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Spinning and counter-spinning

Friday, Jul 18, 2014

* 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.

Heh.

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.

They continue

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.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


63 Comments »
  1. - Steve - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 9:37 am:

    Yesterday was a good day for Pat Quinn. Bruce Rauner said he wants to raise taxes. Period.


  2. - Skeptic - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 9:39 am:

    Meh is right. The usual “Fun With Numbers.” Is that seasonally adjusted? How does that 26,300 compare as a percentage? How does it compare with previous years? Or what about jobs that are shifted from private to public in name only (like the Unionized home care workers.) It may be “valid” but far from “useful.” I.e., a perfect stat for a politician.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 9:40 am:

    ===“Only someone with nine homes would propose taxing trailer parks,” said Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson.===

    By far, the entire GOP and Dem Primaries, until yesterday, the best quip by any of the 6 candidates who have run for governor over the past year. Wow.

    Words matter. They do. That quip wouldn’t even be out there had the Rauner Crew termed the tax as it was intended.

    See, humor and irony can work without costumes.


  4. - wordslinger - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 9:46 am:

    –“Only someone with nine homes would propose taxing trailer parks,” said Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson.–

    See, that’s how you do it. Give them a Mr.JM or Michelle Flaherty stinger, not a bunch of blah, blah, blah.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 9:47 am:

    “By far, the entire GOP and Dem Primaries, until yesterday, the best quip by any of the 6 candidate’s Crews who have run for governor over the past year.”

    Apologies.


  6. - so... - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 9:48 am:

    ==Meh is right. The usual “Fun With Numbers.” Is that seasonally adjusted? How does that 26,300 compare as a percentage? How does it compare with previous years? Or what about jobs that are shifted from private to public in name only (like the Unionized home care workers.) It may be “valid” but far from “useful.” I.e., a perfect stat for a politician.==

    Ohh, I can help!

    The numbers are seasonally adjusted, and they come from the Current Employment Statistics Survey. The 26,700 number is actually outdated now, since the June numbers have been released. Now Quinn has overseen the loss of “just” 18,100 jobs in the first half of 2014.

    Here ya go: http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/SMS17000000500000001

    As for government jobs, if you include them in the calculation, it gets slightly better. Quinn has overseen the loss of 15,500 jobs: http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/SMS17000000000000001

    And, in case you were wondering, we’re still the worst in the Midwest for job losses this year.


  7. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 9:51 am:

    We are facing a huge fiscal problem that won’t be solved by the dribs and drabs of Rauner plans. I hope that Rauner realizes this and keeps an open mind about raising revenue in other ways, if he gets elected.

    If we think Illinois is bad now, imagine how much worse it can get if we do actually enact these weak budget plans and have gaping deficits. How is extreme financial insecurity and huge revenue losses better for the state’s economy and for job growth?

    Folks talk about change, but we should be careful with that, because it can be the wrong change, for the worse.


  8. - A guy... - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 10:04 am:

    Anyone who thinks Quinn had a good day yesterday needs their head examined. They clearly did not believe that Rauner would present any plan and they were completely not ready for it. All of their responses look petty.

    From the looks of things, Rauner kept a lot of people busy yesterday examining his plan including the in-house scholars (not snark) on this thread. The immediate response was more reflection, not the snide crap we sometimes get. You gotta look pretty deep to get to the ‘money line’ of Trailer Homes; which of course was manipulated and misrepresented in a quippy manner. That kind of response to a serious step is a mistake in my view. We’ll see.


  9. - Federalist - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 10:07 am:

    If retirement incomes are to be taxed then there should be a dollar to dollar reduction on those taxes by the amount one pays for state income tax above and beyond their retirement income as well ass property taxes (home, farm, business).

    Do not penalize retirees for staying in Illinois and particularly do not penalize those who pay property taxes and have investment income that is taxed.

    I never see this concept mentioned, If I am wrong please point it out. All I ever hear is about not taxing the first $25 or $50K- and never even a % of one’s retirement income but just a flat exemption of $25K or $50K.


  10. - Anonymous - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 10:07 am:

    bruce when will your position on my ss and pension be known,another 500 days?


  11. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 10:11 am:

    ===You gotta look pretty deep to get to the ‘money line’ of Trailer Homes;===

    It was on the Twitter, in the newspaper, you really didn’t have too look too deep to find it.

