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Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn delighted with a whopping 66% income tax hike; you'll never guess his party

Illinois' delighted Democrat governor Pat Quinn gets 66% tax hike

If you were thinking of moving to Illinois, hold off until you read this. It's one of those quintessentially Illinois political stories that prompt laughter -- unless you live there.

The newly elected Gov. Pat Quinn (shown above with the pleased grin) is so happy this morning. Why? Because his obedient state Legislature just voted an income tax increase on those dumb saps who elected him in November.

Wait for it: The income tax increase is 66% !! And even that additional $6.8 billion sucked out of the state's private economy isn't anywhere near enough to cover the state's spending hole that could be as large as $15 billion.

Quinn says this tax measure, which will cost a family of four earning $50,000 around $1,000 more annually, was necessary because his state government needs the ....

... money more than the people who earned it do. Now, of course, simply because Quinn is more interested in raising revenue than cutting spending you automatically know that he's a Democrat.

You'll notice too that this massive tax hike didn't happen before the Nov. 2 balloting when Quinn was successfully seeking his own election after inheriting the governor's job from the impeached Rod Blagojevich.

Here's how the entrenched Illinois Democrats accomplished this revenue feat even during a recession: They passed the bill during a lame-duck session in the state Assembly by the barest legal minimum, 60-57. In the Illinois Senate, where Barack Obama used to vote Present, they passed the revenue boost 30-29.

Not one Republican in either chamber voted for the tax increases, which hit corporations too.Illinois Democrat former governor Rod Blagojevich

And the Democratic leaders did this at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. Why does this matter?

Because about 600 minutes later the newly elected Assembly and Senate took their seats with sufficiently smaller Democratic majorities that would have prevented passage.

So they got the dying votes of seven ousted Democrats who won't have to face voters again anyway. Worked perfectly by Illinois political standards.

Quinn calls the four-year tax increase "temporary," sort of like the Cubs' World Series drought. House Republican Minority Leader Tom Cross dubs the temporary gambit "a cruel hoax."

Quinn played down any concern about job losses from tax hikes, the same concern that fueled the recent tax-cut debate in Washington's lame-duck session that opted to avoid tax hikes. However, with Illinois already holding 48th place nationally in job creation, governors of surrounding states were licking their chops over luring businesses fleeing the Land of Lincoln.

Three of the five states adjoining Illinois are governed now by Republicans: Wisconsin's Scott Walker, Indiana's Mitch Daniels and Iowa's Terry Branstad. Daniels and Walker have already been on Chicago media inviting entrepreneurs to escape to their states, with Walker even talking about a possible two-year tax-free holiday.

Now, here's the whipped cream on the delicious Illinois political cake. Perhaps you remember two years ago when the same Illinois legislative bodies were voting to oust Blagojevich over his federal corruption charges, including allegedly holding an auction to fill Obama's vacant U.S. Senate seat.

In his useless denials of wrongdoing to a joint session in 2009, Blagojevich warned Illinois citizens that one reason legislators really wanted him gone was because he so adamantly opposed tax hikes. He predicted that without him, the Assembly and Senate with Quinn would really sock it to taxpayers.

Well, at least Blago told the truth one time.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photos: Seth Perlman / Associated Press (Delighted Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn celebrates 66% tax hike on Illinois workers; former Gov. Blagojevich).

Comments () | Archives (12)

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Quinn misled voters during his campaign, when he repeatedly said that he would veto any income-tax increase that raised the rate higher than 4 percent.

Quinn would rather his aides have your money than you. Remember last year, when he gave 235 members of his staff raises, 225 of them higher than 5 percent and some higher than 20 percent. When was the last time a private sector taxpayer received such a generous salary increase?

Quinn and lawmakers would rather fork over more of your hard-earned money to the thousands of members of state public employee unions – both working and retired – because they don’t have the backbone to tell these unions that enough is enough. They don’t have the backbone to tell these unions, not only is there not enough money for raises this year or next, public salaries are going to have to be scaled back because taxpayers no longer can afford them.

Part of good governance is taxation.Governor Quinn and his progressive
Democrats ,contrary to their heartless republican neighbors ,will be in a better
position to help the victims of the Bush debacle and provide job security to
Illinois dedicated teachers,firefighters,policemen and state workers,making
this temporary revenue enhancement very stimulative.The rich and corporations have been getting away much to cheaply,they must show more
solidarity with the rest of us and pay their fair share.

