End the duopoly

Social justice movement should focus on passing Fair Tax Amendment this November

There’s so much going on right now of such unprecedented magnitude — a pandemic and an economic crisis, protests in the streets, and a presidential campaign with an incumbent who seems more authoritarian each week — that it threatens to overshadow what may be the most crucial vote facing Illinois residents in a generation. That’s the vote on the Fair Tax Amendment, which would allow the state to institute a graduated income tax.

That would be unfortunate, because the amendment would dramatically improve the state’s capacity to respond to health crises, to implement a functional unemployment insurance program and provide emergency housing assistance, and to do much more to carry out a racial equity agenda.

Now there are suggestions that the latest Springfield scandal — the implication of House Speaker Michael Madigan in a federal criminal complaint alleging a “years-long bribery scheme” with payments and favors to the speaker’s allies by ComEd — could hurt prospects for passage of the amendment .

That is quite possible — even though Madigan was never a big proponent of the measure, preferring to protect his majority by shielding legislators in swing districts from difficult votes.

But opponents of the amendment will certainly make use of Madigan’s […]

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