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The McCarter agenda

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2015

* State Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon) talks about tackling the state’s $6 billion Fiscal Year 2016 budget hole

McCarter said his focus is on eliminating waste and fraud, and believes the cost savings from those cuts will offset the pain from the budget cuts. […]

McCarter said the state can’t borrow more money and shouldn’t raise taxes. […]

As far as the students’ concerns about the impact of a 30-percent funding cut to SIUE, he said he believes more students attending will make the difference. […]

To get out of the budget crunch, McCarter said, Illinois’ culture is going to have to change. He said he believes the state should not provide welfare programs — that it is the job of churches and private organizations to care for the needy.

In Illinois, McCarter said, they have created an “entitlement culture” that has “enslaved millions.” Instead, he said, he’d like to see tax incentives for private organizations to take up the role of government in caring for the needy.

In Indiana, he said, they dealt with budget problems by shutting down all rest areas for a year and stopping all services at driver’s license facilities that could be provided via the Internet.

Undefined waste, no tax hikes, a hoped-for student population explosion, abdicating service to the most needy, and closing down rest areas.

Whew.

* Meanwhile, from the Illinois Policy Institute

A behind-the-scenes budget battle is brewing over a proposal that would limit the amount of money siphoned from Illinois taxpayers to fill local government coffers. The Local Government Distributive Fund, or LGDF, takes a portion of Illinoisans’ state income taxes and then sends it to counties and municipalities.

As a result of this system, there are some clear winners and losers. That’s because the LGDF doles out money to counties and local governments based on population. In fiscal year 2014, the state took $1.25 billion in income-tax revenues – which was the equivalent of 6 percent of total income-tax revenues – from taxpayers to send to 102 counties and 1,298 municipalities in Illinois.

The state collected almost $103 million in personal income taxes from DuPage County taxpayers for the LGDF fund. But municipal-level governments across the county plus the county government received a combined total of just under $81 million in LGDF payments, according to the Illinois Department of Revenue.

That means DuPage County gets back just 79 cents for every dollar it pays into the LGDF. While DuPage County receives a smaller proportion of LGDF funding than its taxpayers contributed, other counties across the state receive more than their taxpayers contributed.

The Institute’s solution? No, it’s not about basing revenue sharing on per capita revenue.

* It’s this

A recent proposal by Gov. Bruce Rauner would be an important first step in eventually doing away with this scheme and allowing Illinoisans to keep more of their hard-earned income.

The state income-tax rate is 3.75 percent (down from 5 percent in 2014) while the amount distributed via the LGDF is the equivalent of 8 percent of total income-tax revenues (up from 6 percent in 2014). Instead of putting 8 percent of state income-tax revenue into the LGDF, the governor’s proposed budget would distribute 4 percent to counties and municipalities.

No one wants to see their budget cut, but the state’s fiscal crisis is not going to leave any area of government immune from belt-tightening. This proposal represents an average amount equal to a 3 percent reduction in counties’ total general-fund budgets, but it also sets the stage for devolving power from Springfield back to units of local government.

In tandem with LGDF reform, local governments should insist upon reducing the burden of unfunded state mandates, more control over property-tax rates and other local tax rates, and generally returning more control to local governments – where they rightfully belong.

So, lemme get this straight. Slash their revenue sharing, freeze their local property taxes (as Rauner wants, but is not mentioned above), trim their unfunded mandates and that somehow means power will magically “devolve” from Springfield back to local government and they’ll have more control over their local property tax rates - which were frozen by the state?

Look, times is tough all over. I get that. Local governments may very well have to take a hit. But nobody will ever convince them that taking away their state revenue sharing dough is a good thing, long term or short term - even with the reverse class warfare rhetoric.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

57 Comments
  1. - Ray del Camino - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:20 am:

    This is why we teach history in school, but apparently not well enough.

    McCarter just laid out Herbert Hoover’s economic plan. Ever heard of him, Sen. McCarter?


  2. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:25 am:

    ===He said he believes the state should not provide welfare programs — that it is the job of churches and private organizations to care for the needy.===

    (Sigh)

    Sen. McCarter makes Rauner look like he has a conscious.

