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Edgar supports keeping tax hike permanent, but still has criticisms

Friday, Mar 28, 2014

* From Peoria Public Radio

Former Governor Jim Edgar says spending cuts triggered by the scheduled reduction in the state income tax rate would make it even harder to catch up on unpaid back bills and fund education. So the Republican Edgar says Governor Pat Quinn’s budget proposal to make the state income tax hike permanent is a good idea. But Edgar says it would have been better if the income tax increase had been paired with cuts and controls on spending in the first place.

“You don’t raise revenue or come up with a consistent revenue source and not do the tax cutting or controls that you need to do. You ought to do them all at the same time. Think that was a mistake they made three years ago, whenever they passed this temporary tax. They didn’t really make any spending cuts or put any effective spending controls in. Would have been helpful,” says Edgar. […]

As for the $500 property tax credit that Governor Quinn is proposing, Edgar says it’s useful if it helps get Quinn’s income tax rate extension passed. But he says it’s NOT like his proposal to cut school property taxes through a so-called “education tax swap” back in the 1990s.


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - DuPage Rep - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 10:02 am:

    Wonder if he would be saying this if Dillard won?

  2. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 10:06 am:

    Great. So Dillard’s a “yes”

  3. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 10:09 am:

    How is Edgar’s track record supporting or not supporting lately?

    I hear MJM; “You’ll be fine…”

  4. - Norseman - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 10:10 am:

    Michelle, not only is his mentor supporting extension he’s a duck and needs a job.

  5. - VanillaMan - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 10:11 am:

    Edgar is correct. The statement he made is correct regardless of who made it about whom.

    It is just basic good government work. You don’t do this kind of budgeting at home do you? It is very simple.

    We have a problem paying our bills. There needs to be two things done. One is finding new sources of revenue and the other is cutting overhead and other expenses.

    Doing one without the other is not productive. It isn’t just a matter of politics either. It is just common sense budgeting. On one side, the Democrats want to find new revenue and since they have been calling the shots where that revenue goes - they don’t want to cut anyone off. Understandable. On the other side, we have the GOP which has been cut off from the revenue spending decisions beyond what they like. Naturally the GOP favors cutting the budget over finding new revenue because they don’t control where the revenue, or new revenue goes.

    Consequently it is good politics and good government to hash out both sides, the revenue enhancing side and the cutting side. You can’t do both and make it work.

    Worse, by doing what had been done with the Quinncome Tax, the Democrats set themselves up for failure when it came time to do this work. Without the cuts necessary, the revenue was going to fall short. The Democrats set themselves up to fail and fail they did. Now - they want to make the Quinncome Tax permanent because they have to.

    Edgar said it right. Quinn did it wrong.

    Fix it.

  6. - VanillaMan - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 10:12 am:

    Or worse - Rauner will.

  7. - Bill - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 10:13 am:

    Hey, JE finally figured out to appropriately fund things states need for their citizens, and employees. Wonders never cease.

  8. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    Not surprising. Edgar wasn’t very much of a conservative on taxes when he was governor, and like Quinn didn’t know what “temporary” meant.

  9. - Bourbonrich - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 10:20 am:

    Being a fiscal conservative does not mean that you never support revenue increases.

  10. - AFSCME Steward - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 10:29 am:


    “Being a fiscal conservative does not mean that you never support revenue increases.”

    No, that’s called stupid & irresponsible.

  11. - circularfiringsquad - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    Great to have Blinky Jim engaged again.
    Easier to remind all about how he trashed DC Netsch over the tax swap and then made it his.
    Someone might remind him that no one was ever able to develop a workable swap plan so life has moved on.

  12. - Walter Mitty - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 10:35 am:

    But good politics hangs the noose on the party that did it…. Stupid and irresponsible is reserved for the party that passed it… You can’t cut one party out of a solution then beg them back in…

  13. - Demoralized - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 10:37 am:


    The only thing I disagree with you on is that you seem to be asserting that no cuts have been made, when in fact plenty of cutting has been done. Maybe I’ve misinterpreted your comments and if I have I apologize.

