SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Swinging at straw men

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014

* From Transylvania University

It’s called hitting the ground running. “When I graduated in May, I never expected to be in national media by November,” said Transylvania University economics and international affairs grad Lyman Stone ‘13.

It’s been that kind of year for Stone, now working as an economist at the Center for State Tax Policy, an arm of the Tax Foundation in Washington, D.C., as he pursues a master’s degree in international trade and investment policy at George Washington University.

A photo posted next to the story has Stone smiling…

* So, why is a profile of a recent out-of-state undergrad relevant here?

Stay with me.

From a January 15th press release

Illinois state Reps. David McSweeney, Ron Sandack, Ed Sullivan, Darlene Senger, Tom Morrison, Patti Bellock and Jeanne Ives, and State Sen. Michael Connelly will join other legislators on Wednesday at a press conference to express their concerns with the proposed progressive income tax in Illinois. A new report from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation has found that proposed changes would negatively impact the state’s ranking on the State Business Tax Climate Index. Illinois would be demoted from the 31st best climate in the country to 44thoverall, and its individual income tax rank would drop from 11th place to 33rd if it adopted the proposed progressive tax plan. The study also notes that the progressive income tax would affect many Illinois small businesses that pay taxes through individual income tax code.

The Tax Foundation’s Joseph Henchman, vice president of state & legal projects, and Lyman Stone, economist, will lead the press conference with a discussion of their findings. [Emphasis added.’

Um, the guy just got a Bachelors degree last year and he’s touted as an economist?

I thought you needed a “piled high and deep” for that designation.

* Americans for Prosperity rushed to point out the new study by the “economist”

Recently, Lyman Stone, economist with the non-partisan Tax Foundation and Joseph Henchman, the organization’s Vice President of State Operations joined with Illinois lawmakers for a downtown Chicago press conference. There, the Tax Foundation unveiled the sobering findings of a recent study which shows the potential impact of the proposed progressive income tax.

* And the Illinois Policy Institute pounced immediately

The Tax Foundation released an analysis of the proposal to dump Illinois’ fair, flat tax in favor of a progressive tax that would force people to pay higher taxes as their income increases. The conclusion was unsurprising: a progressive income tax would deliver a devastating blow to Illinois’ already struggling business climate.

The Tax Foundation ranks states based more than 100 different variables that fit into five broad categories: major business taxes, individual income tax, sales tax, unemployment insurance and property tax. The index ranks the general competitiveness of state tax systems – with 1st being the most competitive and 50th being the least competitive state tax system. A state with a ranking of No. 1 is considered the most competitive economically.

* To the study

Illinois’ State Business Tax Climate Index score could fall to 44th, from 31st currently, if the proposed progressive income taxes are passed, which indicates a tax climate less supportive of economic growth […]

With the 2011 tax increases scheduled to sunset in part, and with the state budget still not structurally balanced, some policymakers may consider doubling down on bad tax policy. One proposal that has emerged in recent months is to consider a graduated, or progressive, income tax that would impose many additional rates on individual income.

For example, (HJRCA0033) would amend the state constitution to allow a progressive income tax.6 The plan includes seven tax brackets and a top rate of 9 percent, raising taxes on all income over $18,000.

* The citation the economist author uses is a link to the proposal itself. The full and complete actual language

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.

Yes, some rates have been discussed in the media, but the legislative proposal itself makes no mention of them. So picking essentially random tax rates and plugging them into a tax climate score just doesn’t do it for me.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Stones - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 1:18 pm:

    The guy looks like he would be fun to party with!

  2. - Downstater - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    Pass the progressive income tax and bring a smile to face of the executives at United Van Lines.

  3. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 1:22 pm:

    I thought it was a gag with “Transylvania University.”

    Who runs the economics department down in Kentucky, Bela Lugosi?

    The push for a progressive state income tax is what scares the Civvies.

    They never cared about pension debt or corporate income tax. Their companies don’t pay state income taxes, anyway, so they’re not on the hook.