    ===…which of course was manipulated and misrepresented in a quippy manner.===

    Fair game. Words matter. It’s funny, it’s snarky, it shines a light. Pretty brilliant, restaurant quality.


  12. - walker - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 10:13 am:

    Smart venue for announcing his plan. Rauner spoke at a long-established manufacturer in Schaumburg. A business, a Cook Co suburb, in one of the few towns where Property Tax freeze won’t kill the village, because they depend heavily on sales taxes. Sanguinetti spoke to small business and some immigration labor concerns.

    Again, the campaign pros are doing a lot right.

    Note, going door-to-door almost everyone can tell you how much they pay in property taxes, but no one can say how much in state income tax. State income tax increases or decreases are more a general image problem for a candidate, than a real pocketbook issue. “No more property tax increases” as the headline of a Rauner package that includes other tax increases, and an extension of the income tax rates, is the way to go for the suburban voters. That was the DH header.


  13. - OneMan - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 10:13 am:

    The spin on the WGN Morning show this morning was a tax on ‘luxury’ (or something like that) services.


  14. - wordslinger - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 10:23 am:

    Rauner spun it pretty good.

    But at some point he’s going to have to flesh out his income tax position.

    Most of the tax increase will expire Jan. 1.

    Rauner is proposing keeping it (which will require new votes) and phasing it out over four years.

    You can’t keep that under wraps for long.


  15. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    Or, how about dialing into GA districts targeted about not having the tax stay, now a “Governor Rauner” would have to sit across the table from President Cullerton to ask if he and his Caucus will help getting the tax back to 5%.

    Boy, those Legislative Liaison jobs for a Governor Rauner would be fascinating.


  16. - walker - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 10:36 am:

    @A guy: Have to admit to being pleasantly surprised when Rauner put out as much detail as he did yesterday. I viewed that as being too politically risky for him this early.

    It could begin to augment the dialogue and open up possibilities, because a lot of what he proposes has been discussed and proposed before, from various sides, including even by Quinn, but was previously met with resistence and disdain mostly because of politics. When both candidates want to broaden sales taxes into some service areas, and both seem to want to have at least some extension of the current income tax rates, and both consider rethinking how we do corporate incentives, and both want to continue to cut certain operating expenses, then there is a better chance for bi-partisan movement on these issues. There is a bit of the “Nixon to China” syndrome that could work here. This is a healthy and good start. I give him his props.

    The problem, as you well know, is that what Rauner has outlined so far doesn’t add up to anywhere near what needs to be done fiscally. Not meeting the “Illinois budget arithmetic challenge,” is never a “petty” criticism.

    We might not really expect a full plan that actually adds to, be delivered today, but we should to encourage it before election time.


  17. - Jimbo - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 10:37 am:

    The headline everywhere should be, Rauner seeks to extend tax increase and expand the sales tax to services.

    We knew Rauner was liberal on social issues, but it looks like he’s a tax and spender too /snark


  18. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 10:37 am:

    ===Rauner is proposing keeping it (which will require new votes) and phasing it out over four years.===

    Has he told Durkin and Radogno yet? Because he’s going to need an awful lot of GOP votes to raise the income tax back up to 5%.


  19. - Norseman - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 10:37 am:

    The media’s handling of the income tax portion of Raunervich’s plan is sad. None of the stories I read pointed to the problem that to have a four year phase out of the extension you have to reimpose the higher rate with the phase-in schedule.


  20. - Just Trying to Survive - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 10:44 am:

    Oh, the Civic Federation recommends taxing retirement income? Yes, direct the focus on those peons earning fractions of their wealth. Why don’t people like those in the Civic Federation kick in a few more dollars to shore up this deficit? Masters at redirection, they are. Keep those wage earners down.


  21. - too obvious - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 10:45 am:

    Huge new taxes on services but of course Rauner doesn’t touch all the big things that would cost Rauner and the Griffins more like taxes on securities trading and brokerage. Shameless.


  22. - Bill White - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 10:50 am:

    === The headline everywhere should be, Rauner seeks to extend tax increase and expand the sales tax to services.===

    And, the property tax freeze won’t affect the budget the Governor is responsible for since property taxes are not paid to the State.

    Therefore, a property tax freeze won’t impact the state budget.

    “Austerity for thee; more revenue for me, and mine”


  23. - The Captain - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 10:53 am:

    ===“Only someone with nine homes would propose taxing trailer parks,” said Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson.===

    Great line, bravo.


