Governor Quinn not a climber, but instead shovels more debt on Illinois

January 25, 2012

 The first words of Doug Finke’s article published in the Jan. 15 State Journal-Register, “Facing a tough climb on pensions,” left my head spinning.

Finke attributed the following quote to Gov. Pat Quinn: “There is a major mountain to climb this year and I’m willing to lead the expedition.”  

Quinn has many major mountains to scale in 2012 in the wake of his incomplete 2011 climbs, among them being pension and Medicaid reform.
Although Quinn did manage to pass an income tax increase in 2011, it was declared a flop on its first anniversary by the Illinois Policy Institute.

The tax hike neither stemmed the loss of businesses or people from Illinois, helped with the state’s monumental financial problems, or stopped Moody’s from lowering the state’s credit rating down a notch from A-1 to A-2.  

Yet Finke in his article doggedly stood by Quinn’s misguided policy by hinting that Republicans are the ones who are defying logic by calling for a repeal of the 2011 tax hike. In Finke’s world, repealing the tax hike would amount to the loss of $7 billion generated for the state through the tax hike; repealing would only add to the state’s financial problems.

Might you explore these questions, Mr. Finke, before voicing again your misguided assumption that more money will cure what ails Illinois? 1.) What has been done to curb spending in the state? 2.) How was the $7 billion tax rate hike spent? 3.) Why the urgent need to borrow $800 million more in the near future if the tax rate hike did so well in 2011 in adding to the state coffers?

Furthermore, the Illinois Policy Institute’s efforts to get candidates to sign its Pledge to Repeal the 2011 Income Tax Increase should be applauded and not dismissed, if there is any hope for Illinois to achieve an honest, sustainable and accountable government.

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