* Last week…
At a news conference in his office Tuesday, Gov. JB Pritzker said it’s time to “let the people vote” on whether they would like to see the [income] tax structure overhauled.
“We have a constitutional amendment process that ultimately puts this decision to the voters,” Pritzker said. “It’s time to let the people of Illinois – our taxpayers – decide.”
* Tribune editorial…
We never guessed that, like spring introducing crocuses to wide-eyed baby bunnies, Gov. J.B. Pritzker would introduce a novel concept called democracy to his fellow Democrats. As in, letting the people of Illinois vote their wishes.
How startling, then, to see this lead story in Wednesday’s Chicago Tribune: “ ‘Let the people vote’ on taxes — Pritzker pushes critics for their plan, says taxpayers can decide.” Boldface ours, with pleasure. […]
Yes, Illinoisans do have an amendment process, and Pritzker’s fellow Democrats have done a splendid job of making sure voters couldn’t make it work for them. For years citizens have tried — by amendment or statute — to enshrine pension reform, and term limits on lawmakers, and a redistricting process that lets voters choose their legislators rather than the other way around. […]
So how about a package deal, Governor, of amendments or statutory changes: Let the people vote not just on taking more billions of dollars a year from wallets — an amount sure to grow and grow as tax rates rise and rise. Let the people also vote on rewriting the rigid pension clause of the constitution. Let the people vote on term limits. Let the people vote on creating a fair remap scheme.
Easier said than done, of course.
* Jim Dey…
The result is his feverish interest in allowing voters to address an issue he cares about — generating more tax revenue — declines dramatically when it comes to other issues that would upset the status quo and the permanent political class.
Pritzker, of course, is no different from other politicians when it comes to issuing bogus cries to “let the people” vote. It’s a common refrain from intellectually dishonest pols who know a good line when they steal one.
But, like so much of the rhetoric from our public servants, its inherent insincerity is exceeded only by its grotesque selectivity.