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Flip-Flop of the day award: Jim Ryan

Tuesday, Nov 3, 2009

* As the old saying goes, the only truly honest politician is a retired politician.

Case in point: Here’s former Attorney General Jim Ryan back when he was a retired politican, in June of 2007. HB 750, by the way, was the income tax hike in exchange for property tax reductions…

Jim Ryan: “I did support HB750, [although] I think it is a moot issue…” “I think the idea of some permanent revenue stream for education and ultimately for health care is very important for our state and I do think we have a revenue problem…” “We still have…probably over a three billion dollar budget deficit again in the State…” […]

Jeff Berkowitz: As a member of the [Center for Tax and Budget Accountability] Board and I realize you are saying that legislation doesn’t generally go thru exactly as proposed, if somebody says to you that Board is supporting HB 750

Jim Ryan: I am comfortable saying I support it.

Jeff Berkowitz: Implicitly, you support the notion of a 5.5 billion dollar net increase in taxes, right?

Jim Ryan: Right. In principle, I support HB 750, right.

* And here’s Jim Ryan, active candidate for governor, today

But in an interview today on WGN-AM’s Greg Jarrett Show, Ryan offered few specific details about how he would approach the state’s gaping budget deficit besides opposing higher taxes and seeking a “top to bottom” review of all state programs. [Emphasis added]

I wonder how long it will be before JRyan resigns from the CTBA board of directors?

Five, four, three….

- Posted by Rich Miller        


38 Comments
  1. - Reality Check - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 1:45 pm:

    Jim Ryan should be applauded for his honesty and leadership in supporting comprehensive tax reform, adequate funding for schools and vital services, and making taxes fairer. That kind of leadership is needed on both sides of the aisle. Bravo.


  2. - Any other Ryan ... - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 1:48 pm:

    I have to admit, i was not a big proponent of Jimmy Ryan getting in the race … but oh, how much fun is it going to be watching him turn into John Kerry on every issue … taxes, Nicarico, Stu Levine … and Rich, the follow-up on the CTA resignation - “I was fighting for the people at CTA, along with fiscal responsibilty …”


  3. - really? - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 1:51 pm:

    Real Reality Check -

    applauded after today opposing higher taxes and seeking a “top to bottom” review of all state programs ONLY?????????

    not my definition of leadership - no way


  4. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 1:56 pm:

    He’s in a trick bag on CTBA. Anyone with half a brain knows what they stand for and it’s the opposite of Republican talking points. Their leader is a huge believer in higher taxes and that’s what they advocate for in Springfield. HB 750 is their bill.

    How in the world is Ryan going to back away from that? “I’m shocked, shocked to find higher taxes are being proposed here.”? Moreso than Nicarico or social issues, this is the third rail in Republican politics in IL.

    Good luck Jim and welcome back to the fray!


  5. - Reality Check - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 1:57 pm:

    “really?”, obviously my comment refers to his support for comprehensive tax reform.

    Anyone who supports doing the right thing - and not just for kids, schools, human services etc, but for paying our state’s bills responsibly - should be applauded.

    Anyone running away from reality should be booed and hissed.


  6. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 1:57 pm:

    ==Jim Ryan should be applauded for his honesty and leadership in supporting comprehensive tax reform, adequate funding for schools and vital services, and making taxes fairer. That kind of leadership is needed on both sides of the aisle. Bravo. ==

    I’m confused here. Which part of this article that shows him talking out of both sides of his mouth on taxes shows honesty and leadership? He might as well have said “I’ll for for it, before I vote against it”


  7. - CircularFiringSquad - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 2:06 pm:

    We know that talking from both sides is a central ingredient for GOPs….jimRYAN should next review how he never knew Stuie L liked to flog dates and had a little nose candy problem. We all know that most wait until AFTER college to develop bad habits.
    Right


  8. - Ernie - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 2:11 pm:

    What CTBA does that the Republicans don’t seem to like is make judgments about taxes and deficits based on numbers and consensus research on what is good tax policy. This is their problem these days — their answer to everything is an excess of ideology, when solutions to real world problems require, you guessed it, facts and numbers and consensus research. Ryan should be commended for being on the board and supporting that work while on the board. In fact, while reasonable people can differ around the edges, the state needs AT LEAST $5B more in revenue (plus whatever efficiencies can be found). When Ryan was free to do so, he recognized and supported this clear FACT. As a candidate, he faces the same problem all the other non-retired politicians face, especially in a primary — he has to deal with the ideologues again.


