This email was received from my friend Dave Hughes. Dave, unfortunately, it is way too late to stop taxes from rising every year. Public officials, with guaranteed pensions and (guaranteed jobs) may talk a good game but when it comes to action it is too easy to spend OPM. In their minds, always for a good cause. Unfortunately good causes never end.
Here is Dave's unedited email.
Governor Pat Quinn is playing the same old game. He thinks that the taxpayers are a bottomless source of funds to be tapped whenever more money is desired. Historically, Illinois government has increased taxes in both good times and bad. The income tax has never been reduced! Illinois is in the top third (and perhaps much higher) of states when measuring the overall tax burden per capita. Meanwhile, the economic landscape has changed. Unemployment rates have climbed into the double digits. The governor's response is to use the same old threats that have worked in the past. He (and other state legislators) threaten to cut services if they don't get their way. The convicted felon, George Ryan, put mentally handicapped people on the street and released criminals from prison. Governor Quinn has made statements indicating that he will act just as irresponsibly.
Some say that the United States is experiencing another Depression. The governor's actions show a callous disregard for Illinois citizens during these tough economic times. Governor Quinn, and he alone, has held up the capital spending plan which could provide jobs for some struggling Illinois workers. He threatens to cut education. You and I both know that the state has collected monies promised for education which were never spent on education. Come to think of it, the money collected for roads (state gas tax, tolls and federal transportation allocations) was not all spent on roads. The way money is handed in the state budget would be considered criminal acts if a publicly traded business did the same. It's not uncommon for a business executive to take no salary or just one dollar a year while they turn around their companies. Can you imagine the governor not taking his salary? I cannot.
As long as I can remember the state budget has increased year after year. Maybe the cost of state government needs to be reduced. I expect Illinois will experience a population decline as economic opportunities disappear and the burden of unchecked state spending becomes more and more onerous. Public officials may never know how their decisions have contributed to the number of vacant buildings, run down neighborhoods and the feelings of helplessness and pessimism. I only hope that other forces can counteract the desolation brought on by our ineffective Illinois government.
PO Box 9841
Peoria, IL 61612