Springfield Democrats are taking advantage of veto-proof majorities in the House and Senate. At a time when 570,000 Illinoisans are out of work and our No. 1 priority should be creating jobs and improving our economy, members of the majority party are instead engaging in an assault on taxpayers and job creators through several tax hike proposals.
Over the last few weeks legislators have seen two proposals that would replace Illinois' flat tax system with a progressive income tax, a bill to increase taxes on the wealthy, a plan to significantly raise taxes for business owners and an effort to make the temporary income tax hike of 2011 permanent. Some of these proposals are dead for now, but others are gaining momentum. One thing, however, is clear. All of the plans are jobs killers and strike at the heart of hardworking Illinoisans.
Our state is on a dangerous and destructive path. When it comes to elements that contribute to a thriving economy, Illinois is near the bottom of the pack. We have the second-highest unemployment rate in America. Funding priorities have shifted away from important areas like education, and toward expanding social services that encourage dependence on the government. Illinois ranks second in the nation for people fleeing the state in search of a better living and working environment. Short of building a wall around our state to keep people and their tax money here, the tax increase plans that are being floated by Illinois Democrats would provide an even greater incentive for individuals, businesses, and jobs to leave the state.
Illinois, with its vast natural resources, prime location and significant human capital, should be a leader in job creation and prosperity. We just need to put proper policy in place that promotes a business-friendly climate and entrepreneurialism.
State Rep. Tom Morrison