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Shared sacrifice is pretty one-sided

Thursday, Feb 19, 2015

* Tribune

“If you’re going to look for major reforms and finding savings, I suggest you look at the tax code where there’s a bunch of corporate giveaways and corporate loopholes,” Emanuel said. “That’s a perfect place to start, but do not think you are going to do this, not only on the backs of families and children, but the resources that go directly to the city are things that we use to pay for our police, firefighters and first responders.” […]

Rauner’s draconian budget offers little hope for Emanuel that such solutions are on the horizon. Instead, it’s estimated Chicago could lose $135 million in income tax distributions, which Emanuel said would lead to sharp cuts in city services.

“We use those resources to pay for police officers, firefighters, basic services. The idea that you would be look at basic services and cuts to the municipalities when you have a tax code that has giveaways to corporations, in my view is the wrong priorities,” Emanuel said. “I understand the need for change. I understand the need for reform. Start with the tax code that doesn’t actually meet the obligations of the state’s economic opportunity and future.”

The mayor criticized Rauner’s mass transit cuts saying, “This is not the time to cut back on the support for mass transit. This is the time to double down, just the opposite” to drive economic growth and create more jobs.

Last year, Rauner repeatedly said he wanted to close several corporate loopholes. So, why didn’t he include them in his budget yesterday? Well, state law forbids this. Governors are required, by statute, to introduce budgets with existing tax revenue streams. The law was designed to prevent fantasy budgets from being submitted with tax hikes that couldn’t pass anyway.

He could have, of course, mentioned his desire for loophole closures yesterday. But that phrase has not crossed his lips since the election. Almost all the sacrifice he demanded is placed on the backs of public employees and the poor and those who serve them.

* Well, almost. He did make one cut that has gone mostly unnoticed. Rauner proposed cutting a $1.5 million DCEO grant to the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. Even so, the IMA had nothing but plaudits for Rauner’s overall budget yesterday

While it’s a dose of tough medicine, Illinois needs to take action in order to get a healthy financial outlook once again. It’s important to stop kicking the can down the road and restore fiscal stability. Balancing the budget while preserving critical programs like education and vocational training will help jump start Illinois’ economic engine leading to job growth and economic development.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

74 Comments
  1. - Sangamo Sam - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 10:24 am:

    There was some pretty testy back and forth on this blog yesterday particularly on the post about reaction to the Governor’s speech. It was some of the most intense I’ve seen here in awhile. Yesterday Steve Schnorf wrote in part : “Someone has needed to tell us this for a long time (and in fairness, some have, but not Governors) as we have been deluding ourselves, or allowing others to delude us. At the very bottom line, this is the amount of government programs and services we can currently afford. It isn’t pretty, but this chicken has been trying to come home and roost for a long time now, and now it’s here.”

    There’s widespread agreement it seems to me that cuts need to be made somewhere, along with some sort of increase in revenue. Past proposals included pension reform, school funding changes, taxes on services, surtaxes on upper income, etc. Now we have the Governor’s proposals.

    There are some pretty bright and knowledgeable people here. What I’d be interested in hearing here is what cuts this group thinks should be made and what revenue enhancements should be included in the FY16 budget?


  2. - Reality Check - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 10:29 am:

    Rauner’s proposed cuts are only ‘necessary’ due to the expiration of 2014 tax rates, which he championed. His cuts would pay for those tax breaks.

    As you reported yesterday, the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability showed that the tax breaks go disproportionately to the wealthy — $1.2 billion to the top 3% alone. That’s in addition to $1.3 billion in lower taxes for corporations.

    Rauner’s proposed budget is really a transfer of resources — TO rich folks and corporations, FROM higher ed, local governments, health care, disability services, mental health, substance abuse, child protection and more.


  3. - Percival - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 10:29 am:

    This crisis is going straight to class warfare.


  4. - Wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 10:36 am:

    COGFA estimated last year that special corporate tax breaks cost the state $1.15 billion a year.

    Those should be on the table if kids on respirators and senior home care are.

    Must have been an oversight by the governor. I’m sure he’ll have his peeps get right on it.


  5. - OldSmoky2 - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 10:37 am:

    As Warren Buffett has said, “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”


  6. - William j Kelly - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 10:38 am:

    Someone should ask Rahm and rauner about the next 50 schools they have planned to close.


