Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The religious zeal of the gross reciepts tax

The Capitol Fax Blog has been on this story about how Gov. Blagojevich has been getting churches into his Gross Reciepts Tax that he hopes to fund a health care program in Illinois. He's going so far as to say that God or The Lord is on his side or at least on the side of a government run health care program. It seems shallow to me though.

Still watching this video, it seems to me that most of the ministers he got at a press conference at the First Church of Deliverance on 4300 South Wabash were black ministers and thank you Rich Miller for this quote...

Bishop Sanders: “The governor is on God’s side.”

Mike Flannery: “And people who would oppose this would be against God?”

Bishop Sanders: “It isn’t that they would be against God. They would be ignorant, so they wouldn’t know whether there was a God.”
Hmmm, maybe Bishop Robert Sanders may actually be for a government run health care program but I really hope he wasn't taken in by the governor. If I were the governor I don't know if I should take this as a positive or a negative. Still it looks like the Governor of Illinois is going to press ahead.

Unless his budget and programs are approved he isn't going to support any other proposals. Check out this article from the Daily Herald. Transportation is in trouble in the Chicago area particularly on the CTA and this won't even be a priority under this governor's budget...

Backers of the Transportation for Illinois Coalition said the six-county region's network of roads, mass transit and freight rail systems cannot afford to deteriorate another year without a comprehensive statewide capital program.

The General Assembly should increase annual transportation program expenditures by $5 billion over each of the next five years, according to the coalition, led by the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce, the Illinois AFL-CIO, and other labor, non-profit and government organizations.

"If we cannot move workers to the workplace and goods to the marketplace, our ability to compete and to attract and retain jobs faces serious jeopardy," DuPage County Chairman Robert Schillerstrom said at the Thompson Center in Chicago. "Future economic growth will bypass our region and our state. We need a comprehensive transportation and transit funding plan and we need it now."

But Blagojevich said he has more pressing concerns.

"As far as I'm concerned, the big priorities are passing our tax-fairness plan and getting everyone access to affordable health care, and fairly and properly fund our schools to give our kids a chance to learn," Blagojevich said during an appearance on the South Side.

"That's the priority, and unless we do that, as far as I'm concerned nothing else is on the table."
This budget debate is going to get interesting. Who knows he may not get everything he wants, but if the governor is looking at holding everything in limbo unless he gets what he's looking for then there is some serious negotiations to be had here. I'm quite glad that Speak of the House Michael J. Madigan is on the case with his own proposal...

House Speaker Mike Madigan, unhappy with Blagojevich's proposed gross receipts tax on business, Tuesday pushed an alternative through committee: a 60 percent increase in the state income tax to provide more money for schools while also reducing property taxes.
Well let's just see what happens shall we.

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