Members of the left and right agree: Republicans shouldn’t support an Illinois tax increase

With all the bad news flying around about the state of our State of Illinois, some good news can be found when members of the political left see the light. We expect economic conservatives like those at Americans for Prosperity to “get it.” When the editorial writers at the McHenry County based Northwest Herald join in and encourage Republican leaders to say no to an Illinois income tax hike, well, hallelujah.

Americans for Prosperity’s Joe Calomino had an op ed in a downstate newspaper this week titled “Will state GOP have courage to nix tax increase?” Here are a few excerpts:

“It’s no secret that the state of Illinois is in a fiscal crisis… Democrats have been the party most responsible for our state’s fiscal collapse as the party in power during this period. They have failed to enact the types of reforms and disciplines necessary to develop financial stability. Yet, voters have repeatedly reaffirmed their control. How, or better yet, why did this happen?

…I can answer with two words: Trust and respect.

Democrats for all practical purposes have gained the trust and respect of the majority of voters because they tell the truth. Whittle through their rhetoric and you quickly recognize they stand by their ideology. Democrats tell us they are going to grow government, over regulate, stifle entrepreneurship and tax us to support their agenda. They then do what they say…

At the end of the day, Illinois Republicans were unable to take full advantage of a national wave election, mainly because Republican officials in Illinois have had a history of just talking the talk but not walking the walk. One thing is certain, voters didn’t trust or respect Illinois’ Republican message and/or messengers enough to hand them control…

Republicans campaigned for less government, fewer taxes and more personal freedom. Now they must walk the walk.”

Here are a few words from the Northwest Herald’sNo to income tax increase“:

“Illinois’ budget crisis isn’t a revenue issue. It’s a spending issue. State government has been spending billions more than it takes in for years.

Since 2000, the state’s obligations to its pension funds have grown by 300 percent to more than $4 billion a year. Add to that an additional $6 billion in unpaid bills, and a total budget deficit estimated at $13 billion…

We urge Republican lawmakers to refuse, and instead force the Democrats either to consider other solutions, or take ownership of this cash grab themselves.

Legislators’ lack of political will to make tough changes in the way the state spends our money is what allowed the state to reach this point in the first place…

Across-the-board tax increases aren’t part of the economic recovery playbook, and higher income taxes and more borrowing won’t solve the state’s structural budget problems, anyway. Only spending cuts and reform will.”

Both of the above pieces are worth reading in full. Here’s to hoping that Republicans in the General Assembly do just that.