  14. - VanillaMan - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    But good politics hangs the noose on the party that did it…. Stupid and irresponsible is reserved for the party that passed it… You can’t cut one party out of a solution then beg them back in…

    There are dozens of other state governments that demonstrate otherwise.

    Perhaps this is why Illinois politicians just want to lie to voters - they believe this is the only way to do the citizen’s business.

  15. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    FY 99 was Edgar’s last budget, the crowning end to his responsible administration.

    That budget put $1.1 billion into the pension funds, more than any previous year. $573 million went to TRS and at the time, was considered “education funding.”

    For perspective, the current budget covers a $6.7 billion pension payment of which roughly $3.4 billion is TRS but is no longer considered “education funding”

  16. - AFSCME Steward - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 10:50 am:

    Walter Mitty

    “You can’t cut one party out of a solution then beg them back in…”

    The voters cut out that party. The ILGOP has no solutions or answers, thus they keep losing elections.

  17. - Walker - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 11:21 am:

    The one reality people like to ignore is that discretionary state spending is down, (not including the pension payments), and has been reduced substantially since this new tax rate was implemented. It has even allowed the late bills due to be reduced over time — which means that the operating budget has been operating at better than “balanced” and thus put off more cash to pay down some bills.

    Maybe not enough, but to simply repeat “spending has increased” and imply that this sucked up all the increased revenue, misleads.

    I don’t think either side has done enough.

    We must get all in on fixing this problem now. That would include the high-earner surcharge, extending the tax rates, spreading the sales tax base to include services, more future pension cost sharing with local employers, and establishing a firm ceiling on spending that is significantly less than the expected revenues, and creates a mathematically sound multi-year fiscal plan to get out of this mess.

    As I’ve said before — do it all, no trade offs.

  18. - Bill White - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 11:42 am:

    A mathematically sound multi-year fiscal plan to get out of this mess should include issuing bonds at historic low interest rates to clear up the unpaid bills backlog.

    And, to the extent unpaid bills are due to Illinois vendors, the state would get up to 5% cash back from the IL income tax those vendors would pay on the money the state paid to them.

  19. - Walter Mitty - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 11:45 am:

    Steward…Touche’… But the times they are a changin… The Farmer will have to lay out a plan… Platitudes will need substance. I will not bet against the “average” citizen okay with a tax increase. The cuts will be draconian we are told… You can keep your plan… Both parties are guilty yes…You may only have classwarefare as your play… But, RTauner won. But when the music stops, I would rather be the party that is not increasing taxes on all… Not in our climate.

  20. - Truthteller - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 12:39 pm:

    Jim Edgar is correct about the need for tax dollars, but wrong about more cuts.
    Should we cut education?
    Medicaid? Tell us where.
    Universities? They have been getting whacked for a decade?
    Mental health services? We need to expand them.
    It sounds nice to say we should raise revenue and cut programs, but the truth is there isn’t any major program funded by the state which is overly generous

  21. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 1:38 pm:

    Michelle, recall that Edgar kept the books that way so that he could say that “51 cents of every new dollar went to education” or something like that.

  22. - dupage dan - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 1:42 pm:

    The problem is, Truthteller, is that voters don’t want to pay the freight for the programs. That’s why we are in the pickle we are in. Everyone is on board for “saving the children”. Who isn’t?

    If folks aren’t willing to pay - the program shouldn’t be created. Now that they are in place, each program has a cause and a constituency which can not be denied. Let’s not forget, there’s a whole raft of problems that the state isn’t even involved with. Why are we denying THOSE folks? Pony up.

  23. - Cheswick - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 2:37 pm:

    As the Republican senior statesman in Illinois, has Jim Edgar had a sit-down with Bruce Rauner, yet? Is he going to?

  24. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 2:53 pm:

    Edgar, I love ya…but the spending controls were in fact put in place, to prevent skipping pension payments and prevent lawmakers from spending more money than is forecast to be available.

  25. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 3:08 pm:

    I believe you are correct. the standard shifted once the classroom money began to dry up as the pension number increased and suddenly the education community wasn’t OK with counting teacher retirement funding as “education funding.”
    By the Edgar-era standards, we’re funding education more than ever.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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