    At least Rauner tells the poor to eat cake, McCarter kicks them, then tells them to go away, “we, as a state don’t care.”

    McCarter, proving once again, why his Slytherin style makes voters leery of My Party.

    Dope.


  3. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:25 am:

    In Indiana, he said, they dealt with budget problems by shutting down all rest areas for a year and stopping all services at driver’s license facilities that could be provided via the Internet.

    Unless those rest areas were twice the size of Trump Tower and dotted across the Hoosier State like raisins in a box of cereal - that is CRAZY TALK!


  4. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:28 am:

    He said he believes the state should not provide welfare programs — that it is the job of churches and private organizations to care for the needy.

    Was he wearing a long black dress with matching sun bonnet, beating a bass drum and singing “Onward Christian Soldiers” as he said these things? Did he mention Demon Rum and Loose Women too?


  5. - Under Influenced - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:29 am:

    We get it IPI, it’s expensive to operate the water fountains scattered around Downers Grove.


  6. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:31 am:

    “all services … that could be provided via the Internet.” Ok, fine. So you that means I have to have a credit card. Everyone has one, right? And of course you won’t eat the fees, so you’ll have to charge me a “convenience fee,” right? So what you’ve effectively done is (a) cut services to me while (b) raising my taxes and (c) sent that tax increase directly to the credit card vendor. Ni-i-i-i-i-ce.


  7. - foster brooks - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:31 am:

    Kyle McCarter has a BS in accounting I’m sure he thoroughly researched this…lol


  8. - Anotherretiree - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:33 am:

    I recall being told that in 1969 when the income tax came in that local Governments gave up the ability to assess Personal Property Taxes in exchange for a cut of the new income tax???


  9. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:36 am:

    Ray, that’s way unfair to Hoover, who was a great humanitarian and a brilliant man overwhelmed by extraordinary events not of his making.

    McCarter is neither a humanitarian nor brilliant, but he certainly is overwhelmed by just about anything that involves engaging that unexercised lump between his ears.

    As to McCarter’s “agenda,” where’s Mike Jacobs when you need him?


  10. - Just Saying... - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:40 am:

    You just can’t “wish” student population to increase. Kids and parents will always shop around for the best deal. Also, the $13 million “saved” from closing down rest stops would be retained in Road Fund coffers and no benefit to the GRF side of the budget. Unless, more fund diversions are in the works. Plus, rest stops are really “safety stops” for truckers that need to pull over and get their break from rederally limits if hours on the road. Rest stops really serve to the benefit of commerce in this way.


  11. - tominchicago - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:41 am:

    Senator McCarter has a child’s understanding of a state budget.


  12. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:42 am:

    McCarter’s not a humanitarian? Do you have any idea of what he does in Kenya?! Slinger - please research that before you make that statement.


  13. - A guy - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:47 am:

    ===As to McCarter’s “agenda,” where’s Mike Jacobs when you need him?===

    No disagreement whatsoever on the McCarter assessment. You might even be too kind.

    To your question: Mike Jacobs is exactly where you think he is. No one could be easier to find. lol.


  14. - Downstate Democrat - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:48 am:

    I am embarrassed to say this but McCarter is my Senator. I have never voted for him and never will. I think the comments above are explanation enough for my voting choice.


  15. - facts are stubborn things - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:51 am:

    Well there you have it, just end 6 Billion dollars of state spending and you have fixed the whole mess. The problem is that those costs don’t go away just because the state quits spending the money. The costs just get moved around and on somebodies else’s balance sheet. I think the roll of churches and charity organizations is vital, but come on just end DCFS and let the churches take over!

    When will we grow up and get real in this state. We need a modern taxing system that keeps pace with the natural increase in the cost of government. My costs have gone up over the years but so has my salary. State government’s costs go up but their salary (taxes) have not kept pace. To make up for that structural deficit the state has used the pension system instead of honestly dealing with the problem. The ISC will likely made a decision on SB 1, the pension reform law, that will start or help us become a little more serious about how to solve the problems. When we had a 5% flat income tax we were doing better but of course we let it sunset and loose billions from the budget. Hey no body likes to pay taxes, me included, but we all pay in some manner or another. We are all going to pay to pay off the pension debt and we are all going to pay for the needy folks whether they are helped by the state or somebody else….no free lunch!


