Roughly 16% of Illinois residents are over 65. But We turn out to vote in larger numbers than any other demographic group.
No wonder we are the target for the wealthy backers of the opponents of a graduated income tax.
Along with billionaire Ken Griffin – he’s written checks for $50 million for the cause – the big voice for defeating a rational income tax is the Illinois Policy Institute.
It is transparently obvious why Griffin wants to defeat a constitutional amendment that would increase tax rates on the rich while decreasing tax rates on working people.
Imagine. How much money would a graduated tax system cost him if he is willing to spend $50 million to stop it.
His concern for “the middle class” and “small business people” doesn’t pass the laugh test.
And then there is the Illinois Policy Institute.
The IPI parades as a non-partisan research think tank. And I suppose they are non-partisan. Political parties are only meaningful to the IPI if they can use them to fill their bank accounts. Their funders were exposed in a 2018 ProPublica piece by reporter Mick Dumke.
- The Rauner Family Foundation, created and led by Bruce Rauner, then the leader of a private equity firm. The Rauner foundation donated $625,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute between 2009 and 2013.
- A family foundation headed by Richard Uihlein, the leader of a packaging company who lives in Lake Forest. The Uihlein foundation has given $8.6 million to the institute since 2009 and another $2.4 million to the Liberty Justice Center and Think Freely Media.
- The Mercer Family Foundation, which has contributed $1.1 million since 2009. The family has been a major financial backer of President Donald Trump and, until a recent falling out, the far-right Breitbart website.
- Donors Trust, which distributes money to conservative groups around the country, including those led and funded by the industrialist Koch brothers. Donors Trust gave the institute and Think Freely Media $1.4 million from 2009 to 2015.
They are the ones who came up with the lie about the amendment taxing worker’s retirement income.
Does anyone seriously think they would care if it did?
And it doesn’t.
The IPI were the people behind Bruce Rauner’s Turnaround Agenda.
The IPI were the people behind Janus.
The IPI were the people behind the attacks on earned public pensions, which continue to this day.
And we are to believe that they care about our retirement?
I’m old. Not stupid.