    A progressive personal income tax would sting the likes of Miles White and other multi-national execs.

  4. - Reality Check - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 1:23 pm:

    And the Tax Foundation, like AFP and IPI, is a front for the Koch Brothers.

    I love that their VP’s name is Henchman. Where did he come from, a Scooby-Doo cartoon?

  5. - Weltschmerz - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 1:27 pm:

    Over the years I’ve noted the blurring of job titles to the point of their being meaningless. This morning I yelled at a guy to get his dog off of my lawn. I now consider myself a “Community Activist”. Look for me in the background on TV news bytes.

  6. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 1:28 pm:

    When I hear “economist”, I think of a professor in the 50-60 year-old-range. Not a new graduate.

    Regardless, it doesn’t make much difference if the kid is smart. We often fall into the assumption that younger people or new faces don’t know what they’re talking about.

    If the underlying data is solid, it doesn’t matter how old the author of the study is.

    If the underlying data is flawed, then the Tax Foundation should issue a correction or retraction.

    This seems like an enthusiastic and bright kid. These groups should be grooming him, not using him.

    By the way, we’re all still waiting for a correction on the infamous Romer-Bernstein paper projecting concerning America’s unemployment rate, etc., if we passed the “stimulus”.

    Even grizzled economists make gross mistakes.

  7. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 1:29 pm:

    ==Pass the progressive income tax and bring a smile to face of the executives at United Van Lines.==

    Moving where? To one of the eight states that has a flat tax (and only two have flat rates significantly lower than Illinois). The fact is that most states and the Feds use a progressive rate structure.

  8. - Jake From Elwood - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 1:33 pm:

    Not exactly your father’s Milton Friedman.

  9. - JDeb - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 1:50 pm:

    I’d be surprised if this guy is the sole author/ researcher on this report. Groups like this usually have a number of folks reviewing. Plus, it’s not like this guy started this Index the Tax Foundation uses.

    Short of using rates in existing legislation or ones put forth by leadership, it seems reasonable that they would score a proposal using rates already put forth publicly by the bill’s longtime sponsor to try and figure out the impact this could have. Suppose they could have used the CTBA rates too.

  10. - Anon. - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 1:50 pm:

    “The Tax Foundation released an analysis of the proposal to dump Illinois’ fair, flat tax . . .”

    This just in: Tax Foundation says Illinois’ tax is fair!

  11. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    –”The Tax Foundation released an analysis of the proposal to dump Illinois’ fair, flat tax . . .”

    This just in: Tax Foundation says Illinois’ tax is fair!–

    Anon, that’s very funny.

    The whole push-back against a progressive income tax is interesting. In my circle of acquaintances, it’s not even on the radar. But the idea sure has some people spooked.

  12. - captaingeorge - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 2:08 pm:

    @ Wordslinger A progressive tax hurts me. I am not a multimillionaire. I am solidly middle, middle class. I would pay more in taxes too at least for a few more years before I retire. Then I will no longer be solidly middle class whereupon all my views will change so I can suck the state even drier. One does not need to attend or graduate from Transylvania University to understand how to suck blood even from a dying donor.

  13. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 2:11 pm:

    Dude, we’re in the, like, Capitol Fax! Illinois, Man! Awesome!
    Party on, Wayne! Party on, Garth!

  14. - Boone's is Back - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 2:11 pm:

    At least they’re not appointing him as an agency director. Maybe PQ will call him up tomorrow.

  15. - Jorge - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 2:17 pm:

    A lot of these think tank reports are qualitative opinionated arguments not statistically significant quantitative analysis. Hence why I only look at the data think tanks use.

  16. - globalguy - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 2:32 pm:

    And I thought unemployment was a problem for his generation. Also, according to US News & World Report, TU is ranked 76th among National Liberal Arts Colleges and has an 84% acceptance rate.

  17. - shore - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 2:46 pm:

    that picture is awesome. The study aside-and that’s not the kids fault I think it’s great a young kid like that is rocking. good for him. the kid in the red hair however looks like he belongs in a seth rogen movie.

