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Having his cake and eating it without ever baking it

Monday, Apr 2, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Nice headline for the governor from WICS TV: “Governor Rauner: I support doing a large capital bill.” But there’s a catch

He said negotiations are currently ongoing between his office and the General Assembly.

“Infrastructure investment is critically important,” Rauner said. “I support doing a large capital bill. I believe if we would truly balance our budget and bring more government efficiency and pension reform, we will have the money to pay interest on bonded debt. And bonding is an appropriate way to pay for infrastructure.”

When asked if he would support a motor fuel tax to cover some of the costs, Rauner said he doesn’t support raising any taxes for Illinoisans to pay for infrastructure improvement projects.

Maybe I’m missing something there, but I thought the money from his pension reform plan was already spent on a $1 billion tax cut that’ll probably never happen? Either way, he’ll probably blame Speaker Madigan for killing a tax cut and making it impossible to do a “large” capital bill without a huge tax hike.

* More

Without repairs and improvements, roads will get worse, TRIP Executive Director Will Wilkins said.

“These conditions are only going to get worse, increasing the additional costs to motorists, if greater investment is not made available at the state and local levels of government,” Wilkins said in a statement. “Without adequate funding, Illinois’ transportation system will become increasingly deteriorated and congested, hampering economic growth, safety and quality of life.” […]

The governor provided few specifics about how to pay for infrastructure improvements, but said he was opposed to raising gas taxes.

“Here’s the bottom line, the people of Illinois are taxed out,” Rauner said. “We should not be discussing any new taxes at all until we change our system and really drive more value for taxpayers. Really we should be reducing the tax burden, not increasing it, and growing our economy to increase our revenues, not increasing our tax rates.”

So, he’s all-in for more spending and dead-set against taxes. Simple to understand.

* A recent Rauner campaign press release…

In January, JB Pritzker told the Daily Herald that a Vehicle Miles Traveled tax is an idea worth exploring, advocating for a tax increase on the millions of Illinoisans who drive to work everyday or utilize a vehicle for their job.

A Vehicle Mileage Tax would place a monitor in registered vehicles in the state of Illinois and track mileage traveled. Fellow Democrats like State Sen. Daniel Biss oppose the measure as “a serious violation of privacy.”

Just another example of how JB Pritzker’s plan for Illinois is more of the same: higher taxes and more corruption.

Check out the coverage below:

WSIL

    A VMT may sound familiar. A proposal in the Senate back in 2016 would have given drivers the choice between installing a device to track their mileage or pay a 1.5-cent-per-mile tax on a base 30,000 miles traveled per year. That measure was quickly shot down.

    At just over $0.30 per gallon, Illinois state gas tax is already higher than neighboring states like Missouri, Kentucky, and Indiana.

The Daily Herald

    Charging gas taxes based on how many miles people drive instead of how much fuel they burn could pump up revenues to help fix Illinois’ roads and bridges, Democratic candidate for governor J.B. Pritzker told the Daily Herald editorial board.

    Called a vehicle miles traveled or VMT tax, it’s an idea worth exploring, the billionaire Hyatt hotel heir said in a Thursday interview where he also pushed for a graduated income tax, but gave few specifics.

Voters don’t do nuance. Pritzker opened the door to that one.

       

40 Comments
  1. - Norseman - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 10:22 am:

    === Having his cake and eating it without ever baking it ===

    Excellent headline and a sad observation on what goes on in our political environment.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 10:26 am:

    The fear that exists is Pritzker and his Crew will continually get outflanked on the nuance versus honesty.

    Rauner knows, he can continually be a phony on wants and demands and Edit Boards like the Tribune will give cover.

    The simplicity of going after Rauner, continually, should be the messaging, as Rauner will go after the simplicity of ignoring nuance, just as the voters do.

    I’m going to watch if this becomes a re-occurring theme for Pritzker and his Crew, going on the defensive while not doing the needed work to keep Rauner and his Crew off-balance.

    It’s how Rauner wins the daily news cycles… daily.


  3. - jimk849 - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 10:26 am:

    let’s have a tax that my public transportation riding base, won’t have to worry about.


