Saturday, July 7, 2007

The budget debate in the Illinois General Assembly has continued to bare no fruit and has grown to even more or a debacle in large part because of Governor Blagojevich's lack of leadership. The Governor called a special session for the weekend and then tried to set the time, despite the lack ability of the Governor to set times for Illinois General Assembly, and then accused the Speaker of the Illinois State House, Mike Madigan, of breaking the law by setting a different time for the session than what he wanted. He also called The Speaker a Republican for opposing his massive spending and tax increase, thou I am sure no Republican would claim the Speaker as one of our own. The Governor also threaten to use the state police to force members to attend the special session, despite the fact that under the 1970 Illinois Constitution, our current one, the ability of the Governor to use the state police to force attendance came from a court ruling under the old Constitution and has no current standing under the new one. Relationship between the Governor's Office and The Illinois State House has fallen to the point, that a Republican member raised the issue of Impeach. The Governor's proposed lease of the lottery failed by a vote of 78-6 today in the House and a Democrat member of the State Senate said that it stood no chance of passing in the Senate despite the effort of the Governor's pawn State Senate President Emil Jones attempts to pass it. The Governor has also taken in insulting members of his own party that do not support his agenda, implying that they are bad Democrats, State Senator Mike Jacobs said it remained hims of when the Nazis would talk about good Nazis. Governor Blagojevich is so devoded of leadership that all he can do is restort to name calling and insulting leading members of is own party instead of working to produce a budget that controls spending, taxes and doesn't increase the State's debate burden.

In good news an article in the Springfield State Journal Register had an interview with a number of young minimum wage workers and they displayed a good grasp on the effects of an increase in the minimum wage on prices. They all said that they had mixed feeling about the minimum wage increase because they realized that it would lead to higher prices in the long run. Supports of the minimum wage increases like to point out to studies that show little or no job lose from hikes in the minimum wage, but the problem with the studies they use is that tend to look only at either people that are currently employed in minimum wage and see if they are fired or laid off or they look at the short. Longer run surveys show that increases in the minimum wage lower the amount of new jobs in that range that are created. If people want an example of this in their everyday life look at grocery stores like Kroger's or Wal-Mart and how they have added in self-checkers in their stores to replace regular check out isles, the reason for this is that the cost of installing and maintaining these machines is now less than that of hiring more checkers. Along with this many Union contracts have wages that are tied to the minimum wage level and any increase in the minimum wage pushes up these wages levels to regardless if increase in productivity justify the wage hikes.

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