When reporters from the Chicago Tribune attempted to pin Rauner down on what kind of budget he would propose and when, Rauner ducked and dodged, offering nothing more than laughs and claims he would release details “in due time.” Rauner is opposed to extending current income tax rates, but hasn’t offered an alternative.
We know that Rauner sees Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan – where public employees have had their collective bargaining rights stripped away – as models for Illinois. In 2012, he praised those three states for weakening unions and wrote “we sure need to move in that direction.”
In an earlier interview, Rauner vowed to push for a cut in public employee pay and said pensions should be replaced with 401(k)-style plans that don’t guarantee minimum retirement benefits.
A transcript of Rauner’s latest interview, and his non-answers regarding the state budget, shows he’s not what Illinois needs:
Q: The other day you referred to Democrats in Springfield as using the budget for political football. You are doing robocalls out to various districts telling people to vote no. You have not presented any kind of alternative plan and you say you are not going to do that until after the legislature is gone home. Aren’t you playing political football…Don’t you feel responsibility to say where you actually do stand so that Republicans in the General Assembly might have an idea what you actually stand for, specifically.
RAUNER: We will be coming out with our plans and our recommendations long, long before the election and the voters will have a clear choice.
Q: What’s taking so long? Because you’ve been running for 15 months. You know what the problems were. You knew that the tax is going to expire in 2015 as scheduled as you propose. What is taking so long? Who are these experts by name that you are working with?
RAUNER: We will be coming out with our plan in due time, long before the General Election.
Q: What is due time?
RAUNER: At the right time…
Q: What’s the right time? You’ve said this for months?
RAUNER: (Laughs) OK, I understand, next question.
Q: When are you going to tell us what you’re for instead of against?
RAUNER: (Laughs) Soon.
Q: What is soon? Seriously? This is what everybody’s saying. You’re ducking the question. What tax rate would you agree to?
RAUNER: As I’ve been clear throughout, we will come out with a plan, both on tax policy and tax plan as well as a spending plan.
Q: What they’re going to do in the next two week, you’re going to have to live with next year if you win the election. So don’t you have a responsibility to weigh in, to explain to voters and to politicians what you think you want them to do?
RAUNER: I’ve been clear. I want them not to extend this temporary income tax.
Q: What you want them to do, not what you don’t want them to do?
RAUNER: (Laughs) To be clear, we’re going to be coming out with a plan on taxes and in spending in due time, at the right time, and long before the election.
Q: Will that come with your pension plan, too, that you’ve promised?
RAUNER: (Laughs) We’ll have a pension plan, an education plan, a transportation plan.
Q: Why should anyone believe this after hearing it month after month? Aren’t you shortchanging the voters?
RAUNER: (No response).
– See more at: AFSCME Council 31
Just a not-so-friendly reminder of how Mr. Rauner would handle contract negotiations…
Here is the quote just in case you can’t hear it…. “I may have to take a strike and shut down the government for a few weeks [in order to] redo everybody’s contract.”
He intends to impose pay cuts!!!