension reform will save the state $200 billion over the next 35 years compared with original projections.

Without mentioning GOP governor candidate Bill Brady, a state senator from Bloomington, Murphy blamed politics and Quinn's re-election campaign for what he called a "disingenuous" claim.

He said he believes the governor is trying to exert pressure on the public and the General Assembly to see a tax hike as the only option, when there is a choice _ cut spending or raise taxes.

Kraft agreed that further "spending reductions are still needed." Yet she pointed to how a recent bill to cut $3.7 billion from the 2011 budget failed to garner both Republican and Democratic support in the General Assembly. "Gov. Quinn is continuing to call on legislators to work with him," Kraft added.

Murphy is not up for re-election this year; he lost a bid for lieutenant governor in the Republican primary in February.