Bruce Rauner's Idea of Tax Reform


Bruce Rauner says he wants to raise

The FICA  and Medicare taxes.

Though he hasn't  paid either one these days

As he counts what he saves and relaxes.

Filed under: business, Economics, government


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  • I thought that this was going to be something relevant, like his proposal to replace the state income tax hike with a services tax, instead of saying that the Illinois budget was bloated and could be cut. At least a governor has some influence over state tax policy.

    However, if you really think that the Internal Revenue Code should be amended, I suggest you write your worthless Senator Durbin or worthless Representative in Congress.

    Otherwise, you are just a sap for the PAC that again is running the "boo hoo, Rauner is a billionaire" ads. The PAC hasn't gone back to "he killed your grandmother," though, at least yet.

    It still hasn't been demonstrated why anyone should vote for that liar, Quinn. Unlike Rauner, I don't use the term "broken promises."

  • First of all, the state income tax should be graduated as in some other states. Secondly, I don't begrudge anyone for being a billionaire, more power to them. But justice dictates that they recognize the common good and pay their fair share of taxes. No billionaire, in my opinion, should be paying a lower tax rate than the vast majority of Americans wage earners. In this respect, I'm in the Warren Buffett fan club.

    Rauner can say and promise anything in a campaign. He has no track record in public service. So one has to evaluate him with other criteria, like whether he has paid his fair share of taxes. On this point he fails to measure up for me.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    1, Do you have any evidence that he did not pay what his legal obligation was? No.

    2. FICA is capped ($117,000 income limit; IRS publication). Thus, even if he made millions in ordinary income, he would not have owed much more FICA than your or I would. Assuming he is self employed, anything over $117K would have a 12.8% lower marginal rate than anything.

    3. Federal tax is progressive. So, again your point is irrelevant to a governor's sway over tax policy. I noted above where you can complain about the Internal Revenue Code, including the capital gains tax rates, if you are really aggrieved.

    4. If you are arguing for an Illinois constitutional amendment for a progressive income tax, New York proved that the state will use inflation to get the average person into the highest marginal brackets. At least NY got rid of King Cuomo I, which brings us to:

    5. "Rauner...has no track record." Well, Quinn certainly does, as a liar with no leadership skills. Also, if he was a "reformer" in the 1980s (I wasn't around here, as indicated in #4) he sure is not one now, but a hypocrite. Why don't you tell us some reason we should vole for Quinn on his merits, instead as a protest vote against the only person who could afford to take on the unDemocrats of Illinois, or, unlike Dillard and Rutherford, was not in bed with them?

  • In reply to jack:

    well said. I agree, if he doesn't do what he says then I have no partisan love that would hold me back from a ruthless criticism and a reversal of opinion, unlike those that only hold to party.

    Frankly, most of the opinions I've heard against Rauner are rooted in union rhetoric. Unions that expect people who are going to get social security, to pay for bloated comparable public pensions. I see this desperation and hypocrisy in some of the most important and beloved people in my life.

  • In reply to 4zen:

    The only thing with which I would disagree is that with respect to "Republicans," those like Dillard* and Rutherford proved that they were members of the Combine, by campaigning on "we can cooperate with Madigan" platforms. Of course, the Madigan and Cullerton unDemocrats have no problem of using party to deprive the people of a voice in government. Maybe the explanation is that all the names I mentioned were in the General Assembly too long.

    While I don't have a problem with unions exercising their First Amendment rights, I do have problems with the presence of unions in the public sector, in that they are essentially negotiating with themselves under the current scenario, while the taxpayers are the real party in interest without an effective voice.

    *Showing what Dillard is, he took a job as RTA chairman, even though a task force appointed by Quinn said to abolish the agency as it is now constituted. But since the task force indicated that Madigan used corrupt influence over Metra, we know how far Quinn is going to push implementing that report, i.e. nowhere. That kind of inside dealing is reason enough not to support the status quo.

    And in the case of Rutherford, while Kelly "Truth" Squad complained that a Democrat exposed his crotch grabbing, Kelly couldn't explain why Rutherford had someone who immediately got a job in the patronage army of the Recorder of Deeds was an aide to a Republican.

