April 16, 2009
BY STATE SEN. DAN DUFFY

The recession has hit hard in Illinois and very few have been spared. Everyone is cutting back in order to keep household spending in line with lower incomes and reduced home values. Eating out is now an occasional luxury not a weekly event. Family vacations have been rerouted to visiting relatives or staying home instead of trips to Disney. We all clearly understand that when times are tough, we need to change our spending habits.

But many in Springfield have the opposite view. They have decided this is the perfect time to take more of your hard earned money so they can continue to spend. They are considering increasing the income tax by 67 percent, increasing the gas tax, and adding a brand new tax on services. These are just some of the new proposed tax increases. There are countless increases in “fees” and job-killing, hidden taxes on small businesses. Some in Springfield have argued that we can’t possibly cut the bloated Illinois budget since every penny is well spent. Yet nobody can tell me how much money the State actually has or specifically how much money we owe?

How could any family balance their budget if they didn’t even know how much money they made each month or what their total bills would be each month? It is not a question of whether or not there is wasteful spending in Illinois’ gigantic budget. The question is, how much? The voters of Illinois have made tough choices to get their household budgets in line. It is time for legislators in Springfield to do the same.

Businesses, not the government, create jobs. Businesses provide the tax revenues we need to build better roads, better schools,

We have well-educated, hard working people and beautiful, world class cities. Companies should be flocking to our doors. Yet in the past 10 years, Illinois has ranked third from the bottom in job creation. Local businesses have known for years what the rest of the world is now discovering. Illinois has a reputation as a corrupt state with a very anti-business atmosphere.

A new business is not going to set up shop in Illinois when there are so many other states available where the owners don’t have to worry about corruption or “new” business taxes hidden around every corner. Companies which are already here are making the decision to expand outside Illinois or move entire operations out of state

The massive tax increases proposed by the Democrats in Springfield will only exacerbate our current problem. We must not let this happen. We should be doing everything we can to encourage - not discourage job growth. Companies will stay and come back to Illinois, but we first must reform our corrupt political system and make it clear that Illinois is “open” for business.