Ideologically-Opposed Groups Offer Their Illinois Budget Fixes


Before Governor Pat Quinn unveils his budget proposal next week, legislators and fiscal policy experts are weighing in with advice. Illinois has a historic budget deficit, and John Tillman, the head of the Illinois Policy Institute, says it ballooned to potentially 9 billion dollars because the governor and lawmakers lacked spending discipline. He says the gap was created before the economic downturn, when Illinois was bringing in record amounts of money in taxes and fees.

"There's no reason to add more revenues if you're already getting record rates of revenue in," Tillman said, meaning Illinois needs to make cuts. But Ralph Martire of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability takes the opposite view.

"While that may sound logical," Martire said, "it is quite clearly the absolute worst thing the state of Illinois could do. In fact we have found that if the state were to cut spending and its budget deficit was as small as $4 billion, we would lose 56 thousand jobs."

Martire says Illinois should overcome the recession by raising taxes. Martire says Illinois can't just tax like it does now -- he advocates changing the tax code.

Story source: AP