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Quinn, Brady spar over taxes, education cuts

Friday, Jul 30, 2010

* We have the audio files of Gov. Pat Quinn’s fiery press conference yesterday where he slammed Sen. Bill Brady for proposing a $1 billion cut to education funding and fended off questions about his budget director’s comments regarding the likelihood of a large tax hike in January. Part 1

At the beginning of Part 2, Quinn vows to veto any income tax hike that is over one percentage point

* Let’s look at the coverage. Sun-Times

Quinn said he only plans to push what he has publicly proposed previously — a hike to 4 percent, with the extra money to be spent on education. While he still has to convince legislators to support it, that could be easier to do after the Nov. 2 election.

Quinn said the Bloomberg reporter misinterpreted what Vaught said.

“He was asked a question about another plan and the reporter, from Texas, misconstrued his answer,” Quinn said.

Did Quinn admonish Vaught, to whom Quinn recently gave a $30,000 salary increase?

“I don’t think he should philosophize about taxes. I will tell him that,” Quinn said.


Quinn said Brady is spouting “fairy tales,” noting his opponent has yet to offer specifics on how to get the state out of the red ink. Quinn said without a tax increase, Brady would have to cut education funding. Quinn said would lead to property tax increases as local governments try to make up the difference.

“You’ve got to be careful with these apostles of no tax,” Quinn said. “When they talk, they have their fingers crossed because they know the local government will raise the property taxes on you for schools and other things. I don’t think that’s the right way to go.”

A Brady spokeswoman dismissed those allegation.

“Pat Quinn will say anything to get elected,” Brady spokeswoman Patty Schuh said. “He proposes tax increases all year long, but somehow tries to blame someone else.”

The property tax angle was an integral part of Quinn’s pitch yesterday.


The governor vowed to convince voters before the election that, if Brady carries through with planned cuts spending for state programs including education, property taxpayers will pay the price.

“If the state doesn’t properly fund school, then local property taxes skyrocket. They’re backbreaking already,” said Quinn.

The Republican was asked about the governor’s charge that local property taxes would increase under a Brady administration.

“Now I’ve made it very clear. We have to cut a dime on every dollar, and we have to focus on waste, fraud, corruption, abuse and mismanagement,” said Brady.

That’s not very clear. Brady was a bit more specific with Crain’s

Asked directly if his plan would cut state aid to schools by 10%, Mr. Brady went out on his own political limb, saying it would. “Sure. It would apply to everything.”

Schools will jsut have to “rood out fraud and abuse” and take other efficiencies, he said. “We cannot afford to raise taxes on families and businesses.”

Fox Chicago

Brady responded that his proposed budget cuts “would not have to” force massive teacher layoffs. When pressed by FOX Chicago News for details of his budget cuts, Brady declined.

His chief spokeswoman said Brady is “working on” a plan with more details. Campaign sources, though, said that identifying specific budget cuts might not be smart politics.

They said it might open Brady up to new attacks from Democrats and special interests.


Steve Brown, spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, said Madigan believes any revenue increase “would have to have a bipartisan coalition to pass,” meaning some votes would have to come from House Republicans.

House GOP Leader Tom Cross issued a statement Thursday that provided no hint that such a coalition is about to form.

“It is shocking to me that Governor Quinn’s administration remains fixated on an income tax increase by 67 percent, and not focused on reforms and streamlining government,” Cross said. “Taxpayers are sick and tired of paying for the Democrats’ flippant behavior when it comes to their money.

* Brady also defended his proposed cut to the gasoline sales tax yesterday

Brady offered a classic supply-side defense of his proposal to cut gasoline taxes. Instead of costing the state treasury, Brady predicted it would eventually bring in more revenue:

“People are travelling to neighboring states to buy their gas, to buy their beverages, to buy their cigarettes, and their bread. Reducing that tax will foster economic activity that will outpace the loss in very short order.”

George Ryan tried that and it didn’t work. In fact, Ryan said that was the biggest mistake of his administration.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Robert - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 10:04 am:

    I think Quinn handled his budget director’s gaffe as well as he could (though I’m not sure why he hasn’t rescinded the raises to his own staff yet), putting the 2% hike idea off the table as clearly as he could.

