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What Do the State of Illinois and a Boiling Frog Have in Common?

03/17/2015 12:35 pm ET | Updated May 17, 2015

Ever heard the one about the frog and the boiling pot of water? If you throw a frog into a pot of scalding liquid, it'll jump right out to save itself. But if you place the frog in the pot and then slowly turn up the heat, the frog will boil right along with the water; it won't know it's slowly dying.

Former Illinois resident John Cole explains why that science experiment could be a metaphor for Illinois' political and financial situation:

For years, the state's population has been like Illinois frogs sitting in their pot of water, with the fiscal temperature slowly but steadily being turned up by delusional politicians of both parties through excessive and irresponsible spending under the veil of trying to please everyone. Today, with boiling water all around, the real question is ... will Illinois voters evolve and leap from the pot or take drastic measures to turn the heat down to save themselves, or will they simply let business (and politics) as usual continue, remain in the pot, and let the state slip into bankruptcy?

The potential for the Illinois frog to evolve has shown limited signs of hope and life recently. Electing a governor a) that hasn't made a lifestyle out of couching himself in the fantasy world of Illinois politics and living off taxpayers, and b) that fully understands the necessity for state fiscal reform, is a reasonable start, but is still just that... a start. Does he have all the answers? No -- no one does. The only real answer we know today is "it can't continue the way it's been."

(Read the rest of Cole's frog explanation at Reboot Illinois.)

At the helm of that frog boil/Illinois' political situation is Gov. Bruce Rauner, whom Illinois technology professor Mark S. Schwendau says is not handling the position very well. Schwendau says his "jaw hit his chest" when he heard about Rauner's proposed budget cuts, and the professor said he doesn't understand Rauner's continued efforts to convince Illinoisans to get on board with his budget plans.

(Find out in which of two Republican camps Schwendau believes Rauner falls at Reboot Illinois.)

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