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Pritzker accused of “tap dancing” around income tax question

Friday, Oct 12, 2018

* WTTW

Pritzker once again refused to give detailed answers as to where Illinois would come up with the money for that as well as the billions of dollars’ worth of other promises he’s made, nor would he share projected tax rates despite a debate moderator needling him for having “tap dancing” around his centerpiece plan of amending the constitution so that Illinois could tax income based on wealth brackets.

The mental image of Pritzker tap dancing made me chuckle at the time.

* Tribune

Asked how a Peoria teacher, making an average salary of $51,481, would fare under Pritzker’s plan, the Democrat responded: “That teacher ought to get a tax break. In fact, people in the middle class and those striving to get there should get a tax break.”

But Pritzker didn’t elaborate on any more specifics, once again saying rates would have to be negotiated with lawmakers and that implementing a graduated tax would go before the voters as a proposed constitutional amendment.

That prompted Rauner to say, “Mr. Pritzker dodges questions like he dodges his taxes.”

That was the governor’s best rehearsed and best delivered line of the night. In fact, it was his only high point, I think.

* ABC 7

“Why not give a rate? We didn’t get a rate in the first forum, we didn’t get a rate in the ABC7 debate, this is your chance tonight, in the last debate, can you give us a rate?” the moderator asked.

“Well let me tell you this, we want to make sure we’re negotiating it with the people in the legislature,” Prtizker answered.

He just looks so bad whenever he’s asked these questions.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

29 Comments »
  1. - City Zen - Friday, Oct 12, 18 @ 9:28 am:

    The Peoria teacher line is the correct framing of the tax question as a “more or less” issue.

    The follow-up should be “How about the programmer making $100,000? What if that programmer marries someone in Marketing making $80,000?”


  2. - Robert the Bruce - Friday, Oct 12, 18 @ 9:30 am:

    I’m glad journalists continue to beat him up for this.

    Unfortunately, he has taken the Edgar advice and, given the large lead he has, it looks like he’ll get away with it.

    I’m not sure avoiding specifics is the wisest move for governing. Had he proposed something specific and trounced Rauner in the election, he’d be able to claim a mandate with the legislature and be in a stronger negotiating position.

    Bigger concern: “I don’t have to answer pesky reporter questions and I’ll still do well” may be the lesson he takes from this, which doesn’t bode well for his governing.


  3. - Rich Miller - Friday, Oct 12, 18 @ 9:31 am:

    ===which doesn’t bode well for his governing===

    Agreed.


  4. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Oct 12, 18 @ 9:33 am:

    Of course it doesn’t matter to JB what the rates are, the billions he has in the Bahamas don’t pay Illinois taxes.

    As far as the negotiations with the legislature, only one call is required.

    What are the rates and income brackets that will exit the rules committee Mr. Speaker?

    They are sitting in a file cabinet right now I am certain.


  5. - wordslinger - Friday, Oct 12, 18 @ 9:37 am:

    Because….. Edgar?


  6. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 12, 18 @ 9:38 am:

    ===He just looks so bad whenever he’s asked these questions.===

    There is an incompetence that is an ongoing issue with the Pritzker Crew.

    Pritzker won last night, almost by default with Rauner on the fritz, but there were few instances of Pritzker showing a grasp for subjects, or where his Crew prepared him to *seem* to be more at ease giving non-answers. I cringe when Pritzker is asked questions that he should have prepared answers, or the “answers” prepared are just terrible.

    The Veterans Home hit to Rauner was good, but of all the rehearsed things Pritzker coulda had, he lacked, and looked ill-prepared for questions that Crew should have had non-answers for weeks and weeks ago.

    Not great. Don’t need to be great when you get to run against the most vulnerable incumbent and worst Republican in America. Mediocre campaigns and debate performances can still win…

    As an observer, not being prepared, having your own oppo (that shoulda been fixed or never been an issue at all) still haunting, this type of debate win is exactly what a campaign needs when your opponent implodes.

    One must wonder how a Pritzker Administration will handle real daily issues when you can’t prepare and lay out a plan to discuss something else.


  7. - 47th Ward - Friday, Oct 12, 18 @ 9:39 am:

    ===Agreed.===

    Jim Edgar and I disagree. The last thing candidate Pritzker should do is commit himself to specific tax rates. It will undermine Governor Pritzker’s ability to negotiate with the General Assembly.