  • In reply to jack:

    I should have specified public unions, I did in as much when stated 'public pensions'.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack, I didn't say he failed to pay "what his legal obligation was". I said he failed to pay his fair share.

    As for FICA, Rauner didn't pay into it or into Medicare for two recent years, using a loophole to avoid paying.

    It doesn't follow that because New York did something in some way, every other state will do exactly the same.

    The verse was not about Quinn. It merely addresses Mr. Rauner's questionable manipulation of the tax code..

    Unions on balance have done a great deal of good for the working class. Consider the 8-hour day Federal Safety Standards, and laws against child labor, and on and on. Even businesses like to form unions. Consider the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    "Jack, I didn't say he failed to pay "what his legal obligation was". I said he failed to pay his fair share."

    So, what is is his fair share, if it is not what one is legally obligated to pay? Warren Buffet made a similar argument, but I don't recall him making a donation to the Treasury, instead of to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (and I assume taking a charitable deduction for it).

    I discussed FICA before. You only repeated yourself. If all of his income were from wages or salary, would the $15,000 made that big of a difference?

    "It doesn't follow that because New York did something in some way, every other state will do exactly the same." No, history has proven that Illinois will do something much more corrupt.

    "Unions on balance." Apparently you didn't read 4zen's and my comments that we were referring to public sector union and the conflict of interest of politicians who negotiate with them. Yes, in this regard, Illinois does not follow New York, either. In New York, organizing a public sector union is considered a limited waiver of the state's sovereign rights, and if they strike, workers lose 2 days pay for each day of the strike, under the Taylor Law. But in Illinois, the labor relations acts are based on private models, and if anyone suggests anything, they yell about their bloody constitutional rights. Except maybe at VW, I don't think unions in the private sector elect management, and we saw what happened to GM and Chrysler (at least their shareholders) when they could no longer meet their obligations. But also remember that for all the wailing the unions in Detroit did about their state constitutional rights, the bankruptcy court is making them take a cut in their pensions.

    "The verse was not about Quinn." Well, then, what is the alternative?

    But to get back to the beginning--What is the absolute definition of "fare share" of taxes? Do you send an extra couple of thousands of dollars to the Illinois Dept. of Revenue, just to assuage your conscience? IRS at least used to take donations toward the national debt.

  • In reply to jack:

    Thanks, Jack, for the extended comments. You make some good points. I will admit I don't have a cogent answer for all of your rebuttals. The whole justification of the union movement was to give workers a seat at the table in setting compensation and working conditions. A good idea, I'm sure you would agree. History has shown that there were very few benevolent employers before the advent of unions. No doubt, the unions should conduct themselves with a sense of the common good too. No extreme demands. No influence from criminal elements. Unfortunately, this has not always happened and in many cases the reputation of union movement has been damaged. But I believe we should recognize the good that unions have done in the past and still do.. And their place in the economic scheme of things is still a vital one.

  • What is a fair share? I don't think it would be confiscatory if Rauner would pay on his enormous investment returns what a typical wage or salary earner pays on his. 35%.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    As I indicated above, the answer to that one would be to get Congress to change the capital gain rates. However, I would argue that the only way the Clinton administration got a balanced budget was IRS taking capital gains taxes (at 15%) on the capital gains distributions before the tech crash, so maybe they don't want to kill the goose that laid the golden capital gain.

    But it seems the real question is whether this was capital gain or ordinary income, but then it would be up to the IRS to audit it. Note also, that if he didn't pay FICA, he didn't get quarters of coverage, and the IRS returns FICA payments if they don't think they come from wages, salaries, or self employment income. Not that Rauner needs Social Security.

    On the union point, again you missed the difference between public and private sector ones. I have no problem with private sector unions organizing if they go through the procedures specified in the NLRA. I also noted above what happens to companies if they don't bargain with the unions at arms length. That doesn't happen to politicians, although Quinn has gotten himself between a rock and a hard place with regard to such things as wage freezes in return for no layoff promises that he couldn't keep. As I mentioned on District 299, I don't know whom the public sector unions could endorse if they are adamant about no pension cuts and the like, but I guess they figure they can more easily influence Quinn.

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