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Matt Murphy
Quick Hit
by Josh Kalven
Wed Mar 10, 2010

Murphy's Borrowing Flip-Flop

In response to Gov. Quinn's budget outline, which includes no income tax increase and ample short-term borrowing, State Sen. Matt Murphy (R-Palatine) told the Sun-Times that the Democrats "want to borrow their way past the election so they can pass the tax increase without risk of retribution from the voters."  In response, Capitol Fax points out that, not so long ago, Murphy himself was advocating the use of borrowing.  Indeed, here's a quote we transcribed last May from his appearance on WSIU's Illinois Lawmakers:

MURPHY: You absolutely don't have to raise taxes to balance this budget.  You can, through cuts -- if you want to fully fund the pension, you're probably going to have to do some short-term borrowing, which I think is preferable to skipping the pension payments.  But you can absolutely make up the equivalent of what Gov. Quinn wants to make up in taxes through budget cuts.  I've seen it.  You can do it.

Quick Hit
by Josh Kalven
Tue Mar 2, 2010

Matt's Back With His Medicaid Attack

Republican State Sen. Matt Murphy appeared on WTTW's Chicago Tonight yesterday to discuss the budget crisis and, wouldn't you know it, he revived his claim that Medicaid spending is a huge drag on our state finances and Rod Blagojevich is to blame for it.  Watch it:

A few quick rebuttals: 1) The largest Medicaid expansions took place under the administration of Republican Gov. George Ryan -- not Blagojevich.  The system grew the fastest under Ryan, as well.  It'd be nice if reporters pointed this out once and a while; 2) When measuring Medicaid enrollees as a percent of the total state population, Illinois ranks in the middle-of-the-pack nationwide; 3) In FY 2006 (the last year for which data is available), only nine states spent less per Medicaid enrollee than Illinois.