Miller: Gov. Bruce Rauner Has Not Shut the Door on Tax Hikes

Gov. Bruce Rauner is buckling down to work on Illinois' financial troubles, with help from a "turnaround team"--a group of experts Rauner hopes can help steer the state back into the black.

Rich Miller of Capitol Fax took a look at how exactly Rauner and his team plan to deal with the state's issues, including the possibility of higher taxes along with spending cuts.

Miller writes:

Gov. Bruce Rauner didn't completely close the door to higher taxes last week during a speech at the University of Chicago, but he made it very clear with what he said and what he did that he wants huge state budget cuts.

"We have every reason to thrive," Rauner said during the speech. He then laid out his reasoning for why the state is on a "fundamentally unsustainable path," pointing his finger at the "policies and the politics mostly coming out of Springfield [which are] really at the core of the problem."

"The politicians want to talk about 'Well, let's raise the income tax to fix the debt or the problem," Rauner said. "Raising taxes will come nowhere near to fixing the problem and in fact will make part of the problem worse and just kick the can down the road... This is the critical lesson that we're seeing. We're on an unsustainable path, we need fundamental structural change and raising taxes alone in itself isn't going to fix the problem and in a lot of ways it's going to make it worse."

Rauner said the budget was "out of control," and that the state has suffered "complete mismanagement."

"Just raising taxes to try to fix that? No chance. No chance," Rauner said.

Notice how he said "just raising taxes," and "raising taxes alone." Those are usually phrases uttered by politicians who are keeping the door open for higher revenues, however slightly.

But what is crystal clear is that he won't ask for any more revenues without first making deep and even drastic cuts.

Read the rest of Miller's thoughts on possible upcoming cuts at Reboot Illinois.

Rauner spoke more about the state's budget and the other challenges that Illinois could face early in his term with reporters at the Executive Mansion Jan. 24. He and his dogs drove down to Springfield to check out the mansion and its level of disrepair, which the new governor said is an "emotional issue" for him. Check out the video of Rauner and his dogs at Reboot Illinois.