Unfortunately, after that national story blew over like the many hurricanes that threaten our coastal waters the national news turned to our budget crisis. At the time of writing, the House and Senate have passed a budget without major structural reforms which the governor vetoed. The Senate has overridden that veto and all eyes now are on the House to see if it will do the same.
I wrote two weeks ago that a budget is necessary but not sufficient to correct course in Illinois. Simply put, we need economic growth and punishing taxes are a major deterrent to that goal. Because even if we balance the budget this year, let’s be clear what that means.
A balanced budget simply means we won’t add to the crippling debt that is strangling our state. This debt has the credit rating agencies so scared they might downgrade us even if we balance the budget. Though they’ve backed off that threat a bit, the credit rating agencies are correct to raise concern.
The Wall Street Journal looked at Puerto Rico, Detroit, and Stockton, California and determined that “the tax increases propelled their economic decline and population flight, and the bondholders ultimately got fleeced.”
We need a budget, and we needed it weeks ago. But we need economic growth just as badly and we have needed that for a decade or more. The business community is the solution not the problem here.
So no matter what happens today in the House, I encourage you to call your Representative and ask for policies that encourage business growth. We should be focused on fueling our economic engine, the small businesses that we desperately need to grow here in Illinois.
If you’re unsure who represents you in Springfield, feel free to look it up on our website. Just enter your zip code and address as prompted and it will find your federal and state representatives. You can even do it on your phone! http://www.naperville.net/take-action.html
Representative Grant Wehrli (41st District)
Representative Jeanne Ives (42nd District)
Representative Mike Fortner (49th District)
Representative David Olsen (81st District)
Representative Stephanie Kifowit (84th District)
Representative John Conner (85th District)
Representative Mark Batinick (97th District)
Representative Natalie Manley (98th District)