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Only Rauner Believes He Proposed Balanced Budgets

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This week, Governor Bruce Rauner is set to present what he promises will be a balanced budget, something he has never done while in office. Despite this verified fact, Rauner has repeatedly claimed he proposed a balanced budget each year and that his budgets were ignored by Democrats. He’s recently claimed he could not remember last year’s budget proposal included a $4.6 billion hole. 

Rauner stands alone in his historical assessment: 

  • PolitiFact Rating “Pants on Fire”: “The Illinois Constitution requires Gov. Bruce Rauner to draw up a budget plan each year that is balanced. But a wide range of fiscal experts agree he didn’t do it in 2015 after taking office. He didn’t do it in 2016. He didn’t do it last year either, even though he claimed otherwise.”
  • Capitol Fax Headline: “Rauner falsely claims yet again that he introduced three balanced budgets.” 
  • State Journal-Register Editorial: “Rauner himself has not presented a truly balanced budget during his first three years in office.”
  • Peoria Journal-Star Editorial: “If you grade on the Rauner curve, this was an upbeat, forward-looking speech, but if reality is your guide, his calls for bipartisanship, like his promise of a balanced budget, ring hollow in light of his own recent history. It was Rauner who pulled his Republican troops off the so-called ‘grand bargain’ regarding the budget last year.”
  • Ralph Martire, Center for Tax and Budget Accountability: “He has never introduced a balanced budget…What he has put out there doesn’t even rise to smoke and mirrors.”

Republican lawmakers, supporters of Rauner and State Rep. Jeanne Ives in the primary, would not back up Rauner’s claim:

  •  WCIA3’s Mark Maxwell: “Asked point blank, even pro-Rauner Republicans Darlene Senger and Sen. Jason Barickman would not say today if they agreed with @GovRauner’s claim that he has presented a balanced budget.”  
  • Republican State Rep. David McSweeney: “Governor Rauner must have been joking when he said that ‘I have proposed a balanced budget every year I’ve been Governor.’ Everyone who wants to be honest about it knows that Governor Rauner has never proposed a truly balanced budget.”

Will Rauner repeat this lie in his budget address?  

“Bruce Rauner is just hoping if he repeats a lie enough times, someone will finally believe him,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “The facts clearly show Rauner neglected his duty as Governor and never offered a balanced budget. Rauner’s failed leadership only lead to higher debt, a lower credit rating, and a worse fiscal condition.”