If there is one thing that all conservatives agree on, its that the government spends too much money. In Illinois, years of unbalanced budgets have made Illinois the least fiscally responsible state in the nation, the harm of which has been deeply accelerated by the absence of a budget for over two years. Did you know that without a budget, Illinois has been spending more money than ever before? Did you know that the only way to actually cut spending is by establishing a budget? This is because without a spending plan, the legislature forfeited its control over how your tax dollars are spent and gave it to the courts. It is the equivalent of someone automatically withdrawing money from your personal bank account every single day, without your permission, to pay for things you either do not want or cannot afford, with nothing you can do to make it stop.
Until the House passed a balanced budget last week, we were spending $39B annually. The current budget will immediately cut that spending by $3B, initiating the slow, difficult and essential process of digging our way out of this hole that has been decades in the making. Without a budget, in just two short years Illinois would have reached a point where its annual revenues were nearly equal to its past due bills. As a result, almost every single penny of your hard earned tax dollars would have had to be spent on debt and interest.
I will be the first to admit that this budget is not perfect. It is not, in my opinion, the budget that Illinoisians deserve. But it is, at this exact time, a budget that Illinoisians need to put an immediate halt to our state’s downward spiral into financial dissolution. The longer we wait, the more we pay–each and every single one of us. Days before this budget was passed, we were dangerously close to receiving a junk bond credit rating–a status in which no amount of taxes, cuts, and reforms would be able to save us.
Now that Illinois has finally put an end to the runaway spending of the budget impasse, its time to get smart about the way we do business in Illinois. I am 100% dedicated to fighting for the reforms that this state so desperately needs, but I am not willing to watch our legislature and the courts throw away your hard earned money while we work to establish them. Last week, we took a step in the right direction. Let’s keep moving.