  4. - Steve - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 10:26 am:

    A VMT tax would be difficult because it would effect many drivers who aren’t wealthy. Illinois has few options other than cutting spending from somewhere. What’s interesting is we don’t hear much talk about a constitutional change in the pension provision. Madigan could allow a vote in his chamber on the pension change but… he doesn’t seem to want to.


  5. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 10:29 am:

    “Without repairs and improvements, roads will get worse,”

    The same is true for pensions, but only the Governor will admit it

    the Democrats are too busy pandering to their special interests and pushing the myth that a graduated income tax will magically solve all of Illinois budget problems


  6. - BobO - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 10:30 am:

    Currently, electric vehicles are not paying their fair share to use Illinois roads and bridges. Improvements in gasoline vehicle fuel economy have eroded the gas taxes available per mile driven.

    Volvo will go all electric in 2019. By 2025, no new cars will be gas driven.

    Unless someone figures out a way to meter car electricity separate from all other uses, a VMT at both the federal and state level is inevitable.


  7. - Hamlet's Ghost - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 10:31 am:

    Where does all this leave GOP candidates for IL House and IL Senate? Since a loyal Rauner-ite can have only one policy stance:

    “I will support whatever alternate reality Bruce Rauner chooses to peddle today. And if his alternate reality changes, my principles and beliefs must change as well.”

    Jim Durkin will end up wishing he’d lost.


  8. - IllinoisBoi - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 10:33 am:

    And there will be money left over to build a new unicorn stable at the renovated Governor’s Mansion. April Fool’s Day was yesterday, Bruce.


  9. - Sue - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 10:35 am:

    Only way to address this fairly is a one time fuel tax surcharge imposed on electric vehicles at time of sale. Reality is that pensionscand medicaid are bankrupting all other state spending needs as was so well pointed out in WSJ last week highlighting a handful of states including Illinois. Higher taxes will just lead to more exodus stories like those reported in Sunday’s Tribune


  10. - Rich Miller - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 10:36 am:

    ===a one time fuel tax surcharge imposed on electric vehicles at time of sale===

    When I first leased a gas/electric hybrid vehicle the state and the federal government offered me tax credits.


  11. - Steve - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 10:39 am:

    We hear much about the graduated income tax. When is the vote going to be taken? If it’s not on the ballot in 2018, it can’t be until 2020. Which means it will not go into effect until 2021…


  12. - wordslinger - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 10:40 am:

    Rauner managed to quadruple the backlog of bills while abandoning even basic maintenance of core state assets and responsibilities.

    That’s what passes as “conservative” these days in some circles that struggle with the language.

    Outside of politics, that’s what’s known as a no-account, shiftless deadbeat.


  13. - Sue - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 10:41 am:

    Rich- that’s because of the greenies- problem is if more sales go electric the States need to capture infrastructure costs some other way. It’s not fair that if you drive a fully electric vehicle you totally avoid paying for roads


  14. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 10:51 am:

    ===The same is true for pensions, but only the Governor will admit it===

    Meh.

    When Rauner gets to something constitutionally workable, call me.

    I’m sure Rauner won’t use the tax increase to balance his own budget, a budget Rauner has no intention of signing.

    That Rauner fiscal honesty, lol


  15. - The Dude Abides - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 10:56 am:

    Honestly, it’s waste of time to discuss a capital bill until next year with a new Governor. We have no honest way to pay for it with our current Governor. He talks about reducing taxes but as he has shown for 3 years, he is unwilling to take the responsibility upon himself of using his amendatory veto power to cut spending.
    @Steve, a constitutional amendment changing the pension clause won’t help much with our current pension debt. It’s illegal to pass any law impairing the obligation of current contracts.


  16. - Truth Squad - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 10:57 am:

    Rauner and crew have surely already started cooking up a TV ad about JB Pritzker invading your privacy and tracking/charging you for miles driven. And it will sting.


  17. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 10:58 am:

    What the Speaker acknowledges that the pensions are unsustainable like he admitted in 2013 but has somehow forgotten now that there is a Republican Governor call me

    Once JB is elected and the toilets are reinstalled Illinois will be flush with gas once again


  18. - A Jack - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 11:03 am:

    A vehicle mileage tax seems like it would give out of State trucking an unfair advantage.


