Bruce-ters Billions

Gov. Bruce Rauner is rich. Stop the presses.

According to tax reports released by the governor, the Rauner Family made more than $188 million last year. That’s more than triple the amount Rauner raked in the previous year (before he was governor), making him one of the richest men in the state. Bravo, governor.

To put the Rauner wealth in perspective, let’s say the governor works eight hours a day, five days a week, 52 weeks a year, with no holidays and no vacation. That would put the governor’s wage at just above $90,000 per hour.

$90,000 is more than one and a half times the amount made by the average Illinois family in a full yearThe average student loan debt for someone graduating from an Illinois college is about $29,000 — Rauner makes that in about 20 minutes. In one work day, Rauner could take home eight brand-new Porsche 911 Carreras. Think about that for a minute, though in that minute, Rauner will have made about $1,500.

Bruce Rauner makes 1,000 times more than the normal salary for the governor of Illinois. The income tax cut at the center of Rauner’s 2014 gubernatorial campaign saved the governor an estimated $2 million last year alone. Most Illinoisans will make in a lifetime what Rauner picks up in a few days.

Gov. Bruce Rauner made more than $90,000 per hour in 2015. That’s 1,000 times the normal salary for the governor of Illinois.

But who is anyone to fault the governor for making a living? The governor has found very lucrative business, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The issue here is not about Rauner making money, but more about the way in which Rauner spends his money and his cold, callous view of those without his mega-wealth.

The governor plunged at least $46 million — a few months of Rauner wages — into political campaigns in 2016, hammering his political enemies with negative attack ads. That number will surely pale in comparison to the governor’s spending on his own reelection campaign in 2018, with prognosticators estimating the governor’s personal stake reaching $150 million or more. Rauner’s money has poisoned the political well, creating deep divisions in Springfield that make actual governance — like passing a budget — that much more difficult.

The governor also doesn’t seem to think much of Illinois’ working class, those who work hard for relatively little pay. Rauner’s $90,000 is 6,000 times more than $15, which is the hourly wage Rauner rejected for caregivers of the developmentally disabled. Rauner has suggested raising the minimum wage to just $10 per hour by 2022, a proposal so ridiculous it elicited laughs from legislators. By holding the state budget hostage for his big business demands, Rauner has cut services for more than a million Illinoisans — people who, unlike Rauner, depend on social services to make a good life in this state.

Simply put, Governor Rauner has absolutely no conception of what it’s like for hardworking Illinois families these days. He will never understand what it’s like to rely on meals on wheels or have to cut back to pay for rising health insurance costs. He has never had to sign up for food stamps or find a doctor who will take Medicaid. Rauner just doesn’t live in the same reality as millions of hardworking Illinoisans — the ones without nine homes or private cigar rooms.

Sorry Bruce, but your money does not give you the ability to impose your will on the legislature, state workers, and the people of Illinois. This state is not for sale — not even for $188 million.