Wednesday, January 12, 2011

WHAT'S THE ALTERNATIVE TO THE CURSED ILLINOIS TAX BITE?

OK, kiddies, everybody is ripping on the tax deal.  It discourages high end wage earners, tech development, innovation and brushing and flossing.  Everybody with a portable business is moving it to Indiana, Vietnam or Alabama.  The money will be spent on new programs instead of debt reduction.  There is no such thing as a temporary tax reduction.  All good points and all rational arguments.

Here's the underlying proposition, though.  Your Prairie State is $13 Billion upside down.  Much of the money is owed to...uh...Illinoisans.  Whether they be dentists, therapists, nursing homes or huge hospitals, they're part of the fabric of our state.  The economy of our state is bottled up because these vendors are not paying the folks who provide stuff for them or because the vendors are borrowing money and destroying their profit margin.  In either event, the vendors aren't likely to be creating jobs.  Until that debt is abated, the State Government, itself, is a drain on the private economy of The Land of Lincoln.

You can't balance the budget by cutting out "waste" and you damn sure can't eliminate the debt by doing so.

So here's the question:  Suppose you are King of Illinois--no political barriers at all.  How would you get the State Government out of its current debt position?  It's a Rubik's Cube, at best, so please don't just tell me you'll shrink our way out of it or you'll only grow our way out of it.  For better or for worse, those ships sailed a long time ago.

23 Comments:

At 8:38 PM, January 12, 2011, Anonymous JDH said...

Simple. You tell the unionized employees of this state that their pensions have been used to buy the votes that kept the people they wanted in power,in power. then you tell them they will have to work through their 60's like the folks in the private sector.Have a nice day.

 
At 7:43 AM, January 13, 2011, Blogger UMRBlog said...

That's all you got? An anti-union screed and a change in employee benefits? That'll get you about three Billion over 15 years. Where's the other 10+ B gonna be generated?

See, the idea here is to demonstrate that this is a big boy problem, even without the politics involved.

Appreciate your coming by, but you're clearly not into it.

 
At 7:55 AM, January 13, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For a start...Right to work. Eliminate public employee unions in Illinois.

 
At 9:08 AM, January 13, 2011, Anonymous Righty1 said...

Well let see, we have all these very smart people in Springfield who for years have been screwing the taxpayers of this state to feather their own nest. They can't seem to find anyway out of this serious financial problem except to tax us more. I'm fine with the tax increase so long as I see some serious cost cutting.

As King:

I would start with renegotiating all pensions put in place over the past 20 years and tie them to what was typically offered in the private sector for similar positions. All state funded pensions that were ballooned in the last 3-5 years of the person’s employment would be based on the years before. As King, I would do exactly what Obama did to the folks who owned GM stock any and all pensions for elected officials...gone! Next in line is the Prevailing Wage Price Fixing Law, gone too.

I would sell as many state building as possible and lease the space back. I would move as much of the state business out of Chicago and back to Springfield as possible to reduce cost. I would out source to the private sector as much of the state work as possible.

And since I am King, I would use technology to run the state’s prisons. All prisoners would be fitted with a electronic control collar upon entering prison. This would be tied to the security system that would require minimal guards.

Then there is the Secretary of State offices around the state. Bye, bye....privatize.
There are so many ways to cut if you are the King! I got more...

 
At 9:08 AM, January 13, 2011, Anonymous Righty1 said...

Well let see, we have all these very smart people in Springfield who for years have been screwing the taxpayers of this state to feather their own nest. They can't seem to find anyway out of this serious financial problem except to tax us more. I'm fine with the tax increase so long as I see some serious cost cutting.

As King:

I would start with renegotiating all pensions put in place over the past 20 years and tie them to what was typically offered in the private sector for similar positions. All state funded pensions that were ballooned in the last 3-5 years of the person’s employment would be based on the years before. As King, I would do exactly what Obama did to the folks who owned GM stock any and all pensions for elected officials...gone! Next in line is the Prevailing Wage Price Fixing Law, gone too.

I would sell as many state building as possible and lease the space back. I would move as much of the state business out of Chicago and back to Springfield as possible to reduce cost. I would out source to the private sector as much of the state work as possible.

And since I am King, I would use technology to run the state’s prisons. All prisoners would be fitted with a electronic control collar upon entering prison. This would be tied to the security system that would require minimal guards.

Then there is the Secretary of State offices around the state. Bye, bye....privatize.
There are so many ways to cut if you are the King! I got more...

