Advocacy group takes credit for resignation of 'tax traitor' Harris
Taxpayers United for America says you're welcome, Illinois.
The advocacy group is claiming credit for the recent announcement by longtime Rep. David Harris (R- Arlington Heights) to not seek re-election next year and says it's ready to oppose any legislator who voted for this summer's 32 percent state income tax hike.
According to the Daily Herald, Harris made his decision after the Taxpayers United group organized protests in Harris’ home district and distributed fliers depicting him behind bars as a “wanted criminal” for his “crimes against taxpayers."
Jim Tobin, founder and president of Taxpayers United, called Harris a “tax traitor.”
“We were in his district on several occasions, circulating those ‘wanted’ fliers, asking taxpayers to throw him out of office,” Tobin told the North Cook News. “I’m glad he’s resigned. That’s what we wanted him to do.”
For his part, Harris blamed party politics for his decision, according to the Herald, which quoted him as saying the state capital was “a place where ‘you’re not supposed to think for yourself,’” and that he believed he could no longer be effective.
“I think all of the others (who voted to raise taxes) should resign,” Tobin said. “We have members and supporters in each district … and they will not be able to get re-elected.”
Tobin said the group is supporting Katie Miller (R-Mount Prospect) to replace Harris.
Tobin blamed unfunded pensions for the state budget crisis that prompted the General Assembly to pass the massive tax hike, but he argues there's a better way to resolve the issue.
“Somebody’s going to have to cut the pensions or the system will collapse,” Tobin said. “There’s no way we can afford to pay these pensions with tax increases."
Tobin pointed to one case of a state employee who retired at age 55 with a $500,000 annual pension as an example of excess.
“That one guy is going to get $22 million (total) if he has an average life expectancy,” Tobin said. “There’s no way they can tax their way out of this.”
Tobin also said lower taxes would boost the economy and keep erosion of the tax base under control.
“We’ve led the country for three years in a row in net outflow of taxpayers, and it's largely due to the tax increases," he said. “They need to cut the pensions now before the system collapses and they get nothing.”