By Hannah Ihms -
Shortly after the Supreme Court released its decision on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Representative Adam Kinzinger (IL-11) weighed in on the ruling making a formal statement and then answered questions from Washington DC via a phone press conference call. Mr. Kinzinger further explained his thoughts on Obamacare to reporters from various media agencies:
Wanda Rohl this morning said, ‘The government already makes people buy auto insurance. The government already makes people do other things, and we are already paying for the uninsured anyway, so she’d rather have everybody covered. Could you respond to that?’
KInzinger: “I think Wanda’s made it clear that she believes that there’s a huge role for basically a full government takeover of healthcare. It’s an area where we fundamentally disagree. State government—and keep in mind it is state—can make people buy car insurance, but they can’t force people to drive. You don’t have to have a license to simply exist as a person. In this case, it looks like the Supreme Court agreed that the Federal government does not have the power to do that. However, again, [Obamacare proponents] went and said, ‘This is actually a tax increase and the Federal government does have a right to tax.’
“So, from that perspective, this is a tax increase on the American people and it is not saying that the federal government has a right to make people buy something simply for existing.”
Illinois Review recently interviewed John Bambenek, a conservative Republican candidate running for the 52nd State Senate district which stretches from Champaign to Danville.
Where did you grow up and what do you do for a living?
I grew up in the Chicago suburbs, in Oak Grove. I moved to the University of Illinois for college and that’s where I met my wife and never left. I’ve been in Champaign for seventeen years. Professionally I do electronic fraud prevention, so essentially I deal with Russian hackers trying to steal your credit card and bank account information.
How did you decide to run for State Senate?
I’ve been active in politics for a while, most actively since I’ve had children and seen the direction of the state in terms of its ever-increasing tax burden, debt burden, and the amount of jobs and opportunities leaving the state. I’m much more conscious as to what kind of future my children will have. With this status quo, they won’t have the kind of opportunities I’ve had, and as a father that’s not really acceptable to me. The way to change that is to change the people who are there.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (May 25, 2012) – Late Thursday, Illinois lawmakers approved legislation that would implement ObamaCare two years ahead of schedule in Cook County. Sixteen Republican lawmakers voted for the ObamaCare legislation, bucking the national trend of Republicans standing firm against President Obama’s misguided, big-government health mandate.
Illinois Policy Institute CEO John Tillman released the following statement regarding the Republican support for ObamaCare:
“By partnering with Democrats to implement ObamaCare ahead of schedule in Cook County, these Illinois Republicans and Illinois Republican leadership demonstrated how out of step they are with taxpayers and members of their own party. Unfortunately, this is not the only arena in which Illinois Republicans are the outlier.
You are making a difference, but we're not done yet. Phones at the statehouse have been ringing off the hook since we alerted you last week to mischief in Springfield regarding plans to hike taxes and implement ObamaCare early under the guise of "Medicaid reform."
Concerned citizens are weighing in against misguided policy deals and demanding real reform – such as the 59 savings ideas unveiled by the Institute Monday with state Sens. Kyle McCarter, Sam McCann and Darin LaHood. Together, this multifaceted approach offers more than $2.7 billion in real expenditure reductions.
Writing on the plan, Crain’s political writer Greg Hinz said: “The Illinois Policy Institute says the state can begin to bring Medicaid into balance without cutting reimbursement rates for hospitals and without imposing a $1-a-pack cigarette hike…Some of the ideas clearly make sense, such as better price transparency, worth $185 million a year.”
Every now and then you find out whether leaders and legislators are truly for reform or whether they simply use the concept to advance electoral imperatives. The upcoming votes on Medicaid, pensions and the state budget will be illuminating.
Things are moving quickly in Springfield, and the most urgent issue on deck is Medicaid. Leadership of both parties promised real reform. However, that's not what is being delivered. We're about to be asked to swallow an incomplete reform plan coupled with a tax hike and a disastrous Medicaid rate cut that will hurt the poorest among us. It is not yet clear if we can count on Republican leadership to take a strong and principled stand against this disastrous deal.
WASHINGTON - Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-6) explains the effect of potential federal tax hikes that will dramatically damper the nation's economic recovery:
SPRINGFIELD - Tuesday, hundreds of SEIU Health Care IL-IN workers protested Governor Pat Quinn's proposed $2.7 billion Medicaid budget cuts, as shown in this SEIU-produced YouTube.
