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It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong. – Thomas SowellIllinois Lawmakers Pass 66 Percent Income Tax Hike
Illinois has a $15billion budget deficit caused by politicians, which includes past decisions by two of Illinois’ most recognized politicians, then-Senator Obama and former Governor Blagojevich. For many years Illinois has spent more than they taxed. Unfortunately and universally, all democratically-elected politicians pander to the voting citizen at the expense of future workers.
Lauren Etter and Douglas Belkin of the Wall Street Journal report on the Illinois fiscal ignominy:
But for years, the state has avoided tax increases or significant budget cuts by covering its deficits with short-term measures, putting off bills and paying less than is recommended into the state's pension fund.
The state's debt exploded in 2003, under then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, when Illinois sold $10 billion in 30-year bonds to shore up pension systems and reduce the deficit.
Today, lawmakers are scrambling to dig out of a hole that equals half of the general-fund budget of $26 billion.
This tax increase is directly caused by wanton mismanagement by politicians. Recently, the politicians of Illinois raised income taxes by 66 percent, which becomes the burden of every Illinois worker. Obama, Blagojevich and all former and current Illinois legislators are not personally responsible for their dereliction of duty. Democracy and freedom cannot survive if this immoral behavior continues.
The solution is to first focus on spending. Edward Lazear, Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers from 2006-2009, proposed a strategy to cut spending and balance the federal budget, which is instructive for state budget solutions:
Spending, not the deficit, is the most important measure of fiscal restraint.
As stated, politicians habitually spend more than the revenues received, and are rarely punished for their dereliction of their public duty.
A modest proposal: Whenever a state or local government spends more than the revenues received for a fiscal year, the next state or local budget shall create a 5 percent surplus. Further, all elected officials approving the budget will guarantee that the budget will achieve the 5 percent surplus.
If the budget fails to meet the 5 percent surplus, all elected officials are personally liable for the revenue shortfall.
Without a doubt, the guaranteeing politicians will be much more prudent with the constituents’ money and a balanced budget will become the norm.