It’s that time of year for tricks. This time, the chicanery originates from our captains of political industry at Michael J. Madigan & Co. in a thinly veiled attempt at financial reform known as the “Millionaire’s Tax.”

The following advisory Illinois Millionaire Tax Increase for Education Question will appear on your ballot:

Should the Illinois Constitution be amended to require that each school district receive additional revenue, based on their number of students, from an additional 3% tax on income greater than one million dollars?

At face value, this seems like a no-brainer, right? Tax those no-good rich folks more! Make them pay their fair share! And it’s for education. Finally, someone is thinking about the children! But just like Madigan himself, it’s not hard to see right through his plan:

1) Protection. Why would we allow Madigan & Co. to remove one of the few remaining constitutional protections the independent taxpayer has? Since when have they earned that level of trust?

2) Inflation. Any proposed income threshold, regardless of size, must be indexed to inflation and raised yearly, based on the inflation rate. As they have heard this argument numerous times regarding the minimum wage, you’d think this would be inherent in any progressive tax discussion. This shows they have not done their homework. Or copied it from their neighbor as …

3) Interpretation. Senator Harmon has already shown the Machine’s true hand and proposed the same progressive tax of 8% on income over $180,000. What if Madigan & Co. interprets the “true spirit” of this vote as a “mandate” for Harmon’s progressive tax? Soon $1M becomes $180,000, then $50,000. The Machine’s end goal is to randomly plug in different rates and thresholds yearly to manage budget shortfalls.

4) Intention. Will this really increase funding for education? Even if this clause does earmark the entire millionaire bounty for schools, there’s nothing saying Madigan & Co. will not divert more funds away from education in the general state aid fund, leaving our schools no better funded than they were before. 

5) Misdirection. When your product cannot stand on its own, offer cheap incentives to lure shoppers into your store. The powers-that-be have no accomplishments to fall back on, so they are “enticing” voters with an endless selection of referenda. It’s an all-you-can-eat buffet with five different pasta salads but no prime rib. 

6) Prioritization. Priorities in ballot measures? Can the voters decide if an independent team draws the political maps going forward so that all citizens have an equal voice in their government? Nope. Well then, since you’re so anxious to change the constitution, why not also remove that one-sided clause that states “pensions cannot be diminished or impaired”? How dare you! The Illinois Constitution is a sacred document that cannot be changed and guarantees … Wait, I thought … sigh.

In Illinois, the independent taxpayer cannot take anything our politicians say at face value. It’s Halloween, so tell Madigan you see right through him. Say “No” to the Millionaire’s Tax.

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