Letters to the Editor

Tax reform desperately needed

The Belleville News-Democrat, Illinois Sen. Kyle McCarter and letter writer Phillip W. Chapman are trying to blame the Illinois fiscal mess entirely on “the last 10 or 12 years of Democratic rule.” During those years, events and policies, which Democrats were not responsible for, adversely affected Illinois’ economy and revenue, like the Bush tax cuts, 9-11, the Iraq War, the outsourcing of 42,400 U.S. factory jobs, with tax cuts from Republicans for doing so and the 2008 economic meltdown.

To see how each state’s revenue was impacted by Bush’s economic disaster, go to “Fiscal 50: State Trends and Analysis” online.

When President Clinton left office, Illinois had 5 years of surpluses, from 1997 to 2001. One year after the first Bush tax cut, the surplus was gone and we had a $1.2 billion deficit. Illinois and 29 other States use federal AGI as a starting point for computing state income taxes. Bush’s tax cuts became revenue cuts for Illinois and many other states ever since.

In 1994, Illinois gubernatorial candidate, Democrat Dawn Clarke Netsch, porposed full funding of pensions. The voters chose Jim Edgar, who kicked the can down the road, with his graduated scheme to provide 90 percent funding in 50 years, by 2045. This is the wonderful pension system we are currently operating on.

Blame yourself if you voted for Bush or Edgar.

Illinois is one of only three states that exempts all pension income. We are in desperate need of tax reform.

Gene Robke