Someone has got to be able to do something about this self centered democrat. Democrats just don't get it that people don't want this anymore; they need to stop shoving these bills into our throats. I am absolutely disgusted with Pat Quinn. I never voted for him and don't understand people that did. IL is on its way to MI State where businesses simply took their business to other States. I am just outraged how someone can even think about increasing tax on people in this economy. ALL politicians in IL MUST be fired, they are useless and not here to serve people, they are here to serve themselves. We are already the most corrupt state in the Country and now we look like idiots. They are so concerned about paying the bills yet they are not cutting the spending and keep paying useless Unions, have drivers that make $94K a year, a cleaning lady at $57K a year with titles of Software Engineer and Business Analyst. I would like to test their skills and see if they even know what a computer is. What the heck is going on with this Country? Please someone tell me that it can be repealed and Quinn fired.

I live here.
We are furious.... absolutely speechless.... raving mad.
What an absolute corrupt act against the consent of the citizens.
We will now endeavor to repeal it.
And pass a law limited power of lame duck legislators or at a minimum making their legislation subject to the review / approval / revocation of incoming legislators.

Chicago and illinois politics reflect perfectly the economic philosophy of the
modern democrat party. Democrats are either cold calculating managers of
shocking vice or wild eyed utopian rabble rousers.Tax hikes and runaway
social spending is what unites this bicephalous nightmarish monster.

I live in New York State. One thing I've learned, is that to politicians, there is nothing quite as permanent as a temporary situation. Once a politician develops a new revenue stream, they are LOATHE to abandon it under ANY circumstances.

People shouldn’t loath Quinn, he is a mere puppet of Madigan. Madigan and his other Democrat cronies prepare the budget. The lame ducks pushed it through. It is unfortunate that these legislators are placed in office largely by individuals who do not pay taxes. Too bad for taxpayers in Illinois! The Staunch Liberal comments in this posting attribute the increase providing job security to Illinois dedicated teachers, firefighters, policemen and state workers, making this temporary revenue enhancement very simulative. Please note that all of these professions do not generate revenues over their salary. Each has a retirement structure dependent on income producing tax revenues. This fosters an environment of being able to get votes but does nothing to solve the economic mess we are in right now. Over a year and a half ago my representative asked if I favored an income tax increase. To the astonishment of those around us, I said yes – BUT, only if the taxpayers (not voters) were given the opportunity to target where their increases went. The result would be no new programs, better funding on the more important programs and no funding for the manure programs. Illinois has a larger economy but is in worse shape than Greece was before its bail out. With the inept leadership Illinois has in place, who will bail Illinois out? It's time for the taxpayers to be heard and not just the voters.

Thank God that Gianoulias was defeated.But if that bum Emanuel
and his goons take controll of Chicago, prepare for apocalypse and then some.
Mosley Brown is the lesser evil,but to be stuck with Quinn sucks a maximum.

Pretty embarrassing when someone from the state of California can make fun of the ineptitude of your state's elected officials. At least we have year-round mild weather and beautiful beaches... Oh yeah...

And by the way, five state governors (not four...don't forget Kentucky and Missouri) are writing thank you notes to our boys and girls in Springfield... Excuse me while I go drown my sorrows with a few cans of Old Style...I'd spring for a more expensive micro brew, but need to start saving to pay my taxes.

Rod Blago. is a saint compared to the Ayres,Rezko,Emanuel ,Gianouliass and
the rest of the democrat nomenclatura of Illinois.Only a Chris Christie like
republican could clean the Illinois democrat cesspool.Illinois is like a sea of
puss where scumball democrats perform ablutions while countless other
democrat shysters continue to suck up tax dollars as they are behind bars for
corruption and breach of the public trust.It is at least'' like '' somewhat
extravagant to listen to democrats demand more civility in political debate.
Goodwill liberals need to dump the democrat party and create a liberal party.

Pat Quinn is a complete and utter dirt bag. Every time he opens his mouth he is lying. I am so sick of him and his political cronies. Illinois is the laughing stock of the union. I truly believe there are no honest politicians in this world, but Pat Quinn is above and beyond filthy.

There is nothing more satisfying than watching socialists suffer from their own stupidity. Their tears are especially sweet.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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