To the Editor:
Illinois is in a dire fiscal quagmire. Our history is strewn with bad decisions and bad policy poorly executed on and then, worst of all, rather than address bad policy, we looked for a rationale to keep it in place. Our lack of willingness to face up to our sins of the past is coming home to roost at a great cost.
We have experienced an embarrassing lack of leadership, or maybe it is followership, with our state having gone two years without a budget.
The underlying cause has not been addressed, the short-term impacts are being felt on a day-to-day basis, our near-term future is bleak indeed, and we’re doing things in such a way that makes the longer term most uninviting.
Most recently, the House of Representatives addressed a significant portion of our problem, namely the revenue side, in the form of a bill that was put forth by the Democrats that would raise the state income tax.
A handful of Republicans voted with the Democrats to pass that bill. Bob Pritchard was one of the brave representatives who took a position that was counter to the party position.
We could look at this as a betrayal or a lack of loyalty. Or, we could look at this as a willingness on the part of our legislator to find an opening, to create a crack, to begin a dialogue the can get us out of this most embarrassing and fiscally devastating situation.
I have known Bob for many years and know him to be a man of integrity and someone who genuinely has the best interest of his state at heart. He has shown me that on many occasions, this being the most recent.
I understand the reaction of wanting to attack or criticize. It’s a time in which we live. But thoughtful people will also recognize when someone takes a position to address a portion of the underlying problem and does it in a way to put the well-being of all of us ahead of a narrow partisan view.
This bill might just be the catalyst that brings the sides together for a genuine dialog focused on resolving this damaging impasse
Thank you, Bob. Whether I’m for or against an increase in the income tax is less important than the leadership you have shown in trying break a logjam and to begin a dialogue that is long past due.