  7. - Anonin' - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 10:39 am:

    Wait
    Baiser and IMA got 1.5 large?????
    “To do what” said the owl
    “To be part of makin’ IL so bad,” said the big boss


  8. - A guy - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 10:40 am:

    I think we’re heading for some revenue enhancement somewhere down the line. We’ve seen what our current revenue provides, and even then, there are still painful choices to make, even ugly choices.

    All of the “tax the other guy” proposals are going to have trouble. To develop consensus, it needs to be something that has full partnership, if not “equal” partnership. We don’t need “all in”. But we do need “most in”.

    I still think there’s something to be said for taking advantage of lower commodity fuel costs. Gas has gone down. A few cents per gallon wouldn’t devastate anyone who has seen the cost waver between 1.80 and 4.25. We’re on the lower side now. Tackle the Pension deficit with it first, and then the Medicaid problems. Many lower income people don’t drive vehicles, so their part in this would be indirect and less painful.

    It’s also a tax you can easily drop when times call for it, or suspend. For practical purposes, it’s easy and fast to collect. It would just take advantage of an economic opportunity we have so few of. That’s my suggestion.


  9. - Percival - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 10:43 am:

    Warren Buffett does not live in the fiscal irresponsibility disaster area commonly known as Illinois.


  10. - 1776 - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 10:45 am:

    The IMA and IMEC administer the programs and the money is a reimbursement to manufacturing companies for job training costs.


  11. - Streator Curmudgeon - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 10:47 am:

    A local school board member commented the other night that he was fed up with state mandates. Perhaps if the state dropped many of these mandates (that it does not supply funding for), local schools would see so much in savings that taxpayers would see some relief there.

    We all say we wouldn’t run our own home the way Illinois runs state government. But if I lost my income, I wouldn’t be able to support charities the way I do now. Over several decades, too many people have become dependent on government.

    Rauner is going to come out as the villain in these cuts. Unfortunately, the GA has been kicking the can down the road for decades. As Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”


  12. - Juvenal - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 10:47 am:

    Rauner had no problem violating the law regarding revenue streams in his budget when he proposed reducing the local distribution of income taxes.

    I believe that is part of the revenue code, Rich.


  13. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 10:48 am:

    This $135mill is the least of Emanuel’s problems. He has a $500mill police pension balloon payment coming up as well, but has done nothing to prepare for it. Good luck with that.


  14. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 10:49 am:

    The problem has been that we haven’t had a leader serving as governor for over a decade while this fiscal crisis grew. We can easily see that all the budget gimmicks on the books couldn’t fix things by 2005. That was a decade ago.

    Without gubernatorial leadership, coupled with a terrible economic situation nationally, which effected us more than other large US states - we are in a bad hole. Now we have a governor who thinks we can deal with a complete revolution within his single term.

    Sure, we have a fiscal emergency - and NO, thinking it can be fixed like this is just plain stupid. Just flat out historically illiterate. The accolades Rauner received so far come from people who understand the ideas behind the medicines, but are refusing to understand our state. We are not Arkansas or Texas, and I don’t mean that culturally. Illinois has a completely different system ingrained within our state that has been proven successful and unique.

    Where has this guy been all his life? Here in Illinois? How could he have been crafting a financial goldmine without seeing how Illinois differs in basic ways from Montana? When he is at his ranch, doesn’t he understand how different Illinois is from Big Sky Country?

    I realize that the governor’s experiences are national - but he isn’t president. As governor of Illinois, he must craft solutions which fit ILLINOIS. His champions refuse to see this. His imported staffers from Red State Land need to craft solutions for ILLINOIS.

    We have had enough instability over the past decade to have to endure Rauner’s shock therapy on top of it all. He did not bring into the GA a mandate of elected freshmen legislators. The voters fired his predecessor. He needs to understand that he is not here to revolutionize Illinois into something it cannot be. If Governor Rauner tries to be a governor from Wyoming or Kentucky here in Illinois - he will fail.

    I don’t want another gubernatorial failure. Frankly, THREE is enough! Rauner is showing us that he just doesn’t get it. The learning curve is going to be steep for even a Jim Thompson, which Rauner obviously is not.