  9. - JFK - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 2:12 pm:

    750 raised much needed revenue for the state. There are currently a lot of brave politicians in Illinois who voted for a version of it in HB174(passed the Senate in May). Unfortunately, it is stalled in the House.

    Jim Ryan should stand by his principles and urge House members to vote for HB174 to get us out of this horrible budget situation - a $13 Billion budget deeficit next year. Unfortunately he is running away from those principles, when honesty about the budget situation is what Illinois needs now - not politicians speaking out of both sides of their mouth.


  10. - TaxThePoor? - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 2:16 pm:

    At least Jim Ryan finally got it through his obtuse skull and learned that Blagojevich beat him because Ryan refused to promise not to raise the income tax while Blagojevich did promise to not raise the income tax. Its too late to rehabillitate his income tax hiking past, but at least Jim Ryan is starting to learn you can’t win unless you promise not to raise the income tax.


  11. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 2:35 pm:

    I thought Sen. Brady solved the deficit problem — doesn’t he have it down to $2.5 billion?

    Great work, everyone. How about a Fresca?


  12. - Some Other Guy - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 2:39 pm:

    Let me add my applause to Jim Ryan’s earlier-stated position that we need to raise new revenues for such important services as education.

    People: We’re facing a nearly $13 billion budget deficit in the not-too-Happy New Year. You can wipe-out entire state agencies - including every single dollar the state spends on every level of education, from elementary through higher ed - and still not reach $13 billion. Cuts alone, “efficiences,” “belt-tightening” … these are NOT going to do the trick.

    Jim Ryan was absolutely correct in his earlier support for a measure that would produce badly needed new revenues in a straightforward way. And every iteration of a tax-increase bill in recent years has included some tax-relief measures to offset added burden for the poorest families. These are not outlandish ideas. What’s outlandish is the fantasy that we can preserve the most important state programs - like, hello, public education! - from significant harm if we’re unwilling to entertain a tax increase of any kind.


  13. - Joe from Joliet - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 2:41 pm:

    …We know that talking from both sides is a central ingredient for GOPs…

    When did Quinn become a Repiblican?


  14. - TaxThePoor? - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 2:46 pm:

    People: Poor families are unemployed and under-employed and can’t make ends meet as it is without a heavier burden from an income tax on them like HB750. HB750, which Jim Ryan supported, would hit poor families and poor children hard when they can least afford a hit. People: We DO NOT have a graduated income tax. Our income tax hits the poor harshly. It is outlandish to expect porr families with children to pay more at a time like this. They can’t afford even one more $200,000/year government employee pension handed out, not one more before they should be forced to sacrifice.

    Good for Jim Ryan recognizing HB750 was a horrible tax on the poor.


  15. - Some Other Guy - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 2:54 pm:

    TaxThePoor: Let’s talk about what’s actually in the bills.

    To reiterate an earlier point - every interation of tax-increase bill in recent years (750, 2288, 174, etc) has included one or more tax-relief measures to guard against hitting the poor too hard. These have ranged from EITC increases to property-tax credit increases (and other ppty tax relieef) to standard exemption increases. Most of the bills have included multiple of these measures, which make even a flat-tax increase more progressive than meets the eye and the hype.

    These are aspects of the bills that few people are aware of - because too many people gloss-over actually investigating what the bills would do and how they’d affect people.

    BTW, trying to buy your education and human services on the open market can be a helluva lot more expensive to families - especially poor families - than is the maintenance of accessible public services.


  16. - Reformer - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 3:03 pm:

    SOG: Thanks for providing the facts about the income tax hike JR used to support. Jim Edgar couldn’t win the GOP nomination today with his support for an income tax hike (combined with severe spending cuts). JR understands that and has adjusted his sails accordingly.


