* JB Pritzker speaking to supporters last night…
There’s a lot that we need to do. And I’ve put forward plans, I almost get tired when people come up here, reporters, sometimes, come up to me and they say ‘Well gosh, what are your plans for the state? I don’t really know what your plans are.’
Well gee, every day I stand up to talk about what I want to do for the state, my vision for… I talk about the things that I care about deeply, and when I’m not able to get to a subject I always say to people ‘go to my website’ because we’ve got 18 plans. I don’t want you to think I’m overplanning, but we’ve got a lot to do in this state, you know, and I don’t want to be unclear about what direction that we need to go, and so, people should go there.
But I’m always surprised when a reporter comes up to me and says ‘What’s the substance? Tell us the substance of your campaign,’ and I say ‘Gosh, I’ll give you a three-hour speech if you’d like right now or you can just go to my website and read about everything that we’ve been talking about for the last year and a half.’
Pritzker does have a point that some reporters who complain about a lack of substance don’t actually cover the substantive things he’s proposed. And he does have a very long list of proposals that he developed during the primary. Click here to see them. His campaign put a lot of time and effort into crafting them.
* But, as many Illinoisans have discovered since January of 2015, the state budget is by far the most important part of the governor’s job. And while Pritzker’s proposals include several spending ideas, he’s never said how he’ll pay for any of this stuff except to repeatedly point to a progressive tax plan which isn’t really a plan so much as a talking point. The Democrat has yet to lay out what his rates and exemptions would be.
The only thing we know is that he’s said he’ll fund most of his new programs and expansions as well as significantly increase the state’s annual pension payment with the new graduated tax, so it’ll definitely have to bring in a lot of money. How much? Nobody knows yet.
Politics abhors a vacuum, and the governor is therefore taking advantage of Pritzker’s silence. Let’s return to today’s WJPF interview with Tom Miller…
Tom Miller: When you look and see what his progressive tax plan is I cannot find any names, numbers, figures.
Rauner: You know, the Democrats made a mistake. They’re trying to hide what they’re going to do to the middle class, working class families. They’re trying to hide it so Pritzker is trying to dodge what the rates would be. But they actually put out their tax plan a year ago mistakenly and it’s out there. It was put out by Madigan’s own people and it has a 26 percent tax rate hike on middle class Illinoisans. That’s their plan. They’re going to deny it and say ‘oh, no no we will only tax like multi-millionaires.’ Baloney. Every state that’s put in a graduated income tax, the middle class gets whacked. And that’s what Pritzker and Madigan have in mind. They’re going to dodge, but that’s the truth. We’ve got to beat these guys. They’re corrupt and they’re just tax cheats and tax hikers.
Tom Miller: The last piece of legislation I could find on the Illinois.gov web site that tracks all the legislation and the verbage that progressive taxes would start at $17,000 a year annually. That was the last one I saw. Because when you told me a moment ago, they all say no no no no no. The last plan started at $17,000 a year.
Rauner: That’s right. Anybody who makes more than $17,000 a year pays more under the Pritzker-Madigan tax hike plan. That’s exactly what they got in mind.
Miller (no relation that I know of) and Rauner were both talking about Rep. Rob Martwick’s bill, which would also provide property and sales tax relief. Nobody ever agreed to be a co-sponsor and Martwick got so much heat for his proposal that he tabled it in April.
But that’s what you get when you go mum on your most important issue.