    Governor - first do no more damage. Your medicine will kill us if it not diluted. Evolution, not revolution. Get us to where we need to be in one term - not one year. Please speak like a guy with millions from Winnetka, not Hooterville. Respect Illinois or you will fail it.


  15. - low level - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 10:50 am:

    So we see once again that being somewhat pro-choice and pledging support for SSM does NOT a moderate make.

    Sorry, Diana. Your husband is just as radical as I thought all along. Cuts like this, really? That’s extreme.

    CON artist conservativism at its finest.


  16. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 10:52 am:

    - Warren Buffett does not live in the fiscal irresponsibility disaster area commonly known as Illinois. -

    His son Howard does.


  17. - William j Kelly - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 10:52 am:

    Guess what Rauner’s money buddy Rahm is up for reelection next week, a good way to say NO TO RAUNER would be to say NO TO RAHM.


  18. - walker - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 10:52 am:

    These cuts still don’t balance the budget. More must be done.


  19. - Carhartt Representative - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 10:53 am:

    As a state we’re basically trying to cut everything to the bone rather than ending some of the corporate tax breaks that we can’t afford anymore. Shared sacrifice means that state workers don’t have their retirement spent on a marble conference room for ADM or Sears.


  20. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 10:55 am:

    ==Rauner’s proposed budget is really a transfer of resources — TO rich folks and corporations, FROM higher ed, local governments, health care, disability services, mental health, substance abuse, child protection and more.==

    In other words, by leaving those tax breaks as is while cutting funds to some of those other areas, he would be doing the same thing Governor Quinn did while closing mental health centers and so on?

    I don’t believe it.


  21. - illlinifan - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 11:00 am:

    Not sure how this balances since the biggest cut is a proposed change in the pension. He like other governors are counting this as done when he sets his budget so I am not seeing much difference other than taking the cuts to the poorest in the state. When he says we need tax reform he should also be offering some blue print on he will ask businesses in the state to step up and help out as well.


  22. - Reality Check - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 11:01 am:

    @Formerly Known As, Quinn did not support the expiration of 2014 tax rates. He would not have given these breaks.


  23. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 11:02 am:

    The conversation about the Illinois budget is completely dishonest.

    Insiders & Corporate Media tell us the pension debt is so grave that everything must be cut to fulfill the state’s pension obligations.

    But Rauner’s budget cuts spending on pensions.


  24. - Snucka - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 11:04 am:

    You reap what you sow. The voters who stayed home on election day should be ashamed of themselves just as much as Bruce Rauner should. The pain and suffering will be felt by those who need government services the most - the poor, the disabled, middle-class commuters, etc.

    The SHAME and BLAME rests on the voters who either voted for Rauner or did not vote at all. He told you what he was - and now he’s proving it. He and his cronies are sick, bloodless people with no regard for the human suffering they are trying to inflict. They are so obsessed with their own personal wealth that they cannot see beyond it. This is indeed a class war - we can only hope that Democrats in Springfield stand up for the class (99% of us) who are losing the war.


  25. - Toure's Latte - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 11:06 am:

    Rahm’s talking pretty tough for a guy who got Madigan to propel a $100 million tax break package for CME/CBOE through the ILGA, and who routinely raids Chicago TIF funds for deal sweeteners.


  26. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 11:08 am:

    @Reality Check, most of the tax incentives being referenced in the COGFA, Revenue, Comptroller and GOMB reports predate not only Rauner but Quinn as well.

    Quinn not only would have given these breaks, he did. They have essentially been on autopilot for years.


  27. - Down the Middle - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 11:09 am:

    Kudos to IMA for being stand up guys about it.


  28. - OldSmoky2 - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 11:09 am:

    ==Warren Buffett does not live in the fiscal irresponsibility disaster area commonly known as Illinois.==

    And if he did, I’d guess he’d be repeating what he’s said before: “I think that people at the high end - people like myself - should be paying a lot more in taxes. We have it better than we’ve ever had it.”


  29. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 11:12 am:

    One more thing - please stop telling us that we all need to sacrifice. What do you think we have been doing since 2007? Your boilerplate speech nonsense about sacrifice is unwelcomed in a state that has had the decade we have had.

