The entrenched political class in Springfield has a limitless appetite for the Illinois taxpayers’ money. No matter how much they spend, they want more. No matter if revenue increases year after year, they spend it all, and they want more. If they tell you a tax increase is temporary, you know they are lying, and they know you know.
The politicians who run this state are the worst governing class of any state in the Union. They are destroying the state, pushing it toward bankruptcy. Their policies have resulted in extraordinary tax burdens, high and ongoing unemployment, the lowest bond rating in the nation, and an exodus of hard working families and businesses from the state. Yet these same people want you to give them more of your money as they promote the ‘wait until next year’ mantra.
Right now the struggle among the Springfield Political class is between two plans, either of which will take lots of money out of your pockets.
Quinn’s Tax Plan
Governor Pat Quinn has a plan. He wants to make the so-called temporary income tax increase permanent.
Of course he does.
And of course he is promoting his plan with threats, just as he did when he introduced the idea 3 years ago. Give Gov. Quinn the money, or people are going to get hurt. In his budget speech Gov. Quinn told a horror story of seniors denied caretakers, the mentally ill not receiving assistance, and victims of domestic abuse cast out into the street.
Of course he did.
And every time Gov. Quinn or others just like him come back demanding more from the Illinois taxpayer, they will say the same things. They will threaten and use the most truly vulnerable to drive their political agenda. They will tell us taxpayers, “give me your money or these people will suffer.” This is morally repugnant, but it is standard practice in Illinois politics.
Madigan’s Tax Plan
Speaker Michael Madigan also has a plan. Speaker Madigan has been, for thirty years, the architect of the crumbling ruin that is the Illinois government.
Speaker Madigan’s first proposal was a Constitutional amendment, permitting graduated rather than flat tax rates. It’s operative language is as follows:
“There may be one tax on the income of individuals and corporations. This may be a fair tax where lower rates apply to lower income levels and higher rates apply to higher income levels. No government other than the State may impose a tax on or measured by income.”
This was called the “fair tax” amendment. Everyone wants things to be fair, right?
Of course you do.
Note that this proposed amendment would not specify any rates. On its face, this amendment would let the legislature set whatever rates it wanted to in the future.
The supporters of the Federal Income Tax, over a century ago, claimed that it would only apply to the very wealthy. They were lying. We saw how that worked out. Permitting a graduated income tax in Illinois would rapidly lead to catastrophic increases in taxes, most of which would fall on the middle class.
This proposal was apparently too sweeping even for the Illinois General Assembly. One proposal for a graduated income tax would raise rates on anyone making over $12,000 a year. No, that number is not missing a zero. Our elected representatives are afraid of facing the voters if they do anything too obviously horrible, and word was getting out about what the so-called “fair tax” would actually mean.
For the moment the “fair tax” has been halted in committee and may end there.
But Madigan has a fallback plan. The proposal now is to amend the Constitution to permit a “millionaires tax.” The operative language is this:
“[A] tax shall be imposed on individuals in an amount equal to 3% of income greater than $1,000,000 for the taxable year. All revenue collected pursuant to this Section shall be distributed to school districts solely on a per pupil basis.”
This is no small plan, either. Speaker Madigan apparently figures that no one likes millionaires, or businesses filing as individuals. But only people with money, millionaires, can invest, start businesses, and create jobs. A state without millionaires would miss them when they were gone.
And a windfall to the Illinois education unions, built into the Constitution, is not something anyone ought to be supporting, either. The money could disappear into pension funding and administrator pay, and the students may never see any of it.
Speaker Madigan’s plans, either of them, would continue the devastation he has caused so far, over three decades, to the Illinois economy.
Worst of all, there is no legitimate reason for the government of Illinois to demand additional tax revenue from the hard-pressed citizenry.
What neither Gov. Quinn nor Speaker Madigan want you to hear is that Illinois tax revenue is at an all time high. You read that right. Springfield is not running out of money. They just spend it a lot faster than they get it.
We do not have a revenue problem in Illinois. We have a spending problem.
Trusting the politicians who led Illinois to its current disastrous state with more of our money would be misguided.
These politicians have been terrible stewards of the public’s tax money. They do not deserve any more of it.
Illinois voters need to stop these tax increases, whether it’s Quinn’s version or Madigan’s.