Jordan Klepper's Happy Endings - Illinois's Budget Impasse

June 28, 2016 - Calvin Trillin 06/28/2016 Views: 35,322

Jordan Klepper revisits Illinois lottery winners who eventually received their earnings, despite hundreds of social service agencies in the state going unfunded. (6:10)

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It's a well-known factaround The Daily Show offices

that Jordan Klepperloves a happy ending.

He can't get enoughof them, people.

But sadly, his happy endingscan be hard to come by,

as we seein this next installment

of his ongoing series.

KLEPPER: In the inaugural segment

of "Jordan's Happy Endings,"

I travel to Oglesby, Illinois

to celebrate lotto winners Susan and Danny

who won $250,000,

only to find out they weren't going to be paid

because Illinois was without a budget.

-BOTH: We haven't gotten money.-(Klepper groans softly)

At the time, Illinois' budget was being held hostage

by Governor Bruce Rauner and a deadlocked state legislature.

Well, they've had almost a year to get their (bleep) together,

so I headed back to Oglesby to get my... happy ending.


-Susan. -Hi, Jordan!-The big question.

Did you get paid?

Yes, we got paid.

Hit it!

(band plays upbeat tune)

Well, it was short,but it was satisfying.

And that's my happy ending.

But it's not

-a happy ending.-What?

SUSAN: They still haven'tgotten a budget.

-Social Services...-Oh, you know what?

You know what?I'll ask inside. Just...

Great. This happy ending is going to take longer

than it usually does.

Okay, so why aren't you happy?

All human services programsare being cut,

and it's an absolute disaster.

KLEPPER: Okay, so, they did fix the lottery.

Problem is they forgot to fix everything else.

MAN: Programs have been cut, education's been cut.

WOMAN: Illinois has no budget.

They're in a total mess situation.

KLEPPER: Because of the budget impasse,

they've cut programs that provide care

for the elderly and disabled.

Students aren't getting scholarships,

and homeless shelters are being closed.

In short, Illinois is more of a (bleep) show than ever.

What does this haveto do with you guys anymore?

You guys are lotto winners.

You're thousand-aires.You don't have to deal with

real-world problems anymore.

I workin the mental health field.

And Illinois' (bleep)with that, too?


(sighs)What about you, Danny?

Oh, I'm fine.

Of course Danny's fine.

-Thanks, Danny.-SUSAN: Well, he has

to listen to me and my sisterwhine all the time.

What is your sisterwhining about?

I work with, um,runaway and homeless youth,

and, um, becauseof the state budget issues,

it's hard to get them servicesthat they need.

No therapy,no medication, no nothing.

KLEPPER: Homeless youth not getting the medication

or therapy they need is perhaps the saddest happy ending ever.

-(band plays melancholy tune) -And it gets worse.

With multiple lawsuits against the governor

because over 800 social service agencies

are struggling to survive,

pretty much everyone is suing the governor,

including... his wife!

Through her non-profit organization

that is owed six million dollars.

So, what's the solution?

Get our politiciansto get off their butts

and to actually learnto work together,

instead of against each other.

KLEPPER: Well, I'm not coming back to Oglesby,

so I'm going straight to the capitol

and grabbing the first lawmakers I see.

Meet Democratic Senator Biss

and Republican Representative Sandack. That's right.

I got two members from opposing parties

to sit with me, and I'm going to get

to the bottom of this mess.

Look, I point the fingerat the governor for coming in

guns blazing and wantingto hold the budget hostage

and be unwillingto just sit down and negotiate

-about the budget.-It... That's just not accurate.

He's not a memberof the legislature.

He can't draft a bill, and hecan't sign a budget on his own.

It needs to come to him.

To be clear, a budgethas come to him,

but instead, he vetoed thewhole thing except for one bill.

Yeah, he vetoeda four billion-dollar,

out-of-balance budgetbecause no one's going

to line-item four billions.

-Why not? -Billion.Because it's ridiculous.

-It's our job.-Why? Why?

Why? Because we should do that.

Look, dude,the constitution explicitly says

the governorcan line-item things

out of the budgetto bring it into balance.

-Well, then... -Why shouldn'the have done that?

Well, of course Illinois

is screwed with bickering Muppets

running the state.

At least they can agree

-that they're both to blame. -Mm.

You know you're to blame, right?

What? Of course we are.

-So you're not to blame?-No.

-Are you guys...?-He's to blame.

Who's to (bleep) blame?

We're all to blame.

If-if you're sleeping wellat night, you're doing it wrong.

You sleeping well at night?

Only on the weekends.

It feels likeyou're doing it wrong.

There's a lotof people out there

who are not sleeping well at night,

like the homeless youth,or the elderly, or students.

Or taxpayers,or people that have businesses.

That's not one-uppingthe whole homeless youth thing.

-I would kind of let that thingsit? -BISS: I really think

that's an incrediblyimportant point.

There is a hierarchyof needs here.

And we could fight about taxpolicy until everybody's dead,

-but in the meantime... -I thinkthat's what you're doing.

These guys wouldn't know a happy ending

if it hit 'em in the face, so it's up to me.

-(chanting) -Yes. The state has cut funding

for human services and higher education,

meaning schools may not open in the fall, but

you know who they are paying?

Lotto winners. So it's time for me

to offer some survival tips to the youthful minds of Illinois.

Write this down.Step one-- buy a lottery ticket.

Step two-- win Lotto.

Step three-- get the (bleep) outof Illinois.

I know you're thinking,

"Oh, my God,this isn't possible!"

Well, you know what?Shut up!

I know somebody who did this.

So I want youto welcome guest speaker Danny!


I have to let him in.


Please take these fertile minds

and share with themyour inspiring story.

I won the lottery.

-Thanks for coming, Danny.-Thank you.

Yeah. Wow!

And there it is! I've given these kids

a fool-plan proof for success in the wasteland

that is Illinois, because apparently,

the only thing this state is capable of doing

is paying the lottery winners.

Illinois will stoppaying lottery winners

at the end of this month.

KLEPPER: Son of a...!

Well, it may not be a happy ending,

but it's an ending!