 
At 9:09 AM, January 13, 2011, Anonymous Righty1 said...

Well let see, we have all these very smart people in Springfield who for years have been screwing the taxpayers of this state to feather their own nest. They can't seem to find anyway out of this serious financial problem except to tax us more. I'm fine with the tax increase so long as I see some serious cost cutting.

As King:

I would start with renegotiating all pensions put in place over the past 20 years and tie them to what was typically offered in the private sector for similar positions. All state funded pensions that were ballooned in the last 3-5 years of the person’s employment would be based on the years before. As King, I would do exactly what Obama did to the folks who owned GM stock any and all pensions for elected officials...gone! Next in line is the Prevailing Wage Price Fixing Law, gone too.

I would sell as many state building as possible and lease the space back. I would move as much of the state business out of Chicago and back to Springfield as possible to reduce cost. I would out source to the private sector as much of the state work as possible.

And since I am King, I would use technology to run the state’s prisons. All prisoners would be fitted with a electronic control collar upon entering prison. This would be tied to the security system that would require minimal guards.

Then there is the Secretary of State offices around the state. Bye, bye....privatize.
There are so many ways to cut if you are the King! I got more...

 
At 9:09 AM, January 13, 2011, Anonymous Righty1 said...

Well let see, we have all these very smart people in Springfield who for years have been screwing the taxpayers of this state to feather their own nest. They can't seem to find anyway out of this serious financial problem except to tax us more. I'm fine with the tax increase so long as I see some serious cost cutting.

As King:

I would start with renegotiating all pensions put in place over the past 20 years and tie them to what was typically offered in the private sector for similar positions. All state funded pensions that were ballooned in the last 3-5 years of the person’s employment would be based on the years before. As King, I would do exactly what Obama did to the folks who owned GM stock any and all pensions for elected officials...gone! Next in line is the Prevailing Wage Price Fixing Law, gone too.

I would sell as many state building as possible and lease the space back. I would move as much of the state business out of Chicago and back to Springfield as possible to reduce cost. I would out source to the private sector as much of the state work as possible.

And since I am King, I would use technology to run the state’s prisons. All prisoners would be fitted with a electronic control collar upon entering prison. This would be tied to the security system that would require minimal guards.

Then there is the Secretary of State offices around the state. Bye, bye....privatize.
There are so many ways to cut if you are the King! I got more...

 
At 9:09 AM, January 13, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well let see, we have all these very smart people in Springfield who for years have been screwing the taxpayers of this state to feather their own nest. They can't seem to find anyway out of this serious financial problem except to tax us more. I'm fine with the tax increase so long as I see some serious cost cutting.

As King:

I would start with renegotiating all pensions put in place over the past 20 years and tie them to what was typically offered in the private sector for similar positions. All state funded pensions that were ballooned in the last 3-5 years of the person’s employment would be based on the years before. As King, I would do exactly what Obama did to the folks who owned GM stock any and all pensions for elected officials...gone! Next in line is the Prevailing Wage Price Fixing Law, gone too.

I would sell as many state building as possible and lease the space back. I would move as much of the state business out of Chicago and back to Springfield as possible to reduce cost. I would out source to the private sector as much of the state work as possible.

And since I am King, I would use technology to run the state’s prisons. All prisoners would be fitted with a electronic control collar upon entering prison. This would be tied to the security system that would require minimal guards.

Then there is the Secretary of State offices around the state. Bye, bye....privatize.
There are so many ways to cut if you are the King! I got more...

 
At 10:28 AM, January 13, 2011, Blogger UMRBlog said...

0755,

See 0743.

TYFCB

 
At 10:33 AM, January 13, 2011, Blogger UMRBlog said...

0909,

Check your mouse. You sent me the same comment six times.

How does eliminating Prevailing Wage Law impact the State Debt?

You do understand that the sale and leaseback of the same buildings is a money loser over any 25 year scan, right? I'm not saying it might pay down some debt in the short run. On a related topic, we need to get out of premium leases in Chicago and Your Springfield idea is a good one as long as we don't get into Premium "Most Favored Nation" leases there.

Hit us with the more. Constructive Stuff. Thanks.

 
At 11:02 AM, January 13, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well let see, it's a 4 year plan. You have every department (except education) cut 10% from there budget and it's frozen until solvent. That will save you $3.5 billion a year. Ditch the pension system, you get SSI like everyone else. You raise income and corporate tax by 1% which is really about a 30% increase on individuals. This tax last for only 4 years. All employees would have their wages brought down to private sector levels.

