A year ago Mike Lawrence, who heads up the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University, took Governor Blagojevich to task for keeping his promise to not raise taxes. “He should never have made it,” Lawrence wrote.
“Now that we are on the threshold of a gubernatorial contest–a crucial moment for all of us, candidates and citizens, is to reject the politics of pandering and reassert our civic responsibility. Candidates need not advocate higher taxes, but they must resist precluding them. In turn, voters must reward those who appeal to duty instead of selfishness. Otherwise, we will continue to saddle our successors with our excesses.”
A year later and Mr. Lawrence has just the Republican nominee he no doubt wants in Judy Baar Topinka. Lawrence wrote this a year ago:
“[M]any legislators agree, at least privately, that we need a revenue infusion to stanch the hemorrhaging. They understand the deficit cannot be conquered strictly on the spending side of the ledger without bludgeoning education, health care, public safety and, yes, pension programs–all of which account for more than 95 percent of general-fund spending. In fact, bipartisan majorities likely would have supported tax boosts if the governor had yielded.”
So you know that it’s even more the case now. What’s a shame is that it’s probably also the case that most elected Republicans in this state think this way—otherwise they would’ve put forward a plan. They really see no way to cut the cash flowing to the tax eaters—so watch out taxpayers.
If Judy Baar Topinka gets elected there’s a huge tax increase in our future. If Rod Blagojevich gets reelected, it’ll be interesting to see if his national ambitions check his own behavior.
With a growing national economy impacting things here in Illinois, Rod may want to research what happened to liberal Massachusetts in the 1980s. The Reagan economy produced a Massachusetts economic miracle that its Democrat governor Mike Dukakis used to win the Democrat nomination for president in 1988.
With Topinka we’ll get a tax increase and Republicans will get blamed. The economy will go south but the taxeaters will be made happy.
With would-be presidential candidate Blagojevich there’s no telling. It’ll depend upon who he listens to. We already know who Topinka is listening to.
©2006 John Francis Biver