    We don’t need to start off a relationship between Illinois citizens and a new administration like this. We know we’ve had bad times. What we need to hear are SOLUTIONS presented to us, not a continuation of finger-pointing and blaming.

    You see Governor Rauner, even the dimmest of Illinois citizens expect you to fix problems, not use them as crutches to score political points. We didn’t return to office a Democratic majority in the GA because we’re stupid. We did it because we see that party as a life raft during a storm. You can score political points by demonstrating that there is another political party in Illinois that won’t feed us to the sharks.

    And so far, you are failing miserably. Enough with the “sacrifice” verbiage. You are speaking to battle scarred Illinoisans here, not your Wine Club members who think sacrifice means a bottle of wine from a non-French or Italian vineyard.


  30. - MrJM - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 11:12 am:

    “The SHAME and BLAME rests on the voters who either voted for Rauner or did not vote at all. He told you what he was - and now he’s proving it.”

    Well, somebody had to say it…

    – MrJM


  31. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 11:13 am:

    ==He and his cronies are sick, bloodless people with no regard for the human suffering they are trying to inflict==

    And what do we call the people who passed a budget abandoning child care in the middle of the fiscal year? Or close prisons and exacerbate overcrowding? Or close health clinics for poor people?

    The rhetoric might need to be dialed down before someone starts making comparisons to ISIS. Unless, of course, that already happened.


  32. - Wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 11:14 am:

    A gasoline tax for pensions and Medicaid? That you can “drop” or “suspend” “when times call for it?”

    Is that a gag?


  33. - Tom Joad - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 11:26 am:

    “If you’re going to look for major reforms and finding savings, I suggest you look at the tax code where there’s a bunch of corporate giveaways and corporate loopholes,” Rahm, maybe you should redirect the 50 million for the DePaul Basketball court to balance your budget.


  34. - Wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 11:26 am:

    FKA, you know as well as anyone that if Quinn won the tax increase would have been made permanent and those funds would have been restored in the veto session. Quinn and Rauner both said it during the campaign. It was no secret.

    Rauner won, campaigning on cutting taxes and spending. He got the tax cuts he wanted. He’s no victim.

    He just hasn’t proposed a spending plan that matches his campaign rhetoric. His proposal is built on fantasy savings.


  35. - whatabunchofCONservativedoubletalk - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 11:27 am:

    =Governors are required, by statute, to introduce budgets with existing tax revenue streams. The law was designed to prevent fantasy budgets from being submitted with tax hikes that couldn’t pass anyway.=
    =Madigan said the governor shouldn’t be balancing his budget with money from a pension reform plan that has yet to pass, let alone be tested in court.=
    So. Let me see if I have this right. It is legal to propose budget cuts with non-existing program rule changes (fantasy pension reform), but it is illegal to propose new revenue streams, as promised in pre-election rhetoric, during a speech that is not binding to anything.
    What a nauseating sham, slight of hand, Hopefully, this little pup gets chased back up on the porch. Dont forget people — “10 things”


  36. - Ace - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 11:29 am:

    Nothing really new…. A population in need of so many government services, and taxpayers looking for tax cuts.

    What’s wrong with the 5% rate? Taxes are very low in Illinois. Try living in California or New York.


  37. - Juvenal - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 11:29 am:

    @Whata:

    You can propose revenue in your speech, just not in the actual budget you propose.


  38. - A guy - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 11:31 am:

    === Wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 11:14 am:

    A gasoline tax for pensions and Medicaid? That you can “drop” or “suspend” “when times call for it?”

    Is that a gag?====

    No, an opportunity. I’ll wait for your suggestion that has a chance to find 30 and 60 votes respectively.


  39. - Wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 11:34 am:

    Warren Buffett’s son, Howard, farms outside Pana. He could be growing grapes in Bordeaux or coconuts in Tahiti, if he so chose. Must love that smell of Decatur in the morning.


  40. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 11:40 am:

    STOP IT, government is capable of providing the necessary functions at its current funding levels.

    The folks having a discussion here are often either very caring Illinoisans who understand and respect their fellow citizens, or folks who are actually running or have ran, the Illinois government.

