* Notice a pattern here? Tribune…
Republican governor candidate Bruce Rauner on Monday promised to pump more money into education from preschool through college should he be elected, but failed to say how he’d pay for it and keep his earlier pledges to lower the income tax rate and freeze property taxes.
The so-called “blueprint” for education follows the pattern of similar proposals the first-time candidate has released in recent months about how he’d govern, containing broad themes but few specifics. Rauner previously has called for an overhaul of business tax credits, said he’d phase out the 2011 income tax increase over four years while broadening sales taxes to include some services and talked about cutting the state budget.
* ABC 7…
Republican candidate for governor Bruce released his education plan for Illinois on Monday and it calls for more spending, but fails to say where the money would come from.
Despite promises to roll back the state income tax rate and freeze property taxes, Rauner vows to increase, not cut, education spending.
Rauner was pressed on how he could increase education money while freezing property taxes, which right now make up the bulk of funding for local schools. Rauner vowed he would increase money in his first year in office — something at least one expert called “fantasy.”
“We will increase education funding in year one, yes, absolutely,” Rauner said. “Other programs will need to be cut,” he said, without specifying which ones. […]
“There’s no way to make the numbers work in the short term without either massive cuts or to shift to broad-based consumption taxes,” said University of Illinois at Springfield Political Science professor emeritus Kent Redfield.
“If you’ve got a deficit situation and you take out a huge source of revenue, then you can’t increase funding in one area without massive cuts to social services, higher education, mental health institutions … It’s just a fantasy to believe that this can be done and still maintain the basic level of services that we have.”
Rauner said he has pointed to ways to cut government waste in the past and to tax services. But Redfield said Rauner’s proposal to tax services was not broad enough to do all that he’s promising, in part because it excludes financial services.
* AP Chicago Bureau…
Rauner’s 26-page education plan, laced with statistics and graphs, was short on specifics of how the venture capitalist would proceed with his ideas or what exactly he wanted to do. He called for an overhaul of how the state doles out money to school districts — a contentious issue in Illinois — but didn’t say what should be in the funding formula. His plan called for changing the way Illinois schools grant tenure and cited a Florida practice allowing annual contracts, but Rauner said he wouldn’t do away with tenure completely. […]
Rauner’s campaign didn’t provide a cost estimate on the plan, saying some ideas such as the tax credits were “revenue neutral.” However, Rauner vowed to increase education spending, even in the first year of office, without extending the temporary tax increase or raising property taxes.
He said his policies would help Illinois’ economy grow so much that additional revenue would come in from new jobs and, combined with other steps such as eliminating waste in state government, Illinois would be able to close a budget hole.
* Our beloved commenter and experienced budget hand Steve Schnorf will get the final word on this aspect of the Rauner proposal…
I like it that Bruce Rauner is becoming increasingly specific with the newer position papers he is putting out. To his paper:
>much of it is simply facts about our current education system, both K-12 and Higher Ed. Many of those facts are quite damning, that is undebateable.
>many of those nasty facts can’t be blamed on Governor Quinn since they have been bad for a long time before he became Governor. However, the significant reduction in education funding over the past 6 years is owned by the person who is Governor.
>some new (to Illinois) ideas are included, and some of them are probably worth trying.
>increasing both K-12 and Higher Ed funding is, in my opinion, a good and necessary idea. Inadequate K-12 funding does drive up property taxes, and inadequate Higher Ed funding has imposed a very large hidden middle class tax increase in the past 10 years.
>most of those new ideas will cost new money.
Aye, and now we come to the rub, don’t we? Bruce Rauner simply HAS to tell us how he’s going to pay for these things. Governor Quinn can’t pay for them in FY15 (and perhaps beyond), because the legislature has chosen to reduce our state tax revenues considerably. Candidate Rauner has told us he wants to reduce our income tax rate below even what it will become Jan 1. Fine, but cognitive dissonance is starting to kill me, since I can fairly quickly back of the envelope round number what our state tax revenues will be 5 years from now, giving Rauner credit for his policies increasing tax revenue growth at rates above what I believe they will actually be, and adding in his new proposed tax on services (which I think is a good idea, just not taken far enough). So far it just doesn’t add up. I’m looking forward to what’s to come.