Sign inside Niles, Illinois supermarket

By John Ruberry

I’ve written a couple of columns at Da Tech Guy, one here and one here, about Cook County’s hated one-cent-per-ounce soda tax championed by County Board President Toni “Taxwinkle” Preckwinkle, a left-wing Democrat. But the question I’ve been only alluding to here and on my own blog is this one: Why is this money needed?

And the soda pop tax is only the latest outrage. Like other counties, Cook levies property taxes, but it also mugs residents and anyone who buys something here with a 1.75 percent sales tax, along with gasoline, liquor and tobacco taxes.

(Those cheers you just heard come from retailers with shops on the other side of the Cook County line.)

Toni “Taxwinkle” Preckwinkle

County government in most places means the operation of a court system and a jail, providing law enforcement, particularly in unincorporated areas (Cook has few of those), and road maintenance. But in Cook County–Chicago is its seat–county government means building a massive health care network, the Cook County Health and Hospitals System, paid for by long-suffering taxpayers such as myself, and one that caters to the estimated 300,000 illegal immigrants living here.

Chicago is a sanctuary city and Cook is a sanctuary county.

A DNA Chicago article about plans for a new county health facility on Chicago’s Northwest Side that will replace a much smaller one, contains a revelation on where all of that tax money is going.

Once it’s running at full capacity, Carey [a county official] expects the site — one of 17 free clinics [emphasis mine] operated around the county — to host about 37,000 doctors’ visits annually, she said.

Keep in mind, this is just one clinic.

More…

The proposal has been brewing since at least 2015, when doctors told newly elected Cook County Commissioner Luis Arroyo Jr. that they had “outgrown” the Logan Square facility, Arroyo said.

Instead of expanding it, county health officials began looking for a new location, where more immediate neighbors could take advantage. They landed in Belmont Cragin, whose estimated 12,000 undocumented residents [emphasis mine again] has one of the largest clusters of uninsured people in the city, Arroyo said.

Leftism is expensive. Sure, some of what is spent on county health care for illegal aliens is reimbursed by another arm of government. Emergency visits at county-run Stroger Hospital come to mind as does the expensive state-funded All Kids program. Hey, they get me coming and going in Illinois, that’s for sure. But who pays for the salaries and generous benefits for the county doctors, nurses, dentists, and administrators? Not Kim Jong Un, that’s for sure.

Princely but underfunded county worker pensions are another reason “Taxwinkle” needs her taxes.

As a political blogger I natural follow current events. But I don’t recall the conversation about the need for Cook County to transform itself into a welfare state, particularly for illegals, as well as a retirement program for not-working-so-hard county employees. But that’s what county government has evolved into here.

And taxes and spending keep soaring, even though the population of Crook County, oops, I mean Cook County, peaked around 50 years ago, when the county last had a Republican running it and when none of these taxes existed.

Yes, leftism is very expensive.

John Ruberry, a fifth-generation Cook County resident, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

The small vine with Vinnie’s Grapes

Driven by hunger, a fox tried to reach some grapes hanging high on the vine but was unable to, although he leaped with all his strength. As he went away, the fox remarked ‘Oh, you aren’t even ripe yet! I don’t need any sour grapes.’

The Fox and the Grapes Via Wikipedia

John Nolte, one of the treasure of Breitbart tells us that there is a sudden shift in the land of socially conscious sportscaster Stephen A Smith:

Friday, ESPN “First Take” co-host Stephen A. Smith said he was “tired” of the national anthem protests and linking of arms in unity, adding he is ready to “get back to football.”

What? This can’t be, we’ve been told right along by guys like Smith that the Kaepernick protests not only were important but that it was disgraceful that fewer people in the NFL were taking part. What could possibly be his explanation for this sudden transformation?

Smith reasoned that Colin Kaepernick’s initial protest has been “hijacked” and the message has been “lost” because the protests are now anti-President Donald Trump, which he said just causes more “division.”

Chad Ochocinco is saying the same

Former Cincinnati Bengals star wide receiver Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson said in an interview with TMZ Sports that he believes the national anthem protests in the NFL are now “politically whitewashed” and have lost their initial meaning,

Vice sports is saying the same:

It’s heartbreaking to say, but this past Sunday shows that brain-dead argument perpetrated by brain-dead hucksters and embraced by brain-dead people is serving its purpose, by deflecting attention away from the protest’s original meaning.

Oddly this is a sentiment that I’ve heard a lot of WEEI from people who were all pro Kaepernick lately on my evening drive. The protests have jumped the shark, they’ve been hijacked etc etc etc.

So the question on the floor is this: why are we suddenly seeing this change in the narrative from the sporting left?

The answer is simple, despite what you might hear from Esquire Trump has won this cultural battle big time.

The NFL is battling to repair its tarnished image and to win back a chunk of the fan base that they’ve forfeited, and the NBA, terrified of mimicking the NFL’s dropping popularity has made it clear that there will be no kneeling allowed.

And thanks to the left turning this into a racial issue we are going to have the pleasure of seeing the 2018 Democrats defending disrespecting the flag to avoid a primary challenge in red states.

Trump has won but our friends on the left can’t admit that, so instead we have the face-saving message, oh the protests have been hijacked message.

If they want to play this game, that’s fine, the political result will be exactly the same and both the NFL and the NBA have learned a valuable lesson about their customer bases that they won’t soon forget.


If you like what you’ve seen here and want to support independent journalism please hit DaTipJar below.




Please consider subscribing, Not only does that get you my weekly podcast emailed to you before it appears either on the site or at the 405media which graciously carries it on a weekly basis but if you subscribe at any level I will send you an autographed copy of my new book from Imholt Press: Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer


Choose a Subscription level



(or you can buy one here)