Bill Brady Is Not Awesome With Numbers, And Other Tax Dodges - NBC Chicago
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Bill Brady Is Not Awesome With Numbers, And Other Tax Dodges



    Gov. Quinn criticizes Bill Brady's decision not to release his tax returns. (Published Monday, April 19, 2010)

    Bill Brady has a new website, It’s an online petition with a photo of Quinn against a red background, as though he’s Lenin or Trotsky, and the message “Do You Like High Taxes? Pat Quinn Wants to Raise Your Taxes by 33%.”

    On Tax Day, while Tea Partiers rallied in Daley Plaza, Brady gave a press conference while standing in front a banner that read “Stop the 33% Pat Quinn Tax.”

    “The people I talk throughout Illinois are looking for someone who has the courage to balance the budget without raising taxes,” Brady said.

    Brady pointed to our next-door neighbor, Indiana, as a model for fiscal policy.

    “[Gov.] Mitch Daniels cut taxes and reduced spending, and Indiana’s one of the most progressive states in the nation,” Brady said.

    Let's break this down. There are a few things missing from Brady’s attack on Quinn.

    The first is an actual tax increase.

    Quinn has proposed raising the state’s income tax from 3 percent to 4 percent, but House Speaker Michael Madigan has made it clear that such a bill will never pass his chamber. The governor can’t increase taxes. He can only sign a tax increase the legislature sends him.

    The second is mathematical integrity. Quinn doesn’t want to raise anyone’s taxes by 33 percent, nor can he. If Quinn’s tax increase passed, a family earning $200,000 a year and paying the top federal rate of 36 percent would see its tax liability rise from $78,000 to $80,000. That’s 2.5 percent.

    The third is how Quinn’s proposed tax increase would affect Bill Brady. Unlike Quinn, Brady is refusing to release his income tax returns. Brady released his returns when he ran for governor in 2006, and didn’t like the consequences for his construction business.

    “Last time I did that, I did it without realizing the effect it would have on our business,” Brady said today. “There’s nothing to be gained by doing that.”

    Instead, Brady posted on his website a copy of the Statement of Economic Interests he filed with the Secretary of State. It reveals that he owns stock in over a dozen companies, but doesn’t reveal the extent or the value of his investments.

    Brady owns a Porsche and lives near the Bloomington Country Club, so we’re guessing those investments are worth a lot.