After it became clear Tuesday J.B. Pritzker was the Democratic nominee for this state’s governor and Gov. Bruce Rauner narrowly survived a primary challenge, social media was filled with despair by Illinois residents about whether either of these two millionaires get that our state is going down the tubes.
Does J.B. Pritzker understand debt-ridden, slow-growing Illinois is in crisis, and must fix its hemorrhaging finances and add plenty of jobs to avoid potential ruin?
Rauner, on the other hand, understands the urgency of the state’s financial crisis and recognizes the General Assembly’s anti-employer bias. He has proposed pro-business reforms. But the trouble with Rauner isn’t his agenda. It’s his inability to advance it and his accurate but repetitive excuse for failing to do so.
Rauner needs to quit blaming Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and talk about the issues.
Illinois residents don’t need campaign rhetoric. They need to hear from both Pritzker and Rauner what they mean to do to fix our state. Do they favor more stringent gun control? Higher taxes? School choice? A graduated income tax for more revenue? Legalizing marijuana?
What about the state’s pension mess? How do we — or can we — stop the mass exodus of our state’s citizens to Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan or Iowa — anywhere but Illinois?
Will Pritzker’s plan to tax and spend the state to greatness work? Isn’t that exactly why the state is losing major employers — meaning jobs and residents — to our neighbors?
What we want to know from Pritzker and Rauner is how they will make Illinois more attractive to employers and investors so the jobs come, residents stay and prosperity is shared.
These are issues on which Illinois voters deserve a full debate between now and November. Voters must be willing to ask the difficult questions of each candidate and force them to give an answer.
We don’t need to hear from the candidates who is to blame — Madigan or the current governor.
We need — and must demand — real answers for Illinois.