About That Tax Hike ...

No time for tax plan

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    D'oh. There just wasn't enough time.

    Accidental governor Pat Quinn forgot to mention something pretty big in his formal campaign kickoff speech on Thursday.

    He never mentioned his proposed state income tax increase.

    Seems there just wasn't enough time.

    As if he couldn't have spoken for as long as he felt he needed.

    After all, Pat Quinn is a serious man. A reformer. A gadfly.

    But he just couldn't squeeze in the part about how he intended to pay for the program he laid out to "rebuild" Illinois.

    Now, that's par for the course for most pols.

    But the excuse was kind of novel.

    "There’s only a certain amount of things you can talk about in the course of 10 minutes," Quinn told the Chicago Tribune - which noted he actually spoke for about twice that long.

    You can forgive a politician for not mentioning a proposed tax increase in a campaign speech on the grounds that we all know he wants to raise taxes anyway, but if we all know it why not mention it?

    What's worse is this Quinn's tax plan isn't bad - it would certainly be a step forward toward tax reform and better than what we have now.

    Beyond that, the tax plan was the (failed) centerpiece of his tenure so far.

    "We’ll see what happens when the legislature convenes and when we have a campaign," Quinn told the paper. "I’m an honest man. I believe in doing what’s right for the public. Sometimes things are difficult to do, but they have to be done in order to make sure our state is solid.”

    Opponent Dan Hynes struck immediately via Twitter: "Unbelievable. Let's elect someone who can find time to deal with the budget."

    Worse for Quinn was the assessment by veteran political Sun-Times reporter Abdon Pallasch: "[Quinn] left the stage trying to avoid questions from reporters about polls showing his support a bit less than 'mighty.' Quinn's nine months as governor -  after 33 years as a political activist, gadfly and sometimes-second-level elected official - have sometimes reinforced his image as a populist but other times left him vulnerable to charges that he's now protecting the status quo."

    Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.