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Video: 'The Daily Show' Blames 'Bickering Muppets' For Our Budget Impasse

By aaroncynic in News on Jun 29, 2016 9:15PM

What’s the best plan for the hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans affected by the state's now-year-long budget impasse?

The Daily Show recommends winning the lottery and getting the fuck out of here.

On Tuesday, correspondent Jordan Klepper met up with two Illinois lottery winners, Susan Rick and Danny Chasteen, who last year didn’t immediately receive their $250,000 prize money because the State Lottery couldn’t afford to cut them a check. While Rick and Chasteen eventually got their winnings, Klepper’s inaugural segment of his “happy endings” sketch doesn’t end happily; many Illinoisans are still suffering due to the absence of a state budget.

“All human service programs are being cut and it’s an absolute disaster,” says Rick, who works in mental health, one of the many social service areas that has devastating cuts in Illinois. Rick’s sister, Denise Rick-Lupascu, also says she’s seen the consequences of the cuts first-hand through her work with homeless youth. “Because of the state budget issues, it’s hard to get them the services that they need," she says. "No therapy, no medication, no nothing.”

Klepper then travels to Springfield to get to the bottom of who to blame for the crisis, settling on “bickering muppets” after an interview with State Senator Daniel Biss and Representative Ron Sandack. The discussion between the two lawmakers comes off as if it were written for snarky cartoon. The best line is Biss's: “Dude, the Constitution explicitly says the governor can line item things out of the budget to bring it into balance. Why shouldn’t he have done that?”

This week, legislative leaders and Gov. Bruce Rauner have made vague comments about “making progress” on a stopgap budget, which would at least fund some human services and other programs. However, that’s little comfort for the hundreds of agencies statewide that are owed millions of dollars. And though Rick and Chasteen got lucky, agencies that scratched off lottery tickets late last year with the hopes of hitting it big to stay afloat lost their shot at what Klepper calls a “fool proof plan of success for surviving the wasteland that is Illinois.”