Thursday, April 22

Here's one Democrat's excellent idea

Jack D. Franks writes:

Instead of pushing for a tax increase, Quinn should stop the unnecessary spending.

Quinn could cut $1.2 billion worth of "member initiative" pork projects by executive order. He could push to collect more than $1 billion in taxes and fees owed to Illinois. He could push to scrap the lieutenant governor's office, which would save us $16 million over four years.

Rather than play politics with education, Quinn needs to scour Illinois' budget, assess every dollar spent and cut all but the most necessary expenditures.

We can do our part in the House and Senate. We can eliminate the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to save another $1 billion. We can combine the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority with the Illinois Department of Transportation and save millions. We can eliminate governor-appointed boards and commissions.

And we need to fundamentally change how we set the state budget each year.

We need forensic audits of all spending. Justify every dime and know where every dime is going.

We need a zero-based approach that requires all spending be justified. It is simply common sense. I have co-sponsored legislation that would require the General Assembly to adopt a full accrual-based accounting statement. Legislators would know exactly what our economic position is before they approved any budget. We can prevent this type of fiscal nightmare from recurring.

Illinois can pull itself out of this mess. We have to shrink the size of government through better accounting and restrained spending.

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