Ralph Martire’s graduated tax: more money for state to spend

Ralph Martire is once again figuring out methods to take more tax dollars from Illinois residents. Obviously, the recent 67% state income tax increase, going primarily to the pension systems, wasn’t enough for spenders like Martire.

The Center for Tax and Budget Accountability (CTBA), an oxymoron if there ever was one, is led by Mr. Martire of HB750 fame, traveling around the state for additional education funding through a tax swap that actually raised taxes by $4B to $6B dollars – the only thing Martire’s plan swapped was money from our wallets to the state coffers.

The CTBA may be a non-profit think tank, but there is nothing bipartisan about the organization, and its advocacy is a total tax restructure in the State of Illinois!

This restructure not only included the recent 67% state income tax increase, or the current graduated income tax  discussion to finance the state’s structural deficit (spending more than existing revenue), but the CTBA has also advocated taxing retirement income for the first time in Illinois history for those making above a certain amount .

Illinois lawmakers, who can’t even manage to fund the state’s public pensions, are now considering taking $1B from retirees who did manage to fund their retirement pensions!

Martire must have attended the Obama’s School of Class Envy when he stated that a graduated or progressive tax would restore fairness and give the state money to pay its bills by taking even more tax dollars from those who have succeeded in the workplace.

Martire says that the graduated tax is based on a person’s ability to pay. With the current system – a 5% flat tax – a taxpayer with double the income, pays double the taxes. What is unfair about that? Tax credits should be available for low incomes, and then the rest is taxed.


Martire says his plan will stimulate the economy and create 36,000 jobs because there will be more public and consumer spending.

How does the government create more jobs by taking money from taxpayers that would have been spent by the taxpayer anyway? What kind of economic double talk is that?

The previous week, the Rockford Register Star published a guest column by Lawrence J. McQuillan, PhD, chief economist at the Illinois Policy Institute, trashing the graduated tax plan. It’s required reading on this topic of graduated taxes!


Don’t be fooled by the propaganda. A progressive income tax will mean higher taxes for the middle class. Illinois should soundly reject the progressive tax.

Progressive tax supporters claim they “only want the rich to pay their fair share.” But the experience of other states proves that the middle class will pay more, too.

Currently, 34 states have a progressive income tax. In 24 of these states, a family of four with taxable income of $50,000 is taxed at a higher rate than in Illinois.

California is the canary in the coal mine. It has shown that progressivity means ever-higher taxes for the middle class and ever-higher state spending with endless deficits.

The graduated tax will bring in more money, but that doesn’t ensure that the state will not simply increase their spending and need even more money in the future. Progressives, like Ralph Martire, have an insatiable appetite for more state spending.

Progressives do not believe that the state can grow it way out of its addiction for more spending, so must always find ways to increase revenue – and the progressive tax punishes those for having succeeded in our workforce.



  1. Carol Foster

    The double talk belongs to you, Ted. Haven’t forgotten what you’ve said on the subject of state pensions and how we can’t afford them. Now you are crying political tears over they might be cut?
    Better discription might be two-faced on your part?

  2. Is is a coincidence all the Republican governors are cutting taxes and creating the most jobs? Is it a coincidence the three highest taxed states (CA, NY, IL) are the most bankrupt? Is it a coincidence these three states have the threee largest inner-cities filled with do-nothings? Connect the dots.

  3. Joe Melugins

    Everybody seems to want to point to Governor Walker and Wisconsin as an example of fiscal stability. Let’s compare Illinois’ individual tax rate with Wisconsin’s:

    Illinois: 5% (after being 3% for 20 years)

    — 4.6 percent on the first $10,070 of taxable income.
    — 6.15 percent on taxable income between $10,071 and $20,130.
    — 6.5 percent on taxable income between $20,131 and $151,000.
    — 6.75 percent on taxable income between $151,001 and $221,660.
    — 7.75 percent on taxable income of $221,661 and above.

