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Somehow Democratic Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois interpreted his remarkably narrow victory over State Senator Bill Brady as a mandate to raise state income taxes 33%. He is referring to the increase as an education surcharge. Unfortunately, Governor Quinn must have missed the real message that Illinoisans sent on election night. All across the state conservative congressional candidates were elected over liberal or even moderate Democrats. Of the four competitive Illinois House races, all four went to the Republican (districts 10, 11, 14, and 17). Tea Partier Joe Walsh is also ahead and will likely stay ahead in the 8th district, which was a race that was supposed to be a safe Democratic hold.
Governor Quinn, however, myopically focused on his own results, where he won by a meager .5% in a very blue state. The error by Gov. Quinn is a microcosm of the false choice offered by Democratic lawmakers nationwide. We must raise taxes, they say, if we are to get serious about ending budget deficits and paying off debts. The only alternative, they say, is to cut vital services. Voters rejected that ridiculous notion last Tuesday and they were right to do so.
First, they (Gov. Quinn and similar tax and spend Democrats) presume that every dollar is being used efficiently. Second, they presume that every dollar is vital to some basic, worthy cause. Third, they presume that raising taxes will generate the amount of revenue that they project it will. These presumptions are false and against the will of the people. Voters rightly see the government, whether it be local, state, or federal, as wasteful and inefficient. The public is also not so ignorant that they think any dollar cut will mean some poor, disabled single mother will have to choose between groceries and heating bills. Finally, people are just fed up with having their money taken and spent on things like corporate bailouts and stimulus pet-projects.
Raising taxes ought to be treated as a last-resort in every possible case. Unless there is a near apocalyptic event, taxes should only be lowered. To think that raising taxes in a recession and after a very contentious election is what the people want only signifies how out of touch politicians like Gov. Quinn are. The good news, at least, is that those who so willfully misinterpret public opinion like Gov. Quinn only assure themselves of certain defeat in any future elections.