Life is different this morning across Illinois. You may not notice driving to work or the supermarket, but yesterday marked the crescendo of several multi-million-dollar political fights waged throughout the state. Today, either Speaker Michael Madigan or Governor Bruce Rauner will be declared the "winner" or "loser" of these primary election contests. The impact will be felt for the remainder of the legislative session in Springfield, with the "winner" emboldened and the "loser" left wondering how or whether to change course.
Whatever the election results, the problems with state government remain clear: crushing debt, a culture of corruption and over-regulation, and a refusal to live within our means. If your political leaders are trying to fix these issues, they’re on the right track. If not, they’re on the wrong track—and for decades, we’ve been on the wrong track.
Over the past 20 years, our state politicians have increased spending well beyond the rate of inflation and population growth. State tax revenues have increased modestly over that rate of growth, such that we should have an extra $2 billion in surplus this year. Instead, we’re being told that every spending item is “critical,” no reforms are necessary, and taxes must be raised to cover a $4 billion shortfall—in all, a total of $6 billion more in spending than our historical level.
Illinoisans are generous people. But we’re already bearing the 2nd worst property tax burden in the country, the worst sales tax burden, and a substantial income tax burden.
Illinois government is out of touch and costs too much.