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Rauner refuses to weigh in on federal tax legislation

Friday, Nov 17, 2017

* Yesterday…

U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today urged Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner to publically weigh-in on the Republican tax plans in the House and Senate and how these plans would impact Illinois families. Both the House and Senate bills would finance massive tax cuts for the largest corporations and wealthiest Americans by raising taxes on millions of middle-income families and eliminating vital tax breaks for people in Illinois.

“Given how quickly Republicans are attempting to ram their dangerous tax plans through the House of Representatives and the Senate and the serious threat these plans pose to the people of Illinois, we urge you to publicly announce your position on the Republican tax plans immediately,” Durbin and Duckworth wrote in a letter to Gov. Rauner.

Both plans take aim at the SALT deduction, with the Senate plan eliminating it completely and the House plan gutting the deduction. As the state with the fifth highest number of taxpayers who claim this deduction, Republican efforts to eliminate or gut SALT would hit Illinois especially hard. The roughly one-third of all taxpayers in Illinois who benefit from SALT would be subjected to double-taxation under the Republican plans and state and local governments would find it more difficult to fund essential local education programs, infrastructure projects, and social services.

Further, recently released changes to the Senate bill reveal that to fund tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest one percent, Senate Republicans plan to eliminate one of the three core pillars of the Affordable Care Act. As a result, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that 13 million Americans—including many in our state—will lose their health insurance and individual market premiums will increase by at least 10 percent.

Additionally, the House bill would eliminate the medical expense deduction, making it so that the more than 370,000 Illinois who depend on this deduction would no longer be able to claim an average $10,000 deduction to help offset costly out-of-pocket medical expenses. The House bill also takes aim at students in our state by eliminating the student loan interest deduction, preventing the more than 1.5 million Illinoisans who collectively hold $51 billion in federal student loan debt from deducting the interest gain on their loans.

Lastly, both Republican proposals would add $1.5 trillion to our nation’s deficit, which will undoubtedly be used in the future by Republican leaders to justify drastic cuts to federal spending on public assistance programs.

Last month, Durbin and Duckworth sent Gov. Rauner a letter outlining their concerns with one of the central components of the Republican tax plans, the elimination of the state and local tax deduction, and requested his feedback on how eliminating the deduction would impact Illinois families and Illinois’ economy. That letter has gone unanswered.

* The governor was asked about this topic yesterday

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner continues to refuse to weigh in on matters before Congress with enormous bearing on Illinois. […]

Speaking to reporters in Chicago, Rauner climbed on a rhetorical fence.

“Federal tax reform is long overdue. We need to lower the tax burden on the federal level. We also have to lower the tax burden at the state level. And my focus is obviously here at the state level.” […]

“I’m not going to weigh into the detail that’s being debated in Congress right now at on the federal level. I have shared a few thoughts with federal officials, but I’m not going to weigh in to the media on this,” Rauner said.

* Related…

* Stark partisan divide among lawmakers as House OKs tax plan

* How Illinois’ delegation voted on the Republican tax plan

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - 47th Ward - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 12:44 pm:

    ===I have shared a few thoughts with federal officials, but…===

    …my opinion on whether this tax plan is good or bad for Illinois is none of your business.

  2. - Father Ted - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 12:51 pm:

    He’s uncomfortable addressing the small number of things that he knows he can’t blame on Speaker Madigan.

  3. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 12:53 pm:

    Translation: “I don’t know what I am talking about.”

    “I would refer you to the ethic…no, no, uh Mary Ann, wrong response, I am outraged.”

  4. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 12:53 pm:

    Bruce Rauner can and should be tied to Donald Trump. Both want tax cuts for the wealthiest while trying to appear as populists—Trump through his pro-America rhetoric and Bruce through pandering with his phony “regular guy” clothes and manners of speech.

  5. - Texas Red - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 12:54 pm:

    he’s staying in his lane

  6. - Thoughts Matter - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 12:59 pm:

    The governor still isn’t reading up on his job description. Yesterday he didn’t know he was in charge of the state. Today he doesn’t know he’s supposed to advocate for us with Congress. Why was it he wanted to be Governor?

  7. - Brother Lou - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 1:00 pm:

    Rauner is in a tough spot on this issue. As the temporary governor of a state with a high tax burden, many in his state will be penalized if the proposed tax plan is enacted. Even if the SALT deduction is capped at $10,000, many in Cook and collar counties are going to be impacted.

    Illinois played a game of chicken with the feds when they increased income taxes, and it won’t make it any easier to raise them further if the new federal tax plan goes in. And let’s face it, taxes are going to need to go up significantly if we are ever going to get out of the deep hole we are in.

    As for property taxes, they have been out of control as well, though you can argue they are more progressive than the flat income tax rate.

    Boy, what a mess. Maybe JB can help us when he is elected. As a noted tax dodger he probably has plenty of tips to share.

  8. - Fixer - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 1:01 pm:

    Have we ever had a governor with such little spine? The lengths this guy goes to avoid an actual answer would be impressive if it weren’t for the fact he is (supposedly) the leader of our state.