    Oh! Well, maybe we should look at Iowa’s instead:

    — 0.36 percent on the first $1,428 of taxable income.
    — 0.72 percent on taxable income between $1,429 and $2,856.
    — 2.43 percent on taxable income between $2,857 and $5,712.
    — 4.50 percent on taxable income between $5,713 and $12,852.
    — 6.12 percent on taxable income between $12,853 and $21,420.
    — 6.48 percent on taxable income between $21,421 and $28,560.
    — 6.80 percent on taxable income between $28,561 and $42,840.
    — 7.92 percent on taxable income between $42,841 and $64,260.
    — 8.98 percent on taxable income of $64,261 and above.

    • Ted Biondo

      Welcome to the blog Joe, but I’ll bet if you check Walker didn’t put those state income taxes there. He has reduced property taxes for schools and gotten rid of the power of the WEA to force schools to buy their insurance. What is the comparison of the corporate taxes, Joe? You left lots of unanswered questions. Wisconsin is way ahead of Illinois fiscally. And what is Wisconsin’s debt compared to this state?

  4. Joe Melugins

    My oh my, both Wisconsin and Iowa have graduated tax rates with the top brackets much higher than Illinois’ 5% – and the lower brackets much lower.

    Maybe we had better look at Missouri’s and Kentucky’s then:

    — 1.5 percent on the first $1,000 of taxable income.
    — 2 percent on taxable income between $1,001 and $2,000.
    — 2.5 percent on taxable income between $2,001 and $3,000.
    — 3 percent on taxable income between $3,001 and $4,000.
    — 3.5 percent on taxable income between $4,001 and $5,000.
    — 4 percent on taxable income of $5,001 and $6,000.
    — 4.5 percent on taxable income of $6,001 and $7,000.
    — 5 percent on taxable income of $7,001 and $8,000.
    — 5.5 percent on taxable income of $8,001 and $9,000.
    — 6 percent on taxable income of $9,001 and above.

    — 2 percent on the first $3,000 of taxable income.
    — 3 percent on taxable income between $3,001 and $4,000.
    — 4 percent on taxable income between $4,001 and $5,000.
    — 5 percent on taxable income between $5,001 and $8,000.
    — 5.8 percent on taxable income between $8,001 and $75,000.
    — 6 percent on taxable income of $75,001 and above.

  5. Amen Juice. It’s just more proof of the failure of Liberal Socialism. Tax and spend, tax and spend, then tax and spend some more.

    Let Illinois pass yet ANOTHER tax increase (make no mistake, that’s what this is), and all they will do is spend more. It WON’T solve any problems, it’ll just feed ever increasing state spending.

    ANYONE that votes to give THIS state the ability to take even more money from the taxpayers is a crook, and an idiot.

  6. kevind1986

    Illinois is in about the worst shape of any state in the union; even the libs can’t honestly try to debate that. Now – which party has controlled EVERYTHING that happens in this state in recent memory? I’d like to see anybody even try to point a finger anywhere other than the party running this state. But hey – tax and spend works, right? It makes things better, right? It equalizes everything, right? Or maybe it just chokes the living daylights out of everything.

  7. Joe, Please take moment to actually look at the tables you posted. While the “lowest” rates may be less, the actual rates the majority of tax payers in those states pay would be HIGHER!

    – 6.5 percent on taxable income between $20,131 and $151,000

    – 6.80 percent on taxable income between $28,561 and $42,840.
    – 7.92 percent on taxable income between $42,841 and $64,260.
    – 8.98 percent on taxable income of $64,261 and above.

    – 6 percent on taxable income of $9,001 and above.

    – 5.8 percent on taxable income between $8,001 and $75,000.

    ALL FOUR have rates higher than what we already pay! Now imagine letting the politicians from Crook county write graduated tables for Illinois. 5% would probably be the LOWEST rate, and they would just keep climbing.