The SEIU website says, "Throughout the day, members called on legislators to support a fair tax system in Illinois that puts community resources before tax breaks for rich corporations." Two years ago, SEIU fully supported the Democrat-backed 67 percent state income tax hike.
As show at the end of the video, SEIU union members chanted the Occupy Wall Street theme, "We are the 99 percent!"
CHICAGO - Crain's Marc Levine clearly lays out Governor Pat Quinn's pension proposal Friday, and argues that Quinn's plan will wrongfully allow Springfield lawmakers to escape being accountable for passing irreponsible budgets year after year. Those foolish budgets delayed paying pension obligations, while at the same time they bought up new constituents with fancy new entitlement programs. Now the Democratic leadership can't avoid the mess they've made, and Republicans are on the hot seat for going along up until just recently. None of them can continue to kick the can down the road. They're at a dead end.
So Governor Quinn and Speaker Madigan's answer? Kick the can over to local governments to pick up where the state legislature failed. That means local property taxes will be hiked, and taxpayers get taken again. Levine rips on that plan:
A big surprise coming out of Cook County today, overturning Illinois' Amazon Tax Law -
Cook County Circuit Court Judge Robert Lopez Cepero said in court Wednesday that the Illinois law violated the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution, which limits who a state can tax, and that the law conflicted with the federal Internet Tax Freedom Act, which prohibits some types of Internet-related taxes. He directed parties to draft an order reflecting his opinion.
The quick decision Wednesday was unexpected, even to officials of the Performance Marketing Association, said PMA Executive Director Rebecca Madigan. “The judge pointed out and agreed with us that the state overreached its boundaries in trying to regulate interstate commerce,” Madigan said. “We…believe it paves the way for Internet marketing affiliates to get back in business in Illinois.”
However, the battle has just begun, said David Vite, president of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, which supports the law. “This is the first step in a very long battle,” Vite said. “We have seen local judges be overturned regularly on these kinds of questions.”
More about this on the Chicago Tribune.
Happy Tax Day! On this day when we reflect on how we're being bled to support profligate spending at every level of government, a little reflection is in order.
I guess we can't blame Obama and his merry band of Marxists for assuming, after the major con job they pulled off in 2008, that the American public is dumber than a box of rocks; however, as Grover Norquist points out in this excellent piece in today's Wall Street Journal, we're on to the scam:
Did you have to write a check to the Illinois Department of Revenue to pay up for last year's 67% tax hike? Accountants are telling us that most of their clients are writing checks this year, and no one's happy it. For many, the state income tax hike - that only Illinois Democrats supported during the 2011 veto session just hours before the new Illinois General Assembly was sworn in - cost them a week's pay.
How much more did you pay in state income taxes this year over last year? We want to hear from you ... or is it no big deal? Seems to us there's little noise about this hike, and frankly, it's surprising that so few seem to care so little about paying into the state's coffers. Talk to us ...
WHEATON - Two Boy Scouts from Congressman Peter Roskam's 6th CD are concerned about the debt those making decisions today in DC are passing onto the next generation. In his weekly ongoing "Ask Peter" series, Congressman Roskam responds ...
By Teri O'Brien -
For the last several months, Barack Obama has been criss-crossing the country inveighing against the outrageous failure of the evil rich to pay their "fair share" of taxes, and promoting the "Buffett rule," which in itself is silly and laughable, and is made even more so by the fact that Mr. Buffett's company, Berkshire Hathaway, is admits to owing back taxes back to 2002.
With the release of the Obamas' latest tax return, we learn that:
(1) He probably paid a lower tax rate than his secretary. I say "probably" because the most recent data is from a former secretary, Katie Johnson, who now attends Harvard Law School, and what we know about her seems to come from Wikipedia. Apparently, the most transparent White House in history hasn't seen fit to tell us much about Obama's Gal Friday.
From State Senator Kyle McCarter -
The average Illinois household lost a week's pay to Illinois' 67 percent tax hike. But...even after the $7 billion tax increase on families and employers, Illinois government remains billions of dollars in debt.
Why is the state still billions of dollars in debt and why has it not paid its bills? Just how much of the Illinois state income taxes you paid this year can be attributed to the largest state income tax hike in Illinois history?
