Thursday, August 16, 2012

Two Letters to Illinois Representatives


Dear Representative:

We have not forgotten how our legislators on the Pension Committee voted in May on SB 1673.

We will also remember how our legislators vote on Friday, August 17th especially for the election in November.
November can't come soon enough to vote out representatives and senators who do not support tens of thousands of public employees who educate our children and keep this state running.

There are many of us. We have family members, colleagues, friends, neighbors, and others who support us and will vote with us to oust any representatives and senators who vote for pension "reform." Angry constituents vote and we are angry.

Do you want a solution? Reform the outdated tax system as we have suggested for two years.

You have probably read or heard about the report from the
Center for Tax and Budget Accountability
released on August 13th.

Here are two short quotations:

The reason Illinois has allowed its fiscal system to deteriorate is simple: lack of political will to deal with the state’s flawed tax policy, which is the primary cause of the fiscal problems in Illinois.

The good news is that by expanding the state’s sales tax base to include services, amending the Constitution to permit graduated income tax rates and taxing some retirement income, Illinois can raise the additional revenue needed to sustain public service investments, while at the same time reducing or not changing the tax burden for the bottom 94 percent of families in Illinois with modest increases in tax burden for the top 6 percent of filers with incomes of over $150,000. The only thing standing in the way is politics.

For the complete report, read:
http://www.ctbaonline.org/New_Folder/Budget,%20Tax%20and%20Revenue/CTBA%20FY2013%20Enacted%20Budget%20Analysis_8.2.2012%20FINAL.pdf

We look forward to hearing from you.

--Todd Mertz


Dear Representative:

Please tell me that you’re not going to try to correct a half-century of political arrogance and unthinking missteps in a single session on August 17th – a session that will see a myriad of half-baked proposals pushed before you by Speaker Madigan, Representative Nekritz, and Governor Quinn. If you follow their plan and just DO SOMETHING, it will be on the backs of those and their families that have given and continue to give to our state as public servants.

Springfield will be a crucible of idiocy on Friday. No one will be looking long-term for real answers to the structural deficit issues in our state. No one will be heard who has proposals that are difficult but long-lasting. It will be a dumb show of appearances for Ty Fahner, Moody’s, and you. As long as you tie yourselves to the ridiculous 1995 back-loaded plan to ramp up, you can NEVER find enough money to pay back what was stolen from public servants in the first place.

Will you be a part of it?

The real solution is to reform the outdated tax system--as we have suggested repeatedly for the last two years.

The Center for Tax and Budget Accountability released its critical look at the state’s structural revenue problem on August 13th. It shows that you can never correct this systemic problem. To borrow, Minority Leader Cross’ words – no matter what you (GA) do it will always be “just nibbling around the edges” unless you look at the larger problem.

Here are two short quotations from the CTBA report:

The reason Illinois has allowed its fiscal system to deteriorate is simple: lack of political will to deal with the state’s flawed tax policy, which is the primary cause of the fiscal problems in Illinois.

The good news is that by expanding the state’s sales tax base to include services, amending the Constitution to permit graduated income tax rates and taxing some retirement income, Illinois can raise the additional revenue needed to sustain public service investments, while at the same time reducing or not changing the tax burden for the bottom 94 percent of families in Illinois with modest increases in tax burden for the top 6 percent of filers with incomes of over $150,000. The only thing standing in the way is politics.


I plan to be in Springfield on Friday. I want to be present when those who would pretend they are correcting a fiscal problem dump it on the lives of hundreds of thousands of us who gave honestly. I want to know who they were, why they did not seek real permanent solutions, and I want to spread the word.

--John Dillon


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