    I understand why you (and many others) don’t like it but I wouldn’t advise him to change now regardless of the heat he is getting. One thing Rauner never learned was that the General Assembly is a co-equal branch of government. The Governor is not a dictator and cannot by himself set the rates.

    As Jim Edgar said a few weeks ago:

    “I would be very cautious on too many specifics before the election because they don’t have all the information, and they won’t have the information until they’re in the office,” he said. “And they won’t really know what might work and not work until they sit down with the legislative leaders in a non-election environment and try to get things done.”

    That is still good advice.


  8. - Roman - Friday, Oct 12, 18 @ 9:39 am:

    Totally agree that J.B. deserves every bit of the criticism he catches on this. But Rauner has spent four years talking about rolling the income tax back to 3 percent without giving details about what spending he would cut and has rarely been held to task by the media.


  9. - City Zen - Friday, Oct 12, 18 @ 9:45 am:

    ==But Rauner has spent four years talking about rolling the income tax back to 3 percent without giving details==

    Bruce’s vagueness means I either pay what I do today at worst. I can plan for the worst because the worst is current state.

    With JB’s vagueness, I don’t know if I’m not impacted or paying $50 or $5,000 more. Big difference in financial planning for working families.


  10. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Oct 12, 18 @ 9:56 am:

    How do you define the middle class JB

    It doesn’t matter

    I am note sure if a more pompous and tone deaf answer was possible coming from a billionaire with his own multiple tax issues.

    I am sure Illinois business and families disagree with JB that it certainly does matter


  11. - Pick a Name - Friday, Oct 12, 18 @ 10:06 am:

    There really isn’t any head scratching when it comes to how JB will govern.

    We KNOW how he will govern, unfortunately.


  12. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 12, 18 @ 10:11 am:

    ===There really isn’t any head scratching when it comes to how JB will govern.

    We KNOW how he will govern, unfortunately.===

    No.

    Pritzker will have a choice, and that choice will be…

    “Do I govern as I campaigned, or do I take governing seriously and realize a campaign and an Administration are two different things.”

    No one actually knows, but what we know now is how his campaign handles their own oppo or tricky policy issues would not be the best ways for any administration to govern.

    With no track record to governing too… the vision of that administration is foggy at best in predicting, but…


  13. - don the legend - Friday, Oct 12, 18 @ 10:12 am:

    Now that the debates are over Pritzker can stay in safe environments and saturate the voters with constant reminders of Rauner’s multiple failures.

    To LP: “I am note sure if a more pompous and tone deaf answer…”

    Wow, do you have even a semblance of self awareness?


  14. - Pundent - Friday, Oct 12, 18 @ 10:15 am:

    There’s absolutely no upside to committing to rates. The mere mention of changing the tax structure is enough to get Pritzker wacked. I give Pritzker credit for at least having the guts to say we need to change the tax structure. Rauner is still perpetuating the myth that we can lower taxes while doing nothing to address current spending. We all know that taxes have to go up. The math demands it. At least Pritzker is willing to acknowledge the reality.


  15. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Oct 12, 18 @ 10:18 am:

    Reporter - What is middle class?

    Billionaire- It doesn’t matter

    Next question


  16. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Oct 12, 18 @ 10:22 am:

    If I was Pritzker I would have mentioned the popular millionaire surcharge as one example. I would say the extra revenue could be used toward education and to lower property taxes. I would say that it would shift the tax burden more on those who could easier afford to pay and give relief to those who need It. But stress that it’s just one example.

    It took forever for Rauner to provide the ROI on the TA, and when he did, it was poor.


  17. - wordslinger - Friday, Oct 12, 18 @ 10:30 am:

    –Of course it doesn’t matter to JB what the rates are, the billions he has in the Bahamas don’t pay Illinois taxes.–

    JB Prizker has “billions” in the Bahamas? That’s quite a scoop. Please, show your work.

    I mean, you wouldn’t just make that up.

    While you’re at it, perhaps you could reveal how much Rauner has stashed in the Caymans, since you’re all about truth and accuracy.


  18. - Whatever - Friday, Oct 12, 18 @ 10:34 am:

    ==Of course it doesn’t matter to JB what the rates are, the billions he has in the Bahamas don’t pay Illinois taxes.==

    If the income is his, he has to pay federal and Illinois tax. If it isn’t his, it doesn’t matter whether the money is in the Bahamas or in Chicago, he doesn’t pay federal or Illinois tax on it.


