Some in Illinois have seen a recovery since the end of the Great Recession. But for many more, the recession continues. This is especially true for those who rely on the services that Governor Rauner wants to slash in Springfield. There is nothing fair about these cuts.
In the Chicago Jobs Council’s new factsheet Working In Illinois: The Recession Continues in 2015, we offer some perspective on the current “recovery,” and the factors that make it hard for many in Illinois to advance. With more families sliding into poverty, and a safety net that catches so few of our neighbors who are struggling, Illinois leaders must make a commitment to prosperity, opportunity, and upward mobility through services–not cuts.
Not only are 50,000 more working families in or near poverty than in 2007, these are the very families that bear the heaviest burden paying for our government. In Illinois, the poorest 5th pay over 13% of their income in taxes. Rauner’s cuts would reduce services for these people: the ones who are paying for them, and the ones who most need them. Yet, he stubbornly refuses to generate revenue by raising taxes on billionaires like himself. The top 1% in Illinois only pay 4.6% of their income in taxes. The Keystone Research Center found that Illinois would raise an additional $8.6 billion simply by asking the richest to pay as much as the middle 5th of Illinoisans. Illinois does not have a budget crisis, at least not a real one. Illinois has the resources it needs to balance the budget. The real catastrophe is an unfair tax system that asks the most from those who have the least.
Share the truth about Illinois’ budget. Let your friends know that more hard working Illinois families are poor than before the recession began, and that they should be our priority. Demand that your state leaders solve this false budget crisis with revenue, not cuts.