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Illinois Policy Institute demands retraction, attempts to rewrite history

Tuesday, Nov 6, 2018

* As we discussed yesterday, this is from the Illinois Policy Institute

Illinois’ budget impasse may have also been a drag on employment growth, perhaps even more than the tax increase but passing a budget with the largest permanent income tax hike in state history didn’t improve Illinois’ economic climate.

* Here’s what I told subscribers this morning

As even the far-right anti-tax Illinois Policy Institute now mostly admits, the impasse likely did more damage to the state’s job growth than the 2011 and 2017 income tax hikes.

* From Orphe Pierre Divounguy, an economist at the Illinois Policy Institute…


Your newsletter today takes our research completely out of context and warrants a correction.

We clearly state in the piece: “Although tax hikes may initially cause tax revenues to increase, the negative economic effects of the 2017 tax hike will overshadow any benefits of additional revenue in the long run.”

We, first, never mention the 2011 tax hike and we say the impasse could have done more damage in terms of growth in the 2017-2018 period – not “likely” did, as you wrote. We clearly share that the potential reason for this is uncertainty about a future tax hike depressed investment that could have yielded jobs growth. The budget impasse was bad but it left open the possibility of no new taxes. Issuing a permanent tax hike will undoubtedly be a larger drag on employment in the long term than the impasse was, as we write in the piece.

Last, the far-right reference is offensive especially in this political climate. And it’s completely unnecessary. Advocating for the overburdened taxpayer, criminal justice reform, wanting retirees to actually keep their pensions rather than see them go bankrupt, etc. is not “far right.”

OK, fine. Have it your way. I’m sorry!!!

* But “the budget impasse was bad?” Really? From May of 2016

The organization wants to see state lawmakers make the right reforms before approving a budget, said Kristina Rasmussen, executive vice president of the Illinois Policy Institute.

“No budget is better than a bad budget,” Rasmussen said.

* And the reference is offensive in this political climate? Anybody remember this?

One legislator was called a “f—-ing animal.” Another was told he’d be “hanging from a tree.”

“You are selling your soul to the devil,” said a message to GOP House floor Leader Steven Andersson, who reported receiving a steady flow of abusive text messages and calls — including a death threat. “I’m coming for you,” it said. Now the Illinois State Police are investigating.

The rage unleashed by the vote serves as a reminder of the combustibility of the current political atmosphere, one where a tax increase to avoid a fiscal catastrophe — combined with the perception of partisan betrayal — could set off such an explosive response. […]

Stoking the backlash are well-funded anti-tax groups such as the Illinois Policy Institute, whose staffing exceeds that of some legacy newspapers. That group had warned its subscribers that Andersson and another lawmaker might vote with Madigan. Andersson’s cell phone was somehow distributed as well as those of several other GOP members who voted for the tax hike, Andersson said. The Illinois Policy Institute said Wednesday it does not release or post lawmakers’ cell phone numbers.

* And the group’s reaction?…

* And the letter the House Republicans sent to members?…

Dear House Republican Members,

[The HGOP’s] Digital Media Manager, has prepared the information below to help guide members who experience abusive social media comments.

What to do if you receive threats on Facebook, Twitter or other social media accounts:

    * If you feel the threat is imminent call 911
    * Report threats of violence immediately to State Police at this phone number: 877-xxx-xxxx
    * Then report to social media platform - here’s how
    * Facebook:
    * Twitter:
    * Or, ask your communications staffer for help

* And, of course, there was also this…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Juice - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 10:53 am:

    “wanting retirees to actually keep their pensions rather than see them go bankrupt”

    They have literally been pushing for local governments to go bankrupt for years for the primary purpose of taking away pensions.

  2. - 19th Ward guy - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 10:53 am:

    IPI death spiral a pleasure to watch. Tilman and Proft made big promises to Uhlein and won’t deliver. Proft’s famous raised and spent $50 million comment (without flipping a seat) will haunt him for a long time.

  3. - Henry Francis - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 11:03 am:

    Rich: To quote a great man, “stay strong, don’t back down, don’t give in.”

  4. - Highland IL - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 11:04 am:

    And what group do most GOP candidates (at least in my part of the state) exclusively quote, retweet and cite in their literature? Yeah, it’s the IPI.

  5. - Fixer - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 11:05 am:

    To quote some big shot here, “bite me” seems like a more appropriate response.

  6. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 11:08 am:

    ===The organization wants to see state lawmakers make the right reforms before approving a budget, said Kristina Rasmussen, executive vice president of the Illinois Policy Institute.

    “No budget is better than a bad budget,” Rasmussen said.===

    Those IPI folks, like Rasmussen, lasted as long as they could in state government…

    … a handful of weeks

    Pair that Rasmussen quote with this…

    “I’m frustrated too but taking steps to reform Illinois is more important than a short term budget stalemate”

    … and you knew early on who gave a hoot.

    Gonna miss Rep. Andersson.

    Won’t miss any 99th GA Raunerite.


  7. - Gruntled University Employee - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 11:11 am:

    To the IPI, in the words of my Amish neighbor Levi, “Bite Thee”.

  8. - Dodger's Blue - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 11:13 am:

    to quote a little Irishman that presides of the Illinois House, “this to shall pass.” Stay strong Rich and catch a wave.

  9. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 11:13 am:

    ===…especially in this political climate.===

    Is he referring to the hyper-partisan, fact-free, 100 decibel zealotry that IPI and it allies have helped to create and perpetuate? That climate?


  10. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 11:13 am:

    –Last, the far-right reference is offensive especially in this political climate. –

    You guys have a problem with “far-right” and “this political climate?”

