Illinois government remains in the grip of a budget, tax and fiscal crisis of its own making.
We've had one-party rule since January 2003, and since then a policy of tax and spend, spend and tax has driven our state deeply into debt, leaving taxpayers all the poorer.
The debt burden of the federal government on our children is inescapable. However, the debt state government has accumulated is something they can avoid. All they have to do is leave.
The majority party's leadership has been a failure and now they want taxpayers to pay the price through higher taxes. They promised when they rammed through the 67 percent state income tax increase in January 2011 that it would be temporary; it would be used to get government out of debt and pay off old bills. At the end of this year, when the promised rollback is to take effect, $31 billion will have been taken from the generous taxpayers and yet only $2 billion of the $9 billion in overdue bills has been paid off. At the same time, money for education was cut by 14 percent.
To say that Illinois didn't have enough revenue to live within our means and pay off our bills is disingenuous.
We would not be facing massive budget cuts if the majority party had simply chosen to live within its means like families and businesses. Add to the majority party's willingness to abandon their promise, their insatiable appetite for spending and the government waste, fraud and abuse uncovered in recent months under their watch, we have no reason to trust them again.
In 2011, I offered a www.IllinoisRealityCheck.com budget guideline that would have brought common sense, accountability and responsibility to the budget process but it was rejected. At the time, the governor said he wasn't going to listen to Republicans.
"Reality Check" was a starting point for fiscal common sense and had it been adopted, Illinois would not be in the mess it's in today.
Realty Check: Illinois doesn't have a tax revenue problem, it has a spending problem.
Government cannot continue to spend more money than in takes in through taxes.
Billions of dollars in new taxes in just the last three years hasn't been enough because the majority party, which has governed the state for a decade, has continued to grow the size of government and spend beyond the taxpayers' ability to pay.
Kyle McCarter, R-Lebanon, represents the 51st District.