For months, we in the General Assembly have been asking Governor Rauner to explain how his “Turnaround Agenda” would relieve our state budget crisis. 

This past week, he finally attached numbers to his big-business, corporate agenda, and it reveals his true goal — a whopping $5 billion “tax” on middle-class families and not one single dollar more from those in our state who can most afford it, the rich. 

Gov. Rauner’s plan would cut the wages and benefits of teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, construction workers, police officers, firefighters and other middle-class workers by $5 billion. This loss of income also translates to further decreasing state revenue by over $200 million, which should be funding our core priorities, such as education, public safety and infrastructure. 

And what happens to billionaires like the governor and his rich friends? They will still pay the same 3.75 percent tax rate that you and every other working family in Illinois pays. Gov. Rauner saved $2,104 per day when our temporary income tax expired. In tough times we all need to share in the sacrifices, we all need to compromise to get our state back on the right track. Our governor has proved over and over that he will not compromise. 

I offer a solution to this unfair tax burden on the middle class. I have introduced the Fair Tax where lower rates apply to lower incomes and higher rates apply to higher incomes. This solution protects the middle class from the $5 billion tax Gov. Rauner wants to impose and instead creates a system based on what is fair. Everyone has a responsibility to share in the tax burden, but let’s make sure we are asking fair sacrifices of everyone. 

Gov. Rauner’s “Turnaround Agenda” revealed his true agenda: a middle class tax hike that will continue to place an unfair burden on working people. I offer the Fair Tax as a solution to our current budget crisis, one that would fund our core priorities and allow lower tax rates on lower incomes and higher tax rates on higher incomes. 

We all can share in the responsibility to get our state back on track.

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