Bloomberg.com's Monday assessment of Illinois' disastrous teacher pension news being 47% funded was blamed on the federally-imprisoned former Governor Rod Blagojevich - specifically on Blagojevich's $10 billion bond plan that four Republicans helped put into effect:
One of [Blagojevich's] first initiatives was a pension-obligation bond plan. For years, Illinois had been struggling to come up with enough cash to make required payments into its pension system (even though its law stating what was “required” was more lax than what was recommended by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board). Blagojevich proposed that the state shore up its pension funds by issuing $10 billion in bonds and investing the proceeds in the pension fund.
WASHINGTON DC - Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-6) continues his "Ask Peter" series, this time on the topic of tax reform.
Nearly a year ago the CEO of Caterpillar Inc. sent a letter to Gov. Quinn outlining the company's concerns about the business climate in Illinois. Almost a year later, Democratic leaders in Springfield have done nothing to address these concerns. Last week, Caterpillar announced that the company will not build its new North American track-type tractor and hydraulic excavator facility in Illinois, instead opting to build the facility in North Carolina.
In a letter to Peoria County, the Cat facility site selection team cited, "previously documented concerns about the business climate and overall fiscal health of the state of Illinois" as the main reason that it would be "unpractical" to build in Illinois.
Caterpillar Inc. is the largest private sector employer in the state, employing more than 23,000 Illinois citizens. Unfortunately this was not enough to overcome real concerns the company has about the fiscal health and business climate in the state.
By John F. Di Leo -
The new "Hours of Service" rules are just a drop in the bucket...
We think of the world of transportation -- especially trucking and automobile manufacturing -- as being one of the most fundamental of Democratic Party constituencies. Detroit has long been a party stronghold, with the UAW and Teamsters among Democrats' most powerful union supporters. From the worker at the DMV to the driver he licenses, this is one solid chain of Democrats.
But is this political loyalty deserved today, if indeed it ever was? Since the Democratic Party was taken over by environmental extremists a generation ago, there has been a marked shift from the pro-driver, pro-automaker party of Detroit to the anti-car, anti-truck, anti-transport party of today.
Technorati Tags: cafe standards, Cash for Clunkers, Chrysler, Democratic Party, drilling, Fiat, fuel, gasoline, General Motors, hours of service, logistics, NAFTA, OPEC, recession, transportation, truck, trucking, unemployment
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by John F. Di Leo
Embracing a 2% savings at the cost of a 20% raise.
The December 2011 battle in Washington, D.C. -- a battle over continuing a Social Security tax-cut for another year, or even another two months -- demonstrates the differences between the parties in stark detail, both in terms of campaign methods and economic ideology.
Most commentators have focused on the campaign methods: brilliant, isn't it, how the Democrats have turned the tables on the GOP, making it look like the GOP is fighting a tax cut? Pundits laugh at the "tax cut party" being put in the position of opposing a tax cut that all workers' pay, while simultaneously opposing the tax increases on "the rich" that the Democrats are also (constantly) championing.
by Ghost of John Brown
Perhaps the most famous military strategist that ever lived was Sun Tzu. There are different accounts, but many place his life from 544-496 B.C. His is most well known for the book "Art of War", which is still used as a textbook in modern warfare colleges. While the name "Art of War" might not seem like a fitting title for a political contest, I think it is perfectly adaptable. Consider this quote:
"Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win."
If ever our Republican Party needed to adhere to a principal, this one is it. I'll make a standing offer: If any Republican Congressman that wants a copy of Art of War - I'll gladly buy them one.
Enter the fight on the Payroll Tax Deduction. I'm sorry, but this was a pitiful example of how not to win a political fight.
Think it's important who voters pick to represent 1.7 million Illinoisans? Twelve states have less people than Cook County's Third Board of Review District. Republican Dan Patlak now represents the district to Cook County's Board of Review. He is one of three commissioners that hear from residents and businessmen concerning their Cook County property assessments. With a team of analysts, the board of commissioners determines whether an appeal is warranted and exactly how much a property assessment can be lowered or raised to be in line with neighbors. Those numbers determine just how much each owner pays in property taxes each year.
Patlak was elected in November of 2010, and in a 2-4-4 election cycle, he's up for re-election again in 2012. Palos Park businessman Sean Morrison challenged fellow Republican Patlak in 2010, and has launched another campaign to challenge Patlak in the March 2012 primary. The winner of the 2012 Republican primary will be facing Democrat heavyweight Jeremiah Joyce's nephew from Bremen Township. Both Patlak and Morrison have conducted interviews with Illinois Review, and on Monday Part 1 of each candidates' interview will be released.