    As a white male, I find your delicate-daisy act pathetic and hilarious at the same time. Typical school yard bullies — so tough, until someone calls them out.

    Reap what you sow, boo-boos.

  11. - Last Bull Moose - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 11:15 am:

    Their analysis is very poor quality
    1. The pensions must be paid. There is no way to wiggle out of it. 80 years of undertaxing and underfunding have to be repaid.
    2. During the impasse the State lost Federal Funds because it did not have State Funds to provide the match. How much we lost is not clear because of lack transparency. But those Federal Funds are gone forever. That hurt jobs and revenues.
    State employees and contract employees pay income and sales taxes too.
    3. State efforts to encourage economic growth are most successful by eliminating government bribery, building good roads and mass transit, and providing good K-12 schools and universities. This takes money. That means taxes.
    4. Uncertainty about taxation levels is worse than known higher levels. Obviously the levels make a difference. But few people are fleeing Colorado to go to no income tax Wyoming.

  12. - HCMcB - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 11:15 am:

    You would delete the comment I want to make, so I’ll just say Stay strong and keep telling the truth” and leave it at that.”

  13. - Matts - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 11:16 am:

    The IPI, just like Rauner, take some positions I would agree with, if given by a better mind and temperament.

  14. - Perrid - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 11:17 am:

    “Perhaps even more” vs “likely more” is a really fine point to nitpick. It’s there if you want to, but come on.

    And comparing the impasse to an indefinite term tax hike is down right stupid. Comparing an immediate catastrophe to a slow burn, spread out over decades, makes no sense. Not a perfect analogy, but would you rather donate 1.5 gallons of blood today (all of an adult’s blood supply, RIP) or donate a pint every 8 weeks forever? After 2 years you’ve donated more than 1.5 gallons, but hey, at least you’re not dead.

  15. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 11:18 am:

    Did you hurt the IPI’s feewings? Awwww. Isn’t that sweet.


  16. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 11:18 am:

    THe IPI? Is that still around?

  17. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 11:24 am:

    Guessing the paymasters at the Koch Brothers bank call IPI to demand an explanation and thus the pouting. Just think if you had called them a far right, dark money lobby group. Oh well. Maybe they could get Katrina to join them. She seems a little pouty too.

  18. - Mr. Smith - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 11:28 am:

    That giant sucking sound you hear? It’s just the IPI, circling the drain…

  19. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 11:48 am:

    Hey IPI & ILGOP, pound sand.

  20. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 11:51 am:

    “Exetremely far right” is more accurate for the IPI. Or maybe even “alt right lite”

  21. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 12:01 pm:

    “Your newsletter today takes our research completely out of context”

    Lol, talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

  22. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 12:16 pm:

    You guys should really be nicer to the folks at IPI. Think about it: 4 years ago they were influencing a sitting Governor and Comptroller, along with Franks, Drury, Dunkin and enough republicans in the House to stop veto overrides.

    Come February, they’ll likely have the ears of zero constitutional officers and possibly a super-minority number in both chambers. With Dan Proft and Jeanne Ives leading all of their charges.

    Has been a rough 4 years for them. A little compassion, please.

  23. - Norseman - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 12:22 pm:

    Rep. Steven Andersson is a leader I can follow. Unfortunately, he’s a victim of the extremists that took over my former party. He’ll be missed.

  24. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 12:41 pm:

    You are nicer than me. This organization, with their pretend newspaper, are the ones who should apologize

  25. - Molly Maguire - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 12:48 pm:

    Frankly, I have wondered why IPI “research” gets any run at all–it has continued to move ever closer to disinformation, and may already be there.

  26. - Amalia - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 12:57 pm:

    so remember that guy who did that video about Britney Spears? like “Leave the Illinois Policy Institute alone” (several exclamation points).

  27. - wondering - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 1:02 pm:

    IPI remains unclear on the concept, the pensions will not “go bankrupt”. The pension funds may dry up, but that is irrelevant. The funds are only a means to mitigate the call on general revenue. Pensions will be paid out of general revenue if there is a zero balance in the funds.

  28. - Name Withheld - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 1:13 pm:

    “Your newsletter today takes our research completely out of context..”

    And IPI knows a thing or two about taking stuff out of context. Well done, Rich!


  29. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 2:55 pm:

    Orphe Pierre Divyounguy?

    Think he goes by “Lucky Pierre?”

  30. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 3:44 pm:

    Was this Orphe’s first day on the job? It’s almost like he doesn’t know where he works.

  31. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 4:07 pm:

    ==Orphe Pierre Divyounguy?

    Think he goes by “Lucky Pierre?”==

    That actually would explain a lot, AA. Had always assumed he was a Gov office employee, but an IPI employee makes just as much sense

  32. - charles in charge - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 5:45 pm:

    I’d like to know exactly what IPI believes they’ve accomplished on criminal justice reform. They haven’t even bothered to replace their one CJ advocate who departed two years ago.

  33. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 6:08 pm:

    –Rep. Steven Andersson is a leader I can follow. Unfortunately, he’s a victim of the extremists that took over my former party. He’ll be missed.–

    Thank you, that needed to be said, and should be remembered. He and the rest of the House GOP renegades are true heroes.

    Been a while, maybe all us norsemen can meet at Good Templar Park next year for Midsommer?

    I’ll bring the beer, lol.

  34. - Norseman - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 8:13 pm:

    Word, I’d be happy to.

  35. - Hawkeye - Tuesday, Nov 6, 18 @ 11:48 pm:

    I think IPI forgot that Time wounds all Heels.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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