Listen to Gov. Pat Quinn's budget address last week, and it sounds like Illinois is doing great.
He said the state is catching up on its bills, that jobs are being created and the worst pension system in the nation has been reformed.
He must live in a parallel universe. Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka said the backlog of bills is about $6.7 billion. Illinois' unemployment rate is one of the worst. And Quinn is so unsure that pension reform will stand a court test, he doesn't dare include any savings in next year's budget.
Quinn wants to make the 66 percent temporary income tax increase permanent, and is trying to make that more palatable with $500 per household in property tax relief. A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, we guess.
But if sugar isn't enough, Quinn is threatening dire cuts to education and human services if the tax increase expires next year as planned.
Quinn cultivates an image of being compassionate and honest. But turns out he's just another calculating tax-and-spender.