In the interview with Morrison, we discuss a controversy that broke out Thursday night at the Bremen Township GOP Forum in Oak Forest. Morrison challenged Patlak concerning campaign contributions from attorneys that practice before the Board of Review. Morrison criticizes Patlak for asking for $5000 sponsorships at his recent fundraiser and when Patlak said Morrison had a similar ask on his own fundraiser event <Download MorrisonFundraisingInvite120311>, things heated up:
The issue of rejecting large contributions from attorneys that practice before the Board of Review will be a theme of Morrison's primary campaign. However, Morrison failed to provide the promised evidence on his website the next morning that his own event invite did not specify event sponsorships that could have risen to the large amounts similar to Patlak's. Morrison, instead, challenged Patlak to limit contributions from lawyers to $250.
More of each interview will be released on Illinois Review Monday morning during the 9:00 AM hour. You must not miss it.
Senator Dick Durbin (D, IL), in his regular email blast, reports that “the GOP is threatening to throw working families under the bus – again.”
Now, coming from the majority whip of the party that singlehandedly drove American manufacturing overseas with its crippling taxes and strangling regulations, this is quite a cocky claim. But he goes on.
“This week,” he continues, “Republicans are poised to vote to force average working families to pay $1,000 more in taxes next year by blocking an extension of the payroll tax holiday instead of asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share on income over $1 million.”
by Teri O'Brien
Vice President Joe Biden’s latest unintentional standup comedy routine, this time featuring a hypothetical rape scenario brought on by our failure to throw more money down the democrats’ income redistribution rathole, and who doesn’t think that’s a laugh riot, after all, shines a bright light on what has been increasingly obvious over the last several years. No, not the fact that the former plagiarist/frequent shoe chewing politician needs to talk to his doctor about upping the doses of whichever psyche meds we can only hope that he’s on, although there is that. What is on prominent display, once again, is this administration’s disconnection from reality.
by Teri O'Brien
The stealth left-wing interest group AARP has begun running new Mediscare ads, urging its millions of members to stop looking for discounts on their stays at the Best Western in Branson long enough to urge the “supercommittee” not to “target” Medicare and Social Security benefits in their efforts to reduce the deficit.
Isn’t this the same AARP that supported Obama’s ridiculously titled “Affordable Care Act,” which raids Medicare to the tune of $500 billion? Recall this unintentionally hilarious exchange between Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) and future Death Panel Head HHS Sec. Kathleen Sebelius:
Somehow we have found ourselves in a bizarro world in which the following can occur:
By John F. Di Leo
Warren Buffett, having already joined the billionaires’ club, enlists the president in restricting membership so it doesn’t get so crowded in there…
Sometime around the tenth century A.D., probably in the southern Tang dynasty of China, a practice grew popular that horrifies us today. They called it foot binding.
One story has it that young dancing girls were considered so lovely and talented that all women, even when full-grown, would be prettier if only they had the tiny feet of dancing children – so they arranged it. Another story has it that a popular empress had a club foot, and she was so beloved that thousands of parents wanted to improve on nature by gifting their own daughters with such a birth defect retroactively. Yet another story has it that wealthy parents wanted the world to know their own daughters were too rich to have to work, so they rendered them incapable of doing so. All on purpose.
Sitcom fans will recall a particularly memorable episode of the iconic show Seinfeld – “The Fatigues” in Season Eight – in which two characters accidentally mix up a pair of manuscripts, not realizing their error until they go on stage in their respective venues.
Comic Kenny Banya accidentally delivers a serious lecture on risk management to his comedy club audience… and George Costanza delivers a comedy routine on Ovaltine to a bewildered corporate audience expecting to hear the risk management lecture.
To each audience, the inappropriateness of the speech for the venue overwhelms the question of content – whether the Ovaltine routine is funny or not isn’t even considered by the corporate crowd; they’re too baffled by the fact that our George would give such a speech at all, so far off from his assigned subject matter.
