Thursday, July 13, 2017 12:15 am
Letters to the Editor 7/13/17
THE BUDGET BURDEN
The Illinois legislature has overturned the governor’s veto, thereby implementing a budget unseen by the state in more than two years. In order to pay its spiraling liabilities and avoid junk bond status, the legislature has seen fit to raise the income tax rate and the corporate tax rate, each more than 30 percent. While this might be enough to currently correct the legislature’s irresponsible spending, it opens up the likelihood of continued fiscal irresponsibility by the state, all while placing the burden squarely on the shoulders of taxpayers.
Their solution was not to curb and cut spending, but to increase taxes. First, individual income taxes will increase 32 percent, from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent. This is an obvious attack on the citizens of Illinois, but for those who say that state income taxes can be written off on one’s federal income tax, the burden of this legislature still falls to the taxpayer, except the irresponsibility is even more glaring. By this argument, the federal government will continue to subsidize the state of Illinois, yet taxpayers within the state will in theory pay the same dollar amount, shifting the burden to the entire country. Secondly, the corporate tax rate will see an increase of 33 percent, from 5.25 percent to 7 percent. This corporate tax will affect the taxes businesses pay, not necessarily the businesses’ revenue. This forces a business to either raise its own revenue (it cannot freely tax, of course) or cut its expenditures (which the state legislature will not do itself); meaning prices will either increase and/or force businesses to lay off workers. This undoubtedly affects individual taxpayers as well, because as consumers, these taxpayers will be paying for these taxes through increased prices, or they will be personally affected by layoffs.
If this were not bad enough, on top of the increased income tax and corporate tax, taxpayers are already paying federal income taxes, property taxes (even renters are paying the landlord’s property tax), a 6.25 percent state sales tax, local and city sales taxes, and vehicle registration fees (taxes), not to mention all the toll roads everybody is forced to utilize throughout the state.
Through the legislators’ reckless fiscal policies, Illinois taxpayers are being further burdened by the weight of taxes. Individuals are responsible for consuming only what they earn; the Illinois legislature should be held to the same standard. Instead of raising taxes and undermining the hard work and responsibility of Illinois’ taxpayers, the legislature should be required to pass balanced budgets, spend only within their means and, in times of crisis, cut spending rather than raise revenue. By raising revenue, the legislature is all but guaranteeing the continued rise of state spending.
THE NO-BUDGET SOLUTION
There are more than 100 million workers in the USA. What happens if any of these workers do not complete their work on time? Answer: They get fired. What happens if a person does not finish their work assignment for more than two years? Well, apparently nothing, if they are the privileged members of the Illinois General Assembly.
Well, I recommend the following solution when a budget is not passed on time:
One, the members of the Illinois House and Senate, plus the governor, do not receive any salary, retirement money, health care, vacation time or paid sick leave for the entire year.
Two, all of them are immediately fired.
Three, a general election for their positions is immediately held the same day these politicians get fired.
Four, all the fired members of the Illinois House and Senate and the governor will forever be banned from holding any political or governmental position in the state of Illinois, including state, county, city, township or other designated municipalities.
This solution sounds harsh. However, it’s extremely cruel when these privileged elected officials play politics and simply do not care about the 12 million reliable diligent hard-working and conscientious people in the state of Illinois.