The budget has become a shell game whose spending increases are based on one-time revenues, short and long term borrowing and an inability to pay our bills on time.
"Borrow and Spend" was the unfortunate budget mantra since 2003. State spending rose 19%, short-term borrowing doubled, long-term debt grew nearly $20 billion and our unfunded pension liability approaches $100 billion. Our unpaid bills reached a record $6.5 billion and we faced a $15 billion budget deficit.
Unfortunately, it was a mantra replaced by "Tax, Borrow and Spend" on the last hour of the last day of the lame duck session when 90 Democrats passed a $7 billion tax increase. Don't be fooled by talks of spending caps as those so-called caps allow for a 10% increase in spending next year and 2% increases the following three years. Only in Illinois can a 16% growth in spending be referred to as caps!