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Illinois corruption

Will Sterigenics Get An Apology?

Do you ever have to apologize if you’re a government bureaucrat or a member of the Chicago press corps for false reporting? The EPA says they may have mistested the air samples from Sterigenics that Democrat politicians seized upon to berate Rauner and other Republican candidates. Do the residents in the western suburbs deserve an apology for the political fear mongering of a cancer scare? Dan and Amy discuss new reports coming from the EPA regarding Sterigenics.

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Conservative Reformers Fight To End Culture Of Abuse

What will it take for Democrats to turn their backs on Madigan? Will Illinois voters hold their representatives accountable come November? State Rep. Tom Morrison joins Dan and Amy to discuss the press conference held by current conservative reform legislators and candidates calling for an end of the abusive culture in Springfield and calling for their Democrat colleagues to do the same and demand Madigan’s resignation.

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Building The Conservative Reform Movement In Chicago

Why has the Illinois Republican Party pretended that they could ignore the three million people in the City of Chicago and still be successful? Has the party mistakenly rallied around particular people rather than cultural values and economic interests? Illinois Opportunity Project Co Founder, Dan Proft and Chicago Police Sergeant and candidate for State Rep. on the Northwest Side, Ammie Kessem appeared on “Flannery Fired Up” to discuss the revolt against the ruling class needed in the city and state.

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It Was My Understanding There Would Be No Math

Chicago’s greatest thought leaders have a new idea on how to fund pensions- raise property taxes! Where does the money in a state with the highest state and local tax burden go? Make sure you have the courtesy to tell your new neighbors when you leave Illinois the cautionary tale before the contagion spreads. Dan and Amy discuss the spiraling debt and lack of good governance in Illinois.

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Most Government, Worst Governed

Four of the top five employers in Cook County are units of government. Shouldn't legislators determine how much money the state has before they start spending it? There is a bipartisan effort to destroy Illinois. How long will the electorate put up with it? Dan and Amy discuss and take calls from frustrated listeners.

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Exodus From Illinois At City Club Of Chicago

The political ruling class has actively driven Illinois into financial turmoil, no wonder we have a mass exodus of residents. According to a recent poll, half of Illinoisans want to leave, and the politicians' response is: "we're working on it.” Dan Proft brought a brutal dose of reality to the Chicago City Club Panel in discussing the real reasons why Illinois is losing population in the thousands year after year, what policies got us here, and if there is any way out of this mess.

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Illinois: One Giant Ponzi Scheme

Half the people who live in Illinois want to leave. Most Illinoisans cite taxes as the top reason, but according to Alderman Sawyer we can’t play the blame game, the political ruling class is working on it. Are Illinois voters ever going to decide when the career politicians’ decades-long probationary period is up? Dan and Amy recap the heated exchanges at the Illinois Exodus Panel at City Club of Chicago.