So it was when President Barack Hussein Obama called for a joint session of Congress in the days before the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attack, to give a speech on “Jobs.”
by John F. Di Leo
Roman life in the 5th century B.C. was pretty good, relatively speaking. Roman society had freed itself from the tyranny of Etruscan kings; the people had representation in the Council of the Plebs, and the nation was at peace. And a merchant class was rising from the fields; no longer was the society entirely made up of farmers, soldiers, and rulers. For probably the first time in history, there was a small but growing presence of what we would today call a middle class.
One major sticking point remained, however: the Law was entirely in the hands of the patrician class. The Senate had the ultimate power to decide what was the Law at any point in time, and it might well change from day to day, from morning to afternoon, from case to case.
Can this merchant sell his wares on this intersection? May that merchant sell by the bushel or by weight or by hand count? How are the taxes to be collected on this business, or that one, or on his, across the street?
by John F. Di Leo
For thousands of years, society subsisted on barter and gold coins. The vast majority of the population struggled to feed themselves. Farming, hunting, and self-defense were the great occupation of the human race.
But there had always been trade, and shops, and towns…from Ancient times through the Middle Ages, and on through the Enlightenment. Eventually, there was enough data in place that wise people could study it, and could begin to grasp how commerce worked, so that public policy could be crafted, and societies developed, in manners that would foster something greater than subsistence, perhaps even something like prosperity.
The data was in by the eighteenth century. Adam Smith wrote “The Wealth of Nations” in Scotland in 1776, and he shared his findings with the world: that an invisible hand guides a free market, producing prosperity when government respects and supports free economic action rather than restraining it.
by Teri O"Brien
As you know if you listened to Sunday’s edition of the Teri O’Brien Show, last week I took a lot of flack for supporting the deal that John Boehner sent over to Harry Reid on Friday. I did so for two reasons: (1) while it did give Barack Obama an increase in the debt ceiling, thereby holding off the imminent end of life on earth as we know it, it did so only for 6 months, and kept this issue and the discussion about it alive into the 2012 election and (2) it did not raise taxes.
After Mitch McConnell got his grubby hands all over it, and huddled with his BFF Harry Reid, the “Satan sandwich” that came out of the Senate may appear to be similar to last Friday’s House plan, but it is very different, so much so that I cannot support it.
As you know if you read my column yesterday, like my fellow “sellout” Col. Alan West, I continue to support House Speaker John Boehner’s bill to raise the debt ceiling. I acknowledge that reasonable minds can differ on this issue. Witness Rush Limbaugh and Thomas Sowell, both great conservative thinkers on opposite sides.
I think most of you know that I have been on the same page with my Tea Party friends for some time. I spoken at their events. I have supported their insistence on a return to fiscal sanity and an end to throwing our hard-earned tax money down various government ratholes. What I don’t support is handing a victory to Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, and assisting in the re-election of the worst president of the modern era, a narcissistic Marxist determined to “remake” our country into something the Founders wouldn’t recognize.
by Teri O'Brien
As many have noted, John Boehner’s deal to raise the debt ceiling is not perfect. There aren’t enough spending cuts in the here and now, and I don’t think any of us is fooled by yet another pass-the-buck commission, promising us yet again that this time, we will face the hideous reality of decades of profligate spending. Still, I support it, and I encourage you to do the same for the following reasons:
When all of this started, I don’t think that most of us believed that the Republicans would stand firm on “no new taxes.” We expected the typical linguini-spined caving and cowering in the face of the anticipated (and probably inevitable) Lame Stream Media disinformation and distortion campaign. Miracle of miracles: they didn’t!
by John F. Di Leo
Barack Hussein Obama and his administration have called for the rich to contribute their fair share, in this and every crisis.
Whether we speak of the debt ceiling or the annual deficit, the problem of rising unemployment or that of sinking consumer confidence, the Administration’s mantra is the same: "The rich" must kick in their fair share.
How they define the rich is another matter. In one conversation, it’s those with incomes above $250,000/year, or perhaps $200,000, or perhaps $150,000. In another context, it’s those who own jets, or who have access to corporate jets, or perhaps who have heard of corporate jets… the definitions change like the wind, more to meet the needs of the argument of the day than to establish any clear meaning for a useful debate.
by Teri O'Brien
Today we’ll examine the latest Washington drama, the supposed looming default by the United States of America. This debt crisis inspired Barack Obama, fresh from yet another ego refueling in front of an assemblage of swooning gullible twenty-somethings, to put on a clinic in petulant, self-righteous demagoguery at last Friday afternoon’s press conference. We’ll unpack that performance, and share the latest from the Sunday shows, as the Chicken Little media attempts to make sure that their guy doesn’t let this “crisis” go to waste by failing to trick the Republicans into raising taxes.
from Tim Phillips, Americans for Prosperity
Just minutes ago, Senate liberals tabled the “Cut, Cap and Balance” Act which had been put forward by Senator Jim DeMint and free market House Republicans.