    End result: Illinois taxes would skyrocket. Then, they would keep raising the “higher end” rate to “soak those evil rich people!” and we’ll just wind up as a poorer and poorer people, with an ever expanding spending problem.

    When your kid maxes out their credit cards, you don’t teach them fiscal responsibility by increasing their credit limit. That’s all we’d be doing with this.

  8. expdoc

    Wisconsin’s current tax rates were passed by the Democrats and the crook Diamond Jim Doyle.

    Wisconsin’s state budget is balanced.

    How’s it looking in Illinois Joe?

  9. Joe Melugins

    Illinois doesn’t have a spending problem, it has a revenue problem.

    Illinois has the fewest number of state employees per capita out of all 50 states. Illinois is in the bottom 5 of all 50 states in state expenditures per capita. Illinois is dead last among our neighboring states in total state expenditures per capita.

    Total state expenditures per capita

    Illinois: $3599
    Wisconsin: $6798
    Iowa: $5810
    Missouri $3857
    Kentucky: $5576
    Indiana $4004

    Illinois’ government is broke because the 3% tax rate they had for 20 years was not enough to pay its bills – or make its contributions to the state pension systems. But there is money in Illinois. Illinois has the 5th highest GNP out of all 50 states. If Illinois had tax rates like Wisconsin, then Illinois would be in a lot better financial shape like Wisconsin.

    • Ted Biondo

      Illinois has problems, Joe, because it has too many bills. It needs to cut those bills. It’s only a revenue problem if you are on the receiving end of our taxes. On the taxpayer’s end, there’s too much spending.

      One’s perspective obviously depends on whether you sign the checks on the front, as taxpayers do when sending their hard earned money to the state in taxes, or you sign the check on the back, when cashing your government check.

    • Ted Biondo

      Joe, spoken like a true public employee! You and Ralph Martire have all the talking points.

  10. Joe Melugins

    With its higher tax rates, Wisconsin was also always able to make its pension contributions each year. As a result, Wisconsin has the best funded pension system in the country, despite the fact that its state employees and teachers had, and still contribute less that the state employees in Illinois. The State of Illinois on the other hand, skipped its employer’s pension contributions most of the last 40 years so it could keep an artificially low 3% tax rate – and a new, still artificially low 5% tax rate.

    The Wisconsin legislature last year increased what public employees must pay toward their pensions. Before the law passed, workers paid less than 1 percent of their salaries –in some cases nothing – toward pensions. Under the new law, public employees pay 5.8 percent to 6.65 percent, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Pension benefits themselves were not changed.

    Most Illinois public employees already pay more than that. Teachers contribute 9.4 percent to their pensions, state university employees pay 8 percent, judges pay 11 percent and legislators pay 11.5 percent. State employees pay 4 percent if they also contribute to the Social Security system and 8 percent if they do not.

    Yes Ted, a graduated income tax in Illinois, like that of Wisconsin’s, would bring in more money – but it would also allow Illinois to live up to its pension obligations it skipped for most of the last 40 years, and also pay its other bills to vendors and others still waiting to get paid.

    • Ted Biondo

      Joe, the pension obligations are too much! No private employees receive pensions at 60 – 75% of salary with 3% compounded Cost of Living increases each year, so that some people wind up receiving pensions that are the same or exceed what they made when they were publically employed.

      If private corporations go bankrupt you will be lucky to receive 40% of your pension. The same needs to be applied to what soon may be bankrupt states and Illinois will be one of the first!

  11. So Joe – it sounds like we have a spending problem.

  12. Truth About Energy

    Joe would probably be a beneficiary of more taxation on lower middle to middle middle earners. The solution is to adjust Joe’s compensation so that it reflects the market, not the fixings. Walker’s landslide reelection victory must have scared these public employees to death.