    Both candidates seem honest relative to most politicians - Quinn has admitted he wants a 1% tax hike, while Brady has now admitted he’ll cut education. This is what we’d like elections to be about - while neither one will completely close the budget gap, voters at least are given some clear choices as to the priorities of the candidates.

  2. - Skeptical Cynic - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 10:10 am:

    “George Ryan tried that and it didn’t work. In fact, Ryan said that was the biggest mistake of his administration.”
    I bet George has rethought this since he left office.

  3. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 10:13 am:

    Wanna bet? lol

  4. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 10:15 am:

    The problem with Brady’s approach is that he will be attacked as not caring about the “children”. This is the ultimate wedge issue.

    In my opinion, some pressure of some kind needs to be placed on local governments and boards of education to trim costs. Parents may have to accept bigger classes, less services and higher property taxes and fees to fund their community schools. The way things are now, local education is an untouchable money pit with tons of unfunded mandates (which should be considered for elimination) setting an environment where no real change can occur and creativity for solutions is stifled.

  5. - OneMan - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 10:17 am:

    Is a cut to education that much different than not giving them the money they were told they were getting?

  6. - Sueann - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 10:18 am:

    Brady should just keep quiet about what he would or would not cut. It’s a no win issue to proclaim what needs to be cut because no matter what, he will get slammed. Focus on getting elected and then cut across the board.

  7. - wordslinger - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 10:18 am:

    Quinn should be pounding Brady on real numbers every day and challenging the media to do the same.

    After 17 years in the GA and two runs for governor, Brady’s working on a plan. He’s probably still late on a couple of term papers, too.

  8. - Pat Robertson - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 10:19 am:

    ==Is a cut to education that much different than not giving them the money they were told they were getting?==

    The former is honest and the latter isn’t? What do I win?

  9. - OneMan - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 10:22 am:

    == What do I win? ==

    The chance to ask both of the candidates what the difference is.

  10. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 10:23 am:

    - We have to cut a dime on every dollar -

    So is Brady now back to saying he wants 10% across the board cuts? Is there video of him saying that? And is this the best we can expect as far as specifics from the nonexistent Brady plan?

  11. - shore - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 10:23 am:

    I don’t understand why Brady has to come up with a budget when Democrats won’t deal with the issue until AFTER the election.

    I also don’t understand why the media buys the democrat claim that a tax hike has to be BIPARTISAN.

  12. - Fed up - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 10:24 am:

    For Quinn to say he Without a tax increase he would have to cut education funding is a joke. What he does now is lie about the amount of funding and then never give it to the schools. He has cut funding while saying the opposite.

  13. - Levois - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 10:27 am:

    They should really consider having some debates. This race is going back and forth and not sure these ads are going to help.

  14. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 10:28 am:

    ===media buys the democrat claim that a tax hike has to be BIPARTISAN. ===

    It doesn’t have to be bipartisan, but every income tax hike ever enacted in this state has been.

  15. - OneMan - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 10:31 am:

    == It doesn’t have to be bipartisan, but every income tax hike ever enacted in this state has been. ==

    Has one party ever had enough votes in both houses and the mansion to make it happen with out the other party?

    (Not intended to be snarky, I am curious if it is true)

  16. - A.B. - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 10:32 am:

    This is funny stuff! People here actually think Quinn is taking the right stance?

    For the lay person all they keep hearing is that Quinn wants to raise taxes and Brady wants to cut taxes.

    The economy is the number one issue. The independent voter is upset about the state finances, but they are more worried about putting food on the table and paying the bills for their family. Heck they are seeing more and more foreclosures every month and hoping they aren’t in the next batch.

    They don’t care what the details are, they just want the government to work with what they have. The concept of new taxes or increased taxes is something the public is scared of.

    To make things worse, the Fed has been on a spending spree and people are worried about more taxes on that level. Plus local governments and schools are screaming about funding shortages and people are worried about them raising taxes.