Harry Reid refused to even allow the plan to be debated. He called the plan to cut spending and balance our budget “some of the worst legislation in the history of this country,” even though a new CNN poll shows 66 percent of Americans support the plan.
You and I should know what comes next. President Obama, Senate and House Democrats and many “head for the tall grass” Republicans will now demand a “compromise” that increases taxes and allows spending as usual to continue.
from Americans for Prosperity
In their latest efforts to undercut energy production in America, Senate Democrats have proposed a plan to repeal oil and natural gas “subsidies” that could raise an estimated $45 billion over 10 years. The President has recently said it is time to repeal the tax breaks for the private jet owners and oil companies as if they are receiving some sort of special treatment. Never mind that many of these “subsidies” like the Foreign Tax Credit and Section 199 Domestic Production Activities Deduction are tax breaks that a broad base of manufacturing companies have the opportunity to use. The Foreign Tax Credit allows companies to avoid being double taxed on the income they may earn overseas while the DPA deduction gives all domestic manufactures a 9% deduction on their income to incentivize greater domestic production. The cards are already stacked against the oil and natural gas industry who can only receive a 6% deduction on their income.
By Ghost of John Brown
An economic paradigm that few would argue with is that until the business community starts to expand their workforce, the economy isn't going to grow. I know that, you know that, heck, I think Barack Obama even understands that. So, it is not surprising that the CEO of General Electric, Jeffrey Immelt would say the same thing. However, what is really astonishing and infuriating is where Mr. Immelt put the blame - the business community. In a speech to the US Chamber of Commerce, the head of GE said that the business community needs to stop complaining about government and start being part of the solution.
Wow, if I were a lesser blogger, I'd just be speechless. However, never fear! As you would expect, I have an opinion or two about Mr. Immelt.
By Ghost of John Brown
As a teenager and then a young man I used to look at Congressmen and Senators with a sense of awe. These people just have to be the smartest and brightest in the room. Titans. After years of scratching my head because of all the dumb laws that they have passed, I'm not only losing my hair, but I'm a lot less likely to look at Congress with anything remotely resembling "awe".
The Democrats are up to their old mantras - "tax the rich", "end corporate loopholes", "bring me more scotch". Sorry about that last one. Since Ted Kennedy is no longer a Senator, scotch consumption in Congress has plummeted. The Obama Administration is calling out those evil corporate types that fly around in private jets, drink chardonnay and undoubtedly kick puppies. The President wants to end subsidies for corporate jets.
by Ghost of John Brown
One of the mantras coming out of Washington DC right now is that Republicans are just being sticks in the mud because they won't increase taxes. Mean old Republicans. They are further coming under fire because the Democrats want to close a bunch of tax "loopholes" (translation: raise taxes without calling it a tax increase), and those idiotic Republicans just won't go along. The situation gets even murkier because there are tax breaks that really SHOULD be closed such as ethanol subsidies, but some Republicans don't want to be cast as raising taxes, which some would argue that an end to ethanol subsidies would be a tax increase.
It's time to call everyone's bluff.
By Ghost of John Brown
The great news here in Illinois just keeps rolling in like a septic service truck. According to the Pew Center on the States and as Illustrated by Illinois is Broke, the State of Illinois' Pension system is only 51% funded. That makes us first in the nation!! Woo-Hoo!! Forget the Bears and the Blackhawks, when this State wants to win at something, we only need to look to our State Legislature and the fine group of Governors that we've had over the years. Be sure to click on the picture to the right for a little extra commentary on how we got here.
by Teri O'Brien
Listeners to last Sunday’s edition of the Teri O’Brien Show were the first to hear about a raising that currently has Washington buzzing, that involving the lewd photo sent out from Cong. Anthony Weiner’s Twitter account. As tempting as it is to discuss that further, today we have a more important raising to address; specifically, that of the debt ceiling. When the GOP meets with Barack Obama to discuss it, they need to remind him of the following:
In 2006, Sen. Barack Obama opposed raising the debt ceiling to $9 trillion, calling it evidence of a “lack of leadership.” I’ll leave it to you to write your own joke about the irony of that remark.