  13. Carol Foster

    No, Ted, you sound like the traditional deadbeat in the resturant who eats the food and than refuses to pay the bill saying you didn’t like it.
    The bill is yours as a resident of Illinois.
    If you didn’t have the money to pay for what you ate, don’t sit down at the table and eat it.
    When you don’t pay, you’ve cheated all those employed who produced the dining expericne you took full advantage of but now have a full belly.
    Joe has produced the kinds of stats you love to accept as facts. Still you insist you have a spending problem and don’t want to pay up.
    You are a deadbeat in the matter, pure and simple.
    You sat down knowing you never intended to pay for the meal you were eating.

  14. No Carol. To make your analogy correct we need to tweak a few thing.

    A restaurant advertizes for 6 months about the “So good it’ll knock your socks off chicken special!”. Ted goes to the restaurant to try it, and sees a placard out side advertising the same deal. HE goes inside and orders it, and gets a microwaved chicken patty from the freezer, and some canned (and cold) veggies. He refuses to pay for it, claiming that what he’s being sold is NOT a “So good it’ll knock your socks off chicken special!”, and the restaurant claims that someone that hasn’t eaten in a week would consider it good. Oh yea, and by the way, Ted’s also being charged for the meals at 4 other people’s tables because they can’t afford it themselves but chose to come in and eat anyway.

    THAT’s Illinois. Not that I expect these words to get past the years and layers of liberal kool-aid have put on you. Go ahead, prove me wrong by responding with FACTS, numbers that can be looked up, etc. Or just pull your usual, the emotional, name calling, rhetoric we have all come to know and (not) love from you.

  15. Cathy Johnson

    I don’t understand why we don’t state the obvious. Illinois has both a revenue and a spending habit. Just like a large percentage of its residents. If budgets are going to be balanced, and people are going to be paid what they’ve been promised, and people are going to want to live and do business in Illinois, then both revenue and spending need to be addressed. With a 3% state income tax for decades, it’s clear that Illinois went far too long and allowed the creation of much of the current economic problem before increasing this revenue source. Perhaps a tipping point was reached, a critical mass of debt and unpaid obligations racked up from which it may be impossible to recover without extreme remedies of all kinds. On the other hand, there are always cuts that can, and sometimes should, be made, but cuts should be made very delicately, with the planning and care of a surgeon. For far too long, upper level administrators and staff at state agencies, have drawn salaries and benefits that are far more generous than most comparable jobs in the private sector. Everyone knew that getting a job with the state, for the pension benefits alone, was a sweetheart deal. My husband has a cousin who, after working all her adult life to that point in her family’s business, and with no post high school education or other work experience, a few years before retirement age, was given a job in a local state prison so she could garner just enough time to qualify for a lifetime state pension and benefits. A woman who had been a friend from childhood was in a high position in the prison system and able to wrangle that for her. At the same time, this cousin is a lifelong Republican, and has nothing good to say about people who take advantage of “the system”. Life is full of little ironies, isn’t it?

    • Ted Biondo

      Lot’s of little ironies, Cathy. Many times it just depends on whose ox is getting Gored!

  16. Carol Foster

    egyas says
    No, Ted, ate the meal which was the 3% tax he had no problem in taking for a good many years. He ran a tab and now he’s saying the meal wasn’t as advertised. I think he knew that before he ate it down and got the bill.

  17. truth hurts

    Ok I am going to keep hammering this basic UNDENIABLE FACTS ,that liberals hate, every and ANY TIME increase of taxes is proposed.



    This talk of increasing taxes is COMPLETELY BS until you do the 2 facts.

    Otherwise you WILL NEVER take in enough….PERIOD

    How come families all over the country have figured this out in their own lives but liberals like carol and Joe Melugins (are you REALLY SERIOUS when saying we don’t have a spending problem) seem to think the opposite?

    Tell me carol and joe melguins do you spend more than you take in and demand others to pay for it?

    Lastly if you feel that taxes are not high enough (carol, Joe M and liberals) you do have the right to send extra money from YOUR OWN POCKET to state (and federal) government.

    Unless your doing that YOURSELVES, keep your hands off my money…IT AINT YOURS.

