Illinois Senate President Cullerton fires back at Wis. Governor on national television

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January 19, 2011

By Kyle Maichle

CHICAGO, Illinois: Illinois Senate President John Cullerton fired back at Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker on national television after the first term Governor was courting businesses to move North of the border after income and business taxes were increased.[1]

The leader of the Illinois Senate defended the massive tax hike during the January 18, 2011, edition of On the Record with Greta Van Sustren. The Senate President said that: "we had to raise our income tax to pay our bills to get back to even, and that's where we are...It is a temporary tax, and once the economy improves it will go away."[1] Illinois lawmakers raised its flat income tax from three to five percent and its corporate income tax to nearly ten percent on January 11, 2011.[2] Cullerton argued that Illinois will be better off than its neighbor to the North citing that their income tax is still lower than Wisconsin and claims that the Badger State's graduated income tax is a cause for its current budget deficits.[1]

Also, Cullerton felt that Illinois is on the road to recovery in spite of Governor Walker aggressively marketing to Illinois businesses to move to Wisconsin. The Senate President said: "we have had businesses come to Illinois from Indiana. There's a business in Wisconsin said they were coming to Illinois after Wisconsin turned down federal dollars for high speed rails."[1] Cullerton has been on the record criticizing Walker over turning down money for high speed rail.[3]

The Senate President cites economic growth in the Land of Lincoln on the basis of reduced unemployment for eight straight months and a massive public works program that has put people to work towards fixing the state's aging infrastructure. Despite Illinois currently has a $15 billion dollar budget deficit, Cullerton thinks the mandatory spending caps put in the tax increase will improve the state's fiscal situation.[1]

Governor Walker has not issued a comment on the interview.[4]

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