Reject tax and spend policies

September 30, 2009

I found a report written by Linda Blaser and published in the Lake Forester on Thursday, Sept. 24, regarding a recently sponsored event by the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff League of Women Voters, quite interesting for what it didn’t reveal:  State legislators tackle host of questions from public.

State legislators attending the event were State Senators Susan Garrett (D-29th) and Terry Link (D-30th) and State Representatives Karen May (D-58th) and Carol Sente, who recently replaced Rep. Kathy Ryg (D-59th).  It was disappointing to read that the event drew at the most 35 citizens.

All candidates expressed deep concern over this state’s budget shortfall.  To the credit of Susan Garrett and Karen May, both voted against the tax hike proposed back in the spring legislative session (a 50% increase for personal income earners and a 33% increase in the corporate income tax rate), believing a tax hike should only be done as the last resort. Terry Link, like many Democrats in the IL House and Senate, voted for the tax hike, preferring to hike taxes in order to feed the insatiable appetites for government spending rather than reining in government spending.

According to the Illinois Policy Institute, a Chicago-based, non-partisan research organization, state spending has skyrocketed over the past decade, while Illinois’s population growth has been minimal, just under 7 percent.  After adjusting for inflation, state spending per resident increased from $3,500 in 1998 to $4,600 in 2008. In fiscal year 2009, Illinois legislators spent $4.3 billion more out of the general fund than it brought in from revenue.

Also troubling is a report by the National Taxpayers of Illinois in September which shows Illinois losing jobs not to India, but to Indiana.  Illinois dropped seven spots from last year in terms of business tax climate and now ranks 30th, while Indiana picked up two spots with a ranking of 12th in the nation.  This could not be good news for Democrat legislators.

What Illinois needs is specific and significant personal and corporate income tax relief to reverse the budget shortfall, not a tax hike.  It would be wise for legislators like Garrett and May to heed the advise offered by the Illinois Policy Institute should they be tempted to vote for tax hikes in the future legislative sessions.

Suggested by the IPI is an expenditure limit that would cap state spending to last year’s budget, limiting spending growth to population plus inflation.  See Illinioispolicy.org.

Tax and spend candidates should be rejected in favor of those who embrace policies that create wealth and which call for a less intrusive government with more personal responsibility.

New blood is definitely needed in Springfield.  For the most part the current crop of Democrat legislators, and some Republicans, have failed the state and the people of Illinois.

Primary Elections will take place in February of 2010.  May your vote be an enlightened one to set this state on a path which Illinoisans can be proud of.


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