Fiscal cliff? Welcome to Illinois.


Tea Party Congressman Eric Cantor would be an Illinois Democrat.

It went into overtime, but the battle in Washington over tax cuts for the wealthy and misnamed “entitlements” didn’t exactly have the excitement of a good NBA game.

What was common to both is that most of us were merely spectators.

The inestimable Paul Krugman points out the obvious: Things aren’t settled yet.

Many more cliffs to follow.

Kudos to Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, the sole progressive Democrat in the Senate who voted no on the deal.

Harkin must be looking over the border at Illinois and going WTF?

For what ever the shortcomings of the deals made in DC, at least the broad outlines are clear.

Democrats correctly read the results of the November election. Many Republicans are still sightless with Tea Party blinders.

Republicans favor the rich, defending the Bush tax cuts (really we need to go back and repeal the Reagan tax rate changes for the wealthy) and call for cuts in social programs. Progressive Democrats stand for opposition to changes in Social Security and Medicare and defending and expanding Obamacare.

But here in the Land of Lincoln?

Democrats, especially self-proclaimed progressive Democrats, could just as well share an office with Eric Cantor.

Even Paul Ryan voted for the Washington deal for his own political reasons. But in Illinois, Ryan would seem like a budget Bolshevik.

Illinois Democrats, from the Governor to members of both houses of the legislature, are clamoring to find a way to cut pension benefits for the elderly.

Illinois Democrats won’t even discuss a progressive income tax.

Illinois Republicans aren’t even in on the discussions.

Neither are the state public employee unions.

That’s is why we are getting on buses and loading into cars tomorrow and Friday.

Fill the Springfield Capitol rotunda.

Bring a warm coat. Some of us may not fit inside.

Tim Furman’s blog:

It’s going to be a busy couple of days… These are things you should be attending, if you live in Illinois and you’re a teacher:

Jobs For Justice Town Hall  (Pension Discussion)

Town Hall Pension Forum
When:  Wednesday January 2nd, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Where:  East Aurora High School (Auditorium)
500 Tomcat Ln., Aurora, IL  60505
Ample parking–enter through Door 5

This event will feature the long-awaited reunion of pension-buster Elaine Nekritz and longtime public servant/noted blogger Fred Klonsky.  I will be filming. I will also be driving out there, so stay off the sidewalks. I believe Aurora is somewhere out by Denver. 

Then, on to Springfield for the We Are One rallies/lobbying sessions on January 3 and 4. 

By the way, I just got an email from Pat Church, the wonderful staffer who works in the Skokie office of the IEA. She says that there are still seats on the second bus leaving from Golf Mill shopping center at 6:30. Contact me if you want to come with us. We return from Springfield leaving at 2PM and arriving back at Golf Mill around 5:30 or 6.

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