    Agree with it or not, what the independent voter and the polling is saying is that the people of Illinois cannot afford Quinn and more taxes.

    Every time a story pops about more or new taxes, it hurts Quinn even further. That is why his attack ads against Brady aren’t working. People are worried about their bills, not abortion.

  17. - just sayin' - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 10:32 am:

    Rich, I know this is off point, but did you see this? Was in the Diersen Daily eblast yesterday:

    – Brady alert - Mark E. Wojcik, Professor of Law, John Marshall Law School

    The Professor says:

    “Someone trying to protect Brady was able to get the Illinois General Assembly ( ILGA ) website to remove Brady’s name as a sponsor from the legislative history for his proposed amendment. Brady introduced SJRCA0095 on Feb. 10, and his name was listed on the ILGA website as its sponsor. Senators can remove their sponsorship of various bills, of course, but when they do so the legislative history is not redacted—voters have a right to know the full history of a piece of legislation. Here, however, someone ( trying to protect Brady from his own bigotry ) whitewashed the legislative record to make him look less extreme.”

    Obviously reminded me of the Wikipedia disaster you wrote about a couple of days ago. Except this sounds a lot worse, if true.

  18. - the Patriot - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 10:34 am:

    Pat Quinn and his partner have cut education more than any other duo in history. You can budget all you want, but when you look at money coming in to schools, it is Cut, Cut, Cut for Pat Quinn.

    Nice for him to predict property tax increase will occur under Brady. Look at your local school board minutes for the last year, chances are they are already discussing property tax increases because of what Quinn and Blago have done, not what Brady has yet to do, but nice try Pat. You can’t cause the problem, then on the way out the door blame it on the guy who hasn’t taken office yet.

  19. - dave - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 10:38 am:

    A.B. - ever look at polling around education cuts? You should.

  20. - Way Way Down Here - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 10:38 am:

    ==Brady responded that his proposed budget cuts “would not have to” force massive teacher layoffs.==

    A ten percent cut on top of what they are already not getting as promised—yes it would. Reserves are depleated, tax aniticpation warrents have been issued, borrowing is maxed, layoffs have already occurred. Already, this fiscal year is going to make last year look like a cake walk for education. More teacher layoffs–you bet it will.

  21. - Judgment Day Is On The Way - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 10:39 am:

    First off, Re: Local property tax increases.

    Pat Quinn should realize in non tax cap counties, most school districts have max. tax rates on funds (Like Education, Transportation, Bldg. and Maintenance, etc.). See the Illinois property Tax Rate and Levy Manual, produced by Dept. of Commerce & Econ. Opportunity for more details.

    So, if you are in a non-capped school district, you can’t get more than your max. rate, unless taxpayers buy in by referendum. You only get so much money without going back to the voters at the local level.

    If you are in a “capped” school district, the rules change per some 2006 legislation where the schools can use a backdoor referendum to get higher max. rates/no max. rates for certain funds, but the overall effect is that this still does not get you a big increase in revenue - it just keeps the revenue basically stable, except the tax rates per $100 of a property’s taxable value increases.

    But again, you only get so much money without going back to the voters at the local level.

    It’s the choice of the voters in a local school district.

  22. - Berkeley Bear - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 10:39 am:

    I’m disgusted by Quinn’s handling of this. He should be out in front championing the facts that 1) we can’t cut our way out of this and 2) a 2 percent hike (and that is what it is, not a 67 percent hike that makes better copy) would go a long way to getting us out of this. If he made a forceful pitch he might finally be seen as a leader and Madigan might (might, I say) be shamed into doing something rather than holing up in his majority and simple denials. Instead he hides behind the idea its all about education when that is only part of the problem or solution.

    Quinn’s being a coward, but he’s still better than the alternative (sadly). Brady’s either a moron or an opportunist who thinks we are all morons with his detail free “plan”. The GOP “leaders” in the Assembly don’t want to get behind any tax increases? Then move ahead without them, show them for the ineffective obstructionists they are.

