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02/23/2010

Show Us The Money!

   Illinois Senator Bill Brady, the presumptive Republican Party nominee for governor, is being pressured on two fronts to provide details of how he would resolve Springfield's $12.8 billion budget deficit without including an increase in the state's individual and corporate income tax rates.

  Like all the candidates in his party's primary campaign, Brady opposed and continues to oppose a tax increase. 

  "The state cannot afford to raise taxes", said Brady.  "Everytime you do it, you lose businesses and jobs".

  Then, the Bloomington home builder took it one step farther, "We need to lower taxes".

  This week Chicago's Civic Federation, whose membership includes the CEO's of many of the city's largest corporations, recommended a tax increase from the current 3% to 5% for individuals and from 4.8% to 6.2% for businesses.  The watchdog group also recommended an additional $2.5 billion in spending cuts, a new tax on retirement income and pension reforms under which newly-hired state employees would receive fewer benefits payable at an older age.

  On Brady's claim that he could balance the budget without a tax hike, Civic Federation President Lawrence Msall said "We need to see the details.  We'd love to see what (his) plan is to balance the budget".

  Msall said any attempt to eliminate the deficit using spending cuts alone would mean drastic reductions to state aid to public education, causing dramatic increases in local property taxes to make up the difference.

  Illinois Senate President John Cullerton issued a more direct challenge to Brady: "He wants to be the governor during the fiscal year that we're voting on a budget, so put the budget in.  Put it in.  I'll even help him, then he can defend it".

  Cullerton also noted that his colleague Brady will be the first sitting Illinois lawmaker since 1904 to run for governor in a general election and has a seat "at the table" as budget negotiations continue. 

  "Maybe he's been a back bencher and hasn't really been looking at this as evidenced by his comments during the campaign."

   Ouch.

Comments

It's weird how Brady seems to becoming more conservative after the Primary?! I guess it's possible to find alot of waste, fraud, and corruption...but just suggesting to cut the entire budget by 10% without providing any specifics is just taking the easy way out

Coming from a legislative leader that got us into this mess in the first place, I find Cullerton's "challenge" disingenuous and laughable at the same time. He should rephrase:

"Sen. Brady, would you please show us how to navigate out of this mess us Democrats have created over the last eight years?"

How about he ask his own Governor that had to have an extra three weeks to come up with a budget?

Ridiculous.

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