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Proft: SO I was at the City Club yesterday, participating in a panel discussion to address this vexing question: Why are people leaving Illinois? You got any clues, out there in our listening audience? Any idea why people would be leaving our FAIR state? Only Illinois and West Virginia have seen population loss for the last 4 years, 225K have left Illinois in the last two years, net, that's the worst outmigration in the country. People moving in making $55K, people moving out making $75K, so the upward mobility spread is also the largest in the nation. We have seen the most anemic recovery of manufacturing jobs in the midwest since the depths of the Great Recession, that's about 1/10 of what Michigan has seen, via comparison. We are actually LOSING net population, which is why Pennsylvania has surpassed Illinois as the fifth-most populated state in the nation. And Rhode Island's not far behind us now. Jacobson: Wow. So they had you gathered to ask WHY people are leaving Illinois? Proft: Yeah. 312-642-5600, Turnkey Dot Pro Answer Line. 64636DA, Turnkey Dot Pro Text Line. You got any clues? Because the elites that attend these City Club lunches, the professionals and the deep thinkers in, kind of, the establishment, C-Suites and powers of government, educational institutions and so forth, that's who attends the City Club. It's a Left group, though I appreciate the fact that they invited me to give an alternative perspective, and they've done a better job of inviting conservatives as of late, so that's good, you're getting more diversity of viewpoint, and real discussion, and in some respect, more opportunities for jeremiads like I delivered yesterday throughout the lunch. But, so...there's a Simon Institute study...Paul Simon Institute down at Southern Illinois University, they did say that half the people want to leave the state. HALF! (Jacobson: Half?) Half of THIRTEEN MILLION PEOPLE want to get out of here! *sarcastically* That's not an indictment, though. And the reason that was most often cited? Taxes. *sarcastically* But I know that's not...can't really be the case. So what are people REALLY trying to say. *sarcasm ends* That's essentially what they think! That's essentially what (?), going "No no no, I hear...I know you said taxes, but let's talk about what's really at the root of that, because it can't be taxes! It can't be what you're telling me....it's gotta be something else. So cm...what is it really?" So I made the point that...well, I made many, but it was more entertaining to listen to Rodrick Sawyer, Chicago Alderman, and Mary Mitchell, columnist for the Sun-Times, the panel moderated by our friend Kristen McQueary at the Tribune. Listen to them tell us what the problem is. Jacobson: What did they say? Proft: Mary Mitchell thinks it's largely a marketing problem (Jacobson: Oh!), because she was recently on a Caribbean cruise, and people, when she said she was from Illinois in discussions with her fellow travelers...probably in more ways than one...she sai...they made fun of her. So we've got a marketing problem. Jacobson: Ohh...made fun of her for what? Living there with the high taxes, or with all the crime? Proft: Yeah. All of the above. But it's just a marketing problem. Yeah, we just have to do better Chamber of Commerce Commercials. Rodrick Sawyer said, despite us having the highest black unemployment rate of any urban center in the country, but everything is going well in his south side work...yeah he's pickin' em up and puttin' em down. But his big idea? Which tells you ever...he had two. One is to modernize our sales tax to generate more revenue for the city (*Jacobson starts laughing*), which tells you everything you need to know about the perspective, the perspective is "How do we get more revenue for the city?" That's the government-centric viewpoint, that's the government-centric culture in this state that has destroyed it. Which is why, by the way, we're the only state...well I think Ohio may, but it's much closer, Ohi...Illinois, 175k more government jobs than manufacturing jobs. Because that's how you have a robust, dynamic economy that attracts people and investment, right? GOVERNMENT JOBS. Government growth. Hmm. So, that was one idea, and the other is a Marshall Plan for the urban centers. (Jacobson: What's...) Infrastructure! Rebuild the urban centers! Public financing of infrastructure rebuilding of the urban centers, with money that we don't have. Junk-rated city. Junk-rated CPS. Illinois ONE CLICK above junk-rated. By the way, during Governor Rauner, the "turnaround artist", Illinois' credit rating has been downgraded EIGHT TIMES. So...there ya...got your ideas! You got...you got your marketing, need to spend more money and grow government, and we need to get more revenue into the government so they can spend more money. Does that make sense to you, do you think that's the way back? The way to attract people to come back here, instead of flee to such tropical destinations as NW Indiana? Kenosha? Des Moines? Jacobson: I