Squeeze the Little Guy First

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is working all the angles to win approval for his proposed gross receipts tax:

Gov. Rod Blagojevich used state economic development programs to target businesses that had received government grants and would support his plan to increase taxes on larger companies.

State-funded “entrepreneurship centers” were asked to contact businesses and recruit them for Blagojevich’s tour this week touting his proposal, according to interviews and documents obtained by The Associated Press.

And regional managers for the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity were instructed to contact area businesses to gauge support. To ensure they said the right things, managers were given a script that outlines the plan, which calls for $8.6 billion in business taxes to help schools and make health insurance available to everyone.

I’ve got to hand in to Gov. Blagojevich: he’s put Tim Kaine’s efforts to gin-up support for a transportation tax hike look positively pedestrian.

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One response to “Squeeze the Little Guy First”

  1. Jim Bacon Avatar
    Jim Bacon

    This is a reminder of why Virginia has the top business climate in the country — or, perhaps I should say, why Illinois has one of the worst. Blagojevich’s strategy for making health care insurance universally accessible — a worthy goal — is to tax big business. Here in Virginia, “liberal” Tim Kaine’s approach is to encourage individual responsibility for their own health, cut costs through information technology and pool insurance to make it more affordable for small businesses.

    The Blagojevich approach would drive corporations out of Illinois and will feed Business As Usual in the Illinois health care sector. Kaine’s approach would not impose significant new costs to the private sector.

    In the long run, the changes need to go beyond than those proposed by Kaine: eliminating insurance mandates, scrapping Certificate of Public Need to encourage more competition and innovation in the medical industry, and loosening the hold of craft union-like medical professions. Kaine’s ideas, while falling short of a comprehensive solution, would at least move Virginia in the right direction.

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