To the Editor:
After years of blocking voters from taking action on term limits and the independent, nonpartisan drawing of legislative district maps, the Democrats controlling all three branches of government in Springfield are chirping in unison: Let the people decide!
They don't want to let the people decide on new laws to eliminate the systemic corruption or political gridlock. They want the people to decide on whether or not to raise income taxes on themselves, and nothing else.
With the backing of the lopsided Democrat majority controlling the Illinois Senate Executive Committee, Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 1 (SJRCA 1) was approved Wednesday and is heading for the Senate and House of Representatives for a vote. SJRCA 1 allows voters to amend the Illinois Constitution to substitute the current flat rate income tax system with a graduated-rate income tax system, which will let our state legislators raise taxes on a whim every year if they so choose. I voted no.
The Democrats say they will only raise income tax rates on the top 3 percent of earners, but their question to voters has no restrictions, no limits and no end date.
SJRCA 1 is the equivalent of handing a blank check to the Democrat-controlled state legislature to raise taxes on the rich today, the middle-class tomorrow and the poor next week.
Illinois voters need to wake up and force the Democrats who want to let the people decide to propose specific constitutionally protected graduated tax rates, but only if those same Democrats agree to allow amendment of the Illinois Constitution to require a 10-year term limit on every elected office in Illinois, and require an independent redistricting commission, which will eliminate the gerrymandered jigsaw puzzle that ensures perpetual gridlock in Illinois state government.
I am willing to allow the Democrats to have their dessert in the form of a binding referendum that asks voters if they want to empower the State of Illinois to raise taxes indiscriminately and perpetually because I will fight to defeat that referendum. However, I will only be scooping up the dessert if they agree to eat their vegetables in the form of binding referendums that establish term limits and eliminate gerrymandering.
I predict that Gov. JB Pritzker, House Speaker Mike Madigan and the Democrat majorities in Springfield will spend the next few years skipping dinner and loading up on dessert. The rest of us will suffer the consequences.
25th District State Sen. Jim Oberweis