gotta tell ya, one of my neighbors, she's been here for 30+ years. I saw her in church, and she was crying, she said "I am just heartbroken. My husband's retiring in April, and we cannot afford to live here because of the property taxes." I mean, these were pillars of our community, and just broke my heart, she was like "What did I do wrong, Amy? I should have taken that job when I had the chance, I should have worked extra hours...", I said "No! Your government FAILED you, you're NOT a failure!" Proft: HEY HEY HEY, hey now...I... Jacobson: There's a big difference. And I said "What about the Senior exemption?" That's only $500 less a year. That's NOTHING! Proft: Doesn't cover anything, not enough to keep up, it's a joke. Jacobson: It IS a joke! So now they have to move to Wisconsin! We have to say goodbye to YET ANOTHER neighbor! Proft: So, here's the problem with that, and I'm gonna quote Rodrick Sawyer, the Alderman from Chicago...because obviously I need to defer to our political ruling class, office-holders...they know more...they know everything because we defer to them, so I'll join in the club. What YOU'RE doing there is a problem, and I'll let you know what the problem is. Jacobson: Oh, I'm having a timeout now? Proft: You're blaming people. All you're doing is playing the old blame game, Amy! And you can't blame the people in charge. You know why? Jacobson: Why? Proft: Because they're working on it. Jacobson: Oh, okay. In the meantime... Proft: And there's PLENTY of blame to go around! *laughs* You should HEAR these people! And I was very aggressive and very argumentative... Jacobson: NO! You? That's not like you Dan. Proft: Well, I mean...eve...more so. And it was not just pointed at the simps that were a part of my panel, it was also pointed at the audience. Jacobson: Were they under-processing what you were saying, in denial? Proft: I dunno, I dunno. Here's what I think; you have to hit people in this state, rhetorically, with a 2x4 across the forehead REPEATEDLY before anything penetrates. Because otherwise they fall back...and this is Republicans too...fall back on these TIRED bromides about "we'reworkingonitnotasbadasyouthinkplentyofblametogoaround...I'm fiscal conservative, we need to get together work on stuff, get in a room, hash things out...working families, we're for working families, it needs to be more fair." All of this pablum that is spewed every direction, and it's all LIES. And people in that audience are as big a perp...generally speaking, particularly some of the members of the Press Corps that were there...are as big a perpetrators of the lies as the panelists. As the politicians. As the op-ed writers. They all preach good government, "I'm for good, honest government!" And they support the same government. And that's what the voters do too, and that's what they'll probably do on March 20th, and what they'll probably do in some form or fashion in November. And that's why people will continue to leave, because people who know better, and aren't the beneficiaries of the Ponzi schemes at present...and by the way, the benefits of those Ponzi schemes to those beneficiaries...you better take your money and run and a lot of people are, because those Ponzi schemes are going to collapse...it's just a matter of time. Just a matter of time. It will come crashing down...it will be visiting upon your doorstep. Nobody gets out of this racket without incident, except Ed Burke and Mike Madigan and the political ruling class. But, that's the play. That's the play. And so people who aren't in on it, who aren't benefiting from it, are going to leave, if and when they can. And the only people who really get punished...the Champagne socialists who stay aren't really going to get punished, because they're kind of isolated from terrible public policy. The people who are punished are actually one group of beneficiaries, that are treated as serfs by the feudal lords. That's the beneficiaries of transfer payments. Who are kept down through the Welfare state who are not in control of their own lives, and the Champagne socialists think they're doing somebody a favor. And they're not, they're keeping people down, they're oppressing people...disproportionately minorities, but they're oppressing people. And what's Mary Mitchell say? This was the last question, this was GREAT. The last question was "One public policy that you would...the best opportunity for...to improve the situation with...one public policy." Jacobson: What'd she say? Proft: Jobs, jobs, jobs. Jacobson: *quietly, in shock* That was her answer? Proft: Yeah. That's her answer, because she doesn't HAVE an answer. Jacobson: What did Rodrick Sawyer say? Proft: The Marshall plan for the inner cities. Jacobson: Oh, oh. Okay. Proft: Jobs, jobs, jobs. So one guy says government spending, and the op-ed columnist who routinely moralizes about Chicago being the most segregated country...or, the most segregated city in the country, OH BY THE WAY who's been in charge of it for 100 years? YOUR PARTY. *laughing*. YOUR PARTY. Routinely talks about the lack