For Immediate Release
February 15, 2017
United Working Families Statement: Rauner's "Grand Bargain" is a Raw Deal for the 99%
CHICAGO - Following is the statement of United Working Families Executive Director Emma Tai in response to the Governor's non-budget address:
"Over the past thirty years, the income gap between the 1% and the rest of us has doubled. Bruce Rauner's 'Grand Bargain' is yet another raw deal for all the Illinoisans who are struggling to make ends meet.
"Bruce Rauner says he is an 'outsider' who wants to shake things up, but he's just another political boss looking out for his friends and donors. He says he's 'frustrated' with political gridlock while lavishly funding a network of lobbyists and interest groups to buy the silent complicity of his own caucus. He preaches 'compromise' while pushing for unchecked authority to make massive cuts at will. Today was no budget address, but a 'non-budget' address made up of the same stale ideas and recycled propaganda that got us into this mess in the first place.
"Illinoisans have borne the high cost of the Rauner agenda. Chicago State University, a predominantly African-American university and economic engine on Chicago's job-starved south side, is on the brink of closure. Public universities across the state--Northeastern, Eastern, Southern--are in similarly precarious positions. Sixty-two domestic violence shelters have been forced to cut services and eliminate jobs. Unemployment rates are twice the national average in parts of southern Illinois, while violence has skyrocketed in Chicago's African-American neighborhoods.
"We deserve better. We reject any 'Grand Bargain' that pays for tax cuts for the rich by cutting jobs, schools, services, and pensions for everyone else.
"Illinois has the fifth-largest economy in the nation. Under a graduated tax system in which the wealthy contribute adequately to the public good, there would be more than enough money to create bountiful jobs, flourishing schools and universities, and a world-class system of health care and human services. But instead of asking his rich buddies to chip in and get the job done, Bruce Rauner offered Illinoisans another raw deal."
United Working Families is an independent political organization by and for the 99%, established in 2014 by the Chicago Teachers Union, SEIU Healthcare, Action Now, and Grassroots Illinois Action.