The article titled “Pritzker ‘Fair Tax’ Would Allow for Double, Triple Taxation on Same $1 Earned” was written by Adam Schuster. It was published in Illinois Policy on 8 July 2020. The proposed Fair Tax amendment to the state’s constitution was initiated by Governor Jay Robert Pritzker in 2019. He is a Democratic candidate. The proposed changes would shift the existing system flat tax to a gradual progressive tax. The idea behind it is that richer Illinois citizens, business owners, and corporations should contribute more to the state budget. Poorer Illinoisans, on the other hand, would have to pay less. Voting on the amendment would occur in November 2020. The article criticizes the proposed amendment, saying it will allow the government to tax individuals and corporations multiple times.
The article begins with the statement of its main argument right away. It claims that if flat tax protections vanish, so would the protections against multiple taxations. Schuster (2020) believes it to be because of the wording used in the amendment. He quotes the following (Schuster 2020): “The General Assembly shall provide by law for the rate or rates of any tax on or measured by income imposed by the State.” The original wording said: “There may be one tax on the income of individuals and corporations. … No government other than the State may impose a tax on or measured by income” (Schuster 2020). The article then proceeds to cite multiple concerns from various sources, ranging from Chamber of Commerce officials to business people, all of whom stated that the loophole would allow governments to introduce “special taxes” to cover up for inefficient spending or gaps in the budget. Schuster (2020) draws parallels with the 10% federal surcharge introduced by President Johnson to fund the Vietnam war.
The article asserts that the amendment is inefficient, allows for loophole abuse, and is inappropriate for the current economic situation in the state. Schuster (2020) claims that the losses to the state budget, estimated at 4.6 billion in revenue collections, along with the number of small and large businesses suffering from closures, do not allow for a progressive tax that would further complicate matters and reduce revenues even further. Schuster (2020) concludes by stating that Illinois government has been notoriously inefficient, fraudulent, and has a terrible public trust record, all of which resulted in Illinois having the second largest net debt relative to the size of its economy, the nation’s lowest credit rating and the worst pension debt crisis. In the light of all these arguments, it is concluded that Illinois should keep flat tax as it is, and vote against constitutional changes.
Article Neutrality Analysis
The article is published by Illinois Policy Institute, which is a right-wing pro-republican political organization (Media Bias 2020). It is notorious for criticizing Illinois’s tax policies, particularly those forwarded by the democratic government and J. R. Pritzker in particular (Media Bias 2020). The newspaper supports the ideas of low taxation rates, small government, and reduced obstructions to businesses. These factors affect the analysis provided by the article. Due to having a bias towards right-wing ideas, the newspaper seeks to inform public opinion by picking out news that suit their agenda (Media Bias 2020). They are also fond of using clickbait titles in order to evoke an emotional response in the viewer. Nevertheless, the facts they cite and base their analysis are largely true (Media Bias 2020). The links to any external sources of information, be that quotations or statistics, are provided within the article. Overall, the news source demonstrates a high degree of bias towards the right, and a high degree of accuracy in fact-checking.
How Does the Issue Affect Me?
The article is vague about how would this policy affect the average person. It sums up the consequences as the government having “the ability to double or even triple tax the same $1 earned” (Schuster 2020). There are several ways in which this may work out. If the article’s analysis is wrong, then the extra money received from taxation may go into supporting the public sector. Social services would be improved, schools will get more funding, programs for the poor would be able to make more of a difference. The average citizen is likely to receive tax cuts. If Schuster is right, then the state of our businesses is going to suffer further from double or triple taxation rates. The overall tax revenues will fall. Small businesses will close, and large ones will migrate to other states. As a result, poverty and inequality will increase. All of these issues would affect me as a citizen and a job applicant.
How Can I Influence This Policy in the Future?
During general elections in November, 2020, I will be given an opportunity to vote on the change in the Constitution, as the question will be included in the ballot. In order for the changes to pass, a simple majority vote will be required. This is the most direct way I could influence the policy. Additionally, I could write letters to my district representative, and ask them to take a stand on the matter. Finally, I could influence my friends, family, coworkers, and even complete strangers to vote for or against the amendments.
Media Bias. 2020. “Illinois Policy Institute.” Web.
Schuster, Adam. 2020. “Pritzker ‘Fair Tax’ Would Allow for Double, Triple Taxation on Same $1 Earned.” Illinois Policy, Web.