Bruce Rauner and Republicans should not be blamed for the recent state income tax increase. The tax should be named for Michael Madigan, the financial fool who has taken Illinois to the edge of bankruptcy. Madigan has mortgaged the  state to its limits, maxed out its credit cards and shoved other bills in desk drawers.

Rauner was elected to balance the budget. He should concentrate on further steps so that revenues equal expenditures, but not at the expense of Illinois citizens suffering from cuts. There is a lot of waste in government that has not been cut yet.

The bigger burden is the damage that all Illinois politicians have imposed upon Illinois in the past 15 years or so through fiscal mismanagement. Social service agencies that do not buy off the politicians, suffered great cuts. The short-sighted cuts cost the state through greater law enforcement, court services, healthcare services and education costs. The emotional and financial damage to recipients of services is greater.

The politicians have also reduced the standing of Illinois’ great universities, some drastically. Until 20 years ago, Illinois families could count on the University of Illinois, ISU and other state universities to provide an exceptional educational value for their children; that is no longer the case.

I fully support Rauner’s position on term limits and taking the redistricting power away from the legislature. Those two steps would help to clear out the Springfield swamp, and avoid having too much power in too few Machiavellian legislators.

Daniel G. Deneen, Bloomington

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