of opportunity, the lack of quality education...who's been in charge of it, Mary? Your party, your people, okay? Her answer was jobs, jobs, jobs. And if I wasn't there, you know what the reaction would have been from most of that crowd? To bark at her like seals! *Seal noises and clapping* Harumph, harumph, harumph! It was like having a panel with Governor William J. Le Petomane and Hedley Lamarr. It's a Blazing Saddles skit, it's not a panel discussion! Jobs jobs jobs...but Mary Mitchell supports all of the policies that DESTROY capital formation and job creation. And yet she decries jobs jobs jobs. And you know what? She's like a majority of the electorate in this state. So, when you're in...looking at the face of that, and listening to either the disingenuousness of it or the ignorance of it, or some combination of the two, what are you expecting Right-thinking people to do? What do you expect productive people to do? Stay and take it, like they are BOUND to the land in Illinois? No, they're not. They're not gonna do it, and they are proving they're not gonna do it. Mike in Riverside, you're on Chicago's Morning Answer. Mike (caller): Good morning, how are you? (Proft: Good.) Our family of six...the kids are all out of the house now, but none of them are planning on returning to Illinois, and my wife and I are packing the boxes *laughs* today...to leave. And the primary reason being, just as you said, taxes, too high of taxes, we just can't keep up, and employment opportunities. Just too few... Proft: Where are you moving? Mike (caller): ...and just a strong desire to not join in on the game and find government employment. Proft: Okay, all good reasons...to where are you moving? Mike (caller): *slight laugh* Well, the political climate probably isn't too much different, but out to Oregon. So that's where I'm from originally, but I've been here 35 years. Jacobson: Aww.. Proft: Thanks for the call, Mike. Sorry to see you go, but I understand what you're saying. Dennis in Villa Park. Dennis (Caller): Yeah, the comment about 13 million people wanting to move out of the state (sic), how many of them voted for the people who created this mess? (Proft: Absolutely.) And I have an interesting thing, I'm close to retirement, and I have a cousin who's very liberal saying the same thing, we discuss about retirement, HE said he wants to move out of state. And I said "You can't move out of the state, 'cuz wherever you go, you're gonna bring your stupid voting with ya!" Proft: *laughs* "Move to a different state than I'm moving!" Vince in St. Charles. Vince (Caller): Okay, so I move into this townhouse in St. Charles, I got good credit, it's a nice, no-basement townhouse, and then my tax bill is $9K, (Jacobson: Oof!), that's without insurance...by the way I enjoy the show...now I'm working...I'm paying for two mortgages. I'm OUT of this state! If it's the last thing I do, I'm outta here. I'm gonna vote Republican, I hate...I mean, sorry, (?), but yeah, I'm outta this state, first thing I ge...first chance I get. It's gonna be some work, because I have to find a job, but I have to get out. If it's when I retire, that's when it has to be, because I'm done, I'm leavin'. Proft: Thanks for the call. So, Vince in... Jacobson: I have a friend who has a second job JUST to pay her property taxes. Proft: Well yeah, sure. I... Jacobson: Think of how ridiculous that is. And she makes pretty good money, but her property taxes are CRAZY high. ' Proft: How many people...how many people the property taxes are higher than their mortgage payment and interest? A lot of people, a lot of people. DESTROYING the equity! Jacobson: My mom has the same...my mom who lives in Tucson has the same size house as mine, pays $1400 A YEAR. Proft: And you pay? Jacobson: ...a lot. Proft: Well, it's public record. Jacobson: Like...$12K. From $10(K) to $12(K)...just like that! And I got a garbage tax now, and a sewer tax, it's just...crazy. Proft: Vince in St. Charles and all these other people moving, while we have your attention, don't forget you can listen online... Jacobson: Oh. Proft: To the show. Jacobson: That's right! Download the AM560 App! Proft: We're gonna have a bigger audience OUT of state. But this is great, as I said yesterday. The Illinois politicians that you all voted for...Brady and Durkin, the two Republican leaders in the Legislature that you all voted for, been there a combined 40 years. Madigan and Cullerton, a combined 80 years. Same ol' people, same ol' policies. They're getting Illinois moving...to Wisconsin, and Indiana, and Tennessee, and Kentucky, and Florida. Jay in rural Indiana... Jay (Caller): Yes, so the other gentleman kind of stole my thunder. I live in Indiana, moved from Illinois in 1995. There's all these people that want to move to Indiana or Wisconsin, like you said, but they want to bring their Democrat ways with them. They're just destroying OUR state now. (Proft: Yeah.) Like in (?) if you look, it's way more Blue. Proft: That's a good point, Jay. I would suggest you build a wall, and make Illinois pay for it.

