Hope for the Hopeless in Illinois

Illinois is hopeless. When John Tillman hears people say that about government in the Land of Lincoln, he gets pretty peeved.

Tillman, head of the Illinois Policy Institute — a think tank offering what it calls “liberty-based public policy initiatives” — doesn’t think battling big government is hopeless at all. For instance, the Institute helped generate support for transparency legislation that passed.

And last week, as the state’s legislative session closed, Governor Pat Quinn’s proposed 50 percent income tax hike was soundly defeated . . . by the state’s very blue legislature.

How did that happen?

Well, the first step is always to believe enough in your fellow citizens to wage a fight for their “hearts and minds.” Hope helps.

Next step? Getting the facts out.

The argument for huge tax increases is always that government can’t survive without the additional money. In a series of media appearances and grassroots events, Tillman and the Institute kept talking about sensible ways to cut spending.

Governor Quinn talked about the painful consequences if government didn’t have more money. Tillman spoke about the painful consequences if working families, already paying high taxes, had to fork over still more dough.

Kristina Rasmussen, the Institute’s Executive Vice President, published a report entitled, “Would My Family Pay Higher Taxes Under Governor Quinn’s Plan?” The answer for the average Illinois family was: Yes — 17 percent more.

Hope wins again. Helped by hard work.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

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