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What's This Really About?

2/10/2015

By Aviva Bowen 

Immediately upon taking office, Governor Rauner quickly indicated that his top priority was fixing the state’s worse-than-he-thought finances.

Fair enough. 

His first actions, however, couldn’t have less to do with this, our most pressing need.

Rather than offer concrete solutions to adequately fund public education or save critical social services that face potential budgetary collapse (see: childcare program), our new Governor has waged an ideological war on unions and the workers we represent.

At a time when voters are begging politicians to quit the partisan bickering and get things done (see: every recent poll), this approach is as unproductive as it is divisive.

Governor Rauner has villainized unions and proposed failed policy experiments, wrappin’ them up in misleadin' euphemisms and dangerous plain talk which might seem reasonable if you’re only mildly paying attention and forget that he’s a billionaire who formed a $20mil legislative PAC with a few wealthy friends. And yesterday, he took working families to court (!) out of his duty to right some “corrupt bargain” the unions – who represent hundreds of thousands of people, not just a few millionaires — have with government? That’s rich.

(Uncoincidentally, the far right-wing, well-resourced Illinois Policy Institute – which supplies some news outlets with content and now the Governor’s office with staff – had materials and research ready for distribution before the ink was dry on his Executive Order.)

Rauner claims he is doing so to protect the middle class. The facts don’t support it.

Union membership & share of income going to the top 10%

This graph is explained further in this short video. And check out the IL Economic Policy Institute fact check of Gov. Rauner here as well. 
 
Aviva Bowen is the Director of Communications for the Illinois Federation of Teachers.

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