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Gary Grasso: GOP Candidate For Attorney General

As an experienced attorney, former Mayor of Burr Ridge, member of the Dupage County Board and Chairman of the Dupage 911 board, Gary Grasso says he has the litigation and public service experience to be the next Attorney General of Illinois. He says he’s not been bought and paid for by Governor Rauner as his opponent is and will fight to end the accepted, corrupt “Chicago Way.” Grasso joins Dan and Amy to discuss his campaign in the tight race for the GOP nomination of Attorney General. 

View full transcript


Proft: Good morning, Dan and Amy, and we spent a lot of time talking about the governor's primary; Ives versus Rauner, but there's other statewide primary elections on the Republican side that we should take note of as well. We've spoken with Erika Harold before on this show, she is a candidate for Attorney General in the Republican primary, where you've got about...I don't know...EIGHT candidates on the Democrat side, including former Governor Pat Quinn... Jacobson: And that's gonna be a tight race... Proft: Yeah, it could be interesting. Especially if Quinn's the nominee. Jacobson: Yeah, do you think Quinn will get it? Proft: You know, residual name ID and good will on the Democrat side...I think Quinn would be the favorite. I could see Raul winning, but I think Quinn is the favorite, in the closing days we'll see. And also, some recent polling has the Republican contest for the Attorney General nomination quite close as well, we're basically a statistical dead heat. Erika Harold is one candidate, the gentleman who joins us now is the other candidate. He's a DuPage County Board member, former mayor of Burridge, and attorney of course...Gary Grasso. Gary, thanks for joining us, appreciate it. Grasso: Well, thank you! Good morning, Dan. Good morning, Amy. Appreciate you having me on! Proft: No problem. So, the rationale for your candidacy? Why you would make a better GOP nominee than Miss Harold? Grasso: Well, it's all about qualifications and experience, and Dan, I've been a litigator, which is what the key role of the Attorney General is, a litigator for 40 years, almost. My opponent has very little actual litigation experience. I have tried cases, I've handled hundreds of cases in civil litigation, I've been at major firms downtown, have my own firm now. So that's key to why I'd be the better candidate. Also, I'm a former mayor, as you said, I'm also the Chairman of the 9-1-1 Board in DuPage County. I have extensive public service, and a record of achievement, so I also know how to run an office. Don't forget, the Attorney General is an office where it's probably the biggest, the second-biggest law firm in the state of Illinois, there's over 350 attorneys there, an equal number of staff. So, I have that experience too, my opponent, she hasn't really managed anything, she's...I don't even believe a partner in her own law firm. So, you have to look at my qualifications. And you know, I could have left the state, I could have been one of those outmigrators...I'm going to be here to fight for the people of Illinois. I'm the right guy with the right experience to go after the Cook County Democrat political system, and that's going to be my number one priority, fighting public corruption. Proft: Well, let me just press in the experience thing a bit, because as Oscar Wilde famously observed, "Experience is what we call our failures." You know, we...I think there's too much deference to experience in this state, which is why we keep putting the same people in the same office. "Well, what's their qualification?" "I've been here!" Well, that's not much of a qualification, performance is the qualification. So just speaking to all of those positions you've held, and all of those posts that you've...where you've been in a leadership position, tell us a bit about accomplishments, performance, that would translate to the Attorney General's office. Grasso: Right, so on the litigation side I've been very successful in my practice, Dan, I've been successful in my cases representing various clients. Of course like anybody else, as you say, various part of that is that you don't always win every case, but you know from experience you get judgment, and that's what's really really important here. On the public service side, I've been a successful mayor! I helped with...well I got a lot of help from others...but I was the mayor in Burridge when we built the Village Centre in the worst economic times, at no true expense to the taxpayers. We built a new Police Department, privately financed. We brought in Loyola as what is one of their major out-campus facilities in Burridge. I was also able to get many public services and the bridge branded over I-55 to...for the benefit of our taxpayers in Burridge. Now, on the 9-1-1 Board, I have been the Chairman there, well we've consolidated down, so what have I done there? Well, with the help of a lot of other people also, prior to me and me personally, we have consolidated, I'm a big person about consolidating government, we have WAY too much government in this state, and we brought the 9-1-1 Board down from 22 Call Centers to 3. And in that period, we have saved the taxpayers 7 to 8 million dollars annually in DuPage and what have we done with that money? We have turned it into more technology, and better service. So when you look at my experience, and my accomplishments, that's exactly why I'm the better choice. Jacobson: Well, yeah you do sound like you give a new resume there, an accomplished career...but why do you WANT this job? Grasso: Well, I have...my wife and I will be married 40 years in May, we have six grown children, three grandchildren, I've got a lot at stake in Illinois. And again, I could be...I could take the easy way out. I could be one of the out-migrators. Take..."Well, I don't want to pay these high property taxes anymore!", which are rampant across the entire state of Illinois. The equity in people's homes have been diminished because of the leadership...that would be Dan's point. We put in the same same people...who are those same same people? Mike Madigan, and his cronies. They have to go! Proft: Well, yeah...although you could argue that, and I would argue that, Republicans have done a lot of that same people business too, which is why the Republican Party is in the super-minority position despite the state being DESTROYED by those Chicago Democrats, so as Cook...this is sort of "a conspiracy of fools" of sorts, to borrow a David Foster Wallace... Grasso: *laughs* (Jacobson: Have you had any debates...) I'm not amongst them! Proft: *laughs* Ahh, okay. Yeah, okay, I concede the point, so... Grasso: I'm not amongst those people, Dan, and I'm gonna go after those people! We have accepted...we have accepted this, this, this way of doing business in Chicago, "Oh! It's okay. That's the Chicago way!", that's wrong! It's been wrong for the 30 years, 40 years that Madigan and his people...just look at the whole property tax assessment system. Look at what has been uncovered, as for the cronyism there. That's where they get their MONEY. That's where they get their POWER. We've got to break that! Jacobson: It's so weird, because Mike Madigan sits on a committee that sets tax codes and then he owns a company where he reduces...power for people's property taxes. It's just mind-blowing, and his daughter Lisa has been the Attorney General for 16 years! Grasso: Right! So that's a blatant conflict of interest. Look, lawyers are NOT supposed to put themselves in conflicts of interest, not have semblance of impropriety. We have accepted...we have accepted that the longest-serving speaker of any House in America and now the longest-serving Attorney General in Illinois history have been there, father and daughter, protecting each other. She ran on a platform in '02 on public corruption. She has done nothing! Give you another example. Sexual harassment issues that have just come up. Outrageous! Never, never tolerable anywhere. What does Mike Madigan do? "Oh, I'm gonna...I'm gonna appoint my own committee." What? You're going to appoint your OWN committee to investigate YOURSELF? Susan Mendoza, and other people that HE put in office. Where is Lisa Madigan on this? This is exactly where I will be, where the Attorney General should be. We can't tolerate this anymore! Proft: So, so when, when it's things like the General Assembly failing to appoint a Legislative Inspector General for three years, you're gonna...you're gonna be at the tip of the spear, making sure the legislators, making sure the public officials are abiding their responsibilities under the law and...number one, and number two, if they run afoul of the law, you're not going to wait for 219 South Dearborn, you're going to get involved and prosecute corruption? Grasso: I will, Dan! It's exactly...part of the Attorney General's job...I use the word ALL, A-L-L, it is to A-dvocate, it is to recommend remedial L-egislation...*laughs* which I could get into too...and of course, primarily to L-itigate, which I think I have the great experience. But, that's what you do, you advocate. You use the bully pulpit, you shine the bright light. You say what...Inspector General, do your job! Public Access Officer, do your job! And I will do that as Attorney General. And as a Republican, I can do that. And I'm the independent Republican in this. My opponent is fully on board with the governor. The governor just financed her campaign again! She keeps saying "Oh, oh, I'm not!" He just put a whole bunch of money in her campaign because this race is neck-and-neck. She is bought and owned by the governor. I am independent. I am putting my OWN money into this campaign. I could leave the state, but I want to be the next Attorney General. Proft: For more information on your campaign, people can go where, Gary? Grasso: GaryGrasso.com. Proft: G-R-A-S-S-O, GaryGrasso.com. Gary, a Republican candidate for Attorney General, thank you so much for joining us, good luck, appreciate it. Grasso: Dan, Amy, thank you for having me on the show, appreciate it.

