EXAMINER PUBLICATIONS – MARCH 18, 2009
By: Rich Trzupek
Well, well – the big boys came out with the big story: the state of Illinois is getting ready to raise our income taxes. Seems like I heard that somewhere. Hmmmm. Where was it? Oh yeah, on page eight of The Examiner, a couple of weeks ago.
You may wonder: how is that a columnist for a hometown weekly – one who doesn’t even write for a living – could break this story before the mainstream media? There are a couple of reasons for that.
First, I can add. And, I can also divide. When you sum it all up, Illinois is at least $12 billion in the hole, and when you divide $12 billion by a shrinking tax base in a rotten economy, the result is a tax increase. To coin a phrase: “duh”.
Second, the inevitability of the tax hike has been all over Springfield for weeks. Everybody knew it was coming, even a poor schlub with as few “insider” connections as your humble correspondent.
So why, if it was so damn obvious that a tax increase was coming and every legislator you asked admitted this was so, did it take this long for the mainstream media to break the story?
Call me a conspiracy theorist (but they are out to get me), but it seems clear that the big boys weren’t going to tell the story until the official version of the tale was told to them. That is to say that the big news organizations waited to get the official spin, so that they could spin the news in the proscribed manner.
And so we learn that Illinois doesn’t have a real choice but to suck more taxes from its residents. It’s either that, or cut back on health care, child care and helping the poor. No doubt some baby seals would die if there were program cuts as well, although this point has not been made – yet.
I’m sorry. There is nothing “essential” about all of the entitlement programs that ex-Governor, soon-to-be convict, Rod Blagojevich created and that Illinois Democrats gleefully went along with. These programs were luxuries, established to garner votes, when everybody, including Rod and his “do”, knew that we didn’t have a chance in hell of paying for them.
You know what’s “essential”? Maintaining our roads so that tax payers can get to work without trashing their cars’ suspensions is essential. Creating a business climate that brings jobs into the state is essential. Taking care of the veterans who have protected our liberties may not be essential, but it’s sure as hell the right thing to do. Blago, and his Democrat buddies, did none of this.
And Blago’s Democrat buddies include local luminaries like Paul Froelich, who stuck his finger in the air and decided to switch parties so that he could hitch his car to the Democrat train. He declared that doing so would enable him to accomplish oh so much more, courtesy of his good friend Rod Blagojevich, although that’s the last thing he wants to be reminded of right about now.
Mike Noland is another of the disgraced governor’s bff’s. It was a mere three years ago, when he was running for state senate, that Noland declared that there was no problem with the state budget. In fact, he said, the state’s budget was balanced! OK Mike – and what color is the sky in your world?
The chickens, so to speak, are coming home to roost. Illinois is in deep, deep doo-doo. With the economy in dire straights, we should be finding ways to put more money into consumer’s pockets. They even realize this in Washington, where tax increases will be limited to families earning more than $250,000 per year. Don’t expect that to last of course – the math simply doesn’t work when you are printing a trillion new dollars – but it’s at least some acknowledgement that individuals ought to be protected, in theory anyway.
That’s not the case in Illinois, where the tax increase bar will be set at a mere $59,000. The producers will get screwed, in the name of protecting the newly-established “rights” of the leeches.
The mainstream media will report none of this, which is yet another reason why the mainstream media is in its death throes. The Rocky Mountain News is history, the San Francisco Chronicle isn’t far behind and the Chicago Sun-Times is on life support. At a minimum, the last Presidential election demonstrated that, even with the economy in the tank, almost half of voting Americans were not willing to embrace the politics of “change”, and still stood ready to reject any notion of socialism.
The mainstream media chooses to ignore our half of the nation, preferring to force-feed “news” that is nothing more than reprocessed, left-wing pabulum. And then they wonder why they can’t hold onto their readership. Get a clue guys. You sold out a long time ago. Now that Illinois has sold out its citizens as well, your day is done. You will not be missed.