Sincerely

BT

I could really go on and on,

 
At 12:52 PM, January 13, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

UMR... I don't expect you to offer an honest debate here because you are one of them. But we'll see who's left to pillage from in this state when everyone who makes anything honestly ups and leaves.

But keep blaming politicians and us kiddie taxpayers, you'll be one left on that boat. Thanks for having me, goodbye.

 
At 1:00 PM, January 13, 2011, Blogger UMRBlog said...

1252,

When you don't have any rational arguments, you can always to default to name-calling.

You're gonna look till your head hurts to find a time I supported this tax increase and any of its fine print.

I'm looking for creative ideas on saving our State. Already have some coming in. Don't let the facts get in the way of a perfectly good skreed.

TYFCB

 
At 2:34 PM, January 13, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even if you were King of Illinois I don't think you would be able to fix the problem. The two biggest expenditures, I believe, are education and healthcare. With a likely cut in federal education support and cuts in federal Medicaid support, even with tax increases someone is going to have to stomach cutting education and healthcare for poor kids- to be blunt. In terms of the pension issue, the defined benefit model is not sustainable given current life expectancy and health care cost, and really hasn't been for thirty years. The state is going to have to transition to a TSP (401k) style benefit. It's convenient to blame the public unions, but then why is Texas in the same boat as IL?

 
At 2:53 PM, January 13, 2011, Anonymous Jason said...

Creative Budget Solution
Four words: Rahm Emanuel Swear Jar.

 
At 8:35 PM, January 14, 2011, Anonymous JDH said...

It's not an anti-union screed.It's one yes only one problem with state government.Just remember these benefits are guaranteed by the state. By the way, what does the state produce to sell on the open market to make money? And who do the unions bargain with? A council/board of taxpayers from the private sector? Thanks for the opportunity to voice my views.

 
At 8:57 PM, January 14, 2011, Anonymous JDH said...

Sorry anon 2:34. I failed to address your question,but I don't know what retirement and health care benefits union gov workers in Texas receive, nor do I know the pay scale, but I will bet it does not compare to Illinois. I'm am not anti union, just anti gravy train.

 
At 5:35 PM, January 16, 2011, Anonymous Hank M. said...

A little late to the party, but here's a change that will help. However, there's just one teeny, tiny problem -- nobody's got the guts to do it.

Simply tax pensions and social security. I'm receiving both and haven't paid Ill. Income tax in a long time. This would also "recover" a small part of the state pensions as well as have us largely "freeloading" "Senior Citizens" working on paying our share. (Yes, I know we pay sales tax, too.)

I don't have the numbers to crunch to know what impact this would have, but it would help. Anybody got an idea of what the impact would be? (Besides managing to really p*** off a whole bunch of people-- old folks and state employees for starters).

 
At 7:24 PM, January 16, 2011, Blogger UMRBlog said...

Hank,

Since the Hypothetical only makes you King of Illinois, I Think Social Security taxation is off the table.

Actually there are a few permutations of State Pension taxation floating around. You and I won't live to see it but it'll happen.

I am told it would gross about $150M a year. Some of the permutations would just change the way the tax over and above the pension would be calculated and gross a lot less.

TYFCB

 
At 9:52 AM, January 17, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The King Says:

1 - All State salaries will be adjusted to private sector standards.
2 - All State Pensions will be reviewed and adjusted to private sector standards.
3 - All Link Cards will be suspended; anyone needing wanting help from the State will need to show up at the Secretary of State's Office for a drug test before picking up their work assignments for the week. No one who smokes or who test positive for drugs or alcohol will be allowed state aid.
4 – The states minimum wage is hereby suspended.
5 – The State Board of Education is hereby suspended.
6 – Tenure is discontinued at all State schools.
7 - All professors must teach 75% of the time
7 – All State controlled gambling revenue will go into State Education Fund, no exceptions.

 
At 9:11 PM, January 17, 2011, Blogger UMRBlog said...

You Highness, Three, four six and 7(a) do not reduce the 13B deficit at all. Might settle some scores but no reduction there.

TYFCB

 
At 7:37 AM, January 19, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another King's amendment:

8. More DUI and seatbelt checkpoints. Cha-ching!

 
At 6:46 PM, February 18, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wisconsin

 

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