by Ghost of John Brown
Well, I figure if the Democrats can say outlandish things about the Republicans wanting to kill people off, so can I. Except this time, I think I'm right about the headline. The Trustees for Medicare and Social Security came out with reports this week that show the two programs are running out of money even faster than thought last year. Medicare will run out of money in 2024 and Social Security will run dry in 2036.
by R.J. Moeller
In the past two weeks we have seen political fireworks in Washington D.C. over both the 2011 and 2012 federal budgets. The Obama-Pelosi-Reid Democrats that were in charge before January failed to procure a budget last year and that was what the whole hub-bub between President Obama and now-Speaker of the House John Boehner was about. That was what the controversial vote last week was all about.
But now we're moving on to the battle over Fiscal Budget 2012. The most promising and serious plan for not only 2012, but the next decade, comes from the office (and mind) of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). Aptly named "The Path to Prosperity," Ryan's plan received attacks from the political Left before it was even released.
As only he can, syndicated columnist Dr. Charles Krauthammer assess the strengths of Ryan's economic road-map and the weakness of the counter-proposals being made by the president and leading Dem's.
by John F. Di Leo
Reflections on Tax Day, 2011
You and I are too young to remember… heck, our parents and grandparents were too young to remember… but we’ve seen the scene in old movies:
A huckster, a showman, traveling from town to town with a covered wagon or buggy, singing the praises of some impossible patent medicine. “It cures gout, reverses balding, and repairs broken limbs!” or “Too short? Grow four inches taller at any age!” or “Tired and listless? Weak and frail? This bottle of liquid magic will fix anything!”
And he’d stand on his soapbox and sell one-dollar bottles of spring water, whiskey, or skin cream, labeled “Miracle Tonic” or “Magic Elixer” in those interesting days before the FDA, EPA, and Truth in Advertising laws. Most of those products are long gone, perhaps to the betterment of our health, if to the detriment of our entertainment dollar. Long gone…
…with perhaps one exception. The miracle tonic of the modern American Democrat: Taxes.
from the Tax Foundation
Tax Freedom Day is the day when Americans finally have earned enough money to pay off their total tax bill for the year. In 2011, Illinois taxpayers work until April 15 to pay their total tax bill, ranking the state 9th nationally, three days after national Tax Freedom Day.
The Tax Freedom Days of neighboring states are: Wisconsin, April 16 (ranked 7th nationally); Iowa, April 6 (ranked 29th nationally); Missouri, April 4 (ranked 33rd nationally); Kentucky, April 2 (ranked 42nd nationally); and Indiana, April 5 (ranked 32nd nationally).
By Ghost of John Brown
It never seems to amaze me that the Democrats find it impossible to come up with a new mantra. First Republicans were going to kill off grandparents with Medicare cuts. Here and I thought we were bad people when we just wanted seniors to eat dog food. Then we were going to poison ordinary citizens with polution. Now we are just going full bore and we're going to kill 70,000 children. Great googly-moogly, maybe the left is right, we are like Hitler!!!
by Ghost of John Brown
Democrats in Washington, DC are salivating over the prospect of being able to blame Republicans for a government shutdown. Bob Dole once said that the most dangerous place in Washington, D.C. was to stand between Chuck Schumer and a camera. However, Sen. Schumer may not rush to a telephone any time soon as he was unknowingly taped prepping fellow Senators about how best to blame Republicans. Howard "arrrraaaaaahhhhh" Dean recently said that if he were the head of the DNC he would be rooting for a government shutdown because "I know who is going to get blamed". Even Howard Dean is admitting that the Main Stream Media is just a bunch of lap-dogs for the Democrats.
In the immortal words of Clint Eastwood - "Go ahead, make my day".
by Ghost of John Brown
I know, I know, another article that could get me in trouble. I've said before that our budget problems are national, and we need to be willing to make cuts even in our own backyard. We need a thorough look at each and every program that the Federal Government (plus State and Local, but we'll focus on Federal today) undertakes and every program needs to be judged on its effectiveness. If it isn't keeping us safe, it if isn't growing our economy, or if it isn't necessary for the health, safety and welfare of the citizens, it's time to get the axe. Which leads me to Fermilab.