  16. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:51 am:

    Dupage sends a lot of income tax to the state because…wait for it….thats where the money is. They get a lot back because thats where the population is.

    It is sad to watch a low-information governor adamantly work to fulfill a moral duty to destroy state employees and services.


  17. - Federalist - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:53 am:

    WOW! McCarter’s comments are breathtaking. But I am not holding my breath that any of his so-called proposals will see legislative daylight.

    I am no liberal but his comments are just plain stupid. If he had made tough, but reasoned comments on budget cuts he might have been taken seriously. As it is, he looks like a fool who lives in an alternative universe.


  18. - Chicago Hack - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:53 am:

    Someone please please start a petition to rename a downstate rest area the ‘Kyle McCcarter Rest Area’


  19. - Anon. - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:54 am:

    ==But nobody will ever convince them that taking away their state revenue sharing dough is a good thing, long term or short term - even with the reverse class warfare rhetoric.==

    Actually, the current calls by Rauner and McCarter to cut back on state funding to locals is a good argument against revenue sharing. Depending on other people’s money is a dangerous thing. But that doesn’t mean you should just cut it off now.


  20. - Salty - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:58 am:

    Convenient how IPI slips in the 6% as it makes the cut not seem as large. It is extremely misleading. Locals used to be at 6%, but now they are at 8%, so a cut to 4% isn’t really that big…


  21. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:58 am:

    Hey locals, i am cutting your state funds, and freezing your local taxes. Shut up and pass my resolution to show you want more of my turnaround.


  22. - mythoughtis - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:00 pm:

    ==That means DuPage County gets back just 79 cents for every dollar it pays into the LGDF. While DuPage County receives a smaller proportion of LGDF funding than its taxpayers contributed, other counties across the state receive more than their taxpayers contributed==

    yes, it’s called treating all the taxpayers in the state the same. That’s what income tax is. Allowing/requiring all residents of the state to send money to the state to take care of the state’s needs. Dupage doesn’t need as many low-income services as some other county does. Count your blessings.


  23. - Juice - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:06 pm:

    In February, McCarter had an Op-Ed in the News-Democrat about the Turnaround Agenda in which he wrote this.

    “We should question the motives of anyone who cautions him to go slowly or experiment with small changes” http://www.bnd.com/2015/02/14/3662526_guest-view-a-crisis-calls-for.html?rh=1

    So yeah, that is not at all creepy. Not one bit.


  24. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:06 pm:

    TS, I don’t know what McCarter does in Kenya, but I do know what he has and is advocating in Illinois, so I’m comfortable with what I wrote.


  25. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:10 pm:

    ===“We should question the motives of anyone who cautions him to go slowly or experiment with small changes”===

    “Who” advocates going 100%, full speed, no caution?

    Lemmings, falling off the cliff.

    Right, Sen. McCarter? Exactly right.

    What. A. Dope.


  26. - Anon. - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:18 pm:

    McCarter has a degree from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa.


  27. - Judgment Day - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:18 pm:

    “We get it IPI, it’s expensive to operate the water fountains scattered around Downers Grove.”
    —————–

    Fountains? Nice try. Why don’t you tackle the hard problems where you can really save some money? For example.

    Why do we still have municipal governments running cable TV channels? That’s so 90’s. So it’s only a couple of hundred grand per year - but it’s fast becoming wasted money (assuming it wasn’t before), and they keep sinking more $$$ into it every year. Haven’t they heard that it’s all about “cord cutting” these days? Their cable TV ‘market’ is eventually going to disappear.

    Or municipal/County GIS Systems (which for Counties are funded by a substantial GIS fee charged on almost all recorded documents). Why aren’t they using Open Street Map as their base GIS program instead of all these fancy proprietary GIS mapping systems?