    I don’t normally get this upset, but when I see services to people with disabilities, kids and other populations getting gutted (and in some cases violating federal law) for want of political will it makes me a little nuts.

  23. - A.B. - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 10:49 am:

    @ dave - I am aware in most years that is true, but there still comes a time where the public says, “sorry I can’t afford more right now.” and that is what the polling is showing.

  24. - OneMan - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 10:53 am:

    No one really wants the stuff the like cut, no one likes to pay more taxes…

    That’s why it’s called leadership.

    Reguardless I think the state not paying people what they said they were going to get is a lot worse in some ways that just cutting stuff and being honest about it.

  25. - RJW - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 10:58 am:


    Brady has to eventually come up with a budget, and I as a voter expect him to, because he is now running for Governor. He can’t hide behind the “Democrats control everything” argument anymore. Maybe that’s acceptable to some people, but not to me. I want to know from both what their intentions are and I will tell you that, so far, neither satisfies me. To those who believe that no new taxes are necessary, you live in fantasyland. To those who think taxes are the only solution, you are right there in fantasyland also. Neither of the candidates will tell you the truth b/c the truth won’t get them elected. So, were stuck with guessing what might happen if either wins. Illinois has to be the WORST STATE IN THE NATION if these are the candidates we came up with.

  26. - Ok - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 10:58 am:

    Your talking about Brady’s 10% cut? What’s a cut Quinn; owes schools hundreds of millions of dollars from the 2010 budget including the U of I. He owes the U of I $250 million dollars of $750 million of their 2010 budget that’s a 30 percent cut. All the schools wonder if they will see any of their 2010 money let alone any of their coming 2011 appropriation. Good thing parents got their money from the school supply tax holiday wow 5 bucks. Their local school probably has a sign that says its owed $554K or $1.2million in front of it right now where their teachers are being laid off. Quinn’s giving them free pencils and sweeping hundreds of millions for free rides for seniors in Chicago to ride free on mass transit I guess that gets him votes.

  27. - cassandra - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 11:02 am:

    My local school district is already going for a tax increase next year, so our Pat’s one percent increase will be on top of that if it passes.

    The argument he is making is that property taxes will automatically go up if he doesn’t get his income tax increase. Of course, it’s the usual political scaremongering. But they could well go up anyway..or not. Local taxpayers make that decision. And many school districts rely only to a minimal extent on state monies (that tier system) so our Pat’s “schools” tax would not benefit them at all, or very little.

    Which communities would benefit, I wonder. Would Chicago be among them. If I accept the premise
    (and I really don’t accept it) that these monies will actually go to education, whose education, where. I don’t live in Chicago and I certainly don’t want to pay more for its highly dysfunctional school system whose priorities are dictated by the teachers unions and local Chicago Democratic politics. Despite billions of taxpayer funds invested over the past decade, Chicago public schools remain disastrous for all but the most fortunate Chicago children. On top of my own local taxes, I’m supposed to pay the state more for that?

  28. - Way Way Down Here - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 11:05 am:

    True OneMan. It just forces the decisions on cuts down the food chain and away from Springfield.

  29. - Aldyth - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 11:13 am:

    But, how many votes will Quinn get from the seniors who are seeing the funding for their other services cut? Or the families of people with disabilities who are seeing their services gutted?

    I can’t help but wonder if this is Quinn and Madigan’s strategy for getting a massive tax increase approved in January? Cut human services until a lot of people are hurting and hurting bad. Cut human services until agencies are closing all around. Make the citizens of Illinois feel the pain so they won’t fight a tax increase? Make the vulnerable human sacrifices for the sake of politics.

    Since there are no depths to which politicians will not sink in order to strike out at each other, is this just another strategy?

  30. - OneMan - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 11:14 am:

    Well casandra brings up a good point.

    I think fundamentally the objection for many about an income tax increase is that it seems that Springfield has been such a terrible steward of money.

    When we were down for gifted day they tried to pitch the ’surcharge’ to the parents and the responses basically were that they didn’t belive that the surgcharge would go to education or that it would free up money for other things.

