* Most entertaining spin of the day on Bruce Rauner’s new tax proposal…
Gov. Pat Quinn’s campaign quickly blasted the plan as one that would send the state into a deeper hole than the estimated $6 billion deficit that will face the next governor. The camp also criticized the multi-millionaire candidate for proposing a sales tax expansion, saying it would hurt working families and small business.
“Only someone with nine homes would propose taxing trailer parks,” said Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson.
Rauner’s plan does, indeed, mention “trailer parks.” However, they screwed up the language…
Trailer parks - overnight
Those aren’t “trailer parks,” they’re RV campgrounds. So, Brooke’s attack is half valid, and the Rauner campaign brought it on themselves.
* Another bit of spin, this time by Rauner…
Rauner also said that new TV ads that attack him for wanting to tax Social Security and other retirement income are false. The ads were launched Wednesday by Illinois Freedom PAC, an outside group funded by a coalition of unions that opposed Rauner in the Republican primary.
“Gov. Quinn is creating another false spin. I have never, ever said I want to tax Social Security, that’s baloney,” Rauner said. “And as you can see from our plan here, we have no plan to tax retirement income. They are trying to create a false argument.”
* What the TV ad actually says…
Now Rauner says he’s open to taxing our Social Security and retirement income…making it harder for Illinois families to get by.
* From a March 14, 2014 Sun-Times story entitled “Rauner, Rutherford won’t rule out taxing retirement income”…
Earlier this month, the Civic Federation recommended that Gov. Pat Quinn and state lawmakers consider taxing retirement income to help lift the state out of its multibillion-dollar budgetary shortfall, an idea that drew immediate opposition from AARP of Illinois.
Rauner did not categorically rule out taxing retirement income when asked Thursday night.
“I don’t have position on that yet. What I would recommend we do is look at our entire tax code in Illinois, look at every tax and every tax base and every rate and then compare ourselves to other well-run states that we compete with both in the Midwest and around the country,” Rauner said.
“Look at what we tax, what we don’t tax and at what rates. The critical thing is we have got to ease the overall tax burden, the overall spending burden and make our tax code as pro-growth as possible because the real answer to our financial problems is growth,” Rauner said.
Probably close enough for horseshoes and hand grenades. Plus, it’s the Illinois Freedom PAC, not Quinn making the charge.
* And, finally, FactCheck.org got a bit ahead of the facts…
Republican Bruce Rauner falsely claims in a TV ad that Illinois leads the Midwest in “job losses” under Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. In fact, Illinois has experienced job growth — albeit small — since Quinn took office.
Rauner’s latest TV ad, titled “Remember This,” shows Quinn promising to create 400,000 jobs and then cuts to a narrator who says: “Under Quinn Illinois leads the Midwest in job losses.” Those same words are superimposed over an image of an empty warehouse that emphasizes the “job losses.” But the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which the ad cites as the source of this claim, shows Illinois had 5,803,600 total non-farm jobs in January 2009, when Quinn took office, and had 5,804,000 in May 2014, which is the most recent month with available employment data. That represents a net gain of 400 total jobs under Quinn as governor.
Certainly, 400 jobs in a state as large as Illinois (population 12.9 million) is not a lot. In fact, we calculate that the state had the lowest job growth during that period of the 12 states considered to be part of the Midwest by the BLS. Still, Illinois saw total job gains, not losses, and the state’s unemployment rate is down from 8 percent to 7.5 percent under Quinn.
How did the Rauner campaign arrive at “job losses”? By cherry-picking BLS data.
According to a document provided by the Rauner campaign to support the ad, the “job losses” claim refers to a drop in private sector jobs only in 2014 — a five-month period — not Quinn’s entire time in office. The campaign document says that Illinois has lost more than 26,000 private sector jobs so far in this calendar year. That’s accurate. Illinois had 4,996,800 private sector jobs in December 2013 and that number has shrunk to 4,970,500 in May 2014, a loss of 26,300 jobs. The Rauner campaign also is correct in saying that this is the largest job loss of any state in the Midwest during this period.
Meh. If Illinois does indeed lead the Midwest in job losses this year, then that’s a valid hit by Rauner. Period.