  18. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 3:02 pm:

    Well, it’s good to know that the Washington Post and Fox Business search for experts on Google just as some of us do. And that the young man is candid enough to admit it.

  19. - Norseman - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 3:38 pm:

    Perhaps we should blow up the picture of this fine upstanding economist and send it to the solons so they can get it autographed by him. They admire his work so much.

    Personally, I’m of the opinion that they should be ashamed of themselves.

  20. - Empty Suit - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 3:40 pm:

    “Economist? Heck no man but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express”

  21. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 3:55 pm:

    Think of this next time someone tries to bolster their paranormal claims using people that call themselves “scientists.”

  22. - Give Me A Break - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 4:04 pm:

    You just know Rich is going to use that pic for a Friday blog post.

  23. - walker - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 4:47 pm:

    Good for this kid to get interested in government and stay involved.

    I just hope he learns some real economic analysis methods at George Washington.

    His conclusions reached by assuming unknown tax rates and using this unproven scorecard, are next to meaningless.

    Ok, he tried. And he pleased his employer.

    ==non-partisan Tax Foundation==

    makes me laugh every time

  24. - low level - Thursday, Jan 23, 14 @ 9:17 am:

    Excellent digging, Rich. Spot on.

    Yep, kid makes it big, and now he’s an expert. Right.

    Pretty telling when they have to rely on kid’s analysis. Says a lot about them.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed for the holiday weekend
* Zopp makes small cable TV buy during debate
* Exelon Just Received A $1.7 Billion Rate Increase Through The Market-Based Capacity Auction
* Question of the day
* Raoul: "Inflexible demands plus willful amnesia is no recipe for any negotiation"
* Violence spike blamed on budget cuts
* *** UPDATED - Home and doing better *** I'll be back later
* Gray hired by Trump
* MLB playoff open thread
* Once more, with feeling
* B3 fallout?
* Unclear on the concept
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Visit our advertisers...







Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

* Galaxy Android 6.0 updates, iPhone 6s expansion & more – Pocketnow Daily
* Sony rolls back CEO’s comments on selling mobile division
* Acer setting up for October 12 Windows 10 devices day
* 3D Touch Control Center concept reminds Apple of what it can do
* Google is getting more search volume from smartphones than PCs
* BATBAND: Sleek, ear-free headphones won’t hurt your ears, now on Kickstarter
* Moto X Force passes through Chinese regulators

* First White Sox bench coach candidate emerges
* Hahn feels White Sox fanbase's frustration
* Sox to rely on improvement of core in 2016
* One benefit of the White Sox' lefty-heavy rotation
* Foot issue to sideline White Sox prospect Hawkins
* After second base, it was no-go White Sox
* Scouting, player development key for White Sox


Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0


* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* GOP Standing By Rauner -

* Chicago reaches 100 miles of protected bike lanes
* National Science Foundation chief to speak at Urbana campus
* Former Dwight prison to become fire-training facility
* Bridge construction to halt Chicago-St. Louis Amtrak trains
* Jesse Jackson calls for conference on gun violence
* Man charged in shooting death of Chicago police employee
* Ex-cemetery worker receives probation for body desecration
* Rauner names contributor to preservation agency
* Ex-governor says ex-convicts shouldn't be labeled felon
* Rockford University looking to finish raising $17.3 million

* More than 400 press passes issued for this year's Illinois State Fair
* Rauner names new chair of Illinois Historic Preservation Agency board
* Rail work to shut down Chicago-St. Louis Amtrak trains for two weeks
* Rail work to shut down Amtrak trains for two weeks
* Ex-governor Ryan says ex-convicts shouldn't be labeled felons
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago shootings climb
* The Papers of Abraham Lincoln project still in jeopardy; memo paints discouraging picture
* Democrats say Rauner 'needs to get serious' on budget
* Democrats: Illinois could go broke without budget
* Gov. Rauner ends quarter with $19M in campaign fund