  17. - Any other Ryan ... - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 3:07 pm:

    These comments … this is why Jimmy Ryan is not going to win. Long winded, flip-floppy, exuse ridden, wonky-talk is not a motivator of the electorate. Times are tough, peole and the state are both hurting, and yet Jimmy Ryan apologists get into a wonky discussion about “true meaning of the language in relation to …zzzzzzzzzzz” Pick a lane, rally the troops with real answers.

    Rich, you call the Jimmy Ryan flip-flop out, and righty so. This is going to be the hallmark of his “new” campaign - rehash what something really meant, and hope for 20% in a 7 way race - to eventually get clobbered by Nicarico, Stu Levine, et al.


  18. - George - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 3:12 pm:

    Any other…

    No, I think the reason Jimmy won’t win is because of -

    “Ryan…. is he the corrupt one or the sex club one?”


  19. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 3:17 pm:

    TTP: clearly you absolutely have no clue what 750 proposed.


  20. - TaxThePoor? - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 3:22 pm:

    “has included one or more tax-relief measures to guard against hitting the poor too hard.”

    And how many of the bills reduced current taxes on poor families with children, as should be the case? None. How many bills gave credits for the 17% sales tax on electricity in Chicago that a family of four making $26,000/year has to pay, or the 13% phone tax in Chicago, or one of the highest gasoline taxes in the US, or the highest of sales taxes in Chicago? How many of those bills ended the practice of handing out lucrative pensions worth more than $200,000/year? HB750 didn’t.

    At the very best, it did no further harm to the people government is supposed to be helping, and I’m afraid there were all kinds of poor people that would’ve fallen through the cracks in HB750 and been hit hard by a tax increase. I suggest you look into compliance statistics regarding the EITC. Its a mess, not to mention very costly to regulate. Most people get it wrong by not applying for the credit, asking for too little, or too much. Few use EITC as intended, so its not a good solution.

    Consider raising the income tax exemption to around $25,000 and we can start talking about a solution to income taxes not hitting the poor. Simply stop taxing them in the first place.


  21. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 3:27 pm:

    TTP, your proposal would benefit multi-millionaires, who, for better or worse, don’t need the help. 750 proposed using EITCs to target the relief. CTBA more than any other group has protested loud and clear the regressiveness of Illinois state and local tax system. Please make some effort to know what you are talking about. By the way, the bill didn’t address speeding in school zones either: it was a revenue bill.


  22. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 3:30 pm:

    ===the bill didn’t address speeding in school zones either: it was a revenue bill. ===

    Good one, Schnorf.

    TTP, your rants are getting a bit on the weird side, I’m afraid. Try sticking to apples and apples. Thanks.


  23. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 4:08 pm:

    They Call Him Flipper!

    They call him Flipper, Flipper, faster than lightning,
    No-one you see, is smarter than he,
    And we know Flipper, lives in political wonder,
    Living in alternative reality!

    Everyone wants my vote you see,
    They will tell me anything can be,
    They tell each group what they want to hear,
    It all sounds the same to their ear!

    They call him Flipper, Flipper, facts are just frightening,
    The truth is whatever you want it to be,
    And we know they live in a world full of consultants,
    Lying their hearts out, for you and me!


  24. - TaxThePoor? - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 4:20 pm:

    CTBA, and their government union donors, have done nothing of substance to propose reducing or eliminating any taxes on poor people. There hasn’t been much of any legislation aimed at reducing taxes on the poor either, at any level of government. I do know what I’m talking about. Please make some effort not to let your superiority complex cloud your statements about other people. You seem to be making excuses for why we need to tax the poor.

    Schnorf justifies taxing poor people so that rich people don’t get away with lower taxes and I’m the weird one. OK. Except for pensions, every thing I mentioned is a revenue that poor people contribute to, so I think your point is lost.

    Schnorf went off the apple orchard trying to equate speeding in school zones to the taxes/revenues that poor people pay which I brought up. Seems like you praise people and say “good one” when they compare apples and oranges to me.


  25. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 4:23 pm:

    TTP, what Schnorf did was point to how your logic made little sense.

    Take a breath, please.


