WAIT - Don’t let this mind-numbing subject run you off – the op-ed will be sarcastic if nothing else.
DISCLAIMER - I decided to write about the “Fair-Tax” proposal, which Illinois votes upon November 3rd. Somebody had to. Research was greatly needed on my part for a pretense of a clue before I shot my mouth off. Just the thought of investigating this made my sleep apnea flare up.
We’ve been barraged by confusing ads on television praising the merits, both for and against the tax. (Could anyone but a politician be FOR a tax?) It’s easy to come to the conclusion if Governor Pritzker is for something, then I’m against it. The man has a lot of audacity doing anything with our tax system considering his scheme to remove commodes from his neighboring mansion in order to elude $331,000 in taxes. (Although in his defense, that is a ridiculous amount of tax to own any home.)
Being against something because Gov Commodes is for it is probably irrational for something as important as the tax money being siphoned off by the government. Even I wouldn’t stoop that low. So, I dug deeper.
STRIKE ONE - Here’s some fuzzy logic - by “lowering” our taxes with the Fair Tax, Commodes claims he’s going to magically collect $3 billion more in revenue. Currently, Illinois has a 4.95% flat tax on income, constitutionally mandated since 1969. Commodes would eliminate this tax to implement a graduated tax up to 7.75% for the wealthy, using that tiresome Democratic axiom “the rich don’t pay enough taxes!” I’m starting to get skeptical.
So, we pay less tax but the state rakes in more? What if wealthy people and business owners move to warmer climates and/or take their business across state lines? Our population has declined five consecutive years – where is this extra money to come from, if everyone that can, moves out? Is Commodes planning an “exit” tax?
A good source of information about the proposed tax is a non-profit organization called the Illinois Policy Institute. They don’t just complain about Illinois - like I do - they actually have a plan to repair Illinois’ financial situation in five years, called Illinois Forward. It can be found at: www.illinoispolicy.org/reports/illinois-forward.
FOUL BALL - According to IPI, Commodes claims “there are three ways to close the state’s $4.6 billion deficit;”
1. “A federal COVID bailout,” which won’t and shouldn’t happen under Trump. Why should residents from Arizona, for example, be responsible for Illinois’ history of bad government? How many of you want to bail California out?
2. “Substantial tax hikes” – Why does every Democrat think if only we would give them more money, they will spend it better than us? How have Illinois politicians done so far with spending our money – we’re ranked the least tax-friendly state in the country by Kiplinger. What do we have to show for all that tax money?
3. Or, there’s their standard ominous warning – “slash government services.” Bureaucrats love to scare us with this rhetoric. As Ronald Reagan stated, “the problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much.” Hey Commodes, slash them – we’ll adjust.
Commodes claims high property taxes are a result of the flat income tax. IPI refutes this, correctly pointing out the culprit is unfunded pension liabilities for schools and municipalities. We’re drowning in the interest from that debt. You might want to go back and read that last paragraph again.
STRIKE TWO - Pritzker is so sure this tax law needs amending he has pumped $57 million of his own money into marketing it. That sets off all sorts of bells and whistles in my rum-addled noggin. He’s worth $3.5 billion, and allegedly avoids taxes with various offshore accounts, so why would he spend another pallet of cash to change a tax law that has nothing to do with the bathrooms in his houses?
Folks, I’m not a numbers man – I’m a singer in a rock and roll band from Chebanse. On a scale of 1-10 concerning tax or accounting aptitude, with ten being expert, I rank about 2.5. Investigation on the pros and cons not only made me drowsy, but more jaded. I may have drool on my keyboard, but now clearly understand that;
a) retirees will be vulnerable under the new fair tax, regardless of how much politicians tell you otherwise;
b) economies in other states were hurt by the fair tax because people with money took their money elsewhere; and
c) extra money earmarked for education will go mostly for pensions.
STRIKE THREE - do you trust any knucklehead in Springfield to do anything that benefits us? What have politicians done but made us an over-taxed laughing stock and plundered this state for fifty years? Ya think they intend to change now? Might Springfield have ulterior motives…again?
We Illinoisans may be Chicago’s red-headed step kid, but if we have something in our State Constitution protecting us from the goons in Springfield, which includes our current tax rate, it might be in our best interest to stick with it for now. If history is our guide, different tax laws won’t be in the best interest of anyone outside Chicago.
HIT THE BENCH! - The proposal has a “bait and switch” feel to it, folks. We shouldn’t change tax laws right now, especially after the unlawful lock downs for COVID.
Say No on the Fair Tax.
Four years ago, I was surreally standing in the reception line for my father’s wake service. Hundreds of people shuttled by to pay their respects, but I don’t recall many of them, or what they had to say. They meant well.
One gentleman came through though I will never forget. Dressed immaculately, he ambled through the line, insecure in his steps. His shoulders were hunched and eyes rimmed red, moist, unusual from this gregarious man. His face had a morose, tight countenance to it. The man was long-time attorney from Kankakee, Richard “Dick” Ackman.
I met Dick thirty years ago, when he was the same age I am now, shortly after he married wife, Peggy. By the time I met him, he had become friends with my father. That friendship would flourish, culminating to become best friends at the time of dad’s passing.
I knew little about Mr. Ackman’s law practice, although I have heard he was brilliant and dogged in his profession. If you read his obituary, you will have seen he was quite accomplished professionally, much more than I realized. I would eventually learn and meet his three very accomplished children, Kathleen, Jeff, and Todd. But the Dick Ackman I knew was from dinner parties, holiday get-togethers and the golf course, and is what I wanted to share with you.
I always found it odd that dad and Dick were best of friends – they didn’t seem to have much in common. They were ten years apart in age. Dick would drink fine wine; dad drank inexpensive vodka. Dick grew up the son of a bank owner in Marengo, dad the son of a truck driver from Chebanse. Dick was in the Navy, dad the Army – the source of a few ribbings at the expense of each other. Dick went to the University of Illinois and passed the bar exam before graduation – dad went from the Army to driving a truck. They argued with each other, albeit like brothers.
But what they did have in common was a thirst for knowledge, political discourse, compassionate hearts for the less fortunate, respect of each other, and of course, the game of golf.
Our kids adored Dick as he took genuine interest in what they had to say. He was like that with all the children he met. He had a huge heart because he was a big kid himself. Peggy’s nieces reported watching the movie “Curly Sue” with him; they caught him crying. She also mentioned the ice cream parties he liked to have with kids while the parents visited outside. Dick sponsored kids at the YMCA and helped send four girls through college.
Over the years, Dick became a very good golf player – some might say “legendary.” Fellow golfer and buddy, TR Ryan called Dick one of the best “week-end” golfers ever. After Dick could no longer play, it was TR who would sit beside Dick on the first hole of the Country Club just to watch the golfers.
Incredibly, Dick was a member of the Kankakee Country Club for nearly 60 years, won a Rollison tournament, and a handful of flight championships – it could be said he was “extremely” competitive on the links. He also belonged to the Turtle Creek Country Club in Tequesta Florida, of which I was a guest on many occasions. He was the only man I ever saw who could hold a conversation …during his back swing.
Dick had a passion for life, loved to tell a joke, and had a loud infectious laugh. Sadly, those traits disappeared in the last few years of his life, reminding us how cruel life can be towards our elderly – but he was fortunate to have his loving wife, Peggy by his side. What I wouldn’t give to hear that laugh again, particularly during his golf swing. That laugh left us forever at the end of July.
I always listened carefully to what Dick had to say. Like dad, he had become a mentor to me, as there was always something to be learned. But the words I’ll never forget were those he spoke in dads wake procession. With wet eyes and a quivering lip, he softly said, audibly to only me, “all my friends are dying before me, and now my best one’s gone. I need to stop making friends.”
With that, he walked off without another word.
So long my friend and thank you.
Yep, I’m serious, folks.
Wikipedia defines Martial Law as the imposition of direct military control of normal civil functions…, especially in response to a temporary emergency where civil forces are overwhelmed. Too harsh for some of you? Well, the Insurrection Act empowers the President to deploy the military and National Guard in particular circumstances, such as to suppress civil disorder, insurrection and rebellion.
This statement is not a case of Webber being sarcastic again – I’m encouraging Trump to do it. I/we have had enough of putting our lives on hold for radicals.
Throughout his presidency, Democrats have attempted to make Trump’s life a living hell, and by extension, most Americans. In past columns, I’ve hammered how the Democrat party has historically been a thorn in our side. Since Hillary’s defeat, Dems ratcheted up their anarchist behavior to a level unseen since the Civil War. They have turned towards socialism and lust for the power to enforce it. They will step on your mother to do it.
The Democrat party literally tried to steal the election from Trump, believing they had “Strzok insurance” within the FBI, tying Trump to a fake Russian conspiracy. It was the Democrats that had the ties to Russia. They spent three years and millions of our dollars impeaching Trump, using their personal main-stream-media “brown-shirts” to promote the bogus ruse. Since they were exposed, they merely wiped the Mueller hardware records clean, taking a page out of Hillary’s playbook. It would have been nuclear to the media had Trump done that.
The impeachment hoax was dying out when the liberal media stepped up to hype a man-made China virus. They successfully terrified the country into submitting to just about any hair-brained idea a Democrat could think of – masks, home confinement, closure of businesses, ghoulish daily death counts, etc. The economy, Trump’s strong suit, tanked due to the hype of the media and the draconian measures implemented by liberal bureaucrats. Democrats danced and bumped elbows with glee, delighted Trump’s economy was failing.
Now that unkempt, long-haired ordinary Americans were good and terrified, compliant, and at home, ANTIFA and BLM were unleashed upon the cities. So-called peaceful and COVID-free protests by day turned to riots and looting at night, while Democrat mayors fiddled like Nero. Police were ordered to stand down.
But the Dems weren’t done yet. Next came reprehensible schemes to vote by mail, rather than chancing “exposure” to China’s bug voting in nasty polling centers. Visits to Wal Mart or protests are safe, but not polling centers. As mentioned on Face Book, if you don’t see a problem with mail-in voting, put $5,000 cash in an envelope and mail it to yourself.
Democrats tried to rig the last presidential election, and they’re at it again. Mail-in ballots, if delivered timely or at all, will have to be counted and the results won’t be known for weeks, if not months. Can you imagine the political infighting? Pelosi might declare herself Queen.
If you recall, these were the same jack-asses that want to eliminate the electoral college too. As yourself why Dems are always tampering with systems that have worked brilliantly for over 200 years.
This daily chaos in our country is the very definition of civil disorder, insurrection, and rebellion. Look up the definition if you don’t believe me. While you’re looking things up, check out Norm Eisen or the Color Revolution – it’s all related. It was on Tucker Carlson, but YouTube already pulled it.
Conservatives didn’t try to falsely impeach the president, close businesses, confine people home, or tinker with the election system. And it isn’t conservatives rioting, looting, or promoting the ludicrous, hair-brained idea of defunding the police. It’s anarchists and socialists within the Democrat party promoting civil disorder.
Democrats refuse to cede one millimeter towards Trump on any issue – everything must be resisted at great cost to our country. Given the media’s penchant for trying to turn everything around – gaslighting – it’s time to bring this coup to a screeching halt.
Trump has to do this soon, or nobody will believe in the election results, regardless of who wins. Anarchy will reign supreme – Democrats will be in ecstasy. Edicts will be shrieked daily from Pelosi, Schumer, and Biden, grabbing power for themselves while jamming up the court systems. The Democrats already have hundreds of lawyers on retainer to fight the election results.
With the election nearing, we need to bring this country back to civility. It’s time to let people make up their minds how they want to handle the China bug issue, let business open up, allow only normal voting processes using the electoral system, and stop the rioting – by any means necessary. If you don't want to get shot by a cop, then don't riot or loot and do as he/she says. If that’s a declaration of Marshall Law, last used by Lyndon Johnson, from now until thirty days after the election results, then so be it. (Liberal lawyers will come out of the woodwork to refute Trump’s authority with this one.)
Trump has the authority; he needs to use it.
Pondering what to write this week, I was aided by a couple of other local op-ed writers, still suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome. Happens seemingly monthly.
If one read those columns, they’d think Trump is the anti-Christ. One would also wonder when those writers became Liberals. Listening to a corrupt mainstream media constantly railing against the President might do that to a person, I suppose. This is similar to people only reading the headlines, ignoring the story itself.
For the record, nobody ever said Trump was an eloquent individual. Most of us “Kool-Aid” drinkers, to use the words of one writer, plausibly understands this. As explained before, the Swamp needed a long-overdue cleansing. Nobody would hire an attorney or talk show host to clean their septic tank.
With their Trump bashing, writers are pushing a “Beijing” Biden presidency, ignoring (among other factors) Biden’s diminishing mental faculties which renders him incapable of stringing together two coherent sentences. Reading a teleprompter in an empty room was how he got through his acceptance speech at the “Dem Convention,” something a thirteen-year-old could do.
By the way, if Biden has all the answers, why the hell didn’t he tell Obama during that eight-year fiasco?
Comprehend a Biden presidency, if you can stomach it. The man is terrified to come out of his basement. His replacement, KA-MALA Harris, is a far-left California loon, to put it nicely. Biden has about as much chance of keeping liberalism under check as I do of winning the Chicago Marathon.
Biden has been a Democrat throughout his fifty years on the government teat. Do we really want to give another career, Swamp-dwelling, virtually worthless politician the presidency? Ask yourself honestly, is this because of your TDS, or perhaps some other source of persuasion?
Beyond just Sleepy Joe, consider what the Democrat party itself represents.
Recently, Democrat Nancy Pelosi was spotted in a San Francisco hair salon, without a mask. How often you suppose Pelosi and her fellow Dems step out beyond the limitations they set for us peons? Dem Chicago Mayor "Beetlejuice" Lightfoot had her ears lowered, or something like that, while demanding Chicagoans not go to salons. Governor "Toilets" Pritzker shuttles between his Wisconsin ranch and Chicago mansion regularly. Joe Biden’s Democrat party is all about “do as I say, not as I do,” just like any other Socialistic government.
Remember Biden’s recent declaration? – “if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” Actually, he’s historically correct. Biden wrote the 1994 Crime Bill, credited to be part of the systemic racism whined systemically about today.
Inconceivably, the Democrat party, the one of slavery, the Confederacy, Jim Crow laws, and the Ku Klux Klan can rile up the black population every four years to vote for them in mass – then ignore them as Obama did until the next election. Perhaps LBJ was right. (You might want to look that one up.)
Republican president, Lincoln, emancipated slaves, then was shot by a Democrat for his actions. His successor, Democrat Andrew Johnson, a slavery proponent, drug his feet on Reconstruction, destroying any chance of reconciliation. Republicans enacted the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth Amendments to guarantee blacks the equal rights of all Americans. When voted upon, the fourteenth and fifteenth Amendments didn’t receive one Democrat vote in either the House or Senate.
In 1870, Republicans sent the first black man, Hiram Revels, to the Senate. Democrats got around to seating their first 123 years later with Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois. Similarly, Republicans in the House seated their first black compatriot, Joseph Rainey in 1879. Sixty-four years later, Democrats caught up when Arthur Mitchell, from Illinois, was finally elected.
Amid all this racial turmoil today, now would be a good time to remind you both Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi spoke eloquently of Ku Klux Klan member, past Exalted Cyclops and Democrat Senator, Robert Byrd at his funeral. Byrd was a 51-year politician.
The Klan was an extension of the Democrat party, much like ANTIFA and BLM is today. Why doesn’t BLM show up on the south side of Chicago next weekend to prevent more children from being shot? Maybe bring Jesse and Al with them.
Perhaps it’s time African-Americans consider changing what hasn’t worked out so well for them – overwhelmingly supporting Democrats - for the past 50 years. Remember the definition of insanity.
Big city teacher unions, universities, and education administrators are another limb of the Democrats, which they use to beat on the populace. Due to the China bug, they deemed it unsafe for teachers to be in classrooms. They might get sick and die from one of those little buggers. One local teacher’s union from California included in their demands that the city of Los Angeles defund the police, as if that had anything to do with the school issues. This made as much sense as Pelosi adding pork on to financial COVID relief.
Farmers grow and harvest food, factories process food, truckers haul the food, numerous store employees handle the food – all in the face of a supposed pandemic. This ensures the nation’s food supply remains intact. But, when it comes to teachers doing their job – teaching munchkins in a classroom setting, as opposed to this absurd e-learning method I've watched my granddaughters have to do, teachers must stay protected? What about those millions of people that showed up to work daily to ensure teachers had something to eat? Or the soldiers, police, and firemen protecting them. Or the parents whose schedules are upended trying to find suitable day care, attempting to balance jobs and children? It’s time for all educators and administrators to go back to work, not just those under-appreciated teachers in the smaller districts. And stay there until the job is complete.
There are 45 million Democrats in this country. Their platform, supported wholly by Joe Biden, unequivocally backs abortion, including, incredibly, up to the time of birth. Biden plans on usurping Trump’s efforts at abortion curtailment. Nearly 2,000 babies per day are aborted in the US, folks. Who can possibly be okay with this insanity? What if we aborted the girl destined to cure cancer, or the boy that would legitimately hit 750 homers?