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Reset The Spending Culture In Springfield

Rauner is set to give his budget address next week despite the fact that Illinois hasn’t had a balanced budget since 2001 and he hasn't proposed one in his three years in office. What should be laid out in the budget preview in order to give Illinois families a sense of certainty? Should we be expecting a phasing out of the 32% income tax hike? Marketing manager at the Illinois Policy Institute, Eric Kohn joins Dan and Amy to discuss their spending plan for the state.

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The Victims Of Cook County Property Taxes

Look at the property tax bills/rates in majority minority communities throughout Cook County and ask the champagne socialists and race hustlers, how the Illinois Democrats and surrender GOP power structure benefits minority families? What layer of taxes are Illinois politicians looking to add on next? Dan and Amy discuss the criminal nature of the Cook County property tax system from a recent analysis done by Chicago City Wire and the dismal path the state is heading towards. 

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Chicagoans, You Each Owe $45k

What is the common thread between cities with poor financial standings besides having Democrats as mayors? How is Chicago going to pay off $36 billion in unfunded pension liabilities when that number is 5x the City’s annual budget? In order to begin trying to tackle the debt in Chicago, city officials must either raise taxes or spend less. What is tax and spend Tiny Dancer going to choose? Founder and CEO of Truth in Accounting, Sheila Weinberg joins Dan and Amy to discuss a new report on the financial stability of the nation's 75 most populous cities.

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Paying More Taxes Because.... Charity!

Are the Trump tax cuts just a thinly veiled ruse to prop up the patriarchy, as Susan Faludi suggests? Or is this just the typical hysterics from the left? Do the lines outside Cook and Dupage counties’ assessor's’ offices disprove the liberal philosophy that taxes “don’t matter or affect people’s behaviors?” Can we make property taxes a charitable donation to the government in Illinois? Does Medicaid give states an incentive to waste money? Wall Street Journal Columnist, Senior Economist for CNN, and former Donald Trump advisor, Steve Moore joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

