Prosperty Not Austerity!
Illinois political leaders including Governor Pat Quinn propose to solve the state’s budget crisis by severely cutting the state’s social safety net. They have approved cuts to pensions and the state’s Medicaid budget by $2.7 billion (19%). Staff at state parks and other institutions is being slashed; education funding at all levels is declining, organized labor is being weakened and proposals for privatizing public assets and services abound.
Their cuts will affect, among others, 3 million people who depend on Medicaid for access to health care, hundreds of thousands who believed their retirement was secure and a whole generation of Illinois’ young people who can no longer afford the education necessary to find good jobs.
Cuts don’t produce jobs or prosperity; they only increase unemployment and decrease consumption. The state collects less in income and sales tax, and falling revenues, in turn, trigger more calls for budget cuts. The politicians are putting us in a downward economic spiral.
Like the Greek politicians, Illinois’ leaders are forcing the working people of Illinois to suffer the results of the financial crisis caused by Wall Street's casino operators.
There’s a better way. Instead of cutting and privatizing, our politicians should think outside the conservative fiscal box and implement new progressive economic approaches. These include:
• A state-based Speculation Sales Tax. (A tax of $1.00 per contract would yield up to $6 billion annually.) 
• A jobs proposal funded by the SST that:
> Creates new jobs rebuilding infrastructure, supporting green energy and investing in local economies,
> Increases the minimum wage to ensure living wage jobs, 
> Creates a state-owned development bank dedicated to investing in Illinois’ economy,
> Builds family services jobs as careers
• A Medicare for All (Single-payer) system for financing health care in Illinois would cost far less than the current system and thus help reduce the state’s long term deficit while providing high quality universal medical coverage for all.
We can’t cut our way to prosperity. A progressive approach will solve the state’s fiscal crisis by building prosperity and health for all. It’s the smart thing to do.
This petition drive is a joint project of Northeastern Illinois Americans for Democratic Action, Democratic Socialist of America and Progressive Democrats of America-Illinois.
 The Speculation Sales Tax would apply to futures and options contracts on Chicago exchanges. For more on the SST, click on this link or copy and paste into your browser: www.cpegonline.org/multimedia/SpeculationSalesTax.ppt
 Increasing the minimum wage also stimulates the economy by providing low wage workers with more disposable income.