Earlier this week IIRON—an Illinois group dedicated to social and economic justice—called on Catholic Governor Patrick Quinn (D) to give up for Lent the over $1.5 billion of “morally corrupt and indefensible” corporate tax loopholes in his proposed budget.
Here’s IIRON’s explanation of the particularly egregious case of a loophole for Sears:
Sears CEO, Lou D’Ambrosio makes a $1 million annual salary plus $6 million in stocks, $2 million in bonuses and he flies around in a private corporate jet. His company received $275 million in tax giveaways from the State of Illinois, money that must be made up by Illinois working taxpayers and clients of its human services. After that huge gift from Illinois taxpayers, Sears demonstrated both its appreciation to Illinois taxpayers and the validity of trickledown economics by firing 100 workers at its Hoffman Estates headquarters and announcing the closure of more than 100 stores.
Unfortunately, Governor Quinn only partially responded to this request—cutting a mere $75 million in corporate tax loopholes. As IIRON noted, this effort is just not enough.
Good on IIRON for holding leaders of all parties accountable when they fail to propose and pass moral budgets. Mr. Quinn and his fellow governors need to know that concerned citizens will not stand by while they push for spending cuts that gut the safety net for the most vulnerable citizens, while leaving unnecessary tax loopholes for the rich untouched.