(This post contains a correction.)
Uh, oh. Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady reluctantly released his income tax returns and we now we know: He didn't pay federal income tax in 2008 and 2009! Nor did he pay state income tax in 2008!
This, we're instructed, is bad news for Brady and good news for Gov. Pat Quinn. It shows Brady's hypocrisy. It reveals the Tea Party's hypocrisy. At least according to the likes of Quinn. Rich Miller at the* Capital Fax Blog. His campaign's statement, posted on Capitol Fax:
The original Tea Party's rallying cry was "no taxation without representation." Apparently, Senator Brady misinterpreted this line as "no taxation for elected representatives." Since the public was not afforded the opportunity to view his returns, it's likely we won't know how he managed to pay no income taxes on over $100,000 of income in more than one tax year.
Given his track record--of supporting tax cuts for the wealthy but voting against a minimum wage, and of avoiding taxes on the salaries of his campaign officials--it's not surprising that Bill Brady believes a different standard should apply to him.
If Senator Brady is this secretive and controlling about basic information like his tax returns, just imagine how he would govern. After two recent scandal-plagued administrations, Illinois residents deserve better.
You'd think from this that Brady has done something illegal or immoral.
What's Quinn trying to say? That Brady believes he didn't have to pay taxes because he is an elected representative? Or that because Brady is an elected representative he should pay taxes that the law doesn't require?
Should Brady not take advantage of a tax break that is provided under the Stimulus Package? Should he ignore his deductible business loses when calculating his taxes? Really, is he supposed to pay taxes on money that he doesn't make? Should he not accept his refund? Is he supposed to pay more than he owes, and if he doesn't is that a legitimate issue for Gov. Pat Quinn to use against Brady?
Brady's reluctance to disclose his income taxes is a legitimate issue. That he allowed reporters only a peak at his returns is, at best, odd. It makes him look like he is trying to hide something, which he probably is because he's in business and his competitors might find disclosure of some information useful.
But not paying taxes that he doesn't owe is not a legitimate issue. If you don't like tax breaks then you ought to work to change the tax code. If you can understand it.
*I originally attributed the quote to Rich Miller, who conducts the Capitol Fax blog. That was my error, which I regret. My personal apologies to Rich Miller.
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