* Notre Dame gets $20 million for global investing institute
* The Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots approach to governing
* Cubs World Series tickets would be most expensive in history
* Union files lawsuit on Chicago Park District pension bill
* Paul Ryan said to weigh speaker bid under GOP pressure

* Patrick Kane spoils Islanders Brooklyn debut
* Jonathan Toews sets up Patrick Kane with ridiculous no-look pass
* Ryan says ex-cons shouldn’t have to wear ‘felon’ label
* Watch: New Blackhawk Artem Anisimov scores shorthanded goal
* Tearful Ald. Carrie Austin on health crisis that nearly killed her
* Emails: Ex-CPS CEO was outraged City Hall questioned no-bid deal
* Artemi Panarin’s personality, skill breaking down language barrier
* Parents blast CPS for cuts in special ed programs
* Mayor tells U.S. attorney general that Chicago cops are in “fetal” position
* Blackhawks’ success further motivates Nick Leddy

* 3 killed, 6 wounded since Friday morning
* Cubs faithful gather in Wrigleyville to cheer on team in NLDS Game 1
* Emanuel supports principal training amid CPS scandal fallout
* Elmhurst police ask for help identifying woman killed by Metra train
* Bomb threat at GSU cancels classes
* Man, 62, found dead outside on Far South Side
* Teen is charged in killing of longtime Chicago police civilian employee
* Ryan says 'felon' hurts convicts' chances of finding work
* Police charge father after incident that left infant son seriously injured
* Black bear that visited Indiana this summer returns to state

* More than 400 press passes issued for this year's Illinois State Fair
* Charles Krauthammer: Another massacre, another charade
* Rauner names new chair of Illinois Historic Preservation Agency board
* Rail work to shut down Chicago-St. Louis Amtrak trains for two weeks
* Ex-governor Ryan says ex-convicts shouldn't be labeled felons
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago shootings climb
* The Papers of Abraham Lincoln project still in jeopardy; memo paints discouraging picture
* Mike Lang: 'Racial Taboo' screening will advance local unity efforts
* Democrats say Rauner 'needs to get serious' on budget

* Area prep statistics: Boys' and girls' cross-country (Oct. 10)
* Sabers' comeback falls short
* Tigers become playoff eligible with latest victory
* Panthers roll to first shutout against Dwight
* Sages' flurry sinks Sabers
* Spartans get off to hot start against Maroa
* Bulldogs can't dig out from early hole
* Storm outlasts Bunnies in nonconference tilt
* Anthony Zilis' Week 7 Helmet Stickers
* Jones sparkles in defeat

* Cubs get tough reminder: This is still the Cardinals
* Rozner: Cards execute plan to perfection to take Game 1
* Boy Scouts closing Woodstock's Camp Lakota, two in Wisconsin
* Officials: Five people hospitalized after Long Grove crash
* Lackey, home runs too much for Chicago Cubs

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Boulder Rep. Jared Polis introduces afford......
* Senator Durbin Calls on VA and Department ......

* Kirk supported money to Illinois waterways......

* Elected (and un-elected) officials deciding when, where and who can speak and ask questions.
* Breaking: McHenry teachers and board reach a tentative agreement.
* Ramp From Lower Wacker To LSD Closure Starts Monday
* “The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective
* No political bets -- this means St. Louis won’t get Cubbie-blue cheesecake
* McHenry board cancels health insurance of striking teachers.
* Keeping retirement weird. A little place in Michigan.
* Speaker Softly and Carry a Big Stick
* Parents, Advocates Speak Out Against CPS Special Need Education Cuts
* Special education

* Board’s New Rules Will Reduce Risk of Tire Fires and Disease-Carrying Mosquitos
* Illinois Hosts Inaugural Interstate Medical Licensure Compact - Aims to increase health care access through multi-state physician licensure program
* IEMA Announces Elgin Community College Attains ‘Ready to Respond Campus’ Designation - Elgin one of five Illinois campuses to receive distinction
* New Mortgage Loan Interface Increases Efficiency, Compliance
* State Fire Marshal Ushers In Fire Prevention Week - “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep!”

    Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller