Category: Taxes

Should Illinois public employee pensions be a top priority?

Not at the expense of other crisises llinois’ biggest problem is the state budget; the budget’s biggest problem is the plush pensions for public employees; lavish pensions are a problem because of a constitutional clause that bans the “diminishment or impairment” of their benefits. How did we get into this mess? If we understand how,... Read more »

Occupiers and Tea Partiers Unite

Here is the real solution to America’s economic problems that should satisfy both the Occupy Whatever movement and the Tea Party: So how best to confront America’s growing class division? With serious economic growth beyond Wall Street. A flatter tax system with fewer exemptions, limiting trusts and foundations and ending the preference for capital gains... Read more »

Hey, Liberal Denier: Fly free to Florida to see for yourself the corrosive impact of government over-regulation

My Sept. 13 column (“How to save a sinking business”), prompted nasty responses from folks that didn’t believe in the existence of the small businessman who complained about government regulations. So, my small businessman, Mike, has made a most generous offer: He will fly—at his expense—whoever first doubted him to his business in Jacksonville, Florida,... Read more »

How Illinois public pensions compare with other states

Most observers agree that a good part of the states’ financial problems (aside from the recession) is the funding of public pensions. Here is a good analysis of what other states have been doing to address the problem, compared with Illinois. Among the steps that other states have taken are: Increased employee contribution requirements. Increased... Read more »

Warren Buffett: Tax me more

Warren Buffet told Congress that billionaires like him should pay higher taxes. Strikes me that he is free to chip in a billion here or there if he feels the need, but I don’t think that he has been appointed to speak for other billionaires. But Buffet is both right and wrong. He’s wrong when... Read more »

Eric Zorn and I face off on the exploding federal debt bubble

Another in a series of debates between Chicago Tribune columnists Dennis Byrne and Eric Zorn. Resolved: What should be cut from the federal budget to reduce the debt? From Dennis, to Eric: We’ve lived through the devastating bursts of the housing and bubbles. Now, welcome to the debt bubble burst, the wrenching end of... Read more »

Republicans, call and double down Obama's deficit reduction bluff

Even while deficit reduction talks continue between the White House and congressional leaders, Democrats and Republics, pundits already are awarding victory points for President Barack Obama’s challenge to do a really big deficit reduction deal. “If not now, when?” he asked at his press conference today, when he made it appear that Republicans were backing... Read more »

Illinois bond buyers: Invest at your own risk

With a big bond borrowing coming, the three big credit rating services failed to go far enough in their warnings. A Bloomberg story says: The [recent 67 percent] tax hike helped the state dodge a ratings downgrade, with Standard & Poor’s affirming an A-plus rating with a negative outlook, Moody’s Investors Service keeping its A1... Read more »

Rahm's Plan: Tax Cut or 'Largest' Hike in History? gets to the bottom of the dueling commercials between Rahm Emanuel and Gery Chico about taxes in the Chicago mayor’s race. Says the non-partisan organization: Rahm Emanuel and his leading opponent are airing less-than-truthful TV ads about taxes in the closing days of Chicago’s Feb. 22 mayoral election.

Repeal the Illinois income tax increase!

House Speaker Michael Madigan laughs it up at your expense. ( Tribune photo by Michael Tercha / January 29, 2009 ) ObamaCare and a trillion dollars of bailouts ignited a firestorm of protest that scorched the self-satisfied Democrats. Will the 67 percent increase in the personal property tax ignite a similar tea party-like protest in... Read more »
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