‘Yes, people are hurting. That’s why we need a tax increase.’ 

Public-sector unionists took a day off from plundering Illinois’ taxpayers last week to rally for more plunder. They descended upon the Capitol in Springfield to demand that government take more from taxpayers in order to pay their inflated salaries:

Thousands of teachers and other union workers descended on the state Capitol on Wednesday and chanted “raise my taxes” to try to pressure politicians to avoid major budget cuts.

The vibe was the exact opposite of what you’d find at a tea party rally. But the loud chants barely resonated inside the Capitol, where lawmakers are trying to exit Springfield in a couple of weeks without voting for a tax increase that could jeopardize their re-election chances in little more than six months.

“If you try to leave town without doing your job, we’re going to chase you,” warned union leader Henry Bayer at a rally that drew an estimated 15,000 people — the biggest at the Capitol since the era of the Equal Rights Amendment more than a quarter-century ago.

“These 177 people who have a job don’t want to do their job,” said Bayer, executive director of Council 31 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. “Yes, people are hurting. That’s why we need a tax increase.”

Gov. Pat Quinn, D, whose re-election prospects are dicey at best, already wants to increase the state income tax rate by 33 percent, but that’s not enough for the takers:

[G]roups that receive tax money said Quinn’s proposed tax hike isn’t big enough to help bridge a deficit that’s expected to reach $13 billion if nothing is done.

About The Author

David Freddoso

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David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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