Chesney Guest Column: Budget Cuts on Horizon Highlight Never-Balanced Budget

Voters’ rejection of the Tax Hike Amendment on November 3rd has brought into full focus the terribly unbalanced budget passed by the Democrat majority during the height of the pandemic in May of this year.

You see, Governor JB Pritzker and democrat leaders were counting on at least $3.4 billion in new revenue generated by passage of the “Tax Hike” Amendment, about half of which they anticipated being available for this fiscal year.  Their strategy failed and they now find themselves dealing with a State budget hole north of $5 billion.  They overspent and were banking on being bailed out through voters’ approval of the word “fair”—oh, how wrong they were.

While they still pin some hopes on a federal bailout of debt-laden states like Illinois (especially if Democrats win a majority in the US Senate), they now find themselves finally faced with the reality of being cornered into cutting their sacrosanct State budget.  Imagine the better position they would find themselves in had they not overspent the past six months, as Republicans warned they were doing.

Rather, the majority party continued to promise more to an electorate whose livelihoods they have savaged and destroyed. Have Democrats yet come to grips with the fact they don’t have enough of other people’s money to fulfill these promises of “help”?  We will see.

The day after the election, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin called for immediate 4% across the board cut as well as reconvening the legislature to address additional targeted budget cuts.  This 4% would equate to $1.2 billion in recovered spending.  That is a good start suggested by, seemingly, one of the few responsible leaders trying to right the ship of our great State. Democrats leaders responded by cancelling Fall Veto Session so the legislature could not act on ANY reforms, including spending reforms. The General Assembly should be the first group to show up to and the last to stop. We are in the midst of a terrible pandemic, where lives have been lost and small businesses destroyed. The fact we have only been to work 25 days this year should outrage anyone that pays taxes in Illinois.

Look around you, elected Democrats. You’ve shut down our economy, ruined thousands of small businesses and put politics over science and data when dealing with a COVID strategy. News flash, there is NO NEW REVENUE to be had. With the population we have lost already, Democrats are also now back loading this debt onto fewer people, at an accelerating rate. If they fail to properly appraise the situation we are in, Democrats may forever lose the public, whose sentiments they failed to attend.