Thursday, March 17, 2011

Quinn budget chief doled out pay hikes

This is totally unbelievable, yet just like our elected officials. With Illinois being on the brink of going bankrupt due to excessive spending, and with our illustrious Gov. Pat Quinn signing into law an income tax increase (from 3% to 5%), his budget chief approved double-digit pay raises for two people under his command!

On January 13, while Quinn approved a 66% increase in income tax, Vaught voted to boost the pay of Aaron Carter, director of the Illinois Procurement Policy Board, and Will Blount, who serves as a senior procurement analyst with the five person agency.

Carter received a 13.3 percent hike to $85,000 annually, beginning February 1, with a promise to review his pay again in June. Blount, who recently took on added duties, received an 11.6 percent raise to $65,000 per year.

The raises went into effect roughly at the same time dozens of employees in the Illinois Senate received pay hikes worth a total of about $280,000.

What more can we expect from our politicians? They can't pay legitimate bills that are due, but they can give double-digit pay raises while raising our taxes. Were the increased taxes supposed to help our state government get out of debt or were they really used to provide pay increases to our elected officials?

It seems to me that our elected officials do not know the meaning of "living within their means" when it comes to running the state. They continue to borrow more and more money to supposedly pay outstanding debt, but they don't know when to stop spending (and giving themselves pay increases).

I think it's about time our elected officials take a serious decrease in pay - perhaps as much as a 50 to 70 percent reduction in pay, until the state is fiscally sound again. And, these same politicians should be forced to pay into Social Security instead of receiving state-funded pensions (which equal 100 to 150 percent of the politician's highest salary while "serving" as a politician).

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