THE BLOG
09/02/2014 07:03 pm ET Updated Nov 02, 2014

Rich Miller: Does Bruce Rauner's Budget Plan Check Out?

Several Illinois statewide political candidates spoke to the Illinois Farm Bureau last week about their plans if they were to be elected. Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner outlined his economic goals for the state, including his support for growing Illinois' infrastructure.

But Capital Fax publisher Rich Miller says Rauner's budget plan lies outside the limits of reality. So far outside that, Miller believes, Rauner is dishonest in promoting it.

Rauner has said he wants to spend money on roads and schools. Writes Miller:

Yet, Rauner says he wants to slash the state's income tax rate. Can he really do all that with lower revenues?

There are three ways to pay for these pie in the sky plans: 1) Gin up the state's economy to North Dakota levels; 2) Stop making the full state pension payments; or 3) Increase state total taxation far above current levels.

[T]he new government spending that Bruce Rauner is proposing on the campaign trail transcends the political posturing we've grown accustomed to as Illinoisans.

I don't say this lightly, but it's a boldfaced lie, cheerily spoon-fed to an angry, disgusted populace desperate for even a hint of good news. He needs to be called out for this.

Do Rauner's plans add up?

Government takes money to run, no matter the priorities are. With so much focus on pensions and taxes, it's easy to let other facets of the state budget conversation get buried. But the state spends money on thousands of programs, including the Illinois Department of Corrections, the entity that runs the state's prisons. There are currently 25 state correctional facilities and four federal prisons in Illinois, though the Federal Bureau of Prisons recently bought and has begun to staff a fifth federal correctional facility in the state. What is the current state of prisons in Illinois, and how could an extra federal prison change it all?

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