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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/13/12

Illinois Politics

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       What the CTBA proposes is not some kind of new crackpot idea. Most states already have a graduated income tax, so we can see how they work.

  • "If Illinois were to adopt the same graduated income tax rate structure as Iowa, Illinois would raise $6.3 billion more in revenue than it does from its current five percent flat rate, while 54 percent--over half--of all taxpayers would pay less in state income taxes..."-- The Case for Creating a Graduated Income Tax in Illinois, CTBA, 2/28/12


     Recently, there has been a lot of talk in Springfield about "reforming" pensions and Medicaid (translated: cut, cut, cut"), but have you heard any mention of reforming our income tax system? Admittedly, the state Constitution would have to be amended to allow a graduated income to be implemented--so why hasn't anyone suggested that?

     Earlier this year, legislators proposed an amendment (HJRCA 49) to make it harder for them to increase pension benefits for anyone during the occasional fits of generosity that often infect legislators during election years. Instead of wasting time doing this, why didn't someone propose an amendment that could actually do something toward solving Illinois' fiscal problems--like allowing a graduated income tax?

     Is it somehow possible that Illinois politicians are unaware of the benefits of implementing a graduated income tax? I defy anyone to spend one hour investigating Illinois' budget problems without running across information, analyses, and suggested solutions from CTBA. Maybe our legislators are too busy shaking hands, kissing babies and raising money for their next campaign to bother, but Governor Quinn cannot pretend to be ignorant of the problem--or the solution. A press release (4/17/07) from then Lt. Governor Pat Quinn's Office quoted him as saying:

  • "Our taxpayers deserve immediate action to provide tax relief and fundamentally reform Illinois' regressive tax code. "
  • " "[T]he Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy--a non-partisan Washington-based research group--has ranked Illinois' "soak the middle class' tax code as one of the ten most unfair tax codes in the country. "

     How soon they forget: As Governor, Quinn has failed to push for "reform" of Illinois' regressive tax code, choosing instead to join lawmakers in rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.


       The CTBA has proposed a graduated income tax plan for Illinois that would raise $2.4 billion more that the current flat tax, stimulate jobs in the private sector and give a tax cut to 94 percent of taxpayers.

     Sound too good to be true? Don't believe it? Check out the facts and figures at Maybe you don't like the CTBA proposal. Maybe you have a better idea. Great! Let's hear it, and be sure to let your Senator and Representative hear it too.

     The point is that we have to do something different. We cannot allow the politicians in Springfield to keep doing the same thing and expect a different outcome. That is one of the popular definitions of insanity.

    It is time to stop the insanity.

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Michael Youther Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Mick Youther is an American citizen, an independent voter, a veteran, a parent, a Christian, a scientist, a writer, and all-around nice guy who has been aroused from a comfortable apathy by the high crimes and misdemeanors of the Bush Administration.
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