    The trust is gone…

  31. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 11:18 am:

    - Way Way Down Here - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 11:05 am:

    “True OneMan. It just forces the decisions on cuts down the food chain and away from Springfield.”

    I certainly think this is great news. The closer the money is controlled to the taxpayer, the better. They then get to choose how their community is run instead of some politician from Chicago or Springfield.

  32. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 11:25 am:

    - The closer the money is controlled to the taxpayer, the better. -

    That worked out pretty well in Bell, CA.

  33. - OneMan - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 11:26 am:

    I would rather have small outbreaks of stupidity than large ones…

  34. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 11:33 am:

    - I would rather have small outbreaks of stupidity than large ones… -

    Start moving more money to local governments, those outbreaks will get larger.

  35. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 11:45 am:

    - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 11:33 am:

    - I would rather have small outbreaks of stupidity than large ones… -

    “Start moving more money to local governments, those outbreaks will get larger.”

    Using your logic, we should transfer all governmental responsibilities to the “experts” in Washington.

    Firstly, the money is not the government’s, it’s the taxpayers. Why is the first liberal stance to always distance local responsibility to a farther, larger body. If Bell, CA screwed up, too bad for them. They can elect new local officials who will get the house in order. They screwed up, they should fix it.

    If more control were shifted to some more local entities, people will have a change to affect how their communities are run, and have the opportunity to control their lives. Their neighbors are in charge, people who live down the street. With the responsibility to run their own communities comes local accountability. Certainly our own example of sending the responsibility to Springfield is working out great. With responsibility in Springfield, how does a local community affect change that would work for that community but would not fit into Springfield ideas on how they should live their lives? What response do they now get when they call to Springfield?

    If more screw-ups like Bell, CA were to happen, so what? At least the locals can try to fix their problems.

  36. - Way Way Down Here - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 11:51 am:

    Cinci, in theory I agree, it’s their motivation for doing it that gets my goat.

  37. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 11:54 am:

    This comes across as pretty slimy. Quinn demanded a tax increase and threatened to slash education funding by around $1 billion during the budget process.

    He now attacks Brady for education cuts and pretends to be the defender of education?

    This is the same guy who “reformed” Illinois government by reducing members of the House years back and giving near dictatorial control of that chamber to Michael Madigan and other Speakers of the House.

    I know the headline will read “Quinn vows to fund education” but he was holding schools hostage and screwing up their own budgetary plans just a few months back. The result is that most school districts planned for worse case scenario and announced all kinds of layoffs and cutbacks.

    And spare us any “news” about Quinn promising to “veto” any “excessive” tax increases. He has flipped flopped on veto threats so often on so many important issues that he has lost all credibility in that department.

    The embellishment king of Illinois politics is Patrick Quinn these days, and not Mark Kirk. The nonsense with the state plane being used for campaign events in between state business, the furlough mess and other bumbling makes Harold Washington on that old videotape look like he had Quinn figured out.

  38. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:03 pm:

    - If more control were shifted to some more local entities, people will have a change to affect how their communities are run, and have the opportunity to control their lives. Their neighbors are in charge, people who live down the street. With the responsibility to run their own communities comes local accountability. -

    Cinci, can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street? Or do you live in Mayberry?

  39. - Mr. Ethics - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:25 pm:

    Bought gas in Indiana yesterday. Brady is correct. The border is void of stations in IL and all the cars filling up in IN had IL plates.

  40. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:32 pm:

    - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:03 pm:

    “Cinci, can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street? Or do you live in Mayberry?”

    I love clowns like you who resort to ad hominem attacks whenever you really don’t have an legitimate argument, refuse to engage in debate, and are so small minded and attached to the status quo that you even refuse to consider something outside the box or that would remove some power from the elitist establishment. I would not be surprised if you worked in government, it would explain a lot about your attitude.

  41. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:35 pm:

    Easy, boys.

  42. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:37 pm:

    Sorry Rich.

  43. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:47 pm:

    Cinci - All I’m saying is that continually arguing based on an hypothetical ideal world scenario doesn’t accomplish anything. I grew up in a very small town and saw every bit as much waste in the local government operations as I see in the federal government. I don’t think shifting all of the power to one or the other is the answer. And for the record, again, I do not work for any form of government.

