Letter: Happy New Year from downtown Chicago Democrats

By on January 13, 2011

Majorities in 99 out of 102 counties voted for his opponent, however Governor Pat Quinn declares that he has a mandate to raise our taxes. If the state of Illinois spent what we currently sacrifice in taxes prudently and ethically, the governor and his enablers in the legislature might be able to make their case against my assessment that we are “taxed enough already.”

Illinois Medicaid eligibility levels substantially higher than averages, grants for favorite pork projects like Oswego Park District’s purchase and bulldozing of perfectly good and property-tax-paying homes, and unsustainable public employee pensions are all examples of cuts to unnecessary government spending that have not been made. It is no secret that public employee unions provided the money and manpower to get Quinn elected; now “to the victors to the spoils”—at your expense—during already difficult times for most taxpaying families in Illinois.

During the election, Pat Quinn claimed that he had cut state spending by $3 billion. This is false—some people would say it is a deliberate campaign lie. According to a report (that I would be happy to provide you) that his own Budget Office sent last summer to New York bankers and bond rating agencies, Quinn has actually increased spending $1 billion. I would think that he would be embarrassed by a $4 billion error, and that the establishment press would scold him every time he lied. Did you know that Quinn promised the state’s employee union that there will be no layoffs for them for the next two years? He did accept their endorsement and did cash their campaign contribution check.

You would think that Governor Quinn would be “forced” to cut spending now that he is once again ensconced in power for four more years and our situation is so desperate for schools, social service agencies and anyone else who does business with the “Springfield Syndicate.” But, you would be sadly mistaken. The folks whom Chicago and our public employee unions put over the top will pump themselves up with anywhere between 33 to 75 percent income tax increases, sales tax on services, gambling expansions, and cigarette tax increases. Even Obama, Pelosi and Reid finally recognized that they could not raise taxes without the risk of tanking a fragile economy.

Governor Quinn and his enablers think that there’s no problem that more of your money (going to them) won’t solve.

The tragic problem with their misguided solution is that your money is running out. You know the foreclosure statistics. You understand that one-out-of-10 Illinoisans who can’t find a job with 10 percent state unemployment can’t pay more in income, sales and other taxes. You recognize that employers are hemorrhaging jobs out of the state, and seniors (who can) are fleeing with their assets. So, who re-elected these same incompetent and irresponsible politicians?

Where your money will go:
It’s not fair and balanced for my typical constituent family which makes $45,000 to 55,000 in household income to pay more in taxes to support individuals making $70,000, $80,000, $90,000, to over $100,000 in public employment. It’s not right to taxpayers and even rank-and-file teachers and state employees who are making $35,000 to $60,000.

People can argue: “Chris, it’s rude for you to talk about people’s pay and for some to envy what others make.” However, citizens and voters are supposed to represent the constitutional “board of directors” for the operation of their self-government. If we don’t talk about it, we will seethe in resentful silence. This is the primary consequence to the politics of redistribution of wealth rather than policy priority to grow the state’s economy and strengthen our global competitiveness. But, it is our choice and the consequence of whom we elect.

I campaigned on six very specific budget resolutions that would produce $4 billion to $6 billion of annual savings and increase revenue. Meaningful cuts are not being discussed, so I will vote “No” on a tax increase that will severely inflate the state government spending bubble. No fiscal discipline and restraint. No accurate disclosure of accurate financial information from leaders of the executive and legislative branches. More Medicaid spending, high public employee salaries, out-of-control public employee pensions, lots of dissembling and wringing of hands—but just like the old battle hymn, “Government spending growth in Illinois keeps marching along”.

Senator Chris Lauzen
25th District

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