  24. - Meanderthal - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    Under Rod Blagojevich and Pat Quinn, the sad reality is that we have more trailer parks in this state.


  25. - CircularFiringSquad - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 11:32 am:

    THis Just In:
    Riiiiiing
    WhackyJack: Hello?
    Earthbound Whack Job: WhackyJack did you see what Mitt did today?
    WJ: Nope, I was playing “Waterboard a Teacher”
    EBWJ: Mitt reversed himself on the tax hike, now he wants to keep it for 4 years and tax switches.
    WJ: Yikes that little thief flipped on us again. First it was the qu……opps non boy/girl marriage….then choice. Now he want money to pay those teachers…let’s get whoever runs the GOPs, I think it is that car wash guy, to throw Mitt off the ticket.


  26. - Robert the Bruce - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    I’m not sure whether Quinn or Rauner won yesterday, but I believe Illinois won.

    Some interesting tax revenue proposals from a republican candidate! How many states have that in their governors’ race?

    And it looks as if Rauner is open to not blindly rolling back the income tax hike right away.


  27. - Joe M - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 11:50 am:

    Rauner’s plans remind me so much of Romney’s Five Point Plan last presidential election - things that sound good, but the candidate gives no specifics on how they will do all of those things - and how those things will balance the budget.

    Romney used to like to count out on his five fingers, the following five points:

    1. Achieve North American energy independence
    2. Improve education and job training, in part by increasing school choice and changing the way teachers are hired and evaluated. “We’ve got fix our schools…. It’s time for us to put the kids and the parents and the teachers first, and the teachers union behind.”

    3. Curtail unfair trade practices, especially those of China. “I will call China a currency manipulator and stop them in their tracks from killing American jobs.”

    4. Cut the federal deficit by reducing federal spending below 20% of GDP. “You’re not going to get entrepreneurs to go out and start an enterprise … unless they realize we’re not headed to Greece.”

    5. Champion small business by cutting taxes and regulations, and by overturning Obamacare. “We need small business to grow. … Small businesses have been crushed these past four years.”

    “If we do those five things I’m talking about, we’re going to create about 12 million jobs in the next four years,” he says.


  28. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    ===And it looks as if Rauner is open to not blindly rolling back the income tax hike right away.===

    It’s going to roll back. Rauner now needs to convince MJM and Cullerton to vote to bring it back under the new conditions, and convince Durkin and the SGOP to put votes on it too.

    Big ask for a candidate who dialed into districts asking voters to tell legislators not have the tax stay at current levels.


  29. - Jimbo - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 12:01 pm:

    I think Bruce is just now maybe realizing that governing is harder than venture capitalism. I wonder if he had it all to do over, whether he would still want to go through this. It seems his team has told him that magic job creation beans won’t solve the budget on their own.


  30. - Robert the Bruce - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 12:02 pm:

    Oswego Willy, you’re killing my foolish optimism!


  31. - A guy... - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 12:07 pm:

    @Walk,

    I agree with your comments. What was not lost on some savvy players in this game was that there was some movement to consider some thinking and rethinking of how to peel this problem back. This proposal doesn’t do everything, not even close. It does, however, show a willingness to consider the previously un-condiderable.

    It doesn’t matter completely what the ISC says if there’s a deficit of money. Some smart people should be looking at assurances to make sure whatever the ruling is, it can be facilitated. The unions will at some point realize they need to come back to the table to ensure sustainability of what these rulings will provide. They’d rather do so with someone who has shown a willingness to consider some options. Yesterday he did. Doesn’t matter how far he was willing to go yesterday. What matters is he’s willing to move in the direction of the middle of the field. Turn the battle into 10 yards rather than 100. I think smart people got the message yesterday.

    As evidenced by a few commenters here, not everyone got it. But I’m guessing the right audience did.


  32. - A guy... - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 12:09 pm:

    ===47th Ward - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 10:37 am:

    ===Rauner is proposing keeping it (which will require new votes) and phasing it out over four years.===

    Has he told Durkin and Radogno yet? Because he’s going to need an awful lot of GOP votes to raise the income tax back up to 5%.====

    What’s an “awful lot”?


  33. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 12:10 pm:

    - Robert the Bruce -,

    Plummer Meds do wonders for that.