  19. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 11:04 am:

    ===What the Speaker acknowledges that the pensions are unsustainable like he admitted in 2013 but has somehow forgotten now that there is a Republican Governor call me===

    It’s a 60-30 ball game, or 71-36 game and Rauner has no 60 and has no 71 in the House.

    For the 5,832nd time, “Lucky Pierre”, Rauner can show the 60 or 71 at any time and embarrass Madigan.

    You have nothing on Madigan holding the pensions up here because Rauner doesn’t have the votes Madigan is allegedly holding up.

    Good try.


  20. - King Louis XVI - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 11:06 am:

    –It’s how Rauner wins the daily news cycles… daily–

    LOL.

    The guy’s job approval is underwater by 30-pts; Pritzker leading by 18.

    Not a lot of winning.


  21. - Anon221 - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 11:08 am:

    Leaving aside the hybrid/electric debate for the moment, how do you capture the wear and tear caused by people going through Illinois? My tiny hybrid is not causing the massive potholes and tire traps (literally will nearly flip your car if you hit them just right when passing over the center line) on the interstate I travel to and from for work. This report had a lot of good pro and con info on VMTs- https://tinyurl.com/y79rmsoe .


  22. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 11:09 am:

    ===The guy’s job approval is underwater by 30-pts; Pritzker leading by 18.===

    … and yet the “reporting” and Editorial Boards continually spout Raunerism, winning the day of what messsge is heard, bad how it’s framed to others.

    You can win the news cycle, daily, and still have people think you’re full of baloney. That’s Rauner’s whole schtick.

    Did you forget Pritzker is also under water, or did you purposely omit that cause that might muddy your point?


  23. - The Way I See It - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 11:20 am:

    Wasn’t the whole point of the lockbox amendment to make sure that there were funds for infrastructure?

    Honest question. Feel like I am going to be pelted with rotten fruit for asking.


  24. - SSL - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 11:33 am:

    The taxman cometh, and his appetite is insatiable. JB is going to become less likable as he tells everyone else how they need to pay up, even though he’s never had his lifestyle impacted by a tax increase. He needs to lead with the legalization of weed, which many will be happy to pay for, then he can build off of that.


  25. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 11:35 am:

    Madigan isn’t holding up the vote?

    You can’t be serious, it hasn’t even made it out of the rules committee but has passed the Senate. Nothing lives the rules committee without the Speakers approval

    Toni Preckwinkle and other Democrats who understand math are for pension reform. Your spin that the Speaker is powerless in this matter is absurd.

    He can call the bill but he has not. Why?

    Does he suddenly believe the pensions are sustainable now?

    Or is just kicking the can down the road because solving this problem hurts him with his donors.


  26. - Juice - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 11:37 am:

    The Way I See It, the problem with that line of thinking is that state funds from those sources already largely go towards infrastructure. Not necessarily the case with local governments, and the State had used transportation funds for other purposes from time to time. But it was mostly a feel good amendment pushed by people who don’t really understand the budget then more money actually going towards infrastructure.


  27. - Honeybear - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 11:38 am:

    Steve conveniently points to where the actual attack will come.
    Public Servants
    And their wages, benefits
    And pensions
    Will be blamed
    For all the States woes.
    Madigan and State Workers
    24/7

    Pathetic
    That’s all they’ve got

    No capital spending will
    Ever happen

    Just perfidy


  28. - City Zen - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 11:44 am:

    Heavier vehicles getting better gas mileage leads to insufficient funding.


  29. - Langhorne - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 11:56 am:

    Words–we need big infrastructure bill–but no tax increases–magic reform beans are the answer. Same message since day 1.

    Deeds–………crickets………


  30. - Generic Drone - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 12:03 pm:

    For the billionth time they talk pension reform. How about they just admit that they shorted it and pay down the debt and pensions. We will never get on a firm financial footing until its payed down.


  31. - NeverPoliticallyCorrect - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 12:11 pm:

    Missing the issue again on both sides. Doesn’t matter how much tax you take in if you don’t get the job done right. Il, as of 2014 motor fuel revenue numbers, got over 200 million more than WI and almost 400 million more than MI, IN, and MN. I drive in WI and MN regularly and their roads are in far better condition than ours. It ain’t all about the money. It’s about the political will to do the right things.


