PLEDGE NOW
Tax Hikes, State Deficit Nightmares

Illinois hikes its income taxes 67 percent to help close its budget deficit. We look at states swimming in red ink, and the way out.

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, left, and Rep. Jack D. Franks, D-Woodstock, right, at the State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Jan. 13, 2011. (AP)

American states – state governments – are in trouble. They are facing deficits and budget gaps like never before — huge, wide gaps that the federal government won’t cover.  The gaps are so big they swallow up cutbacks faster than many statehouses can cut.

Now one of the most hard-pressed states, Illinois, has pulled the emergency cord – raising state income taxes overnight, in a desperate, midnight move, by 67 percent in one go.

Illinois’ “fiscal house,” said the governor, “was burning.”

We look at state budgets in turmoil, and extreme measures on the way.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Ray Long, statehouse reporter for the Chicago Tribune.

J. Fred Giertz, professor of economics and faculty member of the Institute for Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois. He’s executive director of the National Tax Association.

Susan K. Urahn, managing director of the Pew Center on the States, a division of the Pew Charitable Trusts that identifies and advances effective solutions to critical issues facing states.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 24, 2016
U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Vietnamese Communist party secretary general Nguyen Phu Trong at the Central Office of the Communist Party of Vietnam in Hanoi, Vietnam, Monday, May 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Obama’s in Vietnam and Japan. The G7, Hiroshima and his pivot to Asia are all on the table. We look at the big picture. Plus, President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima.

May 24, 2016
Activist and author Gloria Steinem. (Carly Romeo / Courtesy Gloria Steinem)

Feminist icon Gloria Steinem explores how violence against women drives global instability in her new show, “Woman.” She’s with us.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 23, 2016
Robin Wright, right, attending the Emmy Awards in 2015 with Kevin Spacey. The pair star in "House of Cards" on Netflix. Wright recently shared that she fought to have an equal salary as Spacey. (Alex Berliner/Invision for the Television Academy/AP)

The pay gap between men and women is much greater in white-collar than blue-collar jobs. We’ll look at why, and what should be done about it.

 
May 23, 2016
A long line of travelers wait for the TSA security check point at O'Hare International airport in Chicago. Some major airports are currently seeing wait times exceeding 90 minutes at peak hours. (Teresa Crawford/AP)

The latest on the EgyptAir crash, and the latest on the TSA and security in the United States.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
‘Best Of’ 2016 Commencement Speeches
Monday, May 16, 2016

Excerpts from a few of the best commencement speeches delivered to the graduating class of 2016.

More »
Comment
 
Caller: Trump is a ‘Yankee moron,’ but I support him
Tuesday, May 10, 2016

“I’m a working man. I’ve worked 13, 14 hours every day. I got two jobs. I got three kids. I got a wife. You know, I’m not a misogynist.”

More »
Comment
 
Devoured: We Are What (And How) We Eat
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

From chicken wings to kale smoothies, we look at what we eat, and how challenging it is to eat well in America.

More »
Comment