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Illinois Budget, Illinois Social Media

Illinois Budget: Progress Illinois Exposes Illinois Policy Institute’s Junk Policy Research

(Chicago, IL) — March 18, 2010. The Illinois ‘Policy Institute’–a thinly disguised propaganda arm of the Illinois Republican Party–has been peddling its gussied up junk policy research on the Illinois budget as the real thing and plenty of media outlets have been falling for it–except Progress Illinois.

In the latest installment of party propaganda masquerading as policy, the ‘Institute’ this week unveiled a budget proposal–which the group’s chief John Tillman‘s admits no lawmaker will sponsor–at a now routine Springfield press conference.

Progress Illinois‘ Angela Caputo, unlike other mainstream journalists, opened the trunk of the GOP’s pseudo policy vehicle and found the junk:

At a press conference in Springfield yesterday, John Tillman, director of the Illinois Policy Institute (IPI), rolled out his organization’s new, no-tax-hike budget proposal.  The plan derives some of its savings from a $900 million reduction in state employees’ wages and benefits.

To justify that cut, Tillman cited research showing that Illinois state employees earn, on average, 15.7 percent more than those in the public sector (a stat repeated by Crain’s and Fox Chicago).  He added this bit of hyperbole: “We have a new class warfare underway where the public employees are the new wealth class with higher salaries, better benefits, and lavish pensions.”

Earlier this month, the Seattle-Times conducted an analysis that adds some important context to Tillman’s woefully oversimplified wage stats. After breaking the public and private data sets into 200 comparable “occupational groups,” the Times found that, in 136 of the groups, state employees in Washington actually made less than their counterparts…

Read the rest of Caputo’s of debunking here …

By the way, today marks Progress Illinois‘ 2nd Anniversary–Happy Anniversay, PI.

About David Ormsby

David, a public relations consultant and Huffington Post blogger, is an ex-Press Secretary of the Illinois Democratic Party.


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