Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

May 3, 2014

No tax dollars for library

Editor:

Voting along party lines (7-4) a House panel endorses a Madigan/Emanuel plan to skim $100 million out of the Illinois taxpayers to pay for a tourist attraction.

Past presidents in America get their name put on a building which houses some things considered important, by someone, that relate in some way to the years they spent in the White House doing “whatever the current wind direction indicates.”

One hundred million dollars — that is $100 million that will ultimately prove to be just an estimate. This is Illinois after all and nothing is ever as simple as being even close to the mark the first time.

“We’re talking about a son of Illinois who became president of the United States,” to quote Mike Madigan. “This library and museum will be dedicated to that son of Illinois, and it will become an international tourist attraction.”

Madigan, the all powerful, and Emanuel, who stepped out of the White House directly into the Chicago Mayor’s office without missing a paycheck, must have found the Goose that Lays the Golden Egg(s). I know — that’s the way they see the taxpaying public. It would be wishful thinking to believe that the Legislature would do anything but go along with this ludicrous idea.

After all, when a son returns, it is time to lay out the robes and slay the fatted calf. Let’s not worry that every other news article warns that Illinois is bankrupt and we may find the calf is not so fat.

Reading “Illinois House panel Oks $100 million of Obama library” and looking at the two politicos, the same picture, did not get my Thursday off to a good start! Someone, sometime, somehow, needs to say something which will be heard.

Enough is enough! If an Obama Presidential Library means so much to these two who slide along on their coat tails, let them pay for it with their own money — or with private donations. Or, better yet, let Hawaii or New York have it. “Keep your hands of taxpayer’s dollar” needs to be spoken loud and clear into the ear of every member of the Illinois Legislature.

Who knows? Miracles do seem to continue to happen in this old world. Just maybe some of them will get the message. Mind you, I am not holding my breath waiting for this one.

Jerry R. Clemens

Mt. Vernon

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