Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Six of One...UPDATED

I don't have the time to do an extensive post right now, but I just have to put this thought out there.

I just got done listening to the Governor's Q + A at a northside senior building today, in which he says that his problem with the sales tax increase is that the sales tax is
'A regressive tax that disproportionately affects low-income people'.
This from the same Governor that is proposing a massive gaming expansion in order to fund a capital bill. Does he not realize that gambling is the most regressive revenue generator out there?

Or is that only an issue when it's convenient for him?

UPDATE - I also picked up on this gem from the Governor:
"To give seniors a free ride on public transportation, I don't think that takes a lot of political courage."
Correct. But to admit that it's a poorly thought-out idea, doesn't bear a rational relationship to needs or policy, was done outside the legislative process, and that the transit systems can't afford it - that does take political courage.


At January 15, 2008 at 4:28 PM, Anonymous lake county democrat said...

I agree and disagree with John -- gaming is clearly a very regressive tax (the NY Times did a fascinating piece on this last week, as well as on how a lot of data on gambling and ethnicity is, well, "gamed" -- I'll try to find the link).

But there's a difference here: the recent question for the legislature boiled down to "gas tax" vs. "sales tax." I don't have any data and could well be mistaken, but my suspicion is a gas tax is more progressive due to recreational driving, who buys gas guzzling SUV's, where working class people live vis-a-vis their jobs, who takes public transportation more, etc.

Also, while gaming is a regressive tax, it's also a sin tax, and you can make the argument that unless our neighbor states ban gaming, we're going to get the worst of both worlds: much of the regressive effect of gaming with none of the tax revenues funding Illinois public works.

Here's how to make gaming work: pass a law requiring gaming money stays in the local district. Then lottery tickets in poor areas at least fund poor schools. Same for video poker and such in bars. And it encourages people to shop/spend locally, which would also be a progressive offset.

At January 15, 2008 at 4:31 PM, Anonymous lake county democrat said...

Here's a link to the NY Times article I mentioned:


At January 15, 2008 at 5:27 PM, Blogger Rep. John Fritchey said...

Problem with the gas tax v. sales tax comparison is that there was no mechanism proposed to fill the hole created by a gas tax diversion.

Maybe I oversimplified the point slightly, but nowhere near as much as the Governor, who flatly fell back on the 'regressive tax' argument to try to skewer the sales tax hike.

Compounding this was his inability, for over a year, to propose a different sustainable funding mechanism that could have solved the problem.

We all want a lot of things (eg. access to quality affordable health care),but you have to find a way to pay for them.

If you're going to demonize one solution, you ought to be able to propose a better one.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home