    Lnik: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenStreetMap

    These places spend some serious money on this stuff. Both local governments and the State of Illinois need to really re-think their data processing/IT approach.


  28. - very old soil - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:19 pm:

    “Instead, he said, he’d like to see tax incentives for private organizations to take up the role of government in caring for the needy.”

    How many churches and non=profits pay taxes? Maybe Rauner has a business providing services to the needy and he needs the tax incentives.


  29. - Toffee - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:20 pm:

    The whole turnaround approach to local government revenue is Dadaist


  30. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:21 pm:

    Bruce Rauner needs to put Senator McCarter on a mission to find that waste and fraud. They both believe it to exist in vast amounts sufficient to balance our state budget!

    Then after they find it, they can search for Desoto’s Fountain of Youth, Montezuma’s Treasure, Flor Do La Mar, Treasure of the Knights Templar, D.B. Cooper, and the Clinton Foundation Charitable Gifts.

    Both men want to believe so they should team up!


  31. - Chicago Guy - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:26 pm:

    If my research is correct, it looks like he hasn’t initiated a bill since 2011.

    One of his last proposed bills “Directs the Auditor General to conduct a forensic audit of all State spending, hiring, procurement, and contracts awarded and the appointment of board and commission officials and decisions made by boards and commissions or those with procurement or hiring authority during the Blagojevich administration.”

    It doesn’t seem like he is earning his pay as a State Senator and doesn’t understand auditing.


  32. - illini - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:26 pm:

    My apologies to the rest of the State - he represents me in the GA, but I have never voted for him or his tea party, secular, small minded agenda. Yet, unfortunately, far too many people in his part of the State probably agree with him.


  33. - La La Land - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:32 pm:

    Well, in the race to the bottom here in IL, Kenya seems to be a fine model for how churches and private individuals would make a difference here too.


  34. - Jack Stephens - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:45 pm:

    Bruce demanded a 75% expansion in Unfunded Wealthy Welfare on January 1st.


  35. - Blago's Luxurious Grey Mane - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:47 pm:

    I thought he was headed to Africa?


  36. - Cable Line Beer Gardener - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:48 pm:

    @Judgement Day-Or municipal/County GIS Systems (which for Counties are funded by a substantial GIS fee charged on almost all recorded documents). Why aren’t they using Open Street Map as their base GIS program instead of all these fancy proprietary GIS mapping systems?

    Well for starters GIS also show underground utilities, manhole covers, fire hydrants in great detail such as the width/length of the pipe, the specific utilities(gas, water, electric). It also provide the zoning, park assets even municipal tree ownership. It is part of the inventory of the assets that the governments own.


  37. - Not it - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:56 pm:

    I was thinking about this the other day. You can’t cut the local’s state funding, and at the same time tie their hands on how to make up money to replace that funding.


  38. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 1:03 pm:

    Slinger - I have the utmost respect for you and your posts are always good. But to dismiss Senator McCarter solely because of his public policy views is shortsighted. He puts his money, time and love where his mouth is. Just because he is not a supporter of additional revenue or expanded spending does not mean that he is a cold-hearted person or wishes people ill will.


  39. - OneMan - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 1:12 pm:

    Good golly is that..

    Interesting….

    Just for reference Senator “It sucks to be you” is not a theory of governance.


  40. - walker - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 1:17 pm:

    TeamSleep: please read McCarter’s statement. He goes way beyond your “not being a supporter of more taxes or expanded spending.” If he were “just” what you described, he would not be a fair subject for such criticism.

    His views are extreme, and include both false characterizations of people and unworkable solutions. And yes, Hoover would think him a fool.


  41. - Ray del Camino - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 1:28 pm:

    To dismiss a policymaker “solely because of their public policy views” is exactly what we SHOULD be doing to McCarter as an elected public servant, if not necessarily to McCarter as a human being.


  42. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 1:38 pm:

    So, he thinks cutting “waste and abuse” is going to offset budget cuts? Clueless

    Wants the state to stop providing any welfare services because the churches and non-profits can do it. Clueless again.

