If the state taxes, the legislature will spend. If the state runs out of revenue, as experience has shown, the legislature will still spend and the governor will sign. There is no hope that spending will be reduced by politicians who want to buy your vote. The only remedy is to take away the revenue. That means drastically reducing taxes across the board and removing their ability to borrow.
If someone takes money out of your wallet or purse, that person is a thief. Even if he or she uses that money for charity, that person is still a thief. That is how taxes work. Politicians invent new ways to spend our money, and then take it directly out of our paychecks. By giving our money to people who would vote for them, they make sure that they will continue their reign of corruption.
The Illinois Constitution states in Article 1, Section 1, that to secure our rights " and the protection of property, governments are instituted among men." In Article 1, Section 2, it says that "No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law".
Your money is your property. I am willing to let politicians spend a small amount to secure the blessings of freedom. But I never agreed to give a blank check to people who have shown, repeatedly, that they cannot balance a check book. Did you? That is depriving us of our hard earned property.
We are not likely to see our liabilities paid off in the foreseeable future. I am conceding that a minimum amount of taxes must remain in place as we grapple with the reckless spending habits of our politicians. But, we need to cap the revenue and borrowing to cap the spending.
I want to eliminate the 3% income tax. Many states do not have an income tax. I also want to eliminate the gasoline tax, cigarette tax and taxes on alcoholic beverages. It is my opinion that a sales tax is the fairest way to generate revenue. It taxes consumption so that those who can't afford to spend a lot, pay the least taxes. Anyone who wants a graduated tax can find that sales tax automatically adjusts to income levels, and it encourages saving. It also adjusts to the economic environment so that during these hard times, we can limit our spending and at the same time limit the spending ability of our legislators.
I also want to eliminate taxes on business. There is ample evidence of the value of business tax reduction. Illinois' business tax code includes tax credits for new job creation and doing business in Free Enterprise zones, as well as a property replacement tax credit. If a little tax reduction helps the economy, a complete repeal of business taxes will more than pay for itself in the form of more jobs and higher incomes.
Many will argue that we can't continue our current spending habits if we make such drastic cuts. This is exactly my goal. In my first year, I want to cut overall spending across the board by at least 10% the first year. This will give us time to plan an exit strategy from the losing battle of bloated expenditures.
In the second year of my administration, I will drastically pare the size and mission of the State Board of Education as we transfer financial and administrative control to the local districts. I will also gut the Department of Commerce because a vast amount of their spending goes to subsidizing some businesses and industries over others. I will leave the Small Business Administration with a temporary mandate to assist the growth of that vital sector of the business environment. I will partner with private business associations to help transition the economy to a new way of thinking: actual free markets.
The current and past Legislatures have ignored their constitutional mandates. According to the Illinois Constitution, appropriations shall not exceed funds estimated to be available during that year. It also says that emergency debt for failures of revenue must be paid off within one year of the date it is incurred. Both of these mandates have been ignored in blatant violation to our Constitution. Even most of those who voted against tax increases last year voted to increase spending. We have an obligation to vote against spending increases. And we have a Constitutional responsibility to pay off our debt this year.
If we don't see immediate action to slash spending and taxes, then we need to vote those responsible out of office. They have shown lapses in ethics and common sense, and have broken their promise to defend the Constitution. If the state doesn't balance its checkbook, it is going to be hard for us regular citizens to balance ours. We are in a state of fiscal emergency and business as usual is not an option.