  19. - Langhorne - Friday, Oct 12, 18 @ 10:38 am:

    I expected the mendoza analysis of the effects of the impasse to get a lot more attention. they are ready made for taking shots at the gov, esp in debate. Ppffftt. Opportunity missed.


  20. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Oct 12, 18 @ 10:40 am:

    The Republicans have a chance to frame the tax debate after Rauner loses. I would propose raising the base rate to 6% with all the money going to pensions. Put in clauses so money cannot be diverted and currently required pension payments are made. Tax to expire when pensions fully funded.

    This funds pensions while not creating cash for new initiatives.


  21. - JS Mill - Friday, Oct 12, 18 @ 10:42 am:

    LP- Care to explain how Bruce Rauner was the man for the education funding reform? I mean you should have access to all of the bills proposed by the ILGOP that were passed.

    I mean Rauner said Manar was full of baloney yet I have found evidence of multiple bills that he proposed. Where is the Rauner bill.

    Let’s just start there for the lying.


  22. - JS Mill - Friday, Oct 12, 18 @ 11:26 am:

    =Bruce’s vagueness means I either pay what I do today at worst. I can plan for the worst because the worst is current state.=

    Probably not true. Given Rauner penchant to spend more than available revenue, the interests payments will require to pay more over the long haul.

    IF, Pritzker actually matches revenue and expenditures, you will oay less over time.

    Long story short, Rauner is a no. Pritzker is a maybe.


  23. - City Zen - Friday, Oct 12, 18 @ 12:20 pm:

    ==Given Rauner penchant to spend more than available revenue, the interests payments will require to pay more over the long haul.==

    That doesn’t mean my taxes go up. Just that my tax money is not spent wisely.

    Pritzker matching revenue and expenditures but hiking my working family’s taxes $5,000 per year to do so is not beneficial. Well, to my working family, it is not beneficial. Did I mention my family works?


  24. - Jibba - Friday, Oct 12, 18 @ 12:46 pm:

    ==That doesn’t mean my taxes go up.==

    CZ, yes it does, if you assume the overspending has to be paid back someday. Or do you prefer to stiff people?

    And if you predict your taxes to go up $5K, hint: you’re not in the middle class. You’re doing extremely well, and good for you. But it explains your preferences about taxation.


  25. - Rod - Friday, Oct 12, 18 @ 12:53 pm:

    Aside from the politics of tax brackets I do believe JB does not have a firm grasp on the additional revenue any graduated income tax will need to generate to stabilize Illinois. There are innumerable veritables involved in this given how long it would take to pass a constitutional amendment and the economic cycles that will drive revenue for Illinois.

    I suspect JB will not admit his team has yet to wrap thiere heads around these complexities. It is clear Rauner’s solution is to cut the budget in particular for human services, he won’t admit to that either.


  26. - JS Mill - Friday, Oct 12, 18 @ 2:07 pm:

    =That doesn’t mean my taxes go up. Just that my tax money is not spent wisely.=

    Your taxes just went up. Rauner is as responsible as anyone for that.

    But you think suddenly he will be responsible with the piggy bank? Please.

    Rauner’s hole-in-his pocket spending will cost you more money. And much of that will go to interest.


  27. - City Zen - Friday, Oct 12, 18 @ 2:20 pm:

    ==if you assume the overspending has to be paid back someday. Or do you prefer to stiff people?==

    Today’s overspending is tomorrow’s cutback.

    ==Your taxes just went up.==

    Sure did. But Rauner’s not promoting higher taxes than today. JB is, and worse, in some unknown fashion. Such major uncertainty is lethal for the finances of…my working family.


  28. - Original Rambler - Friday, Oct 12, 18 @ 2:39 pm:

    CZ, Rauner is promoting lower taxes without pinpointing commensurate spending cuts. Otherwise known as kicking the can down the road just like the predecessors he rails against. Essentially you want lower taxes for yourself but higher taxes for your children and the next generation.


  29. - City Zen - Friday, Oct 12, 18 @ 2:53 pm:

    ==Essentially you want lower taxes for yourself==

    Where have I said I want lower taxes?

    ==but higher taxes for your children and the next generation.==

    You just defined pension re-amortization.


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