    No snark, you can feel optimism, the question and answer seem the same but maybe if Rauner can show that Democrats aren’t all corrupt and 1/3 of the GA GOP wasn’t corrupt…

    My point?

    There is political/campaign time, and governing time. If Rauner shows he’s an adult and shows he needs this to be a partnership, and not a Tom Hagen relationship, and works as a partner, loads could get done with any governor and any General Assembly.

    Telling me, or telling the voters and listening, about Scott Walker, or Indiana, “never dealt with me” … baloney… will the back channels to MJM and Cullerton mend fences, or will this become a battle for every inch, with shutting down the state hanging out there as a plan too?

    At this point, I don’t know which Rauner governs, but I know which Rauner campaigns.


  34. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 12:12 pm:

    ===What’s an “awful lot”?===

    As many as MJM and Cullerton demand.

    Isn’t governing “fun”? lol


  35. - Bill White - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 12:19 pm:

    A guy . . .

    If Governor Rauner wants to increase the income tax back to 5% so he can phase it out over several years, IL Dems should require that Jim Durkin produce 31 GOP house votes on that bill and that Christine Radogno produce 15 Senate votes.

    Then, Madigan could put 29 IL Dem House votes on the increase and Cullerton could put 15 IL Dem Senate votes on that increase and it passes 60-58 and 30-29.

    But hey, I’m just a guy surfing the innertubes ;-)


  36. - wordslinger - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 12:22 pm:

    –What’s an “awful lot”?–

    My guess is half for a GOP governor.


  37. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 12:24 pm:

    ===What’s an “awful lot”?===

    Well I don’t know, but I’d guess pluralities in both the House and Senate GOP caucuses would be a good start. Do you think Radogno can put 10 votes on Rauner’s plan to increase the tax so he can decrease it?


  38. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 12:26 pm:

    ===What’s an “awful lot”?===

    “All the non-corrupt members of the ILGOP GA” - lol

    I agree - wordslinger -, I was going to guess, 25 HGOP, and 11 SGOP members on the Bill…

    … With GOP sponsors, and speaking “To the Bill” too.


  39. - wordslinger - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 12:27 pm:

    –The unions will at some point realize they need to come back to the table to ensure sustainability of what these rulings will provide. –

    The unions have no standing to negotiate already earned benefits for those retired. They may not have standing to negotiate benefits already earned for those still working and in the union.

    I think the Supremes have made it clear the “solution” is in front of you, not in back of you.


  40. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 12:33 pm:

    ===The unions will at some point realize they need to come back to the table to ensure sustainability of what these rulings will provide. They’d rather do so with someone who has shown a willingness to consider some options.===

    A Union Leader who gives up any ground at this point in the game is not going to be a “Union Boss” for long.

    Shutting down the state seems logical for Rauner. He thinks so.

    Rauner may be able to work with MJM and Cullerton better than trying an end-around that pesky constitution, “Union Bosses” notwithstanding.

    Governing off the Rauner rhetoric, even with this Plan is going to be tough, given Rauner needs willing partners, and constitutionality.


  41. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 12:47 pm:

    ===What matters is he’s willing to move in the direction of the middle of the field.===

    Wow, you must be dizzy. Smart people know exactly what to expect from Bruce Rauner when it comes to negotiating with public employee unions. You can’t unring the bell on this one.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/373679/illinoiss-scott-walker-eliana-johnson/page/0/1


  42. - Fight Fair - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 12:48 pm:

    So much talk here about an alleged gotcha: For lack of a phase-out sked, do we assume we know that Rauner wants to overturn current law to keep rates where they are? And what is the impact of he does?
    In metro Chicago, voters know that Toni Preckwinkle said she’d roll back the rest of Todd Stroger’s tax increase. Does anybody remember the exact phase-out schedule? She said she’d kill it off and she did. She won so much credibility that she’s now running unopposed.
    Maybe what matters is whether voters trust a politician to deliver on what he or she says.


  43. - The Dude Abides - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 12:53 pm:

    As wordslinger has mentioned I think it’s time to step away from this idea that the pension issue may ultimately be fixed by the Unions and the next administration going back to the bargaining table. I think the court looks at the pension contract as between each individual retiree and the state and that no Union has the authority to bargain part of the retirees pension benefit away. If the Union would attempt this, expect the retirees to go to court and win. For active workers, benefits earned going forward might be on the table but I have doubts if that is even legal as the contractual relationship is already in place. I do think that the active workers might go for making larger pension contributions for something in return.


