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A game of tax hike chicken

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017

* Tribune

Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan introduced his long-awaited spending plan Tuesday, but didn’t offer specifics on how to pay for the $36.4 billion proposal that would direct money to schools, universities and social service programs.

That prompted Republicans backed by Gov. Bruce Rauner to accuse Democrats of refusing to “show their cards” on a tax increase, saying without details it’s impossible to tell if Madigan’s blueprint was balanced.

With a Friday deadline looming to strike an agreement before Illinois government enters a third-straight year without a budget, both political parties appear to be locked in a high-stakes game of chicken.

Rauner, his Republican allies in the legislature and the Democrats who control it agree that an income tax hike from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent is a starting point to dig the state out of a multibillion-dollar hole. In the House, neither party wants to blink first and face the blame from voters who don’t want to fork over more of their money.

“I have said from the beginning … a revenue bill will be a joint effort,” Madigan said Tuesday.

That’s a pretty good take, except that Gov. Rauner and the Republicans haven’t introduced their own tax hike bill, either.

* Mark Maxwell at WCIA

House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and Republican Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) both agree the state should raise the flat income tax to nearly five percent and the corporate rate up to seven percent, but neither has presented their tax plan in bill form.

Durkin says that’s Madigan’s job.

“I don’t run the chamber,” Durkin says. “I am not running this process. I am not included in participating in the budget which we will see in the next two days. [House Democrats] control it, so they will own the introduction of the tax bill — the Democrat tax legislation.”

After you, sir. No, after you, sir. No, by all means, after you, sir. No, I must insist, after you, sir.

* Meanwhile

There’s still no concrete plan to pay back the bill backlog, as well. The state is currently paying 12 percent interest on those bills. With refinancing, the state can get that down to 4.5 or 5 percent, but they would need new revenue. In budget talks, Senate Democrats contemplated bumping the income tax to 5.25 percent to pay down the backlog, but other ideas are being discussed as well.

Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, said on Tuesday that House Democrats “would be open to discussion of different revenue sources.”

“In talking to folks who are familiar with the bond market, you do need a dedicated revenue source to get the lowest possible rate,” said Harris, adding that Democrats want to pass a budget plan first, then tackle the revenue bill.

A 5.25 percent income tax rate, even if part of that rate is only in place for a few years for a specific purpose, would be a non-starter for a governor who repeatedly promised during the campaign to lower the rate to 3 percent by the end of his first term.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 10:35 am:

    Dear Leader Durkin,

    Are you ready? You sure? You sure you’re ready?



    “No, Leader Durkin, you go first, and don’t forget the hashtag”


  2. - Hamlet's Ghost - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 10:38 am:

    I’m not so sure Madigan could deliver more than 41 green lights, even if he wanted to. And if Rauner and the GOP won’t take ownership of the tax hike up front, I’m not sure he could deliver 41 votes.

    As in can’t not won’t.

    Sue Scherer, for example, would be a fool to vote yes on a Democratic owned tax hike.

  3. - Henry Francis - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 10:39 am:

    C’mon Guv! Put on the leather vest, get on the Harley, and man up.

  4. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 10:40 am:

    “I have said from the beginning … a revenue bill will be a joint effort,” Madigan said Tuesday.

    So… here’s an idea. Have Madigan and Durkin co-sponsor whatever revenue bill is finally worked out. Don’t attack me. I realize that might not happen, but it would sure show good faith and send a message to Rauner that it is a bi-partisan effort that will look to block any foolishness on his part to scuttle the deal.

  5. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 10:41 am:

    Dreary, Bad Opera.

    They’ve all known since Jan. 2015 that to square the books they would all have to hold hands and walk off the cliff together. Nothing’s changed.

    Why do politicians, lawyers and some news “entertainers” think they’re good actors? It’s embarrassing,

  6. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 10:43 am:

    ===”so they will own the introduction of the tax bill — the Democrat tax legislation.”

    That’s what this impasse is all about. Also, too, it should be Democratic tax legislation. I swear these guys watch so much Fox News they don’t even realize they are insulting us half the time. Somebody ought to buy them a grammar textbook and give them etiquette lessons. But I digress…

    If Leader Durkin expects SB9 to include a sunset provision, he should expect to sponsor the Amendment. If he expects a tax hike bill to fund a bunch of spending that he and his members desperately want, then he’ll find 30 brave HGOPs to vote for a “Bi-Partisan Tax Increase” bill.

    Enough with the stupid games. It’s time for every member of the General Assembly to do their job, and job one is a fully funded and balanced budget.

  7. - Pelonski - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 10:46 am:

    “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”

    – John Adams

  8. - Thoughts Matter - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 10:49 am:

    Meanwhile, statehouse chick is still arguing that only 4 Republican votes are needed on a Demcratic sponsored tax hike. Obviously she refuses to accept the ‘hold hands and jump off the cliff together’ requirement.

    Let’s all try to speak slowly to her: the democrats aren’t going to be the only fall guys on the very much needed tax hike. They aren’t going to give you your campaign ads. So 4 votes aren’t going to be enough.

