“Taxes are going to be the essential issue,” Gov. BRUCE RAUNER said during an appearance near Chicago [about the upcoming campaign].
More specifically, it sounds like he’s planning to focus on how bad a graduated state income tax will be for Illinois. The leading Democratic challengers have all embraced the idea of something other than the flat tax currently in force in Illinois.
Rauner wasn’t asked about state tax policy at the event, but he brought up the graduated income tax anyway. His assessment is that it is a “huge mistake.”
“Go to the states who have a graduated income tax. It’s a disaster,” Rauner said. “They can’t balance their budgets.”
He provided a handy checklist of states with a disastrous graduated income tax. They included New Jersey, California, New York and Connecticut. Rauner overlooked a couple of other states with graduated income taxes, like Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin. And it seems like he’s had some pretty positive things to say about Wisconsin and the way it operates.
Rauner has, indeed, said nice things about Wisconsin. And, as you’ll recall, the governor of the state directly to the north with a graduated income tax recently said in a TV ad for Rauner that Wisconsin’s economy is “on fire.”
The governor of Missouri, which also has a graduated tax, said in the same ad that his state is “growing good jobs.”
So, on the one hand, Rauner spends big campaign money to tout two neighboring states with progressive income taxes as doing much better than Illinois. And on the other hand, he claims a progressive income tax hike is a “disaster.”