    We know enough to know that you are not one of us. Either read and respond respectfully, or get a heart. No Illinoisan should be expected to be compared to an animal in order to have their life support cut out from under them. Your political solutions and views are as relevant here as a Buck Rogers episode is to NASA.


  41. - Buster - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 11:40 am:

    Anyone really serious about Illinois fiscal mess knows the solution has to be a package deal to work and gain enough bipartisan support to pass.

    It’s going to take BOTH cuts and additional revenue. Our fiscal hole is too big and too structural to pretend otherwise.

    The cuts are going to have to be spread broadly enough so essentially everyone feels some pain but can accept it because everyone else is also sharing the load.

    Rauner has laid out some of the pieces; now it’s time for the Dems to share some of the pain with corporations by closing tax loopholes and giveaways and the rich by moving toward a more progressive tax system.

    Some of the “temporary” income tax needs to return. Some high-end services need to be taxed. Retirees doing well, like myself, should be willing to kick in some state income tax, etc. Etc. Increase the gas tax NOW for infrastructure and jobs (duh).

    Forget the class warfare rhetoric and anti-Union nonsense and focus on the bottom line.

    One way or another we all contributed to this mess. It’s time to be part of a solution that’s going to hurt me, you and everyone else.

    It’s time to grow up.


  42. - plutocrat03 - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 11:45 am:

    The basic principle is that revenues have to match expenditures. Our elected representatives have ignored that fact for decades. The State cannot print money, so reality is starting to set in.

    Perhaps we can all be adults and start going through all the tax breaks and special treatment for the politically preferred. The problem is that those who were powerful enough to get preferential treatment in the first place will use that same power to preserve their status.

    There are thousands of things that need to be addressed. Additional taxation of the .2 percent will do nothing to solve the State’s revenue problems. It is a juvenile fantasy to cling to the belief that all can be solved by taxing others, whoever they may be.


  43. - How Ironic - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 11:50 am:

    @Plutograto3

    “It is a juvenile fantasy to cling to the belief that all can be solved by taxing others, whoever they may be.”

    Yes, because revenues can simply be pumped up by riding a unicorn to the end of the rainbow, timing the arrival just before the Leprechaun and taking the gold pot first!

    How about we start with the fact that expenses continue to rise, and revenues haven’t kept up. Perhaps I’m misunderstanding you. Are you advocating price controls? Should we dictate to private companies how much they can charge the state, so that expenses never rise?

    What fantasy land do you live in anyways? Costsneverriseghanstan?


  44. - MrJM - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 11:52 am:

    “Additional taxation of the .2 percent will do nothing to solve the State’s revenue problems.”

    Goring my ox “will do nothing to solve the problem” — so stop looking at my ox! Stop it! STOP IT!

    – MrJM


  45. - Just saying... - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 11:57 am:

    Rich…interesting times to say the least !!!

    I’m curious.

    I know that you’ve spoken about unfunded mandates in the past…but has any entity ever pulled together all the states unfunded mandates and attributed the cost to taxpayers and the affected organizations?

    I’m not sure it’s even possible but one would think that if any of them are reversible this along with eliminating some of the corporate loopholes might be a more balanced approach to starting reform than what I just heard yesterday…


  46. - How Ironic - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 11:59 am:

    @Plutocgrato3

    “Additional taxation of the .2 percent will do nothing to solve the State’s revenue problems.”

    …so lets punish the widows and orphans, who literally have nothing to give…and take that instead. Yes…those poor 1%, we shouldn’t look at them, there are other much less fortunate we can balance the budget on.


  47. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 11:59 am:

    Wordslinger, respectfully, I do not follow the 11:26 comment.

    Those prisons and health clinics were closed in prior budgets. That funding was never going to be restored in the veto session. It could not be. They were already closed.

    While child care funding could have been, the point was that these ==sick, bloodless== choices go both ways and have for a while. When you have an ISIS comparison before the day is over, as well as some of the other comments here, it might be time to dial things back and take a breath.


  48. - Wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 12:10 pm:

    FKA, I thought you were talking about the current budget.

    Guy, you think there are 60 and 30 to raise gasoline taxes for pensions and Medicaid? You are aware of what those costs are, correct?

    In addition, they are ongoing costs. A revenue source to pay for them that you propose to “suspend” “when times call for it” is wildly irresponsible.