  9. - pek3234 - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 10:58 am:

    Amazing that political posturing is still winning out over what everyone knows is necessary. The income tax increase is a must. The consequences of not increasing revenue are greater than the political price that will be paid. Unless of course some legislators are placing their political career above the needs of the citizens of Illinois…

  10. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 10:58 am:

    @StatehouseChick is neither thoughtful or honest to anything beyond the Raunerism ignorance she tries to peddle as… (Snicker-Snicker) “critical analysis”

    Critical analysis for @StatehouseChick only comes in the form of how many people can be hurt, displaced, or worse… with a hurricane.

    Politics? Not so much.

  11. - 360 Degree Turnaround - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 11:04 am:

    Rauner wanted tax hike to expire…he should be leading on this. Why the short memory on this? Rauner demanded it.

  12. - Arock - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 11:16 am:

    They all should vote for the tax hike and any legislator with over ten years should then put in their resignation and never run for political office again. With all this bickering and the charade on reforms Illinois will continue to go downhill and they will be back for more of our money as all this is doing is slowing down the bleeding for a very short time.

  13. - So tired of political hacks - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 11:22 am:

    -Pelonski 10:46-

    As Governor Rauner would say every Sunday while speaking at church. Amen

  14. - doggonit - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 11:24 am:

    I’m not sure the reality of who sponsors the tax hike will matter than much in the 2018 election. Hilary’s emails made her the untrustworthy one. John Kerry was the flip flopper and coward etc. etc. It’s “tax hike Mike.” Elections are about messaging not truth.

  15. - The Dude Abides - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 11:25 am:

    Both sides know that revenue is a must. The GOP want Democrat only votes to pass it though. Once the Democrats do that Rauner can start the 30 second TV ads admonishing the Democrats for raising taxes. Madigan is saying sorry, we’re not playing that game.

  16. - DeseDemDose - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 11:43 am:

    Durkin will ok the budget tax hike after Rauner ok’s the tax hike after the Koch brothers someday give permission to Rauner. The only question is how much damage will be done by the time the Koch brothers are appeased.

  17. - Gobblers Knob - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 11:44 am:

    To paraphrase Harry Potter, “He who shall not be named” sits in the background (or goes to Iowa to dedicate a bridge) while the bullets fly in Springfield. While the two parties can always accuse one another without end, my interpretation of our State constitution implies it was always the budget job of the Guv to propose the plan and the legislature’s duty to find a way to provide it. The person who should be leading US is nowhere to be found. Or worse yet, sending out mailers slamming the same people they need to negotiate with.

    Rauner has always wanted to break the State no matter who was hurt, so that he could rebuild it in his belief of how it should be. That was his plan. House Republicans have enabled this to happen by voting for two years to stay in lockstep with his desires. On the verge of offering a solution, both parties continue to bicker for the betterment of their party, and at the pain of their constituents. Who is representing us in Springfield? Step up

  18. - Mike Cirrincione - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 11:46 am:

    Just read an article about a famous billionaire and how much money he’d get back if a certain healthcare law goes into effect.

    If you make more money, you pay more in taxes.


  19. - Rod - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 11:47 am:

    The grand bargain spending bill totaled $37.3 billion and the new House bill is at $36.4 billion? So Madigan wants to cut an additional $900 million, why isn’t that the story here? By the way it’s a $2.6 billion reduction from the estimated $39 billion that’s currently being spent under the court orders. The future is so bright for Illinois I have to wear shades.

  20. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 11:48 am:

    ==I’m not sure the reality of who sponsors the tax hike will matter than much in the 2018 election.==

    It matters. There will be plenty of money spent on both sides to make it matter. I suspect the folks in the GA would like a letter from the Gov (a la Edgar’s letter back in the 90’s) to help take the sting off of the attack ads (and there will be attack ads).

  21. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 12:00 pm:

    Rauner’s anti-tax-increase spot was still running last night.

    By the way, what’s with the voice over talent? She keeps saying EL-inois. Where was this produced, Kentucky?

    The Superstars should at least be able to pronounce the state’s name correctly.

  22. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 12:02 pm:

    ===Rauner’s anti-tax-increase spot was still running last night.===

    The “Today” Show… this morning, NBC5 Chicago…

  23. - LINK - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 12:31 pm:

    A governor who drops his “g’s” and now a voiceover for commercials that drops a silent “H” when it comes to “H”EL-inois…

  24. - Cook County Commoner - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 1:41 pm:

    “If you make more money, you pay more in taxes.

    It’s only simple in a police state which prevents you from leaving.

  25. - Responsa - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 2:04 pm:

    ==After you, sir. No, after you, sir. No, by all means, after you, sir. No, I must insist, after you, sir.==

    Heh, I have to ask–did you see the vintage Gaston and Alphonse cartoon yesterday on the Sox Century post of SouthSide Sox blog?×2:1378×777/273×154/filters:format(webp)/

  26. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 7:20 pm:

    =That prompted Republicans backed by Gov. Bruce Rauner to accuse Democrats of refusing to “show their cards” on a tax increase, saying without details it’s impossible to tell if Madigan’s blueprint was balanced.=

    Hypocritical and insulting to anyone with a non-zero IQ.

    Do they know that they sound exactly like a parrot?

    “Durkie wants a cracker!”

    Find 30 though guy or go it alone.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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