Gov. Christie in Chicago promoting GOP candidate Bruce Rauner| Photo source
CHICAGO - Saturday, the Wall Street Journal refers to Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner's challenge of Democrat Incumbent Pat Quinn as a race to watch this fall. Rauner's situation is similar to the one New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has survived with a Democratic majority in the legislature.
However, the WSJ lauds Rauner's specific economic plan and says the plan is smart. After describing Illinois' dire financial situation, the WSJ spells out Rauner's plans, and then says Rauner's toughest task, as with Christie, will be convincing the Democrat majority to go along with his ideas. The good thing is, they say, Rauner has a plan.
... [Bruce Rauner] wants to phase out Mr. Quinn's tax hikes over the next four years, freeze property taxes and broaden the sales tax base. Illinois property taxes are the second highest in the country due to soaring government union costs. Freezing property taxes with no exceptions save for a voter override would force discipline in local governments and school districts.
As for the income tax, Mr. Rauner would cut the state's flat-tax rate to 3.75% in 2015, then reduce it to 3% by the end of his term. We'd prefer one big bang, which would have the best impact on the economy, but at least people would know the trend is down.
The Republican estimates that extending the state's sales tax to some services like attorneys, interior design and travel agents could raise $600 million in revenues, which would help plug the $2 billion budget gap that's anticipated from phasing out the Quinn tax hikes. Mr. Rauner's plan bows more than it should to politics by exempting many services such as day-care centers, barber shops, engineers and medical care.
The GOP candidate would also pare back the state's corporate welfare program that since 1999 has doled out $800 million in tax incentives, about half of which was issued in the two years after Democrats raised businesses taxes. He also aims to rework workers' compensation and the state's tort system, which is a trial lawyer's paradise.
The rest of the Wall Street Journal editorial is HERE.