  44. - A guy... - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 12:53 pm:

    === wordslinger - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 12:22 pm:

    –What’s an “awful lot”?–

    My guess is half for a GOP governor.===

    I suspect a few less if it’s an old-fashioned ’standoff’. No disagreement whatsoever that it will be disciplined orchestration.


  45. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 12:54 pm:

    === Smart people know exactly what to expect from Bruce Rauner when it comes to negotiating with public employee unions.===

    That is all the “Union Bosses” need to remind the membership, come November.

    ===… Rauner wants to overturn current law to keep rates where they are? And what is the impact of he does?===

    The plan calls for a 5% tax rate, then phase it out.

    Only way that happens is through the GA.

    ===So much talk here about an alleged gotcha===

    That ain’t “gotcha”, that’s governing. That… is a real hurdle.


  46. - wordslinger - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 1:08 pm:

    –For lack of a phase-out sked, do we assume we know that Rauner wants to overturn current law to keep rates where they are? And what is the impact of he does?–

    Without new votes, most of the temporary tax increases will expire Jan. 1.


  47. - GA Watcher - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 1:28 pm:

    Rich M: Do you think the poll done yesterday would have had different results if you had used haircuts, dry cleaning and shoe repair as examples of the services to be taxed vs. advertising, legal services and mini-storage centers?


  48. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 1:30 pm:

    ===if you had used haircuts, dry cleaning and shoe repair as examples===

    Why would I poll those? They weren’t in the proposal.


  49. - Skeptic - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 1:54 pm:

    “It does, however, show a willingness to consider the previously un-condiderable” or else a williness to pander to whatever you need to in order to get elected. And I thought John Kerry was a flip-flopper. Rauner is making soccer players look like stoics with his flips and flops.


  50. - A guy... - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 2:18 pm:

    Skeptic, It’s a nice day. Go out and play. The big people are trying to solve a problem.


  51. - steve schnorf - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 2:36 pm:

    I suspect that the Rauner campaign is not done yet, the election being almost 120 days away. He is beginning to talk about more comprehensive tax reform, so I suspect we will be hearing more on this subject. So, we won’t know the final math for a while.
    Since I expect there will be more for us to run walk-ups (and walk-downs) on, this is just a starting point. As a result of yesterday’s announcement I tried to run some rough numbers on where we would be financially 5 years from now based on Bruce Rauners so-far announced vision and Governor Quinn’s vision. I made the following assumptions:
    > Our starting point on GRF revenue is $38 billion
    > Rauner’s “enlightened” ideas on taxes and growing the economy will result in an annual growth rate over 4 years 1/2% higher than Quinn’s “oppressive” ones (I doubt that this will be the case; most of these sorts of ideas, if they work, don’t begin to produce noticeable results in just a year or two)
    > I used 3% growth rate for Quinn, 3.5% for Rauner
    > I gave Rauner credit in his base for $600 million in new revenue for the services tax
    >I assumed that elimination of the 2% income tax increase would cost us about $8.5 billion (40% of $22 billion)
    > I assumed if Governor Quinn is re-elected he will get his restoration of the current tax rate
    > I assumed if Bruce Rauner is elected he will get his restoration and 4 year phase-out of the current tax rate.
    > I made no assumption on what happens on the pension reform case since it will effect both of them mostly equally
    After all that I end up 5 years from now with revenues (and therefore the spending they will support) about $7-7.5 billion higher under Quinn’s plan than under Rauner’s.
    As a note you notice I use a lot of round numbers and do a lot of rounding. That’s partly because I do a lot of my math in my head or on a scrap of paper, and partly because I constantly decry the false preciseness of budgeting assumptions 12 months much less 4 or 5 years down the road. I fully concede that doesn’t give us precise numbers down to the 10s or even 100s of millions. I simply say we don’t need that much preciseness until we get to the point where $100 million is meaningful in whatever problem we are looking at. When the question is 7 billions it really doesn’t matter yet whether it’s 7, 7.5, or 6.5.
    Another note, yesterday in Crain’s Carol Portman of the Taxpayers Foundation of Illinois is quoted as saying that if the income tax increase goes away totally by 4 or 5 years from now, natural revenues growth will perhaps replace most or even all of it. You have to make some pretty unrealistic revenue growth assumptions to get close to “all”, but it certainly would replace much, and maybe most (surely more than 50%). Think about that statement; we would be able 5 years from now to spend maybe close to as much as we are spending now. That says where we’re at right now very vividly.
    But, as I said I’m expecting more from the Rauner Campaign.
    By the way, anyone who wants to contest what I’ve just said. Have at it, I would love to learn. But please be at least as specific as I have been. Anything less wouldn’t be very helpful. And it doesn’t do a lot of good to argue starting point, nor growth rate, because the key there is differential, not absolute number.


