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“Plan B” nowhere in sight

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

* AP

Some Illinois Democratic lawmakers reluctant to vote to make tax increases permanent are splitting with party leaders and calling for alternative approaches such as gradually reducing income tax rates or finding spending cuts to help balance the budget.

But Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and House Speaker Michael Madigan are unwilling so far to look at those options, despite being what Madigan described as “significantly” short of the number of votes needed for approval of the tax increases in the House. […]

Like Quinn, Madigan has seemed resistant to the idea of a “Plan B.”

“We’re going to find those 60 votes,” Madigan said Monday, noting the House was “just supporting the governor’s plan.”

You don’t go to “Plan B” until “Plan A” has failed. However, I do think a phase-out option ought to be considered. Maybe, for instance, roll it back by a quarter point or more right away, then mandate further annual reductions which can be covered by natural revenue growth.

But the top dogs don’t even wanna discuss that right now. And I’m not even sure that even a gradual phase-out would attract enough votes to help this thing get over the hump.

* Related…

* Governor: School cuts coming: Stepping up the campaign to make a temporary income tax increase permanent, Gov. Pat Quinn’s office today released figures showing how each school district in the state would fare with the loss of $875 million in education funding statewide.

* Press Release: Failure to Maintain Tax Rate Would Force Schools to Cut $875 million or Raise Property Taxes on Illinois Homeowners - Click here to download list

* Vallas Slams Rauner For Not Proposing Budget Plan

* Rauner pressures lawmakers on income tax hike: “I still stand as a ‘no,” said Rep. Sam Yingling, D-Grayslake. “My position on this is very clear, if Mr. Rauner wants to spend his money telling people to encourage me to vote a way I’ve already been on record to vote, so be it.”

* Rauner hits House Dem targets with anti-tax robocalls: “Thanks for raising my name ID,” state Rep. Marty Moylan, D-Des Plaines, told Early & Often, the Chicago Sun-Times’ political portal, when asked his reaction to being singled out by Rauner. “It saves me a couple of thousand dollars.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        


40 Comments
  1. - Steve - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:16 am:

    It’s way too early to say 60 votes can’t be gotten. After all, people who go into politics do it based on self-interest. The next lame duck session may shatter even the boldest of imaginations.


  2. - Walker - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:20 am:

    A lot of budget “Plans” nowhere in sight.


  3. - Befuddled - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    After what’s happened so far, and the total redefinition of the term temporary, who is going to believe a phase down would actually be a phase down? If you’re going to bite the bullet, you might as well take the whole bite.


  4. - In the Middle - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    Chicken’s back on the table!

    And who’s going to blink first? Madigan or the HDems? Hmmm….


  5. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    Rauner’s Crew’s version of “Call We, maybe?” is Dopey on the premise that gathering those looking to “Volunteer” or listing those calling as “Pluses” requires a Field Organization, that the Crew has all but admitted is lacking.

    It is no different than Pat Brady making 4 million phone calls and nary a soul to vote the “Pluses”

    Running a real statewide Field Organization is hard. Money can buy all kinds of things, like RoboCalls, but real good Field Operatives? Well, Pat Brady proved that reems of paper of phone numbers is not a “Plus” list, …voted.

    The only ones “winning” here are those getting paid to advise Rauner’s Crew to pay the vendors.

    This is not building a Field Operation, or a valid, workable, “Plus” list. Why? No way to vote them in the end.


  6. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    The state is referendum and tax-proposal crazy these days, so maybe the governor’s race should serve as a referendum on the income tax.

    Vote for Quinn, and it will be extended. Vote for Rauner and it will not.

    Just make sure you know what you’re really voting for.


  7. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:40 am:

    Something rarely mentioned in the broader discussion of making the tax increase “permanent”:

    We already have a permanent tax increase. At this point, we are simply arguing over the size of what that tax increase will be.

    Effective Personal Income Tax Rate:
    3% - prior to the “temporary” tax increase of SB2505
    5% - effective January 1 2011
    3.75% - effective January 1 2015
    3.25% - effective January 1 2025

    We will have a permanently higher tax rate than we did in 2010, no matter what happens. The state will be getting “more”. The question is “How much more”.


  8. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    Theother Mr Shrimp — the GOPie AG — just wowed SPI newsies with word that he is fit for the job ’cause he prosecuted drill sergeants on the west coast AND because DOT foods heiress Jill Tracy will be the honorary co-chair and now complains about her time as a part time special AG
    Fire, Aim, Ready


  9. - DuPage Rep - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:44 am:

    ==Running a real statewide Field Organization is hard. Money can buy all kinds of things, like RoboCalls, but real good Field Operatives?==

    Team Rauner is hiring Willy. Can you find your way to Franklin St. in Chicago?


  10. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:50 am:

    - DuPage Rep -,

    I keep checking with - AA -, and I haven’t heard anything. If I hear something, you - DuPage Rep - will be the 3rd call I make.

