Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Revolt Against 'Gentry Liberalism' ( Progressives) Hits Illinois - Gov. Quinn is Its First Victim

Last week it became evident that Europe had had enough of the Left. America always seems to be a few years, if not decades behind Europe - fashion, food and funding programs. 'Socialism seems so Cool so Let's Get Us Some!'

Our Later-day Trotskyites and Malraux Guevara's soak the Obama Administration with their earnest presence. They should earnestly stay away from government at any level, but they Grassrooted out Government Truffles.

Illinois has SEIU funding these pie-dish deep thinkers at Progress Illinois and have succeeded in co-opting the Illinois Media. Taxes Mean Big Hearts! Mean People Hate Taxes!

Americans, as I mentioned last week continue to be Rubes. Innocents Abroad.

Its the Economy, Rubes! The wallet's empty!

Government is not meant to be a Cash Pantry for every 'community based' program.

The middle class is running out of money and SEIU/ACORN and State and Federal government is crying for more.

Urban Studies expert, Joel Kotkin has warned of this trend toward giving the store away in the name of politics.

Great Britain's Labor Party under Gordon Brown is a mess. President Obama's Administration is only weeks away from a similar situation.

However, Illinois seems to have taken the lead in the revolt against what Joel Kotkin calls Gentry Liberalism, another name for the Progressives.

Gentry liberalism--which reached its height in Britain earlier this decade and is currently peaking in the U.S.--melded traditional left-of-center constituencies, such as organized labor and ethnic minorities, with an expanding class of upper-class professionals from field like media, finance and technology.
. . .But today, this broad coalition lies in ruins. An urban expert at the London School of Economics, Tony Travers, suggests that New Labour's biggest loss is due to the erosion of middle-class suburban support. The party also appears to be shedding significant parts of its historic working-class base, particularly those constituents who aren't members of the public employee unions.

Even some longstanding ethnic minorities, most notably the highly entrepreneurial South Asians, also show signs of drifting away from Labour. The only Labour supporters left, then, are the liberal gentry, the government apparatus and the most aggrieved minorities.
. . .The shift reveals the weakening hold of gentry liberalism. At its core, gentry liberalism depends on massive profits in key sectors--largely finance and real estate--to maintain its affluence while servicing both its environmentally friendly priorities and redistributing wealth to the long-term poor.

This has also allowed for a massive expansion of both the scope and size of government. . . . This kind of approach has gained some proponents among the Obama crowd. Recent administration pronouncements endorse such things as "coercing" Americans from their cars, fighting suburban "sprawl" and even imposing restrictions on how much they can drive. It makes you wonder what future they have in mind for our recently bailed-out auto companies.

It's possible that America's middle-income voters will eventually be turned off by such policies, as is the case in Britain. President Obama's remarkable genius for political theater may insulate him now, but it won't for eternity. Over time, some of the Democrats' hard-won, suburban middle-class support could erode.

Yep. Here in Illinois our Gentry Liberalism Governor Pat Quinn is crying for more:

Rookie Gov. Pat Quinn, who supported both failed tax plans, said he would call legislative leaders together Monday to work on putting together a better budget than one that is "hopelessly out of balance."

Quinn said he was "a little disappointed" in the legislature but undaunted. Asked why Illinoisans shouldn't consider this a new embarrassment for Democrats, Quinn said, "Give us a couple more days."

House Democrats were able to send Quinn a measure backed by the governor that would impose first-ever campaign donation limits on politicians. But the plan was blasted by a variety of self-styled reform advocates, including Quinn's own Reform Commission, as loophole-ridden and designed to ensure that those now in power stay in power. Lawmakers also sent Quinn a bill to eliminate their cost-of-living increases, abolish a controversial board that recommended salary raises and required themselves to take four furlough days.

The reform votes on the final day of the legislature's spring session capped a frenetic week dominated by a debate over whether Springfield had done enough to clean up state government in the wake of Blagojevich's arrest, ouster and indictment on charges he sold government favors for personal and political gain.

House Speaker Michael Madigan had repeatedly said that lawmakers must prove to taxpayers the government could do a better job before asking for more money. But while he declared victory on high-profile ethics plans, he found that Democrats in his tightly controlled chamber were not fully on board with any plan to raise income taxes amid a sagging economy.

Even without the income-tax and sales-tax increases, lawmakers have already approved a host of fee and tax hikes, including higher license plate and driver's license fees and a boost in taxes on liquor, candy, tea-infused drinks at retail, and beauty aids and medicated retail products. Those increases, coupled with legalized video gambling and a proposal to sell lottery tickets on the Internet, would fund a massive public works program.

Facing an estimated $12 billion two-year deficit, lawmakers scrambled to find ways to help fund government operations. With no major revenue sources in sight and amid Republican demands for cuts before higher taxes, House lawmakers approved a short-term spending plan that would fund government for about six months. The Senate was expected to follow suit late Sunday.

Just a day after Senate Democrats approved a 67 percent increase in personal income taxes that also broadened the sales tax to some services, House Democrats said they lacked the votes to send it to Quinn. At the same time, the House overwhelmingly rejected a smaller two-year, 50 percent income-tax increase.

The failure of Democrats to adjourn the legislature on time would be considered the latest political embarrassment for their one-party rule of Springfield after Blagojevich became the first governor impeached and removed from office in state history. His successor, Quinn, watched as tensions increased among House members under Madigan and senators under President John Cullerton.

Quinn attempted to reinsert himself as his tax-raising efforts he had pushed collapsed. He warned that his signature on a $29 billion public works program was predicated on lawmakers enacting a balanced full-year budget and that investors would not purchase the bonds needed to finance the plan while uncertainty reigned over the state's fiscal problems.

But it was Cullerton's assertion of his power in a legislature long dominated by Madigan that prompted the collision of House and Senate Democrats.

Cullerton's decision to advance an income-tax plan from the Senate marked his independence from Madigan, his longtime friend, at a time when some Senate Democrats grumbled that Cullerton was little more than a political appendage of the House speaker. It also solidified Cullerton's standing among African-American Senate Democrats who had pushed him to call an increase in higher taxes in the chamber and not wait for Madigan.

"I think it's time we step up," Cullerton said as his Senate Democrats approved the larger tax-increase late Saturday.

But Sunday, House Democrats said they didn't have the votes for the tax-increase plan advanced by Cullerton. Then they rejected a smaller temporary two-year plan to increase income taxes by 50 percent to raise more than $4 billion. It would have boosted the 3 percent personal income-tax rate to 4.5 percent and increased the corporate-tax rate from 4.8 percent to 7.2 percent.

"If we don't raise taxes, we are looking at very deep problems in the state's human services and education programs," Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago), Madigan's chief deputy, said in urging passage of the smaller tax increase.

Currie later led House passage of the makeshift budget bill. With all 118 House seats up for election next year, that would allow House Democrats fearful of casting a tax-increase vote before the election year to see if any opponents have filed against them.

With the need to fix the budget hole, Republicans in the House now have a seat at the bargaining table in the coming weeks and months.

"We don't want to run from the problem, but we are going to insist on fundamental change in the way state government operates budget-wise in the state of Illinois," said House Republican leader Tom Cross of Oswego.

The Revolt against Gentry Liberalism (Progressive) is on!,0,2960790.story

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