* The governor was asked yesterday if he would clarify where he exactly stood on the congressional tax bill…
Reporter: Yesterday, you applauded Congress on what appears to be a deal on a tax plan for America, and it looks like it might go through tonight in the Senate. In your view, in your estimation, assessment of this bill, it’s likely to change American practice for maybe 30 years – how we run our businesses and how we run our households. What parts of it are you good with and what parts of it are you not good with?
Gov. Rauner: Yeah, so let’s talk about taxes. This is an important point and if you listen to what I said, it’s a little different than what your question was premised on and what’s being spun. I have not commented on any specifics about the federal tax proposals. And I will not. And I believe it’s a long way from being done. I think it’s a long way from being baked. They got a long way to go, and I won’t comment on any specifics.
What I applauded, and do applaud, is them trying, trying to reduce the tax burden on our families and our businesses, that’s what they’re trying to do. They’re a long way to go. And I’m applauding them for trying and for keep trying. Whatever passes in one house or the other, it’s a long way from done. And I encourage them to keep trying.
Here’s what the goal should be – every effort in tax reform should focus on one thing: increasing the net take-home pay for middle-class families. That should be the goal of any and every tax reform. Increase the net take-home pay for working-class and middle-class families. That’s it. They’re a long way from that so far, so I don’t applaud, I don’t applaud the current result, what I applaud is the process. And this is an important distinction that I want you guys to understand.
Reporter: So, in other words, you do agree with so many who have analyzed this, that they really haven’t done a good job yet at looking out for the middle class?
Gov. Rauner: They are not where they need to be. They are not there yet.
Reporter: And what do you think it’s going to take for that to occur?
Gov. Rauner: Well again, Ed, you know, for me, it’s not a good idea – it doesn’t help anybody by trying to negotiate through the media. So, I’m talking to members of the federal administration. I’m encouraging things. We need to increase the net-take-home pay for middle-class families, for working families. Most important thing. So, I’ve encouraged them to focus on the middle-class. I’ve encouraged them to help small-business, particularly. And we’ll see where it goes. It’s a long way from done. And I don’t to get want too much to get in the middle of it.
*** UPDATE *** From a DGA press release…
While speaking with reporters yesterday, Bruce Rauner came up with his third different answer to queries if he supports the proposed GOP tax changes in Washington. Independent analysts have shown the plan would raise costs and taxes on many middle-class families while the wealthiest would get a tax cut. On Wednesday, Rauner told a Southern Illinois radio station that he “applauded” Republicans’ efforts and said, “I hope they come through.” By that afternoon, his staff claimed Rauner had merely expressing “general” support.
On to Rauner’s newest answer to a simple question: [Part of transcript from above quoted…]
Rauner acknowledges the bill is not helping the middle-class, but he still will not use his position to demand changes and continues to applaud Washington Republicans’ efforts. Got it?
“Bruce Rauner has admitted Donald Trump’s tax plan hurts the middle-class but he still supports it,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Rauner continues to encourage and applaud Washington Republicans’ efforts to pass a tax bill, which currently benefits the wealthiest while raising taxes on middle-class families. It’s time for Rauner to take a stand and protect the people of Illinois, otherwise he’s culpable for the passage of the bill.”