  26. Pingback Boiler Room » Blog Archive » Outsiders - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 4:24 pm:

    […] Meanwhile, Miller notes Ryan’s full-scale retreat from his former position being in favor of an income tax increase/property tax swap. […]


  27. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 4:25 pm:

    And I also wonder why you are being so contradictory. You applaud JRyan for not wanting to increase taxes now, yet you fault other legislation for not decreasing taxes on the poor. Keeping things as they are would not do one thing to help the poor with their taxes.

    Pardon me if I think you’re being somewhat disingenuous.


  28. - George - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 4:37 pm:

    Rich, I think its just the Illinois Policy Institute folks trying out a new line of attack.


  29. - George - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 4:45 pm:

    Cynicism aside…

    The bill formerly known as HB750 was a very flawed bill that misunderstood its own revenue creation, and had misplaced tax spending priorities.

    Many saw it’s attempt to be a “tax swap” produce the nondesirable result of making corporate property owners winners at the expense of homeowners and renters.

    So, it is perfectly fine to be against ‘HB750′ and for a progressive tax structure that produces more revenue for the state, and maybe even some tax relief for lower income folks.


  30. - D.P. Gumby - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 4:46 pm:

    I’m just waiting for Brady to tell me where all his cuts are going to be 8-]


  31. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 4:49 pm:

    ===it is perfectly fine to be against ‘HB750′ and for a progressive tax structure that produces more revenue for the state, and maybe even some tax relief for lower income folks. ===

    Agreed.


  32. - George - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 4:49 pm:

    D.P. - Its page 176 in the budget bill.

    “Section 140. Waste, fraud, and corruption.”

    Also, he would repeal this section of the Revenue Code:

    Article 7

    Section 10. Corruption Tax.”


  33. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 4:51 pm:

    TTP, I concede. Your knowledge, breadth of experience(?) and insight overwhelm me, and I will no longer try to argue with you. Let’s move on. By the way, feel free to identify yourself and we can see where all your experience comes from, or you can go on being another brave (anonymous) citizen..


  34. - CircularFiringSquad - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 5:08 pm:

    Speaking of Campaign Dopes
    StateWideTom’s bagmen/women continue to win points with reformers

    http://vimeo.com/7407031


  35. - MrJM - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 5:51 pm:

    “It’s almost like Jim Ryan will say anything to advance his political career.” — The Ghost of Rolando Cruiz


  36. - TaxThePoor? - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 6:22 pm:

    “And I also wonder why you are being so contradictory. You applaud JRyan for not wanting to increase taxes now, yet you fault other legislation for not decreasing taxes on the poor. Keeping things as they are would not do one thing to help the poor with their taxes.

    Pardon me if I think you’re being somewhat disingenuous.”

    Raising the income tax on poor people in order to help them is disingenuous. What CTBA mostly advocates, which is maximizing government revenues regardless of the impact to the poor, is disingenuous. It is disingenuous to tax poor people that need help. You agreed with George.

    George gets it and Rich agrees, but you don’t seem to get it yet Steve, even with your obviously superior human faculties. HB750 was disingenuous. It was all about the revenues, not helping people that really need help. If HB750 had been about helping people that need help without hurting people that can’t afford it, instead of a greedy revenue grab, it would have passed.

    No affiliation with IPI and heaven forbid that someone would point out that we tax poor people harshly in Illinois and should stop doing it. Yes, I’m horrible person with a horrible agenda that thinks that, like a Physician, first, government should do no harm. It rarely if ever makes sense to hurt someone in order to help them.


  37. - Steve Williams - Tuesday, Nov 3, 09 @ 10:20 pm:

    ==How many bills gave credits for the 17% sales tax on electricity in Chicago that a family of four making $26,000/year has to pay, or the 13% phone tax in Chicago, or one of the highest gasoline taxes in the US, or the highest of sales taxes in Chicago?==

    TTP,

    Let’s walk this back. When will these people, who are hit so hard with these high taxes, going to stop re-electing the people who are passing them?

    Steve


  38. - Dnstateanon - Wednesday, Nov 4, 09 @ 7:33 am:

    Ryan just blows off the Levine question saying he doesn’t need to pay back the money he received from him it was a “long time ago”? Seems kind of arrogant to me I think he may regret that statement now that the elections seem to be partially a backlash against corruption.


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