Monday, January 11, 2010

Healthcare, education, and taxes

I was listening to Don Wade and Roma this morning on WLS and they had former Governor (now talk show host and celebrity apprentice) Rod Blagojevich on.  Most of what he said was self-serving blather since he's trying to kill any jury pool for his trial but something that he said was actually kind of interesting.  They were talking about the state of the Illinois budget (which is going the way of California) and Blago said the following (I'm paraphrasing):  I increased spending for education and healthcare and I didn't raise taxes and that's why I had to cut $2 billion of other things out of the budget in order to have a balanced state budget.

Now I lived in Tennessee for several years while TENNCare pulled every extra cent plus out of the state budget.  I worked in higher education (stereotypically not a priority for Tennesseans) and didn't see but a 1/2% raise in five yearsn (and that was only for half a fiscal year).  My roundabout point is that publically taking over healthcare, even on the state level, is enough to bankrupt a state and make it impossible for them to have any other programs or priorities.  Just ask the folks in Massachussetts now.  Healthcare became a public concern in Illinois, goodbye the rest of the budget.  Now I'm not saying that Illinois doesn't have a plethora of other problems that are adding to their budget woes, but I don't think that my linkage is spurious either.  Imagine the effect on a national level....

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