Kudos to the News-Sun for its Illinois Policy Institute plug

June 25, 2009

State legislators have been asked to return to the Capitol in Springfield on Tuesday of this week (June 23) to deal with the state budget $9.2 billion shortfall.  Because Democrat legislators failed to resolve the budget shortfall prior to its adjournment on May 31, they will now need Republican votes to get the 3/5 majority required for an income tax hike.  Governor Quinn is insisting that personal and corporate income tax increases of $3.2 billion are needed to balance the fiscal year 2010 budget or major layoffs and drastic cuts to social services will be necessary.
As a designated Illinois Policy Institute Liberty Leader, I pleased to see a reference to the IPI under DARTS AND LAURELS on Friday, June 19.  Besides telling the public to stop “frothing” over planned state cuts in social services, the public was encouraged to tell lawmakers and the governor to reign in spending by adopting meaningful reforms before asking taxpayers to ante up more.  The IPI was cited as having come up with $641 million in state spending. 
The IPI believes the savings could be much higher, at least $3.2 billion.   By reducing spending by $3.2 billion, a 50% increase in income tax rates would be unnecessary and the state could continue to maintain the same level of services it had in 2006 when the population was nearly the same.  The Institute’s solution to balancing the budget without tax hikes can be viewed at http://illinoispolicyinstitute.org under “Budget Solutions 2010:  Balancing the Budget Without Tax Hikes.”  The report should be read and taken seriously by legislators in Springfield and the general public.  The savings outlined would likely exceed $3.2 billion and still fully fund vital services.
It is unconscionable that the young, elderly and disabled are being used as pawns in the budget battle.  In keeping with the pawn scare tactic, this past weekend edition of the News-Sun published an article that told how the Busy Bee Day Care Center in Waukegan could face a reduction of services and even shut down without government funding.  Pat Quinn, Mike Madigan and John Cullerton were not crying wolf back in 2006 when our population was almost identical.  Since then the state’s spending has skyrocketed. 
Tax increases proposed during the spring session failed because legislators were fearful of raising taxes on struggling taxpayers in their districts without first passing meaningful ethics and spending reforms.  Republicans legislator, as they did during the spring session, continue to insist  that they won’t consider raising taxes in the special June legislation session until the majority Democrats change business as usual in Springfield. 
The New-Sun should be applauded for encouraging the public to ask legislators and the governor to pass meaningful reforms before increasing taxes.  The Illinois Policy Institute’s 2010 report paves the way toward responsible government.   Spending is the problem.  Without meaningful reform spending will continue to skyrocket year after year.   Illinoisans deserve an honest government with sound fiscal policies that do not result in waste and fraud.  

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