Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Well Said Senator

You just don't hear U.S. Senator Dick Durbin weigh in that often on local issues, especially those involving state government. But weigh in he did the other day, and he didn't waffle.

The Senator was asked about the latest plan to fund state government operations.

At a Chicago appearance, Durbin, D-Ill., said he is not morally opposed to gambling or the idea of adding a "couple" of Illinois casinos "here and there." But Durbin voiced concern that lawmakers could become overly reliant on new gambling.

"I really, really think we ought to stop and catch our breath and say, 'Is this the future of Illinois - that every time we want to do something, we'll just build more casinos?'" he said. "When that becomes the answer to every question, I start to worry about it."...

"Most of the people who go in are low-income people and elderly people who lose money that they can't afford to lose," Durbin said. "That to me seems like a wrong way to finance the important programs that we need in this country."

Very well said, Mr. Senator.

In what appeared to be a backhand aimed at the Governor, the Senator added this:

Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich has said he supports the Senate casino expansion as a preferable way to generate capital funding, rather than raising taxes on working families. Asked what other revenue sources the legislature should consider besides gaming, Durbin suggested leaders should be "honest." (emphasis added)

"I think they should be more honest with people," he said. "Selling off state assets and building casinos will only take you so far."

Blagojevich, in his first term, suggested selling or leasing the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago to offset budget problems - an idea that was widely panned.

And in closing, he added this sad but true nugget,

"I wish I could blame the Republicans, but I can't figure out how to do it," Durbin joked. "I hope that they'll come to their senses and that the Democratic leaders down there will get together and compromise."

I hope that he's right.

5 Comments:

At October 9, 2007 at 2:11 PM, Anonymous PL said...

Durbin Says "I really, really think we ought to stop and catch our breath and say, 'Is this the future of Illinois - that every time we want to do something, we'll just build more casinos?'" he said. "When that becomes the answer to every question, I start to worry about it."...

I the Tax Payer Say
"I really, really think we ought to stop and catch our breath and say, 'Is this the future of Illinois - that every time we want to do something, we'll just RAISE TAXES '". "When that becomes the answer to every question, I start to worry about it."...

Well I am really worried John that you guys cannot and have not stopped spending or wasting tax dollars feathering each others nest and protecting your jobs at the expense of tax payers and at the cost of good government.

Patrick

 
At October 10, 2007 at 6:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Durbin and Casinos? That is a volatile mix. I think DD's bankbook would be much healthier if he stayed out of casinos himself. DD personal focus is on one thing: that is putting the gambler first.

 
At October 10, 2007 at 12:07 PM, Blogger Cousin said...

I agree on the regressive nature of casinos as a revenue source, but sales tax is regressive too -- how does Durbin (who I quite like) get a pass on going after the Gov but not Todd Stroger and Mayor Daley? If progressivity is what we want, we should be talking about the state income tax.

An equally important question to me: is the House really going to override the Gov and let trucks go 65 mph? Please no!

 
At October 10, 2007 at 11:34 PM, Anonymous Jess Wundrin said...

John "Quixote",

I wish you luck tomorrow (Thursday) with the House vote to sustain the Governor's veto of SB1463, a bill which REQUIRES a moment of silence to start the school day. I read your quote in EZ's blog promising some healthy debate - I certainly hope so. Regardless of the outcome, I've taken note of who voted how, and rest assured, Sen. Cullerton no longer has my vote.

Keep tilting at the wind mills - somebody has to...

 
At October 12, 2007 at 7:53 AM, Blogger Bill Baar said...

...how does Durbin (who I quite like) get a pass on going after the Gov but not Todd Stroger and Mayor Daley?

no kidding...

 

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