  49. - TwoFeetThick - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 12:12 pm:

    @Just Saying

    DCEO is supposed to do an annual state mandates report that they’re supposed to send to the LRU. Perhaps you can find it on DCEO’s website. They have much of the information you’re looking for, but I don’t know if the report has been done in recent years.


  50. - Ottawa Phil - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 12:41 pm:

    –”Almost all the sacrifice he demanded is placed on the backs of public employees and the poor and those who serve them.–”

    You must be kidding, Rich. Most taxpayers would vehemently disagree and argue, convincingly to an objective audience, that they have been taxed, and taxed some more with little to show … for their sacrifice.


  51. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 12:47 pm:

    === Most taxpayers would vehemently disagree===

    All taxpayers received a significant tax cut this year.


  52. - plutocrat03 - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 12:55 pm:

    so stop looking at my ox! Stop it! STOP IT!

    You can gore that ox all you want, but increasing taxes on a small population will solve nothing. The state of the Illinois economy is what is causing the increase in people needing State assistance.

    The government cannot create jobs despite the wild promises of the politicians. How do they create conditions that allow companies to expand their operations here without giving away the store?


  53. - AnonymousOne - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:03 pm:

    Ottawa Phil

    Don’t you know that public employees are not exempt from taxation? Public employees have been “taxed and taxed some more” just like you have. Did you really not know?


  54. - 1776 - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:21 pm:

    Rich… you’re not correct. The vast majority of low-income Illinoisans receive an EITC and don’t pay taxes. Therefore, they neither paid more in taxes and didn’t subsequently receive a tax cut.


  55. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:23 pm:

    @Wordslinger - that makes sense now. I was worried the cold was beginning to freeze my brain lol.


  56. - better days - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:51 pm:

    Chicago to lose over 125 million in Rauner budget.. plus pay $500 millions more in city pension costs ??
    Good luck Chicago
    Time to dissolve the crony slush fund CALLED TIFs


  57. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 2:37 pm:

    ==Time to dissolve the crony slush fund CALLED TIFs==

    How else are they supposed to use tax $ for things like building hotels or rewarding loyal campaign donors?

    You can’t expect them to use property tax $ for things like schools. /s


  58. - A guy - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 2:38 pm:

    === Wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 12:10 pm

    Guy, you think there are 60 and 30 to raise gasoline taxes for pensions and Medicaid? You are aware of what those costs are, correct?

    In addition, they are ongoing costs. A revenue source to pay for them that you propose to “suspend” “when times call for it” is wildly irresponsible.===

    I do understand the costs Sling. I also understand that skipping around the edges on revenue enhancement will cause a lot more pain and not nearly enough revenue. I’m still waiting for your thoughtful and less irresponsible solution that gets closer to 30/60 than what I proposed. Gas is broad based, doesn’t cause near as much diminishing returns as sin taxes and is much easier to collect (and faster) than just about any other tax in the state. School me on your better idea.


  59. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 2:46 pm:

    Our Governor thinks and acts like a wealthy money-changer. His goal in the private sector was to increase profits by decreasing expenses and providing the least possible services and goods. The any excess revenue would go directly into his pocket. Government is a completely different project, you need to find out which services the people value and provide those services by applying a variety of taxes and fees. Most people like government services (roads, schools, EPA, parks, etc.) so, the government has grown.

    Reagan managed to detach revenue from services and began a narrative that taxes were too high with the long term goal of using deficits to drive cuts in services (AKA “Starve the Beast”). This strategy was embraced by the wealthy who do not like paying taxes for services they do not need. In Illinois, service cuts began in earnest under Gov. Blagojevich, who used the cuts to punish his enemies.

    Rauner’s view is the conclusion of this decades-old GOP strategy: we don’t have the money, so we need to cut services. Talking revenue is anathema to these folks. (Think about their rhetoric of labeling Dems “tax-and-spend.” What could be more fiscally responsible? Yet, they frame it as a bad thing.)


  60. - Wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 2:54 pm:

    Income tax. Current system for now, progressive one like Mr. Walker’s in go-go Wisconsin in the future.

    Under your “plan” the motor fuel tax would have to be astronomical to cover pensions and Medicaid.

