The budget blueprint put forth by Republican governor candidate Bruce Rauner is billions in the red, according to an independent analysis. The current budget is short to the tune of $6.5 billion. Rauner is proposing tax cuts of $8 billion, while still talking about increasing spending on schools and transportation infrastructure. He has proposed levying sales tax on some services, and he has proposed spending cuts that are worth $100 million, says Ralph Martire of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability.
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“When you’re talking about $8 billion in revenue losses from his tax proposals, now you’re talking about $600 million in new revenue (from the expanded sales tax) and maybe another $100 million in spending cuts, so that’s $700 million to offset $8 billion. That doesn’t work,” he said. The center’s analysis is based on continuing spending at 2015 levels, other than the cuts Rauner specified. Rauner promises cuts elsewhere in the budget. Martire says the billions can’t be found without eliminating health care (Medicaid), social services and public safety.
Rauner’s spending cuts were proposed in June with a purported value near $1 billion, but analysts have said the real savings are far less. Martire’s $100 million is the most generous. As for Rauner’s claim that tax cuts will produce economic growth to fill the gap, Martire says the evidence is that doesn’t happen.