Illinois’ dispirited bicentennial celebration ends

By John Ruberry As I've mentioned here a few times, 2018 is Illinois' bicentennial year, a fact that not only has escaped most Americans but even, I suspect, most people living in Illinois. Last Monday the official Illinois bicentennial party was held in Chicago at the Aon Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier on Lake Michigan. … Continue reading Illinois’ dispirited bicentennial celebration ends

Forward to Detroit: Prominent Chicago mayoral candidate suggests a commuter tax

By John Ruberry Democrats, particularly Chicago Democrats, love political dynasties. Before Mayor Carter Harrison Jr. there was Carter Harrison. Before Richard M. Daley there was Mayor Richard J. Daley. In Mike Royko's indispensable study of urban machine politics, the Pulitzer Prize columnist wrote, "The Dan Ryan is the expressway that [Richard J.] Daley takes to … Continue reading Forward to Detroit: Prominent Chicago mayoral candidate suggests a commuter tax

To survive the Illinois GOP must be the anti-tax hike party

By John Ruberry While there is some debate on whether there was a blue wave nationally after last week's midterm elections,, in Illinois, my state, there certainly was one. Voters booted out a Republican governor, billionaire Bruce Rauner, for Democratic billionaire JB Pritzker. Both men opened their wallets to fund their campaigns and downticket races. … Continue reading To survive the Illinois GOP must be the anti-tax hike party

Barack Obama, Chicago mayor?

By John Ruberry Early next year the first round of the Chicago mayoral election will be held, If no candidate achieves a majority, then the top two face each other in a runoff. The two-term incumbent, Rahm Emanuel, President Obama's first chief of staff, is running, as are several other candidates, each with baggage, including … Continue reading Barack Obama, Chicago mayor?

Failed state Illinois creating distraction from pension crisis by trying to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment

Illinois cannot cope with the present, let alone with the future, so it's fighting a symbolic battle from the past. Here's a little history lesson: In 1972 Congress submitted the Equal Rights Amendment to the state legislatures, which read: Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the … Continue reading Failed state Illinois creating distraction from pension crisis by trying to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment

Harvey, Illinois’ layoffs to pay for pensions portends nasty future for the rest of state

By John Ruberry For decades Illinois, Chicago, and many other Land of Lincoln municipalities have been kicking the can down the road in regards to public worker pension obligations. Harvey, a poverty-stricken southern suburb of Chicago with a long history of corruption, has not just reached the end of the road, it has run off … Continue reading Harvey, Illinois’ layoffs to pay for pensions portends nasty future for the rest of state

Illinois Democratic governor nominee mum on details for his proposed pension bailout tax hike

By John Ruberry "We are a nation that has a government—not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the Earth." First presidential inaugural address from Ronald Reagan, who was born in Illinois. "As a result, Illinois government is a massive retirement system that, during work hours, also offers some … Continue reading Illinois Democratic governor nominee mum on details for his proposed pension bailout tax hike

Illinois bicentennial: The 14 worst leaders from the state

By John Ruberry In honor of Illinois' bicentennial, Kerry Lester of the Daily Herald compiled a list of Illinois' best-known leaders. There is some good in it--Ronald Reagan and Abraham Lincoln, and some bad. Ethel Kennedy? Robert F. Kennedy's widow was born in Chicago but grew up in Connecticut. And besides, her contributions don't amount … Continue reading Illinois bicentennial: The 14 worst leaders from the state

Democratic candidates for Illinois governor resort to scapegoating

By John Ruberry Illinois will have one of the most-closely watched gubernatorial contests this year. Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner has been a tremendous disappointment to me and just about every conservative voter I know. I enthusiastically backed the then-political newcomer in 2014, but this time around, as I explained here at Da Tech Guy, I'm … Continue reading Democratic candidates for Illinois governor resort to scapegoating

Illinois businesses and jobs escape to Wisconsin

By John Ruberry Last Monday I had a errand to run for work--which brought me to Milwaukee's suburbs. And for the first time in five years I drove on Interstate 94 north of the Illinois-Wisconsin state line--on what is known as the Milwaukee to Kenosha I-94 Corridor. A lot has changed since 2012. As I … Continue reading Illinois businesses and jobs escape to Wisconsin

Illinois Math: Chicago Public Schools has fewer students but taxes go up

By John Ruberry On Friday a friend of this very blogger forwarded a Chicago Tribune Breaking News Alert to me: Chicago Public Schools enrollment drops by nearly 10,000 students. And the year before CPS enrollment slid by 11,000. There are 371,382 students taking classes in CPS schools  In 2002 there 438,589 kids running the halls, … Continue reading Illinois Math: Chicago Public Schools has fewer students but taxes go up

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

Crook County, Illinois soda tax is fueling “free” health care, pensions

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 … Continue reading Crook County, Illinois soda tax is fueling “free” health care, pensions

Chicago’s ruling class thrives amid city’s decline

By John Ruberry Of America's largest cities only Chicago has a declining population. So far this year--as it was for all 2016--more people were murdered in Chicago than in New York City and Los Angeles. Combined. On the surface it seems that Chicago has the best government that money can buy. The Watchdogs of the … Continue reading Chicago’s ruling class thrives amid city’s decline

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