Letter to the Editor | Illinois should keep the flat tax

Letter to the Editor | Illinois should keep the flat tax

I am responding to John King's letter that appeared in the June 7 newspaper.

He suggests that a progressive state income tax would be "much fairer," and the lack of it is the reason Illinois does not balance its budget and pay its bills.

Embedded in our state constitution is a provision that protects us from the mischief that would surely follow the enactment of a progressive income tax.

It requires a flat tax, meaning an income tax with one rate for all income levels. Thus, when politicians want to raise income taxes, they must raise taxes on all of us, which exacts a political price with voters and hopefully acts as a limit.

With a progressive tax, they could raise taxes on some but not all, encourage income envy and manipulate the income tax in ways we could not now imagine.

If we have learned one thing from the sum total of our political experiences, it is that we cannot trust the government. The genius of our federal and state constitutions is in their well-defined limits on the power of government.

The flat tax provision is such a limit. Let's keep it.

Failure to balance a budget and pay bills on time is a function of revenue and spending. Who is talking about reducing spending? No one.

The two gubernatorial candidates are trying to outdo each other with ridiculous spending policies in a state where we are not paying our bills.

Most legislators likewise. Humbug!