Furthermore, what is needed to solve the budget problems in Illinois is a better revenue base to pay the state’s self-induced debts. What is easier to do is to evade serious problem solving of the budget issue and to incriminate the state’s public employees.
The issue at hand is the state’s regressive tax rate that no one wants to confront. The public lacks awareness and understanding about the main causes of the state’s budget deficits. Legislators, the Civic Committee, Chicago Tribune, et al. have capitalized on the public's ignorance of the essential causes of the state's financial debacle by calling for budget cuts and radical pension reform as the solutions. They are diversionary, scapegoating tactics that will bring intentional, financial harm to public employees and allow legislators to escape legal and ethical responsibility.
“At the core of the budget ‘crisis’ facing [Illinois] is [its] regressive state tax structure… that is, low-and-middle-income families pay a greater share of their income in taxes than the wealthy… [A regressive tax] disproportionately impacts low-income people because, unlike the wealthy, [low-income people] are forced to spend a majority of their income purchasing basic needs that are subject to sales taxes” (United for a Fair Economy).
Instead of reforming the state's tax system, legislators (and their wealthy subsidizers like the Civic Committee ) have focused on radical pension reform and severe budget cuts to services that the rest of us need. What do the wealthy and their puppet legislators propose? They propose sweeping, radical pension reform that will destroy the public employees’ defined-benefit pension plans, even though they know current unfunded liabilities will not be resolved by pension reform.
Why can’t the State of Illinois provide a fair and sound tax system (Illinois is one of seven states with a regressive flat-rate tax), one that is “efficient with minimal impact on the economic decisions that taxpayers have to make” (CTBA), one that captures increased revenues in times of economic growth, one that maintains revenue collections during poor economic times, one that is simple and not liable to inconspicuous error, one that is transparent and builds trust with the state’s government officials (CTBA), and one that helps 99 percent of the state’s population?
The answer is most legislators in the State of Illinois prefer the easy way out of a difficult and challenging situation that they have created. Illinois legislators will not address the most important causes of the state's budget deficits: the state's pension debt and flat-rate taxation because of their own self-interests and the wealthy one percent that bankrolls them (from IEA Wants You to Sign a Petition for a Graduated Income Tax).