Why do I have a youtube video of the Zombies singing She’s Not There on a post about a progressive income tax for Illinois?
You go try and find an image that goes with a post about a progressive income tax.
And this song was a favorite of mine in 1965.
I have only met State Representative Lou Lang from Skokie once. He came to our IEA Region endorsement hearing in 2012 following the General Assembly’s vote on Senate Bill 1 pension theft.
Lang didn’t wait for us to say a word about his vote for the bill. He tore into us for not electing more Democrats to the Illinois House and Senate.
“Jesus Christ,” I said to the other IEA members at the endorsement hearing after Lang left the room. “He has a veto proof majority and he thinks that’s not enough.”
He was right, of course. It wasn’t enough.
We voted not to endorse him, as we voted not to endorse anyone that year who had voted for pension theft. Lang couldn’t care less. He is the Deputy House Leader and he has been re-elected to his seat for 30 years after originally being appointed to fill a vacancy.
He doesn’t need IEA money. He gets tens of thousands more from the state’s gambling industry than teachers could ever afford to give him.
I bring up Lou Lang now because he is the guy behind the latest legislative attempt at a progressive income tax.
If you have been reading this blog for a while then you know that I have been writing about this since before 2012 when the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability issued their report on the subject.
The idea is simple.
Currently we have a state in financial crisis because we tax income low and flat.
No matter if you work at McDonald’s or are a member of the Pritzker family, you pay the same rate of tax on your income.
For that reason, and because Governor Rauner is holding the state’s finances hostage to his union-busting agenda, people are hurting.
When an advisory referendum was put on the Illinois ballot in 2012, 2.2 million voters said yes to taxing the rich.
That was half a million more than the number of voters who voted for the millionaire Rauner to be governor over the pension busting incumbent Pat Quinn.
Lang’s progressive tax bill has been voted out of committee and is headed for the House floor. It is doubtful that he would be acting if not for the backing of his Speaker.
Lang says it would lower taxes for 99% of families in the state and place the heavier burden on those that make the most.
Lang thinks the change could raise an additional $1.9 billion in revenue. What the state really needs in the opinion of some revenue experts I have talked to is anywhere from three to eight billion.
But a change in the constitutional prohibition of a fair tax is a start.
Placing the state’s tax burden on those that don’t have any money has never made any sense.
Will the Senate and the House agree on a common proposal, or is this just more game playing?
The Lang bill must pass by super-majorities in both chambers by May 7th to appear on the November ballot when another super-majority of voters is needed.