    Thinks more students will flood SIU to make up for the budget cuts. Never mind tuition is going up because of the budget cuts. He’s got an interesting economic theory there - raise rates get more people.

    I think this “plan” has a lot of flies swirling around it, if you know what I mean.


  43. - Anonin' - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 1:40 pm:

    Capt Fax is forgettin’ BVR want his “Get Out O Jail Free” Commission to let everyone out of the joint. Wonderin’ where they be goin’
    McCarter is truly gifted. West IN will be proud to have him as a son


  44. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 1:40 pm:

    ==As a result of this system, there are some clear winners and losers.==

    Are they suggesting you get back what you put in?


  45. - Norseman - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 1:42 pm:

    Was that McCarter going around the rotunda singing to the tune of the Wizard of Oz’s “Witch is Dead.”

    “Ding, dong, waste and fraud, waste and fraud, waste and fraud,
    Ding, dong, waste and fraud will be gone.”


  46. - Juvenal - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 2:32 pm:

    Illinois and Kenya would both be better off if McCarter devoted himself to hims missionary work full time.


  47. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 2:35 pm:

    why stop at rest stops, the SNAP program should just be renamed “Kyle McCarter”


  48. - PoliticalPro - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 2:43 pm:

    McCarter and his favorite lobbying firm (the Illinois Policy Institute) are light in the loafers.

    I am glad Kyle helps kids in Kenya, but what about the poor children in his District?

    McCarter has been in political office for years, so if he knows about “waste fraud and abuse” in Illinois government why hasn’t he sponsored a bill to stop it?

    Senator McCarter, Bivis, LaHood, Duffy and Anderson continually talk about rooting out “waste and abuse” but have done nothing in office to end it.


  49. - Shemp - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 2:47 pm:

    A recent proposal by Gov. Bruce Rauner would be an important first step in eventually doing away with this scheme and allowing Illinoisans to keep more of their hard-earned income.

    Not sure how you keep more of your income when you are just going to force locals to raise fees or utility taxes, etc.

    Moline just took a bunch of heat for using brownouts to reduce fire department overtime. Just wait til Moline loses half of the LGDF (around $2,000,000). Wow, will the squealing be deafening then!


  50. - Bulldog58 - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 2:53 pm:

    Donna Arduin has done a great job of avoiding the spot-light but knowing that she is involved as a consultant in the Gov’s office makes me suspicious that not only Rauner but now certain members of the general assembly are buying into the Queen of Austerity’s way of thinking.


  51. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 3:32 pm:

    Bulldog, Arduin’s the hired help. She’s there to execute the boss’s game plan.

    The buck stops with Rauner.


  52. - Norseman - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 3:48 pm:

    === … Arduin’s the hired help. She’s there to execute the boss’s game plan. ===

    Curious as to what Arduin has contributed to the game plan. There doesn’t seem to be anything creative in the Rauner 16 plan that would scream Arduin, not counting what some may call creative phony pension and fraud/waste savings. Just cuts.


  53. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 4:46 pm:

    Norseman!!!!I laughed so hard!


  54. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 4:48 pm:

    Arduin as the wicked witch! “I’ll get you my pretties!, and your little social programs too!”


  55. - Norseman - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 4:53 pm:

    Hat tip to Honeybear.


  56. - Smitty Irving - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 5:41 pm:

    Beyond the Dickensian comment, 2 things are errors / misstatements worthy of ole Rushbo. Overspending for a decade? Including pension underfunding, try a century. Unaffordable pensions? IMRF shows even public safety pensions are affordable IF funded on an actuarially sound basis.


  57. - zatoichi - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 5:43 pm:

    “that it is the job of churches and private organizations to care for the needy.” The big churches by me ain’t doin’ so good. Attendance and membership is down. Some are just barely covering their expenses. What private organizations? Non-profits already doing the work with the state? They are not exactly jumping to expand based on current state budget plans. They are not exactly fat with cash. For profits? According to local bankers many of their customers have just enough business to cover costs. Farmers expecting huge crops and low prices. Not a good combo. Now who is gonna do this?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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