  32. - Frank Ambrose - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 12:12 pm:

    I agree with Generic Drone. There is no way to change the pension system for those already working for the state. So buckle up, pay the bill that the state has been ignoring and let’s move forward


  33. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 12:27 pm:

    “Lucky Pierre”, LOL

    Let’s break down your programming, shall we?

    ===You can’t be serious, it hasn’t even made it out of the rules committee but has passed the Senate.===

    Ignoring that Rauner can put pressure on the Rules Committeee, Madugan, everyone, by showing 60 members in the stairs is either your ignorance to governing, or refusing to understand politics within governing, which I’ll get to, shortly.

    ===Nothing leaves the rules committee without the Speakers approval===

    So not putting pressure by showing 60 and embarrassing Madigan on it won’t work? If you look at conceal carry and SSM, it was about cobbling 60. If you’re saying Rauner is inept, yet again, then I can understand your frustration. You’d think a Dartmouth grad could count to 60.

    ===Toni Preckwinkle===

    Not in state government… but “ok”, lol

    ===and other Democrats who understand math are for pension reform.===

    Rauner could sign a budget paying into pensions, but Rauner has continued not to do so.

    ===Your spin that the Speaker is powerless in this matter is absurd.===

    No, LOL

    What’s absurd is when the governor couldn’t even remember what vote totals are needed for an override.

    It’s lacking the knowledge like that, veto override vote totals or acknowledging 60/30… it’s not up to anyone but Rauner to get his 60.

    ‘Nember, just recently, 60 House members signed on as sponsors / co-sponsors stopping a Rauner budgetary lever.

    “That’s” how you do that. Get 60 “on the stairs”, that’s a messsge. Rauner has no 60, Rauner has no 71. That’s on Rauner

    ===He can call the bill but he has not. Why?===

    There’s not 60 votes. Please keep up.

    ===Does he suddenly believe the pensions are sustainable now?===

    Madigan can count.

    You and Rauner can’t.


  34. - Juice - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 12:55 pm:

    NeverPoliticallyCorrect, Minnesota has 4,054 lane miles of Interstate highway. Wisconsin has 3,912 lane miles of Interstate highway.

    Illinois has 9,950 miles of Interstate Highway.

    You’re right, it ain’t all about money.


  35. - Sir Reel - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 1:08 pm:

    Governor Cognitive Dissonance strikes again.


  36. - JS Mill - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 1:56 pm:

    Fake (but more truthful) Bruce Rauner- “I am for doin’ stuff but not paying for it. Just like I am in this for the little guy that except not really.


  37. - RNUG - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 2:21 pm:

    == we will have the money to pay interest on bonded debt. ==

    Re-read that sentence. Nothing about paying on the borrowed principal … just paying the vig.


  38. - downstate commissioner - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 2:34 pm:

    Juice has a good point. But the simple fact is that Illinois has the best soil in the world for growing corn… and the worst soil for building roads… An established fact for Illinois road engineers and professionals…

    - NeverPoliticallyCorrect - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 12:11 pm:

    Missing the issue again on both sides. Doesn’t matter how much tax you take in if you don’t get the job done right. Il, as of 2014 motor fuel revenue numbers, got over 200 million more than WI and almost 400 million more than MI, IN, and MN. I drive in WI and MN regularly and their roads are in far better condition than ours. It ain’t all about the money. It’s about the political will to do the right things.

    - Juice - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 12:55 pm:

    NeverPoliticallyCorrect, Minnesota has 4,054 lane miles of Interstate highway. Wisconsin has 3,912 lane miles of Interstate highway.

    Illinois has 9,950 miles of Interstate Highway.

    You’re right, it ain’t all about money.


  39. - Demoralized - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 2:57 pm:

    Just chock this on top of the pile of evidence that the Governor has no idea now to actually govern.


  40. - Demoralized - Monday, Apr 2, 18 @ 3:09 pm:

    ==more government efficiency==

    I know he likes to proclaim he’s not in charge but the Governor can do a lot of things on his own in the “efficiency” department. If he thinks it needs to be done, identify it and do it.

    ==pension reform==

    Why does he continue to include “savings” that have absolutely no chance of ever materializing?


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