    The current MFT of 19 cents a gallon raised $1.2 billion last year. You’d have to tack on another 35 cents a gallon just to cover the phony pension “savings” that Rauner has proposed.


  61. - crazybleedingheart - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 3:02 pm:

    ==The government cannot create jobs despite the wild promises of the politicians. How do they create conditions that allow companies to expand their operations here without giving away the store?==

    Healthy, educated workforce? Solid infrastructure? Sustainable transportation? Inventions and new industry?

    Golly, gee, it’s a total mystery.


  62. - A guy - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 3:26 pm:

    Sling, if the burden for catching up on pension under funding was dealt with using a fuel tax, would that not free up some general revenue for starting to attack the Medicaid issues? The end of the ramp is in sight, could that factor not ease some of the demand for all the new revenue? I don’t think any of these solutions can change things overnight, but I do think there’s a corner to turn here and get things moving in the right direction.


  63. - AnonymousOne - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 3:28 pm:

    ==you need to find out the services the people value==

    You think Rauner cares about the people and what they value? Do you see Rauner as a people person? This is exactly why he is such a mismatch for this job. He sees people as widgets to be managed with dollar signs as the only true value. Government isn’t about stuff, it’s about people. That was pretty evident in yesterday’s speech. How there will ever be any kind of dialogue seems a mystery to me. He knows best. He doesn’t need any input. He’s a numbers guy.


  64. - RNUG - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 3:51 pm:

    - A guy - @ 3:26 pm:

    You do understand that of the $6B plus going into the pension systems every year, about $4B of it is just the “catch-up” portion? And even at that rate we’ve another close to 20 years before it gets caught up? $1B or even $2B from Motor Fuel Tax won’t provide much relief.


  65. - plutocrat03 - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 6:21 pm:

    “Healthy, educated workforce? Solid infrastructure? Sustainable transportation? Inventions and new industry?”

    How do you make someone healthy? With what percentage of kids dropping out before completion of high school?

    Infrastructure is in shambles, transportation expensive while highly subsidized.

    Again, government does not invent anything or create new industries.


  66. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 7:01 pm:

    ==Again, government does not invent anything or create new industries.==

    Not true. Look at your history. National Labs, NASA, NIH, CDC, NSF, Dept. of Defense, Land Grant Universities, etc. Most especially valuable has been support for basic research; it is what has made us the leading industrial nation. Private industry relies on the results of that basic research to produce marketable products.

    Examples: GPS, Internet, nuclear power…

    The U.S. has grown based on robust Public and Private sectors that support each other.


  67. - Carhartt Representative - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 7:08 pm:

    ==Again, government does not invent anything or create new industries.==

    Weird that you’re posting this on the interwebs


  68. - DuPage Dave - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 9:52 pm:

    There’s an old joke that you need a pig and a chicken to get a bacon and egg breakfast. But while one is making a contribution the other is making a sacrifice.

    So shared sacrifice for the governor means he’s playing the role of the chicken and we are all the pig.


  69. - lost in the weeds - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 10:01 pm:

    ==Again, government does not invent anything or create new industries.==

    Nuclear power.

    Microchip.

    See this.

    http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Media/Slideshow/2013/03/07/10-government-funded-inventions?page=9

    Did you post from an iphone supplied by a nuclear power plant? That would include GPS, microchip, internet and nuclear power inventions funded by the government.


  70. - plutocrat03 - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 10:10 pm:

    “government does not invent anything”

    You have to do better than that. The work was done by private contractors who were paid to do the work. I hope you don’t need a list…


  71. - RNUG - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 10:17 pm:

    Interesting list of just NASA spin-offs

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_spin-off_technologies


  72. - Wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 10:43 pm:

    Pluto, seriously a triple-dog dare on your silly statement?

    So the institutions that contract for and invest the capital for the inventions or industries create nothing?

    Capital just a superfluous element in the process of creativity?
    Here I thought capital was important.


  73. - lost in the weeds - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 11:56 pm:

    “or create new industries”

    I would think capital is involved in that creation.


  74. - low level - Friday, Feb 20, 15 @ 6:15 am:

    The Internet resulted from ARPAnet, a military application. Government invested and did research which for years provided no return. Years later private companies developed civilian applications. You silly government haters don’t know a thing.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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