  44. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:54 pm:


    And all I’m saying is more of the same crapola we have seen for the past 30 years ain’t working. Something stopped working a long time ago. We had great injustices that the protests in the 60’s rightfully and successfully addressed. But it seems something has changed since then. First guy who puts his finger on what we are doing wrong now and gets us back on course gets elected president-for-life.

  45. - MikeMacD - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 1:11 pm:

    30 years ago Ronald Reagan was elected President of the United States.

  46. - MikeMacD - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 1:23 pm:

    During the Democratic primary campaign for Governor, an income tax increase was discussed very openly and clearly between Comptroller Hynes and Governor Quinn. Quinn favored an increase to 4% and Hynes favored a constitutional amendment to be able to introduce a progressive tax.

  47. - Pat Robertson - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 1:30 pm:

    To STL and Cinci — the loss of local control is just part of the problem. The bigger problem is that when state (or federal) funds go to local government to spend on local projects, there is a disconnect between authority to spend and responsibility for paying for it. The cash comes with strings(which, as Cinci points out, can be onerous), but within the limits mandated by the central authority, the local government is free to spend the money and get all the credit for providing services, while simultaneously claiming credit for balancing its budget while denouncing those tax-and-spend evildoers in Springfield or DC keep hiking taxes. This disconnect promotes runaway spending. It also has the problem, as should be evident to everyone now, that once the lower levels of government have gotten used to spending without inflicting the pain of taxation themselves, when big brother cuts the funds for whatever reason, the locals are screwed. “Restoring” local authority is not the issue, it’s restoring local responsibility.

    That’s how I see the problem. Just don’t ask me how to solve it. Returning all local spending to the local tax base would exacerbate the inequities in educational spending, for one thing.

  48. - Vole - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 1:37 pm:

    Isn’t a 10% reduction in total governmental spending along with a 66% income tax increase and pension reform about what is needed to bring this mess under control? Both candidates are offering only half or quarter measures.

  49. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 1:39 pm:

    MikeMacD - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 1:11 pm:

    “30 years ago Ronald Reagan was elected President of the United States.”

    He got half a loaf working with Tip O’Neill. Reagan’s tax cuts provided a revenue boom. With that added money, government expanded.

    The last serious attempt to shrink government was Calvin Coolidge. Some would say that his laissez faire approach to legislation caused the depression, but more recent studies point out that the areas on which he tended to have a hands-off position were those that, at the time, were considered the responsibilities of the states. He was a believer in the Federalist approach to government, but while governor of MA, took many steps that we would now consider liberal in the areas of wages and workers rights.

  50. - MikeMacD - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 1:52 pm:

    “Reagan’s tax cuts provided a revenue boom.”

    Debatable. Additionally, the federal debt increased more than the national GDP, sort of like borrowing your way to prosperity. The last two presidents that presided over an economy that grew more than the federal debt were Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.

    Not to mention the effects of inflation on nominal revenue growth.

  51. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 1:55 pm:

    The point is that the last time the state tried cutting the sales tax on gasoline, it didn’t work. The state lost revenues. Theories are nice, but there’s real live history on this particular tax in this particular state.

  52. - wordslinger - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 1:58 pm:

    Cincy, Reagan beat Tip O’Neil like a rented mule.

    I’m not sure what your vision is here. New England Town Square government? That’s hard to pull off when you’re the world’s biggest economy (still, by a lot), only military superpower (still, by a lot) that has an expressed interest in virtually every corner of the planet.

    Empires cost a lot. They lead to centralization.

    Thirty years ago, we all thought we would run out of oil and then get blown up by the Commies. Now, we got oil running everywhere and we’re worried about a couple thousand banditos around the Khyber Pass and their homegrown wannabe nutcases.

    The biggest health problems today are from people eating too much. That’s new, and not the sign of a poor nation.

    Problems, yes, but it’s kind of vain to believe we’re living in some unique dark times.

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