  9. - a drop in - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 1:05 pm:

    “Federal tax reform is long overdue. We need to lower my tax burden on the federal level.”

    Fixed it for you, Rauner.

  10. - Henry Francis - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 1:06 pm:

    Why start now?

    Leadership and transparency.

  11. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 1:06 pm:

    ===Why was it he wanted to be Governor?===

    End prevailing wage and collective bargaining.

    Destroy “Af-Scammy”

    End CTU

    Every single thing outside of that…

    Helping social services, building higher education, getting the budget back on track, work with the legislature to pass budgets and workable legislation.

    None of that was why Rauner ran.

    Crippling social services, closing higher education, getting the budget whacked down, hurting those Rauner seems needs hurting, work against the legislature with ruthless leverage to destroy labor, social services, higher education and hold those budgets hostage to get un-workable legislation passed through pain, and leverage of people who care far more than Bruce and Diana Rauner care for actual people…

    That’s why Bruce ran, and why Diana feels the need to hurt as many people as possible to help Bruce.

    What a team.

  12. - wordslinger - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 1:07 pm:

    Rauner was quick like stuff through a goose to get loud and proud on the federal question of banning Syrian refugees, folks who’ve spent two years in Jordanian tent cities being vetted by multiple U.S. agencies and who have an unblemished history in this country.

    Obviously, it was important for Illinois citizens to know that Rauner wanted to stick it — in our names — to a handful of some of the poorest, most desperate people on the planet.

    Sideshows like a rewrite of the federal tax code — does that impact anyone? Who cares?

  13. - Anonymous - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 1:11 pm:

    He says he wants to lower the tax burden, but what does he say about multiple credible analyses that the Republican plans will increase federal taxes for Illinoisans?

  14. - Roman - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 1:25 pm:

    Deduction-taking middle class and upper middle class families in the suburbs of high-tax states are the biggest losers in this plan.

    If it becomes law, there are going to be a lot of ticked off voters in Republican leaning, suburban Congressional and General Assembly districts.

    An unpopular Republican president.
    An unpopular Republican governor.
    Add unpopular Republican tax policy.

    Did someone mention a “wave” election?

  15. - Baloneymous - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 1:25 pm:

    Rauner won’t talk about how new fed tax codes may impact our state and working families. Won’t talk about sexual harassment claims in his own office. But he will go on TV and lie about his immigrant grandparents over and over.

  16. - Anonymous - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 1:34 pm:

    Vulture Capitalist- I, Me, Mine. “Let’s have a care for taxpayers and the unborn”. Nope, Nope, scratch that.

  17. - Annonin' - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 1:49 pm:

    National experts say the cost of college and universities goes up billions…perhaps he could tell us if this is consistent with his plan to ration higher education
    OR if his naggin’ regs relief would make it easier for ComEd to spill nuke waste water?
    Or he will fill next week newsletter with his non answers and raise money off those dopey mumbles.

  18. - anon2 - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 1:51 pm:

    The loss or diminishment of SALT will hurt many Illinois taxpayers. But elimination of the estate tax and the AMT is good for the 1 percenters, so he won’t criticize the bill.

  19. - RNUG - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 2:04 pm:


    The average person won’t really see the tax changes until they file their 2018 return months after the election. Only s few voters will have test drive their 2028 returns before the election.

  20. - Brother Lou - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 2:05 pm:

    The AMT has been broken for awhile and has brought in many more than the 1% into its clutches. I never agreed much with estate tax. How many whackd at an individual’s money should the government get for crying out loud.

    While I agree that many Illinois residents will be impacted by the new tax plan, won’t those with the biggest property taxes get hit the hardest. That goes against the people arguing this is all for the benefit for the wealthy.

    Only people who actually pay taxes can get a tax cut. But many times it is those that pay little tax that squawk the loudest.

  21. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 2:08 pm:


    Name: Bruce Vincent Rauner
    Sex: Male
    Age: 60
    Race: Caucasian

    Last seen running away from his job.

  22. - Pundent - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 2:30 pm:

    If the current proposal proceeds it’s going to cap mortgage interest deductions at $500K and property taxes at $10K. Not to mention what is being done with SALT. So if you’re in one of the upper middle class suburbs of Chicago you’re in the crosshairs. And yet Rauner can’t tell us what he thinks about this. What a profile in courage he’s become.

  23. - Sigh - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 2:39 pm:

    Does the Governor’s office still have a staffer in DC, or did that person leave during the staff changes?

  24. - DuPage - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 3:28 pm:

    Rauner will save millions on his taxes. He certainly likes that idea, it goes without saying on his part.

  25. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 4:35 pm:

    I just read that among the losers in the Republican House tax bill are high-income states like Illinois. It eliminates the state income tax deduction and caps the property tax deduction. I thought Rauner hates higher taxes. I don’t think many in Illinois will be too happy about this bill if it passes.

  26. - Jerry - Monday, Nov 20, 17 @ 8:55 am:

    Rauner is showing his cowardice in not addressing a federal issue that will have great impact on the residents of Illinois. Time for the Gov to step up.

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