There is this thing that happens when you talk to Republican (and some Dems too) politicians. I offer this up to readers who don’t have or don’t seek the opportunity to do that.
They are convinced that the problem with Illinois is that we have an economy and tax structure that threatens to force rich people and corporations to leave the state.
No matter that we have the most regressive tax system imaginable. No matter that we still allow the largest corporations in Illinois to collect and keep the state income tax they collect from employees.
I say to them, “You know who is leaving the state? High school kids because Illinois public colleges and universities are too damn expensive. 40% of Illinois high school graduates who go on to college have to go somewhere else.”
Yes. Props to State Reprsentative Will Guzzardi for introducing a bill to make college tuition free in Illinois.
I got into a discussion with one Republican candidate at yesterday’s Illinois Retired Teachers Association luncheon. He swore to me that taxes were driving the wealthy out of state.
“Which one of the many homes are they going to?” I asked. “How many is Rauner up to now? Nine is it? Including the one he bought to clout his kid into CPS’ Walter Payton?”
The recent news reports on the improvement in family income shows that the problem in Chicago and Illinois isn’t who is leaving the state, but who in the state is being left behind.
Across the country and in Illinois family income has risen for the first time since the Great Recession,.
The increase in family income does not include African Americans families.
While the median income of white Chicagoans continues to climb, the black median income was more stagnant. That’s created a widening gap between the median incomes of white and black Chicagoans, even as the gap remained steady nationally. Median income for black Chicagoans now equals about 39 cents on the dollar compared to white Chicagoans.
When I pointed this out to some of the Repugs in the room, they looked at me like I was speaking German.
Where, by the way, there is no college tuition.