  18. Carol Foster

    truth hurts says
    There you go again with the attempt to seperate yourself from what obligations the govenment owes legally, and blame everyone else around you for the bill.
    Your credo of non responsibility of, select what you like and dump the rest, is laughable.
    When you compare family spending choices that are allowed to change at anytime with those of the government, which are legal obligations to fund and may not be changed at any time, it’s obvious you understand nothing on the topic.
    Your problem is that of funding. Grow up Properly fund your obligations and stop pretending acting like a deadbeat is really being some kind of super hero Conservative. And stop saying those who are telling you very clearly to fund these obligations are trying to pick your pocket for their own gain and the pleasure of doing it.
    We all pay the same level of taxes.
    The obligaton belongs to all us equally.
    These are our cities, counties, and States, along with the Federal Government. Stop pretending you don’t need to fund them and grow up!

    • Ted Biondo

      Carol, we don’t all pay the same level of taxes. Where did you get that? 47% pay no federal income tax. you make less, you pay less for Social Security, Medicare, less for Medicaid. pay less property tax, less state tax – buy less, so less sales tax, etc. etc. ad nausem!

      Only with socialism is everything made equal and Obama is trying to do that, along with Ralph Martire and the most State Democrats!

  19. truth hurts

    Carol are you telling me the following I must pay for?

    Illegal aliens medical care (remember 50% of kid care is this)
    Education for illegal aliens
    Chairmanships and government groups for political contributers
    Rent of empty state buildings

    And this is just some of the waste, fraud and mismanagement in IL not to mention the federal government. That list could take up many many posts.

    Also carol many of the “legal obligations” you speak CAN BE TRIMMED OR ELIMINATED.

    It is you who seem not to understand that the government is NOT REQUIRED TO FUND HALF THE CRAP IT DOES.

    You again willfully choose to ignore (like a family) YOU HAVE LIMITED FUNDS AND MUST SET PRIORITIES. There is only so much money….PERIOD

    Also this carol…..ITS NOT YOUR MONEY ITS MINE. You have no more right to tell ANYONE WHAT THEY SHOULD SPEND IT ON than I do to you.

    Lastly YOU HAVE ONLY THE RIGHT TO AN OPINION (under the first amendment) to what the rest of us should and should not pay for.

    BY OUR VOTES WE DECIDE (though our representatives like the tea party conservatives for example) BY MAJORITY WHAT WE WANT TO SPEND ON.

    Now that you have tried to muddy up the waters (like a typical liberal) with rants you still have not challenged THREE basic facts I pointed out.

    1. You must not spend more money than you take in and be financially responcible

    2. You cannot collect EVER ENOUGH TAXES when you DON’T FOLLOW FACT ONE

    3. The money I and others earn IS OURS AND NOT YOURS.

    Again carol if you want to know EXACTLY WHAT THE GOVERNMENT is OBLIGATED to pay try reading the constitution.

    After that the rest is “not legal obligations”.

    In conclusion let me ask you this carol. If you feel we need to pay more to the government why is it YOU are so free TO DEMAND I PAY MORE but you DON’T VOLUNTARILY GIVE MORE?

    If you are not willing to voluntarily give more on your own than demanding I (and others) do is the definition of hypacrite.

