Long quiet Chicago area taxpayers push back–and win in soda tax battle

By John Ruberry "And it was inevitable that some of these people pushed back..." Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles. Overtaxed residents of Cook County, where Chicago is, are finally waking up. After decades of being slapped by tax after tax--folks are fighting back. Last week the Cook County Board of Commissioners voted to repeal a … Continue reading Long quiet Chicago area taxpayers push back–and win in soda tax battle

Illinois’ false budget fix

By John Ruberry On Thursday the Democratic-dominated Illinois House, with aid of ten Republicans, overrode Governor Bruce Rauner's veto of a 32 percent income tax hike. The corporate rate jumped by 35 percent. Apologists for the income tax increase love to point out that many states have higher income tax rates, but last week's override … Continue reading Illinois’ false budget fix

Only bad options: The end of Illinois

By John Ruberry Illinois isn't at the crossroads. It's on a collision course after driving off a cliff. It's that bad here. The Land of Lincoln faces what is likely its most pivotal two weeks in its 199-year history. Last week Governor Bruce Rauner, a Republican who never ran for political office before, called for … Continue reading Only bad options: The end of Illinois

Illinois is following the model of Czarist Russia

By John Ruberry "I can't stop the revolution, but until it comes, let's have some fun." Prince Felix Yusupov to Rasputin in the film Nicholas and Alexandra. And with the revolution of course came the collapse of Czarist Russia. The beleaguered state of Illinois set a couple of futility records last week. It became the first … Continue reading Illinois is following the model of Czarist Russia

Deep Corruption: Hiring scandal reveals stench of Illinois government

By John Ruberry You've heard of "Deep State," right? If you haven't, it's the powerful yet anonymous cadre of senior bureaucrats within the federal government who are toiling to undermine President Donald J. Trump. They are "the swamp" Trump wants to drain. In Illinois, where I live, we have Deep Corruption. Last week in my own … Continue reading Deep Corruption: Hiring scandal reveals stench of Illinois government

Unfunded pensions are why Chicago will be the next Detroit

By John Ruberry I've been saying that Chicago will be the next Detroit for years, and on Thursday, syndicated talk radio show host--and former Tea Party congressman--Joe Walsh, was making the same prediction on his program. Walsh was discussing a just-released pension study which the Chicago Sun-Times reported on. Standard & Poor's surveyed pension obligations … Continue reading Unfunded pensions are why Chicago will be the next Detroit

Chris Kennedy, Illinois’ snowflake candidate for governor

By John Ruberry The Democratic gubernatorial primary in Illinois is more than a year away but the field of candidates to challenge Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner is taking shape. On Thursday Christopher G. Kennedy, a son of Robert F. Kennedy, announced on YouTube that he'll be running for the Democratic nomination for governor of America's … Continue reading Chris Kennedy, Illinois’ snowflake candidate for governor

The decline and fall of Chicago

By John Ruberry Two unwelcome pieces of bad news punched Chicago in the face last week. A state pension reform law for two municipal pension plans was unanimously ruled unconstitutional by the Illinois Supreme Court. Also last week came news that the Chicago metropolitan area saw the biggest population drop of the nation's metro regions. Chicago … Continue reading The decline and fall of Chicago

Barack Obama is a Democrat ward hack and a complete fraud

By John Ruberry You can once and for all drop any lingering belief you may possess that Barack Obama is a bi-partisan unifier. A Chicago Democrat in the Illinois House who believed in compromising is now a lame duck because of our leftist president. Illinois has been locked in a budget battle for nine months. The … Continue reading Barack Obama is a Democrat ward hack and a complete fraud

Land of the IOU: Illinois Lottery spends money on ad to say it has no money for big payouts

By John Ruberry For over four months Illinois has operated without a budget. But the Prairie State continues function, not particularly well, as was the case when Illinois had a budget. Despite those budgets, the state's pension fund is the worst-funded one in the nation. Illinois has the lowest credit rating of the 50 states--so … Continue reading Land of the IOU: Illinois Lottery spends money on ad to say it has no money for big payouts

Democrats remain stubborn as Illinois enters fourth month without a budget

By John Ruberry It's been four months since Illinois operated with a budget. But the story goes back a year when Land of Lincoln voters tossed out Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn, Rod Blagojevich's two-time running mate, and chose Republican businessman Bruce Rauner to, as his proclaimed in his campaign slogans, "Bring back Illinois" and "Shake … Continue reading Democrats remain stubborn as Illinois enters fourth month without a budget

Chicago Tribune columnist’s “In Chicago, wishing for a Hurricane Katrina” creates anger

By John Ruberry As the tenth anniversary of the devastating Hurricane Katrina approaches we will come across many retrospectives of the storm that killed over 1,800 people and destroyed large swaths of the Gulf of Mexico coastal area--particularly in New Orleans. But we won't see too many like this one from the Chicago Tribune's Kristen … Continue reading Chicago Tribune columnist’s “In Chicago, wishing for a Hurricane Katrina” creates anger

Chicago: America’s Junk City

By John Ruberry On Monday Rahm Emanuel will be sworn in for his second term as mayor of Chicago. He faces enormous challenges including a high murder rate--with it comes the new nickname for the city, "Chiraq," a crumbling infrastructure that includes pothole-strewn streets, and multiple financial crises. Just last week Moody's Investors Services double-downgraded … Continue reading Chicago: America’s Junk City

Mayor One Percent: Class warfare in Chicago’s mayoral race

By John Ruberry Four weeks from now Chicagoans will return to the polls and choose between the remaining two candidates for mayor--former Obama White House Chief of Staff and incumbent Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" (pronounced 'chewie') Garcia. Interestingly, the candidates are often referred to by the mainstream media as Rahm or Chuy--I … Continue reading Mayor One Percent: Class warfare in Chicago’s mayoral race

Next public sector union battleground: Illinois

By John Ruberry Four years after Wisconsin became the chief battleground in the war of taxpayers versus public sector unions, a new front is developing south of the Cheese Curtain in Illinois. With the possible exception of California, no where else in America are government unions so powerful. And of course it should be no … Continue reading Next public sector union battleground: Illinois