Illinois' spending is not the problem, according to a Chicago-based firm

By Maggie Vespa

June 12, 2012 Updated Jun 12, 2012 at 10:42 PM CDT

The out of control spending in Springfield needs to stop.

It's a common campaign theme among Illinois politicians and a common belief among Illinois voters.

But according to one Chicago-based research group making its case in Peoria, it's actually a common misconception.

They are three words few politicians dare to speak: "graduated tax system."

But according to directors at the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, those three little words are in large part, the answer to Illinois' budget troubles.

Tuesday night, Ralph Martire, executive director of the bipartisan group made a stop in Peoria.

He says the idea that Illinois politicians have caught spending fever is simply wrong.

In fact, adjusting for inflation and population, Martire says the state will actually spend 25% less in 2013 than it did in 2000.

He believes the solution lies in an increase in revenue, in part, via a progressive tax-- meaning those who earn more, pay more.

And he says arguments that call the proposal 'anti-capitalism' are unsupported.

"All the data show that the states with the highest marginal tax rates in fact have out performed the nine states in the country with no income taxes on their people, from an economic stand point. So none of the data support those arguments," he said. "The theory doesn't support those arguments. Textbooks don't support those arguments. It's about time those arguments were consigned to the dust bin of history."

Martire adds too much revenue has been sacrificed through tax breaks to big corporations, such as the Chicago Merchantile Exchange and Sears, in order to keep jobs in the state.

He says that didn't stop the company from closing five Illinois stores

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