Cass County GOP chair decries waste, proposed gas tax hike
Illinois lawmakers have no business raising the state's motor fuel tax by a proposed 20 to 30 cents, or raising any other tax, until they show they can run a business, a Cass County GOP official said during a recent interview.
"People and businesses are leaving the state in record numbers," Cass County Central Republican Committee Chairman Terry Blakeman said during a West Central Reporter email interview. "Higher taxes will certainly expedite this process. Fewer people and fewer businesses mean higher taxes for the few stupid enough to stay. We are on target to be bankrupt in a short period of time. You cannot tax yourself into solvency."
The state's voters need to take things well in hand, Blakeman said.
"Start running the state like a business and get the career politicians' hands out of it," he said. "Let them do ribbon cuttings and leave managing the state to people with experience in their field. Nobody goes to a plastic surgeon for open heart surgery. Neither should we turn the management of the state over to politicians[when] most have never managed anything."
Blakeman's comments came less than a week after suburban mayors and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called on lawmakers in Springfield to raise Illinois's motor fuel tax by 20 to 30 cents a gallon. Should the high end of that proposal be implemented, Illinois's motor fuel tax could go from the 10th highest to the highest in the U.S., nudging out Pennsylvania.
Instead of raising the motor fuel tax or any tax, lawmakers in Springfield need to learn a thing or two or six about reforms and budget cutting, Blakeman said.
"No tax in Illinois should be raised or introduced till the legislative and executive branches do something to control waste," he said. "I worked for state government for 37 years, and the amount of waste was staggering. I suggested over several administrations that the state create a website to allow people to bid on surplus property."
Blakeman said he recalled one administration that insisted he submit his suggestion in writing rather than by email.
"That is exactly what I'm talking about," he said. "By the way, after several administrations, they finally implemented my suggestion. This incompetence exists throughout all state agencies and universities."
An increase in the motor fuel tax, or any other tax, in Illinois would have a detrimental affect on the state, Blakeman said.
"Obviously anything detrimental to the state is also detrimental to its residents," he said. "We keep placing our future in the hands of so-called experts. Most couldn't balance their own checkbooks. Go to people who have been in the game for years and know the ropes."