Quinn’s Wants 1% Income Tax Hike ‘For Education’

-By Warner Todd Huston

In his budget speech, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is proposing a one percent hike in the state income tax in order to”restore our education budget to current levels.” A one percent increase is like a 33% increase if the tax goes from a flat tax of 3% to one of 4%.

In his speech (beginning on page 10) Quinn addresses the education budget. Sadly, Quinn’s proposal does nothing to address why the problem has arisen in the first place.

Quinn asks for no necessary cuts, he asks for no union concessions, he makes no effort to tighten our education belt in Illinois. Quinn should be slashing the unnecessarily lavish benefits that teachers unions force out of the state, hundreds of useless administrators should be fired and their positions eliminated. The whole education establishment needs to be assessed for it excess. Those imagining that the “fix” is just to pump more money into these failing schools are fooling themselves.

But Quinn is doing nothing but treading water with the state’s education establishment when he should be demanding a bottom to top review of the waste of public education in Illinois.

Full education excerpt:

Here are the plain facts:

In the current fiscal year, the federal stimulus program provided One Billion dollars in emergency funding for education in Illinois.

Those federal dollars made it possible to protect our education system from severe cuts in the current budget.

But those federal stimulus funds for education will end on July 1, 2010 –this year — and right now, we do not have the revenues to replace those federal dollars.

I think it is wrong — and short-sighted — to cut education funding.

I do not believe that the people of Illinois want our young children crammed into overcrowded classrooms.

I do not believe the people of Illinois want to see promising young students forced out of college. I do not believe the people of Illinois want us to balance our budget today by sacrificing the future of a generation of children.

So I am challenging you today to consider a wise and responsible alternative to damaging cuts in education funding.

My alternative is a one percent income tax surcharge for education.

That 1 percent will be enough to restore our education budget to current levels — and allow us to get caught up on some of the millions of dollars we owe to our public schools, community colleges and four-year universities.

I believe this 1 percent for education makes sense — and I think the people of Illinois will understand.

We must invest in the future — even in these tough economic times.

This is urgent.

We don’t have six months.

We don’t have six weeks.

I challenge the General Assembly to take immediate action to enact the 1 percent for education initiative.

If we can enact this emergency rescue plan promptly – we can keep 17,000 committed teachers from getting layoff notices in the next few weeks.

In every community in Illinois, there are parents sitting up late at night, at their kitchen tables, trying to figure out how to get through these tough times without sacrificing their kids education — their children’s future.

We cannot walk away from teaching our kids.

In America, in Illinois, we adults sacrifice some of our present in order to help our children’s future.

We are custodians of their future.

“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, TheRealityCheck.org, RedState.com, Human Events Magazine, AmericanDailyReview.com, and the New Media Journal, among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events and is currently the co-host of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Conservatism” heard on BlogTalkRadio. Warner is also the editor of the Cook County Page for RedCounty.com.

He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book “Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture” which can be purchased on amazon.com. He is also the owner and operator of PubliusForum.com. Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston

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