IL Gov. Pat Quinn has governed poorly, when governing at all. For the most part, he was content to put off decisions until after tomorrow's election. Decisions like how to fulfill a $4 billion pension obligation. Or exactly how many billions of dollars to tack on to Illinoisans' income tax bill.
Quinn stated earlier this year that he wants to "be a governor that tells the truth, before and after the election." So far, not so good. He has constantly shape-shifted on the size of his proposed tax increase, even embargoing a massive $6 billion secret income tax hike until after the election. In August, ATR broke down Gov. Quinn's perpetually evolving income tax increase:
- May of 2009: 50 percent income tax increase. This proposal would have increased the income tax rate from 3 percent to 4.5 percent and taken roughly $4 billion from the private economy near the peak of Illinois’ recession. It failed in the legislature, largely because of voter disapproval by a 30 point margin.
- March of 2010: 33 percent income tax increase. Believing it was the size of your previous plan that turned off constituents, you presented a scaled down income tax hike that would have increased the rate to 4 percent, a $3 billion tax increase. This also went nowhere.
- July 2010: “secret” 67 percent income tax increase. Your plan to wait until after the election to impose this whopping $6 billion tax hike was clever until it was revealed in an interview with your budget director David Vaught. “We’re going to pass a tax increase in January,” he said. “We expect it is going to be very substantial.” Taxpayers appreciate his candor much more than your subsequent scurried attempt to reject his assertion.
- August 2010: 33 percent income tax increase. Last week you returned to your previous call to increase the rate to 4 percent, calling it “a pretty good bargain for taxpayers.”
Illinois voters simply can't know what they will get should they re-elect Gov. Quinn. He has no body of work on which to evaluate him, nor has he constructed a consistent campaign platform with respect to taxes and spending. It goes without saying that he has not signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
State Senator Bill Brady has signed the Pledge, and has expressly campaigned on it with no caveats. Brady understands that Illinois' budget debacle is a function of overspending, not a lack of revenue. He also grasps the importance of the state's low, flat personal income tax rate in attracting population, investment, and jobs.
It is time for Illinois to reject the corrupt practice of elected officials putting unionized special interests above taxpayers and families. By putting a lid on spending, confronting public employee unions, reforming the state pension system and keeping taxes low, Bill Brady will restore Illinois to a path to prosperity.