“You don’t raise taxes during a recession…. The last thing you want to do is raise taxes in the middle of the recession because that would just suck up and take more demand out of the economy and put businesses in a further hole.”

 -Barack Obama, 2011

By: Mark Glennon*

This isn’t complicated.

Illinois is in its worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. What happens if Illinois voters approve the progressive income tax amendment to the Illinois Constitution that’s on the November ballot?

A $3.6 billion tax increase, which is exactly what Obama said not to do in times like this.

Springfield has already passed the tax increase on high earners that will go into effect on January 1 if Illinoisans vote ‘yes.’ Lower earners would get a tiny tax reduction, if anything. On balance, it would raise taxes by $3.6 billion, supporters say.

Obama was right, and virtually all economists agree. It’s in all the economics textbooks: You don’t raise taxes during a recession.

More recently, the same point was made accidentally by no less than 1IL, which is a progressive publication that supports the progressive tax increase.

Last month, 1IL made its case for why the federal government should provide more money for mass transit spending. “Increase spending and cut taxes in times of crisis, the better to minimize the damage and spur a recovery,” they wrote. “It couldn’t make more common sense.” [Emphasis added.]

That, too, is just basic economics about. Illinois, of course, doesn’t have the option of doing the rest of what 1IL suggested, which is more spending and using rainy day money. Illinois can’t deficit spend like the federal government can, and Illinois entered this crisis with zero rainy day money. In January, just before the pandemic began, the Tax Foundation ranked Illinois the very worst among the fifty states in being prepared for a recession, having no reserves whatsoever.

So, all together now. Say it with Barack Obama: You don’t raise taxes during a recession.

*Mark Glennon is founder of Wirepoints.

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Poor Taxpayer
1 month ago

What ever the worst thing Illinois can do is what it will do.
Government always picks the worst possible way of doing something.
Governments Job is to tax the people till they DIE.

Barack Obama
1 month ago

Barack Obama was a great president.

Governor of Alderaan
1 month ago
Reply to  Barack Obama

Barack Obama thinks so

Barack Obama
1 month ago

Barack Obama knows so.

Doug
1 month ago

Stay with me on this. My family members wanted to put an addition on their house a few years back. The house was old and the busy body neighbors pushed the city to rezone my family’s property as “historic” which put severe restrictions on property rights–owner consent not needed in IL. My brother was unable to put in the addition and now must get approved for any/all outside alterations.

Obama is building his library on a public owned national and local historic park. It really is funny how increasing laws apply to everyone else but our “rulers”.

Joan
1 month ago

It couldn’t be simpler but you can count on Illinois voters to do what’s stupid if the Dems tell them to.

nixit
1 month ago

dOneIllinois has always been disheveled.

David C. Seidman
1 month ago
Reply to  nixit

The problem is medical….Dems have a case of gonerieha…gonna reelectim. No thought needed.