I couldn't let this story go without bringing it to everyone’s attention first.
Illinois voters were happy to elect their new millionaire Republican governor, Bruce Rauner, to help straighten out their fiscal mess. His solution? Stuffing his pockets with self-serving tax cuts while completely disabling the middle class and poor with massive cuts. This is a shocking wake-up call.
Being a Wisconsinite, I didn't know Illinois' a big taxation problem - it wasn't progressive. Huffington Post:
The wealthy have rigged the economic rules of the gamer … rules found in the Illinois State Constitution. When the state constitution was rewritten in the 1970's, the wealthy organized to insert a provision preventing State Government from having progressive income tax rates. They wanted to keep their own share of taxes low, and to shrink state revenue in general by requiring that if tax rates go up for them, they have to go up for ordinary people as well.
Currently, there is no plan to change the Constitution to a progressive tax system, so…:
Illinois' new GOP Governor, Bruce Rauner, will personally receive a $750,000 per year tax cut as a result of his decision not to continue the state's temporary 1.25% income tax surcharge that expired last year. His taxes were cut by an amount equal to the annual income of 14 families of four making the median income.
Rauner, who made $61 million in 2013 - or $29,000 per hour - is one of a small group of multi-millionaire speculators who would directly benefit enormously from lower state tax rates.
Rauner is rich, and has little sympathy for the poor. His budget proposal is so inhumane and brutal I had to pass this story along to you. This is our austere, fascist future, and we’re getting an early preview:
None of this seems to bother Rauner one bit … Rauner's new state budget promises draconian cuts in services that benefit the middle class and the poor. Rauner proposed six billion dollars in cuts for state spending on universities, health care, local governments and pensions for state employees:1. Limiting eligibility for Department of Aging Community Care Programs.2. Cutting health care benefits for homecare workers.3. Slashing funding for the Department of Children and Family Services.4. Eliminating all Department of Children and Family services for youths 18-21.5. Reducing payments to facilities for children on ventilators, supportive living facilities and children with severe mental illness.6. Cutting Medicaid spending by 1.5 billion – including 735 million in cuts to hospitals serving Medicaid patients.7. Eliminating assistance to families with Hemophilia.8. Freezing intakes on childcare for children over 6. Increasing childcare copays for working parents.9. Eliminating State funding for specific organizations providing: - Services for people with disabilities - Services to children with autism - Services to homeless young people - Advanced placement classes - After school programs - Agricultural education - Arts and foreign language programs - Parent mentoring - Safe Schools initiatives10. Cuts to breast and cervical cancer programs.11. And a 31.5% cut to higher education.Seems that the state can't afford more childcare for working parents, but it can afford huge tax cuts for the very rich.
Exhibit A folks. This is what will spread nationwide, from career politicians like Scott Walker to millionaires like Governor Bruce Rauner. And voters are going along for the ride.