On the opening day of their national convention, Democrats have chosen to showcase three governors who have a long history of pushing job-killing tax hikes on their respective states: Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, who kicks off the evening of tax hikers, has had a long love affair with tax increases. In May of 2009, Gov. Quinn proposed a 50-percent income tax hike, increasing the income tax rate from 3-percent to 4.5-percent. The proposed tax hike would have taken about $4 billion from Illinois’s private economy near the peak of the state’s recession. Thankfully, the tax hike failed in the legislature.
In March of 2010, Gov. Quinn took another stab at hiking taxes, this time proposing a 33-percent, $3 billion tax hike. It also failed.
In July of 2010, the Illinois budget director David Vaught let slip a proposed “secret” 67-percent income tax hike being pushed by the Governor. Gov. Quinn scrambled to distance himself from the comment and denied the proposal.
Finally, in January of 2011, Gov. Quinn got his wish and signed into law a whopping 66-percent income tax hike, draining $6.8 billion out of the private economy. The tax hike tagged an extra $1,000 to the bill for a family of four earning $50,000 a year. Additionally, Gov. Quinn was able to hike the corporate income tax rate – driving more business and jobs from the state. This year, Gov. Quinn signed into law a 102-percent tax increase on cigarettes.
Gov. Quinn has repeatedly shown that he is more interested in hiking taxes on struggling Illinois families and businesses, rather than getting the state’s poor fiscal house in order. The state reportedly has the worst budget deficit in the nation, operating $43.8 billion in the red.
After Gov. Quinn comes the former Governor of Virginia and current U.S. Senate candidate, Tim Kaine. As governor, Kaine picked up where his predecessor Mark Warner left off, pushing for higher taxes. He attempted to raise the maximum state income tax rate from 5.75-percent to 6.75-percent. The proposed hike would have hit Virginians making as little as $17,000 a year. Over his whole term as governor, Tim Kaine proposed roughly $4 billion in new taxes – thankfully the state legislature did not see eye-to-eye with Kaine on the tax hikes.
Capping off the night of tax hiking governors is current Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. Gov. O’Malley has become especially fond of tax increases as opposed to spending restraints. A 2011 study by the National Governors Association and the National Association of State Budget Officers showed Maryland to have the fastest growing state budget in the Mid-Atlantic and the seventh highest budget growth in the nation. In 2012 Maryland’s budget was the fourth fastest growing in the nation. To pay for Maryland’s spending explosion, Gov. O’Malley has proposed and signed into law a bevy of tax hikes.
Since 2007, Gov. O’Malley has raised taxes by $2.2 billion, driving 232,000 taxpayers from the state of Maryland and roughly $13 billion in income with them.
During the Special “Tax Hike” Session in 2007, Gov. O’Malley signed into law a $603.4 million sales tax hike, a doubling of the state cigarette tax from $1 per pack to $2, a $191.3 million income tax hike with the new rates set at 4.75-percent and 5.5-percent, and a corporate income tax hike from 7-percent to 8.25-percent.
When the 2007 tax hikes failed to generate the desired revenue, Gov. O’Malley signed into law a special “Millionaires Tax” during the 2008 general session. This tax hike pushed the top marginal income tax rate from 5.5-percent to 6.25-percent – a $154 million tax hike.
With the state still operating with a structural deficit of over $1 billion, Gov. O’Malley signed into law a slew of a new tax hikes during a 2012 special session. A “Millionaires Tax” 2.0 was passed and signed, increasing income taxes on individuals making over $100,000 and couples making over $150,000. Additionally a $5 million tax hike on smokeless tobacco and “Little Cigars” was signed into law as well as the elimination of some personal exemptions to the income tax.
It’s no wonder that a state burdened with ever increasing taxes and out-of-control spending was found to be one of the worst places to retire.
Keep in mind tonight that these Governors are considered rising political stars and leaders in the Democrat Party. To most Americans, their tax hikes, both enacted and proposed, would have dire financial consequences. They have unleashed fiscal havoc on their states, yet we are told to believe that they are reasonable leaders. While Gov. Quinn looks to have hit his political ceiling as Governor of Illinois, Gov. Kaine is looking to bring his tax and spend liberalism to the U.S. Senate and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has his eyes on a 2016 presidential run, hoping to turn the rest of the United States into the over-taxed and broke State of Maryland.