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Our view: Don't get distracted by campaign rhetoric

Published: Sunday, March 23, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

Illinois’ dire fiscal situation is well-documented.

Its public pension systems are underfunded by more than $1 billion.

The state ended its last fiscal year with more than $7 billion in unpaid bills.

Illinois has the nation’s second-highest property taxes, the fourth-highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world, and the fourth-highest workers’ compensation costs in the nation.

It has the second highest unemployment rate in the country, and the worst credit rating of all 50 states.

These are the facts, and they aren’t pretty.

These also are the issues that voters must focus on as the campaign for governor now turns to two people – Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican challenger Bruce Rauner.

In the months leading up to the Nov. 4 general election, expect to hear tons of campaign rhetoric from both sides. A lot of it will be nothing but noise, meant to distract voters from the issues that matter.

But don’t be distracted. Tune out the nonsense and focus on each candidate’s plans to return Illinois to a fiscally solvent state.

Who has the best plan to balance the budget?

Who is going to best help over-burdened taxpayers, whose homes are underwater and wallets are bare?

Who is going to bring jobs back to Illinois because his economic policies make more sense?

Who is going to make Illinois competitive again with its neighboring states?

Who has the best plan to lead Illinois out of its fiscal woes and into a better, more financially responsible future?

These are the questions voters must ask as they evaluate Quinn and Rauner prior to the general election.

Illinois is in bad shape right now. In November, voters must decide who has the best chance to lead the state out of the abyss.

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