  20. Carol Foster

    Ted, we all do pay the same in taxes based on our level of income etc. according to the tax code. JRM explained to you long ago why a certain percentage pay no Fed tax but pay many more other kinds of tax in accordance with our tax code.
    You and your coharts may scream from the rooftops, Liberals are forcing you to pay tax, but commen sense says otherwise.
    As long as the laws stand as well as the programs in their present forms, those bills belong to all of us as citizens of this nation.
    While you waste your time over and over again with superficial votes to overturn healthcare rather than doing the real work needed by the Legislative branch, don’t dare tell any of us we are picking your pocket of the money you’ve earned. How you shouldn’t have to carry the obligations we all do and that your money is scared compared to ours.
    Your political Party has been lazy and unproductive for years.
    They are ones picking your pocket.
    You are the ones allowing it to happen.
    When you throw yourself willingly infront to the train, don’t cry it ran you over and it’s the train’s fault. Your political Party’s ability to do business is woefully lacking.
    If Liberal Democrats were as powerful as you pretend in their ability to take your money as they please, your pockets would be empty and I’d have purchased a mansion with you being my gardener.
    The credo of “it’s my money not yours.” clearly suggests the non-responsibility deadbeat mentality you cheer when the bills are presented and you act like those you hate so much are to blame for your inactions to change things.
    Exactly which new programs under this President are causing you to pay more taxes?
    And please, don’t use the healthcare, which the high court jjust declared a tax as that’s a tax penility only if you don’t buy insurance.
    America can’t import enough kleenex for all the crocodile tears Conservatives have shed for nearly the past four years about “Their Money.” No tears for the problems they heaped upon this nation, but lots for “Their Money.” No human faces of those who have lost everything under their lax financial laws, but lots of tears for “Their Money.”
    And you wonder why so many like myself feel all you value is YOUR MONEY? Truth Hurts makes my point in his last post all about MONEY, HIS MONEY.
    By the way, it’s a big mistake to tell a former elected Treasurer they don’t understand the obligations legally of what gov. must pay legally. Attempting to dodge the bullet of payment using the Constitution even a bigger mistake.
    All the bills belong to all of us together. Deadbeats only pretend they don’t and attempt to weassel out of it.

    • Ted Biondo

      Carol, you commented that, “The credo of “it’s my money not yours.” clearly suggests the non-responsibility deadbeat mentality you cheer when the bills are presented and you act like those you hate so much are to blame for your inactions to change things”

      So what you are saying is if I say “it’s your money not mine” I would be responsible and no longer have a deadbeat mentality of the Republican party and I didn’t know I hated anyone, just because I don’t want them telling me how to spend my money.

      Oh, thank you Carol, “I love you Big Brother for showing me the errors of my selfish ways.

      Hey Carol – you want to compare charitable contributions some day? I give a lot more than you think?

      Finally Carol you ask, ‘Exactly which new programs under this President are causing you to pay more taxes?”
      I would have said all of them, but you bring up a good point – the president has been the inactive one except for Obamacare and rewriting the 10th amendment for all states in the union. Other than that, and the czars he has appointed, I don’t think as yet he has cost “ME” very much – its my kids and grandkids that will be paying for Obama’s folly!

      I don’t oppose Obama for what he has cost me, but what he has cost America – its freedom!

  21. Carol, your rant is a perfect example of how liberals think.

    “To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge ”
    Benjamin Disraeli

    Thanks for the laugh.

  22. Carol Foster

    You’ re welcome Sam. Will place you in the Deadbeat Club along with the others.
    Keep in mind, those who have lost so much don’t see much humor in it. NOr do they appreciate you don’t want to help them.
    Using the Constitution as an excuse for this kind of behavior is really sick.

  23. Carol Foster

    It’s your bill Ted just the same as it’s my bill. No Big Brother involved here.
    Difference between us you don’t feel you should pay your portion and I accept I owe.
    No, you Kids and Grandkids will be paying the price of the Republicans fewer restrictions on fanancial dealings and unfunded wars, the cost of that giant slide downhill and what it took to keep your banks operating etc..
    And our freedom will still be intact as usual unless you’re a member of the Tea Party who can’t quite get there are really rules and laws in this nation.
    Your selfishness is your problem and handing a check to charity won’t solve it. No matter the size of the check, if what’s inside isn’t there in the process of giving, you’ve missed the boat. It isn’t you agree if they are deserving by your standards at all. It doesn’t ask the politics, religion, nor status of those in need, it only requires there’s is a need.
    When you tout Republicans give more than Democrats, I know you’ve missed the entire concept.
    Like I said, your problem not mine.

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