Saturday, July 18, 2015

Wealthy Individuals and Corporations Are Solutions for Illinois Budget Deficits, but They Are Being Ignored

“In the shadow of a potential state government shutdown, 125 leaders and policy wonks from 63 non-profit, community organizing and labor organizations came together on June 29 to deliberate over a series of proposals for revenue solutions to Illinois’s budget shortfall. Their goal: to push past the austerity narrative that has long constricted progressive policy making at all levels of government in the state…

“In the state capital, right-wing Governor Bruce Rauner and the Democratic Party-controlled state legislature have engaged in budgetary brinksmanship, mirroring the narrative of ‘fiscal cliffs’ and ‘government shutdowns’ now familiar at the federal level. While politicians in the state capital Springfield debate the extent of austerity measures, social movements in Chicago have questioned the basis for it at all, such as the Chicago Teachers Union’s contention that Chicago Public School System is ‘broke on purpose.’ These recurrent crises and the political deadlock downstate show an opportunity to unite social movements against austerity, but such a broad united front has been largely absent in Illinois. It’s in this context that organizers called a half-day ‘emergency convening’ with a wide swathe of the city’s progressive and social service groups… 

“Those assembled heard several revenue proposals. The first focused on tax hikes aimed on wealthy individuals, including a proposed progressive income tax (estimated at raising up to $2.4 billion for the state), a commuter tax ($300 million) and a luxury sales tax (between $553 million and almost $2 billion, depending on services taxed). A second proposal focused on corporate accountability, including a proposed end to corporate tax loopholes ($334 million), raising corporate income taxes ($770 million), a fee for ‘bad businesses’ that pay low wages ($2.2 billion), a moratorium on corporate handouts and subsidies ($564 million) and reforming Chicago’s tax increment financing program ($457 million in annual revenue in the city). Proposed banking and financial industry reforms included a financial transaction tax and an end to predatory deals with banks for public financing such as the interest rate swaps Bank of America has arranged with the Chicago Public Schools…” [Possible revenues between $7 billion – $9 billion are being ignored!].

For the complete article, “We Need to Stop Being Nice”: IL Labor, Community Activists Push Progressive Budget Crisis Solutions by Simon Swartzman, click here.


  1. As always, the media doesn't want themselves and their corporate buddies to pay fair taxes and, just like they'd love to do with Bernie Sanders, don't report what you don't like. The media is the message and if you avoid putting news/information on the media, then no one knows what's really happening and the real solutions to our problems.

  2. Our reality, as shown thru media, is produced by the rich.