How many Democrats are Catholic? How does that compute? I’d like to be a fly on the wall when those Catholic Dems justify their abortion stance to their Maker? On social media, I ask Biden followers if they support killing babies. I’m always met with dead silence.
This presidential election is shaping up to be the most important in our lifetime. Never-Trumper Rhino’s should reevaluate their conservative values. And it’s time for people to think about why they are voting for a Democrat at all nationally.
I’ve mentioned a passion for the Green Bay Packers before, going back to 1968. It’s not easy being a Packerbacker in Illinois, but there is an upside. There’s nothing like the satisfaction (and relief) when the Pack beats the Bears, seemingly a regular occurrence. I mention this as a segue to the main topic.
Last Saturday we hosted friends for cocktails and dinner; five couples from our Clifton Central days. Most of us went to school at Central. All our kids went there, many at the same time. We’ve shared so many memorable events going back years.
Naturally, us guys were huddled in one corner, the gals in another. After improper witticisms, unflattering name calling, plus the customary bellyaching by the three farmers concerning the price of corn and beans, our conversation turned to sports. All of us are sports fans and “assistant coaches” when it comes to baseball, football, basketball or hockey. I’m the only Packer fan in the group, although the others wish they were.
Not surprisingly, we’re all of the same mind - none of us have watched an entire sporting event this year, except golf. The reason, put bluntly, we’re disgusted with pro athletes, including NASCAR.
Consider that six life-long middle-aged sports buffs are not watching sports, bizarrely for the first time in decades. Its due entirely to the politicization by young players who have little actual life experience. We have no interest in watching over-paid athletes protest or shun American traditions, nor to slander the nation’s police force.
It should be noted a trained seal can put a ball through a hoop, similar to NBA spokesmen and blowhard, LeBron James, but we don’t have to listen to the seal whine if thrown a fish. Think about the good Mr. James could do if he used his platform to promote peace, instead of further festering the rioting, of which most Americans now associate with the BLM movement. Players like Michael Jordan in basketball or Walter Payton in football, to use Chicago examples, had so much more class and better sense to bite the hand that fed them.
Middle-aged men of all colors who raised families, worked hard all their lives, taken risks, and/or have employed people don’t require life lessons from spoiled youngsters paid to play with a ball. We learned a long time ago if you obey the law, the police normally leave you alone. Comedian Chris Rock produced a video on how not to get your butt kicked by the police.
Some may be thinking, ‘what do I care if six old “rednecks” from central Illinois don’t watch sports?’ Ask yourself how many more of us are out there, also not watching sports? My bet, it’s widespread. We’re not pleased with this anarchy and don’t want it shoved down our throats.
Don’t get us wrong, we feel athletes have every right to protest. We agree and will fight for their right to protest. And if those young, affluent players see an injustice, they should get involved to overcome issues.
However, athletes protesting need to do it on their own time. Protest strongly in fact…when not scheduled to perform in a ballgame that matters to us. The games themselves are on our time - we pay the bloated salaries. We want traditions respected. Stand at attention for the National Anthem and keep mouths shut about grievances while wearing a teams’ uniform.
Or don’t. But we’re not interested in player gripes when we sit down to watch a ballgame. We’re not going to watch hissy fits on television, go to ball parks, or buy jerseys of pampered athletes. We’re also not going to pay attention to the media pandering to the players.
Athletes are probably going to have to learn this lesson the hard way, as baseball did in 1994. Wealth makes young players think they’re overly important. Right now, China’s bug is hiding America’s response, and players feel comfortable since nobody is in the stands. Wait till hardly anybody is still not in the stands after the virus is declared over, somewhere around November 5, and attendance numbers plummet. ESPN rankings have tanked, held up only by baseball. Basketball playoff viewership is down 23% from last year. Combined with no fans in attendance, this number will get the attention of team owners, particularly when they realize there’s a large section of the country that simply lost interest.
At the start of the football season next week, if Packer knees bend to the turf on the sideline, or don’t come out of the locker room for the National Anthem, then the inconceivable happens. It will be painful, but a fifty-two-year love of following the Packers will be disrupted.
I’ve already skipped the Blackhawks season. I’m currently ignoring the Cubs. I pray there’s not a football season without the Packers, but I’m bracing for the inevitable.
Well, there’s always the golf channel.