    Plus, Rauner’s Crew wants to win, don’t saddle them with me…

    To the Post,

    I believe, as I have in the past few weeks and even yesterday, the 60 votes will be found in the manner - steve schnorf - described; with a plan that gets to 60.

    Plan B is still a bit…early…to contemplate(?)


  11. - Toure's Latte - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    Is Vallas the first guy to point out the ILGOP has no budget to present that balances at 3.75%?

    This is like a race to the bottom. Rauner makes goofy robocalls and Quinn threatens public schools that can least afford it fiscal Armageddon.


  12. - Hit or Miss - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    “Gov. Pat Quinn’s office today released figures showing how each school district in the state would fare with the loss of $875 million in education funding statewide.”

    Illinois funds education in two major ways. There is the current year expenses part and there is the states contribution to funding teachers pensions part. Is the $875 million loss the governor is talking about for just one part or for the combination of the two parts of state funding of education?


  13. - Anonymous - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:10 am:

    The next governor will have to budget in response to what happens this year. The party in control doesn’t even know what that result is going to be, and they scream that Rauner is somehow to blame for not coming forward with a plan, which currently has no basis to use at this point because of the current incompetent Statehouse? State Democrats have made this bed, they control all aspects of this, they need to own it.


  14. - cover - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:52 am:

    = Illinois funds education in two major ways. There is the current year expenses part and there is the states contribution to funding teachers pensions part. Is the $875 million loss the governor is talking about for just one part or for the combination of the two parts of state funding of education? =

    The Governor’s press release shows that $875 million cut coming out of “state grants for elementary and secondary education” - not from teacher pension contributions.

    Both of the Governor’s budget plans, as well as the House bill passed last week, fully fund the teacher pensions. It would require a law change to reduce the amount owed by the state in fiscal year 2015.


  15. - A guy... - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:54 am:

    + getting to 60 with Plan A requires there be no Plan B.


  16. - Annie - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 12:30 pm:

    Anonymous says it OK to give Bruce and the GOP a pass and not present a budget. Well, if that is the case, lets make it simple for them. For the FY15 appropriations, Bruce and the GOP can just fill in the blanks:

    Pensions $______
    Higher Ed $______
    K-12 $________
    Corrections $_________
    State Police $________
    Agriculture $_________
    DCFS $__________
    Etc.


  17. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 12:39 pm:

    A guy gets it.

    Plan B - making the tax hike “temporary” - Is why we are hear today.

    As soon as plan be was floating in space, the mathematicians and those who realized that after 2014 there appears on the calendar a year 2015 in which some of us will still be living here were doomed.


  18. - Annie - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 12:41 pm:

    Truthfully, it is abhorrent and appalling for GOP supporters and editorial writers to act like only the Democrats should work and that it is ok for the GOP to abdicate its responsibilities.
    Fill in the blanks, GOP. What numbers would you use. Propose something instead of playing to the least common denominator.


  19. - Observing - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    Maybe a phase-out with repealing several of the tax breaks granted over the years to business sectors that are no longer in the crisis that promoted the tax relief.


  20. - A guy... - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 2:15 pm:

    Sorry Annie. The Democratic Party has super majorities in the Senate and the House. They control every committee from budgeting to appropriation. They also control the Governor’s mansion and every single government agency that reports to the Executive Branch. They are in charge of running our government. It is their obligation to present the budget. They were not looking for any input along the way. Now they have to pass the budget they’ve passed. That’s the way it works. More divided government would require cooperation. A GOP dominated government would shift the onus onto them. That’s not the case. One party is in charge of every lever of government. They have yet to meet the responsibility that comes with that. No one on the other side is obligated to help them, just as no one on the majority side was obligated to make them a key part of the budgeting process. They didn’t.


  21. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 2:27 pm:

    A Guy, how do you build a party without proposing an alternative, standing for something?

    It kills me how docile and content today’s Illinois GOP is with its super-minority status. What the heck? You weren’t born behind the 8-ball.

    I understand how the Senate GOP can’t get together on anything, because you have 19 primadonnas (19! Unbelievable) who look in the mirror every day and see a future governor or senator.

    But I have hopes for Durkin in whipping his crew together and giving the people of Illinois an alternative. It’s a tall order, but what do you have to lose? Why are you there?


  22. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 2:31 pm:

    Willy, I may have fouled it up this time. Asking for “Rauner One” to pick me up and fly me back to Chicago might have been kinda pushy. We’ll see.

    To the Post, I don’t agree that the Republicans have an obligation to offer up a “Plan B” now any more than in any of the past few years when the Dems have written, passed, and signed a budget without them. Let the big brains and the three level chess players have a few more shots at it first.


  23. - Demoralized - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 2:32 pm:

    @A guy:

    Unless your candidate is going to tell me what he is going to do with the budget he has no chance in heck of getting my vote.

    Also, I’d refer back to my original post in response to yours. It’s pathetic for one party to simply wash their hands of the situation. If they want to do that they should go home and save the taxpayers money instead of constantly whining all the time about how nothing is their fault.


