Thursday, January 27, 2011

IPI's John Tillman Talks Tax Hike Repeal at Lake County Republican Federation's Leadership Council Breakfast

A new year and a new election cycle means a new season of political events in Lake County. The first major one that I've attended was held this morning at the Deer Path Inn in Lake Forest, and was sponsored by the Lake County Republican Federation. The Federation sponsors such breakfast meetings with politicians and policy wonks as a thank-you to its Bronze, Silver and Gold Circle members, who together form the Federation's Leadership Council.

Today's keynote speaker was John Tillman, Chairman and CEO of the non-partisan Illinois Policy Institute, whose talk focused on the "amazingly stupid" tax hike recently slammed through the Illinois General Assembly by a lame duck legislature in the final hours of the last session.

Before Tillman spoke, however, things got started with Federation President Sandy Stuart, below, welcoming the crowd, and then introducing State Representative Sandy Cole to lead the pledge of allegiance.

Next, new Lake County Board Chairman David Stolman (below) discussed the political and economic landscape in Lake County, which discussion was rather overshadowed by the very recent news that Abbott Laboratories, one of the largest employers in Lake County, was cutting more than 1000 Illinois jobs (most of them here in Lake), which is going to have a profound impact on the county.

John Tillman then gave his presentation, which focused on the state economic landscape and the competition we face from adjacent states like Wisconsin and Indiana (recently, even New Jersey has gotten into the act). Tillman noted that Illinois ranks near the bottom of states in job creation and near the top of states where people and jobs are leaving. The new gigantic tax hike has compounded the problem, and the real irony is, it is only a temporary 'fix', if that; Tillman clearly believes that the budget problem in Illinois simply cannot be fixed without serious public pension reform.

Unlike many people and institutions, the Illinois Policy Institute actually has a detailed budget plan that calls for freezing spending and cutting $5 billion from the budget -- all without, says Tillman, any borrowing and without cutting the most vital of government programs. Tillman also noted that now that the lame duck session is over, a majority of members in both of the state houses have indicated their objection to the tax hike -- and Tillman thinks that this issue, while clearly a huge problem, has galvanized many people into taking action. At the end of the day, workers, entrepreneurs and business owners are going to have to organize to take on the entrenched interests of the public employee unions to demand serious pension reform and rework the way this state does business. The IPI is collection signatures for an online petition to support repeal of the tax hike, and signatures are adding up quickly.

The breakfast was quite a success, and many local elected officials and Federation supporters attended, and were introduced by Lake County Central Committee Chairman Bob Cook. Pictured below are former State Senate Candidate Keith Gray, former state rep candidate Dan Sugrue, and Congressman Robert Dold, all listening intently to Tillman's presentation.

For more information on how to join the Lake County Republican Federation Leadership Council, visit their website here.


DarcsFalcon said...

Just a note - take out the . (dot) after - it kills the link. It should be just .org/ :)

Team America said...

Thanks - fixed that, the easy way, as you'll see.

Rob_N said...

Larry, Could you explain why conservatives think ranking #3 in the nation for new job growth in 2010 is somehow "near the bottom"? (Illinois ended #1 in new jobs for the Midwest, by the way.)

Rich Miller also called out the Daily Herald today for getting that basic fact egregiously wrong.

Anonymous said...

The #3 rank comes from a laser like focus on "new job growth" while it ignores the loss of other jobs already in existence. It also does review percentage increase/decreases by state. The 5th largest state in the Union by its very nature will create more new jobs than say, Rhode Island if you are just counting noses.

It depends on whether you are looking at the whole job tree or just a branch of it.

Conservatives in this case correct are looking at the large job picture, liberals focus on a stat that can be misleading to the exclusion of all other stats on the same subject.

Were the new jobs created in Illinois including the U.S. Census jobs that lasted one year then evaporated? The report you and Miller cite is unclear on that point.

This would mean that the loss of 1,000 Abbott jobs in Illinois would be ignored in order to maintain that misleading no. 3 ranking. It also brings to the forefront the state border wars on attracting business in Illinois. Abbott has made some huge real estate purchases just over the border in Wisconsin. Will our recent midnight lame duck tax increase orgy push them over the border some more?

Hope that clears things up for you.

Louis G. Atsaves

Rob_N said...


By your faulty logic that because Illinois is a large state it will naturally have larger job growth we should see California as #1 on the list.

It's not.

Similarly, the smallest state (population-wise), Alaska, should be last.

It's not.

Rather, the list of which states gained/lost jobs in 2010 was a comprehensive list because it focused on net gains/losses and took into account all the "gained" and "lost" Census Bureau jobs (which would be a net zero anyway since the same number were gained as were later lost).

I understand your point about big picture vs. granular focus but unfortunately your logic, as I explained above, is simply off-base.

Moreover, the facts I referenced were from last year: 2010. They are the most recent data available.

As best as anyone can figure, the Daily Herald editorial and the right-wing speaker at the LCRF breakfast were citing by-now old data which only went up to 2008.

The question remains: if Illinois ranked #3 in the nation for job growth in 2010 (and #1 in the Midwest), why do conservatives constantly recite an out-of-date stat to fib about Illinois being "near the bottom"?

Illinois, based on the most recent data available, is near the top. Unfortunately, that doesn't suit conservatives' transparent propaganda efforts.

But thanks for trying to distract, Larry.