Few things are more discouraging than uncertainty.
Lives require a degree of assurance. When figuring out budgets, we need to know what’s available. That starts from individuals to households to business, right up to the state budget-makers in Springfield.
We’ve also had a decent amount of exposure to what Springfield does with its taxpayers’ money. That includes income taken from individuals and households and businesses.
With the comically named Fair Tax Amendment, we would be giving those politicians access to even more of our cash.
Why would you vote in favor of that?
The bill has been advertised well, giving supporters any number of us-versus-them arguments to make, whether they’re specifically in the bill or not. The assertion that the increased tax would only affect those making at least $250,000 and the assertion that the passage would only negatively affect 3% of the population might be populist, but it might also be fantasy.
Those who make more already pay more. More tax removed from paychecks, higher property tax bills, and likely more money paid in sales tax.
Those threats about pension income? They’re not threats, they’re very real possibilities. Too many in Springfield have eyed those funds hungrily.
As such, the amendment poses a definite threat to retirees and the state’s vanishing middle class. They’re the ones with less opportunity to depart the start and more likely to be targeted by Springfield if and when those able to move elsewhere finally do. AARP and senior groups this week came out in support of the amendment, but opposed to a tax on retirement income. Unfortunately, we’re not voting on the latter. Retirement accounts can still have a target on them.
The folly is in discussing, let alone voting, on the amendment. Illinois has a pension disaster it can’t continue to ignore. (Although many sources have asserted that for many years, and ignoring it is the one thing Illinois has mastered.)
If we have the temerity to change the Constitution to change how we’re taxed, we should also be able to vote to change state pensions, which are considerably larger that most in the private sector receive. Another significant change, term limits, is also long overdue.
Have all budgetary cutting possibilities been considered, let alone implemented? Giving Illinois more money to spend without addressing the bad habits is akin to trying to get an addict off of drugs by giving them more drugs.