  24. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 2:35 pm:

    The - A Guy… - Winning Plan;

    “We’re the ILGOP. We’re victims. We stand for nothing. We do nothing. We are Leaders!”

    Dopey ideas like those pushed by others like - A Guy… - remind me daily why I love the way, politically Durkin is trying to go about his business. He is building. Would like it faster, but the HGOP has a pulse.


  25. - A Citizen - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 2:53 pm:

    Uh Oh, A Guy - you’ve stirred up Rich’s Trident of Terror AKA OW Demoral and Wordslinger. Your in for a virtual opening of the can of whoop azz.


  26. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 3:06 pm:

    “Trident of Terror” is way cool. Thanks, dude, you made my day.


  27. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 3:48 pm:

    Pretty sweet nickname.

    Appreciate the company you place me.


  28. - Anonymous - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 5:00 pm:

    The last few elections Democrats campaigned on a premise that their ideas were best and superior to Republicans. They got what they wanted: a super majority where they had complete control to initiate any policy they wanted. They paid no attention to Republican ideas on how the last few budgets should be structured, they promised in 2011 that they would have it all fixed by 2015 with a short term increase in taxes. They did it their way, as they wanted…and now at the last minute, when their chickens have come home to roost and all their budgets didn’t produce what they promised, when their go it alone strategy is a proven failure… Now they ask for ideas they’ll scoff ad and never pass anyway? Laughable.


  29. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 5:12 pm:

    Willy and word, “Trident of Terror Con$ulting” has a nice ring to it. I’m sure Demoralized would jump at the chance.


  30. - Jack Handy - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 5:42 pm:

    Let’s jump straight to Plan 9 from Outer Space.


  31. - Demoralized - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 6:13 pm:

    ==I’m sure Demoralized would jump at the chance.==

    I don’t think I’m smart enough for that group. I’d be bringing down their IQ.


  32. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 6:17 pm:

    “their go it alone strategy is a proven failure”

    Not one Republican will vote for keeping the tax increase. Why should one political party (Democrats) again carry the vast majority of the weight on a major issue?

    We can say a lot of bad things about Quinn, but one thing he has more than others is guts. He has the guts to stand up to unions and to stand up for keeping the tax increase, both unpopular positions, one with Democratic allies and the other with voters in general.


  33. - Budget Watcher - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 6:23 pm:

    I would think they have to keep the phased-down revenue option in their pocket until the pension matter is decided, which won’t be this year. They certainly wouldn’t want to be giving revenues back if there’s no pension savings to be had.


  34. - Anonymous - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 6:31 pm:

    ==We can say a lot of bad things about Quinn, but one thing he has more than others is guts. He has the guts to stand up to unions and to stand up for keeping the tax increase, both unpopular positions, one with Democratic allies and the other with voters in general. ==

    That’s hilarious. Where were these guts in 2006 when he knew all that was headed Blago’s way, and instead of standing up to him, he chose to sit back and ride dirty coattails, and fully endorse Blago as an “honest and trustworthy” fellow?


  35. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 6:49 pm:

    == They paid no attention to Republican ideas on how the last few budgets==

    The GOP didn’t offer any ideas. The GOP yells “cut” and people say, “What?” The GOP yells “cut” again and then the people who are governing, the Democrats, rightfully ignore them because the GOP doesn’t have a plan.


  36. - VanillaMan - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 7:47 am:

    It is perfectly fine for citizens to demand that their elected representatives fulfill their pledges regarding tax policies. It is also perfectly fine for politicians to ask citizens to pay more in taxes.

    Let this tax die, then do that. It is what Illinois citizens need to hear, it is what Illinois politicians need to do to restore much needed credibility with citizens, and it is what everyone needs to happen.


  37. - VanillaMan - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 7:51 am:

    When one party dominates our legislative process so completely, it loses any semblance of bipartisanship. Even though it may be winning politics and hard ball politics which is acceptable to many here - it is bad government.

    A state government which shares powers with respect among both parties is a state government with accepted compromise solutions to state problems.

    What we have here is one party stomping its opposition into near oblivion, then demanding that it stand up and fight for itself. Then turn to the crowd and claim that it’s vanquish has no interest in standing up.

    Bully government creates these problems. When we have a majority party interested in including the minority party into discussions regarding state policies, we get better government policies.

    This has been lacking in Illinois.
    This is why I believe we have these tremendous problems in Illinois.


  38. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 9:29 am:

    ===Bully government creates these problems. When we have a majority party interested in including the minority party into discussions regarding state policies, we get better government policies.===

    Who is stopping the GOP?

    It’s My Party not participating.

    Sometimes, working on solutions, is less work than playing a victim. Try it.


  39. - VanillaMan - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 9:41 am:

    And always, good government relies on the ethics of the majority, politics be damned.


  40. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 9:53 am:

    ===And always, good government relies on the ethics of the majority, politics be damned.===

    So…the GOP GA …can’t participate…because of ethics now?

    See, being a victim takes twice as much work than working to find answers…


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