  52. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 2:42 pm:

    Dear Mr. Schnorf,

    I honestly and humbly apologize for leaving you hanging last night on my question and my morning response missing you.

    It was never my intent to be non-responsive. I just fell asleep and didn’t check back, my fault.

    Thank you very much for your response to my question, and thanks for the comment above. Great stuff in both.


  53. - Anon. - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 2:46 pm:

    ==Under Rod Blagojevich and Pat Quinn, the sad reality is that we have more trailer parks in this state.==

    You’re giving them credit for keeping tornados away?


  54. - steve schnorf - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 2:49 pm:

    Willy is referring to two bad post I made late last night. No, Willy, no apology needed. I own my own mistakes, and those were great ones.


  55. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 3:02 pm:

    Please, nothing on your part is necessary.

    All you did above was reinforce what a really good guy you are when nothing was needed on your part.

    Very much respect, and you never fail to deliver, I am still digesting this very thoughtful look and comparison.


  56. - Skeptic - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 3:08 pm:

    A guy: That sound you’re hearing is Rauner careening toward the center. Is that who you really want? Is that who you voted for in the primary? Who will it be come November? If he’s elected is it someone the rest of the R’s will want to work with? All legitmate questions.


  57. - A guy... - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 3:28 pm:

    === wordslinger - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 12:27 pm:
    I think the Supremes have made it clear the “solution” is in front of you, not in back of you.===

    We agree on this. Sustaining the cost may require dealing with what’s in front to pay for what’s in back. And they do negotiate the future.


  58. - A guy... - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 3:35 pm:

    === Skeptic - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 3:08 pm:

    A guy: That sound you’re hearing is Rauner careening toward the center. Is that who you really want? Is that who you voted for in the primary? Who will it be come November? If he’s elected is it someone the rest of the R’s will want to work with? All legitmate questions.===

    I guess in order; I hear it. Rather than Pat Quinn, absolutely. Yes (though asking me who I voted for is kinda TerryCosgrovesque, I don’t mind telling you) They’ll want to work with him more than Quinn, and we get to choose who they must work with anyhow.

    Those are all legitimate questions. Hope my answers sufficed.


  59. - walker - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 3:50 pm:

    Steve Schnorf: Thank God you did the rough numbers! I was hoping that you specifically would.

    I was trying some last night, and just wouldn’t trust my own guesstimates as much as I trust yours. Pure ballpark, but they do show a fair picture of how far we have to go.


  60. - Skeptic - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 3:57 pm:

    A guy: Ok, I guess then we can go outside and enjoy the weather and let the big people solve the problems.


  61. - A guy... - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 4:29 pm:

    Atta guy. If you’re riding your bike, remember to fasten the helmet.


  62. - Skeptic - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 4:46 pm:

    “remember to fasten the helmet” Now THAT we can agree on.


  63. - steve schnorf - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 5:16 pm:

    walker, a part of the problem Rauner will face in making the ends meet is that even if his proposals on economic growth are very successful (let’s say a full percent per year greater than Quinn’s), unless his tax phaseout schedule is really back-loaded his revenue growth will be against a lower base. The full 1% per year scenario would only produce an additional $600-700 million a year in annual revenue by year 5. So, he has to find some additional fairly painless savings and/or some additional income sources (loopholes? ??) to get the gap down enough that he doesn’t have to talk about some probably difficult cuts. By the way, regardless of who wins the election there are going to have to be some painful decisions on reducing spending growth over the next 4-5 years, unless the income tax goes higher than 5% or we are willing to tolerate bills on hand climbing back to the $6-7 billion level.


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* False equivalence taken too far
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* Question of the day
* Republicans look to the future
* OEIG: Rednour solicited a big gift, Bliefnick improperly accepted gifts
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