Not just what the doctor ordered to fix Illinois economy, stem the fight of residents and businesses out of state, and solve the systemic problems with the state's spending. If anything it will make it all worse, terribly so.
Democrat gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker has cowardly, insultingly and dangerously refused to say exactly how much higher Illinois income tax must be raised to fund all the new spending he is proposing.
The Illinois Policy Institute gave it a shot, using public statements to come up with an estimate. The answer?
An astonishing $13 billion to $18 billion.
That's on top of a $38.5 billion budget. We're talking an increase of up to 46 percent on top of the current budget.
Can this be right?
The Institute says it is.
Reasonable estimates show the cost of Pritzker’s spending promises demand an income tax hike of $13 billion to $18 billion. This would require approximately doubling the state’s personal income tax to 9.95 percent on the high end and 8.51 percent on the low end from the current 4.95 percent income tax rate.
That means within the existing flat income tax structure, which would remain in place until at least 2020, the typical family in Illinois making just over $79,000 would pay an additional $2,500 to $3,500 in income taxes in order to finance Pritzker’s spending promises.
Economic modeling shows a tax hike of this magnitude could cost the state between 94,000 and 132,000 jobs and $22.4 billion to $31.3 billion in economic activity.
Gag. Even progressives who are so willing to give away their money think twice.
This is staggering. Amazing. Breathtaking. Unbelievable. Bewildering. Guess that's why Pritzker repeatedly isn't saying how much he would have to jack up the income tax.
Well, think about it this way: Pritzker and Democrats want to change the current flat tax to a "progressive" levy that takes a great percentage of richer taxpayers' income. Pritzker says that rich people like him ought to be willing to pay more. So, if he's so willing to spend his own money, then let's say that the super-rich billionaire paid his entire worth.
Forbes estimates it at $3.2 billion. So even if the state took Pritzker's entire fortune, it wouldn't come close to paying for the increased spending. It would take as many as 12 Pritzkers to pay for it. For just one year. Soon enough Illinois would run out of billionaires.