Leadership in Springfield sending Illinois into 'zombie bankruptcy,' Caulkins says
Dan Caulkins believes too many lawmakers in Springfield have turned the act of deceiving voters about taxes into an art form.
“In 2017, we had an increase of millions more in revenue for the state, but nothing happened to move anything along in terms of what we need to be doing to turn the state around,” Caulkins told the Chambana Sun. “Truly, nothing happened. Pensions are no better off than before the 32-percent income tax increase and nothing about our backlog of unpaid bills has changed, but we’re already pushing for more.”
Some of the new spending programs and ideas for increasing revenue outlined by Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker could swell the deficit and require tax increases totaling as much as $18 billion to finance, according to the Illinois Policy Institute (IPI).
The increases could be significant in other ways, with IPI projecting that the state income tax rate could more than double up to 9.95 percent and a household with an income of roughly $80,000 could see an annual tax increase of at least $3,500. In addition, the state could experience the loss of up to 132,000 jobs and up to $31.3 billion in economic activity.
“Sadly, this is a typical response from Democrats,” said Caulkins, who is running against Democrat Jen McMillin in the 101st District. “Everything is about tax and spend, rather than concentrating on legislation that will attract and retain jobs. To spend money we don’t have is the height of irresponsibility. The only tax increase I would vote for is one that will bring more jobs.”
At least part of Pritzker’s plan centers on enacting a progressive tax that he has offered few details for in terms of how much revenue he hopes it will generate or how tax brackets might be constructed.
“No one in the 101st wants to be paying more taxes without any constraints or reforms,” Caulkins said. “In Springfield, when you start talking about raising taxes, everyone knows that money will just disappear. Leadership is so dysfunctional and everyone is so focused on retaining power that they have spent this state into zombie bankruptcy and it’s only getting worse.”
The 101st House District spans parts of Champaign, DeWitt, Macon, McLean and Piatt counties.