View full transcript


Proft: Dan and Amy, good morning. And Amy, we had the chance to have a little holiday lunch with Steve Moore...just before Christmas. Jacobson: Yeah, we sure did! Proft: That was nice. Jacobson: Well it took me a little longer to get there, I was supposed to be on time because I'm a punctual person but I had the wrong address emailed to me by Stephen Moore! I'm sure it was just an oversight. Proft: Yeah. Jacobson: So I got there when you guys had had your food delivered, but it was a nice event. Proft: It was, it was too...*Jacobson chuckles* no, what? It was to celebrate the passage of tax cuts, and what Steve Moore and other supply-side economist types think will be the result, which will be a strong economy in 2018, 4% GDP growth, and economic opportunities and job creation associated with that kind of growth. For more on the topic, and an opportunity to apologize publicly to you, Amy, we're pleased to be joined by Heritage Foundation economist Steve Moore. Steve, thanks for being with us, appreciate it. Moore: *laughing* Good morning, guys, Happy New Year. You know, one thing I learned from that lunch...you guys have faces for TV, not radio! You guys are just a good looking couple! Proft: Well, thank you so much, thank you very much. Jacobson: Well, you know, I really meant Amy... Proft: Ahh, well... Jacobson: Yeah, Dan! He just didn't want to discriminate against you. Moore: Yeah but thank you, it really meant a lot to me that you guys came... Proft: Yeah, it was great. Moore: And Amy, sorry that I sent you to the wrong place, my bad. I owe you a lunch. Proft: Yeah. Moore: Yeah but look you know, 2018 is off to a great start. We're pushing on with Dow 25,000, something that no one expected or thought was possible...got into an online argument with a bunch of these liberal economists who now say "Well, this is the Obama economy, it's not the Trump economy! It's Obama who drove the economy up to 25,000 on the Dow, and up to 3% GDP growth." That's kind of nonsensical because everything we've been doing under Trump has been basically been throwing Obama's policies into reverse. Proft: Yeah...that doesn't mean that the Left is not still advancing their case. And I'm going to give you an opportunity to restore your good name in the female community, Steve Moore, by agreeing with feminist Susan Faludi, who wrote about, over the holidays in the New York Times... Moore: Now, who is this again? Proft: Susan Faludi, Susan Faludi of...ya know...great feminists like Gloria Steinem and Naomi Wolf and others like that. Moore: Oh, okay. Got it. Proft: She suggests that what you and your friends did in DC, Steve, was to reinforce the patriarchy that oppresses women... Jacobson: *shaking head* It has NOTHING to do with gender...wow. Proft: ...that's what this plan does... Moore: How's that? Proft: Let me give you an example. "The Tax Cuts and Job Act systematically guts benefits that support women who need support the most. It means an end to the Personal and Dependent exemptions, a disaster for minimum wage workers, nearly 2/3 of whom are women," Steve. Moore: Well...no, I think she's confused about the numbers. So we basically dramatically increased the standard deduction, so let's say that you're a single, and you have no kids and you're not married. Your standard deduction goes up to about $12,000 from a little over $6,000 last year. And let's say you're a single woman with kids, 2-3 kids and you're a single mother. Not only do you get a $24,000 standard deduction, but you would also get $1,000 increase credit, which is refundable, against your payroll tax...per child! Per child. You know, if you're a single mother with two kids, you get an extra $2,000 right off the top! So, I don't really understand her math. Proft: Her math is WRONG, but I just want to advance the argument. Jacobson: "Math is hard..." Proft: No, but it...it...point of fact, minimum wage earners end up AHEAD in this because of what you just explained. But these are the arguments that are being put out, and oh by the way we were just having this discussion before you joined us, but GOP... Moore: My...my only question is, when someone writes something like that...are they just lying? Or are they ignorant of the bill? And don't they have fact checkers at the New York Times? Proft: Yeah, and...although, lying and being ignorant, not mutually exclusive...but here's the thing. 62-30, we've got a 32-point deficit, Republicans do, among college-educated women, and 20-point deficit generally. And this is gonna... Moore: Among women? Proft: Yeah, among women. Moore: Yeah. Proft: And this is something that's going to have to be addressed. Moore: It's a big problem! It is a BIG problem. When I walk down the street, I often get frowns from upscale women, who feel like Trump is some kind of demon. But you look...my feeling is about Donald Trump is pretty simple...don't look at what he says, don't pay attention to his tweets, just always pay attention to what he's doing. Take a look at the actions he's taking and the impact they're having on the economy and they're universally positive! I mean look, I don't like a lot of his tweets, I think sometimes he acts more. Yes, he exaggerates, "I WILL BE THE GREATEST PRESIDENT IN THE HISTORY OF THIS COUNTRY!" kind of thing. But you look at what he's done to rebuild the economy, rebuild the stock market, confidence is up everywhere I go, I talk to business men and women, they say "we're feeling good about 2018", so just ride...ride on this rising tide! Jacobson: But the sad thing is we live in this state where our Federal taxpayers...we're gonna have a cap on state and local tax deductions at $10,000, so...you should have SEEN the lines in DuPage County, Will County Treasurer's Office, Cook County...Cook County, normally $13 million prepaid, this year, it was $529 MILLION. That's what the total was, before the stroke of midnight. Moore: WOW. So you know what I find interesting about that...I'm glad you brought that up, Amy, because I just wrote my column this week on this whole (?), because the whole kind of...the liberal's philosophy on taxes is taxes don't really matter, right? They don't really affect people's behavior, they don't change their behavior based on a change in tax policy. Well, of course that's visibly wrong now! People are waiting in lines for hours and hours to prepay their property taxes, so they can shave a little bit off of what they're going to have to pay. Yes, taxes DO matter, they DO affect behavior. And people say "Well gee, if taxes will affect the behavior of people to prepay, why wouldn't lowering taxes on people when they work, when