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In a weekend editorial, The Wall Street Journal made clear how high the stakes are in 2018. If JB Pritzker and Mike Madigan take total control of Illinois, they’ll raise taxes yet again on Illinois families, and that means more people leaving the state and fewer jobs. It’s why Governor Bruce Rauner is fighting to win re-election so he can block Madigan’s plan to take more money out of the pockets of hardworking taxpayers, and provide tax and regulatory relief to unlock the potential of the Illinois economy.
See highlights below and click here to read the full editorial.
The only two restraints—at least for now—on public union governance in Illinois are GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner and the state’s flat income tax. Democrats hope to do away with both in November.
…Last summer Democrats with the help of a handful of Republicans overrode Mr. Rauner’s veto to raise income and corporate taxes by about $5 billion annually. But the state is still running a $1.5 billion deficit this year, and Democrats are looking for more revenue to finance ballooning pension costs, which consume about a quarter of state spending.
Trouble is, they don’t want to appear to raise taxes again on middle-income voters. Hence the progressive tax gambit. Connecticut and New Jersey provide cautionary examples. Democrats in both states have soaked their rich time and again, and the predictable result is that both states have fewer rich to soak. Economic growth slowed and revenues faltered.
…Democrats claim a progressive income tax will spare the middle-class, but sooner or later they’ll be the targets too because there won’t be enough rich to finance the inexorable demands of public unions. This is why Democrats haven’t proposed rates with their constitutional amendments. Vote now—pay later.
Once voters approve a progressive tax, Democrats can ratchet up rates as their union lords dictate—so long as they have a supermajority or a Democratic Governor. Hyatt hotels heir J.B. Pritzker, who has the backing of House Speaker for Life Michael Madigan, has pumped more than $60 million into his campaign to unseat Mr. Rauner.
…If Mr. Rauner loses in November and Democrats get their progressive tax, New Jersey is the ghost of Illinois future.