By Walt Zlotow
Last month GOP gubernatorial candidate, billionaire Bruce Rauner,
advocated rolling back Illinois' $8.25 minimum wage to the federal
minimum of $7.25. He spoke these words at a Quad Cities business group
"I will advocate moving the Illinois minimum wage back to the national minimum".
the national minimum is just $7.25 per hour, Rauner officially went on
record advocating a rollback of one dollar per hour. In the 25 days
since that very specific policy position, Rauner never qualified or
rescinded his stance. But when faced with a firestorm of criticism over
the heartlessness of further impoverishing Illinois' many thousands of
minimum wage workers just trying to survive on what are rightly called
starvation wages, Rauner skirted the truth. Instead of being
forthright, he said he really wants to raise the Illinois minimum wage
to $10 per hour. I'm not going to describe how Rauner twisted himself
into a mammoth pretzel getting from "moving the Illinois minimum wage BACK to the national minimum" of $7.25 / hr, to raising the Illinois wage to $10 / hr. Suffice to say his explanation doesn't pass the political smell test.
year Rauner earned a cool 53 mill. Based an a normal work year of 2,080
hours, that amounts to $25,480.80 an hour. Billionaire Bruce has enough
'walkin around' money to purchase nine luxury homes and have a
financial interest in three professional sports teams (Bulls, Red Sox,
Steelers). He's now spending millions of his financial empire to acquire
the only toy that has so far eluded him: the
governorship. Unfortunately for BB, this is one toy the workin' folk of
Illinois ain't selling.