To end waste, government must 'live within its means,' Laib says
After a report that state and local government waste $100 million annually, 86th District House candidate Rick Laib said stripping government back to basics would return the state to sound economic footing.
“We must return to a clear view on the purpose of government,” Laib told the Will County Gazette in an interview. “No business can operate in this fashion, and no home can function in this way.”
The comments came after the Illinois Policy Institute published a lengthy analysis of alleged state government overspending and millions toward pork projects.
The report comes at a time when unfunded pension liabilities threaten to send the state toward possible bankruptcy and on the heels of a 32 percent income tax hike.
“We’ve found a way to pay for things we want: raise taxes,” Laib said. “If we are to return to financial prosperity, we must learn to live within our means, just as any home or business would be expected to.”
A former member of the U.S. Army Reserves, Laib grew up in Joliet and currently serves with the Will County Sheriff’s Office. He said government’s true function is to restrict evil conduct and to provide for “true freedom.”
Laib said officials who divert funds to pork projects have lost sight of their mission.
“I can only presume they have lost their focus,” he said. “It can become easy to allocate funds that benefit a small sector when focused only on that sector. This only further evidences the need for transparency and accountability within decision making bodies.”
On his campaign website, Laib said he believes in “limited government,” that restrains its power and supports entrepreneurship. He is skeptical of the need for $2 million in lobbying fees uncovered in the institute’s report.
“Has the various lobbying that's been done, by way of state monies, in some way justified the use of those funds?” he asked. “I'm not persuaded to believe this is true. Again, we must learn to live within our budget.”
Laib, a Republican, will face Democrat state Rep. Lawrence Walsh Jr. in the Nov. 6 general election. The 86th District covers part of the Chicago metro area and the cities of Crest Hill, Joliet and Lockport.