they start a business, when they save, why...when they invest...why wouldn't we believe that's gonna increase the amount of saving and investment and work that people do?" That's the whole philosophy behind this bill, is to bring money back from overseas, to make America more competitive. You know, the people that are really pissed off about this tax cut are...you know, you talked about some liberals that are pissed off, the real people that are really nervous about it are the Germans, and the Chinese, and the Mexicans, and all these other countries that have been stealing jobs from America...it's not gonna be so easy anymore, because our tax rates are now lower than theirs are! Proft: Yeah, and I mean, Illinois is kind of a special case, as you know, hailing from here, Steve. And people here, in terms of the political class, not understanding that people respond to incentives, they still can't figure out why Illinois yet again this year led the nation in outmigration. They think it has something to do with the balmier weather in Wisconsin. Moore: Well the uh...*laughs*...yeah, and the good schools down in West Virginia and that sort of thing! I think...this is my point, and I think it's a very serious point; Illinois now, now that we did limit the state and local tax deduction, Illinois really does have a choice now. I mean, you are going to have to cut your property taxes! There's no question about it. If you don't cut your property taxes at the state and local level in Illinois, that outmigration we've been talking about, Dan, of people moving out of Illinois to Wisconsin or Florida or Texas or even West Virginia or Kentucky, that outmigration is going to increase! And, and, then Illinois is...you think you're in a boatload of trouble NOW? Wait until you get more and more people who are taxpayers leave the state. You're going to have mountainous deficits unless something is done. And I mean, I don't know, do you think that they will respond in that way? Proft: No. Jacobson: No. Proft: No. Moore: Now I mean, I'm talking about the officials. Jacobson: Right. Moore: I'm talking about the elected officials. Do you think they will cut property taxes? Proft: No. No! Jacobson: No, they'll try to use this to say "President Trump is bad, Republicans are bad, vote Democratic." Proft: Yeah I mean...that is what they will... Moore: But I mean you...you already vote Democrat! Proft: Yeah, I know. Jacobson: Well, they're secure their base. Proft: Obviously, if there's not a change...this is something that the voters have to decide first, before the elected officials make that decision, because the balance of power in Illinois at this point? No, it won't happen. It won't happen. Moore: Well, I have an idea for you guys. Jacobson: Please. Help. Yes. Moore: And this is a very serious idea, it was in the New York Times. Do you know what they're talking about in New York and California now? Because they have sky-high income tax, you have sky-high property taxes. They want to...they are investigating if they can make the income taxes that they pay in New York and California, where the rate is 13.5%, charitable contributions. Proft: *laughs* Jacobson: Really? Moore: *laughing* Did you see that? Proft: Yeah. Yeah. Moore: *still laughing* So you could actually get a deduction, for writing a charitable contribution to the...so maybe people in Illinois will make a charitable contribution... Proft: Yeah! They'll make a charitable contribution of their HOME, here, because that's what's happening here. Let me ask you another question before we go, getting back to national policy. Ovie Croix had a good piece in the Wall Street Journal about Obamacare, and the Republicans, you know, can't avoid dealing with Obamacare in 2018...because of course, the repeal of the individual mandate. But he points out that the Trump executive order, reviving alternative forms of short-term health insurance, gives Americans an imperfect but real escape valve from Obamacare's costliest regulation. He suggests the focus should be, this year with respect to Obamacare, not dealing with the exchanges but doing something with respect to the Medicaid program, doing a version of Graham/Cassidy focused solely on Medicaid. Do you think that's where Republicans should spend their political capital? Moore: Yeah, I do. I mean, I love the idea of letting states experiment with how to control costs for health care under Medicaid. Basically what you would do under this kind of background is basically give a state like Illinois, or a state like Utah, or say any state...a pot of money, you know, that will cov...that is enough to cover the, you know, people who are qualified for Medicaid, but saying "Look, you spend this money in the way you think is the most efficient, will provide the best quality of care for your people, and this is all you got!" So, I'll show you, you go over this amount...and we've done this in several states, where states got waivers to experiment, and they found INCREDIBLE ways to save money. I'll just give you one example, I may have mentioned this on your show before, but it's just my favorite example. In Rhode Island, where they had a waiver where they got a block grant and said "You spend the money and spend it efficiently," they added a $20 co-pay. So any time someone went to an Emergency Room that was on Medicaid? They had to pay $20 out of pocket. You know how much their...how dramatically their Emergency Room visits went down? By 40%. Just by charging people $20, so it wasn't free to people. If you do those kinds of things, states will find incredible ways to save money. Now under...you could not devise a stupider system than Medicaid. Right now, when Illinois wastes a dollar on Medicaid payments, you get 90 cents from the Federal Government, and you pay 10 cents of it. So states like Illinois actually have an incentive to waste money on Medicaid. I mean, there are states that actually INTENTIONALLY waste money, so they can get more money from Washington. It's the craziest system. Proft: Yeah, well no, that's exactly it. Going back to your point before about incentives, and how people respond to them. He is Steve Moore, Wall Street Journal columnist, Senior Economist for CNN, economist at the Heritage Foundation. Steve, thanks as always for joining us, appreciate it. Moore: Alright, have a great week guys, Happy New Year! Proft: Happy New Year!

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Bipartisan Combine In Springfield To Silence Accusers Of Sexual Harassment

How is it that only one woman has come forward to name an Illinois politician as a sexual harasser even though 300+ signed a letter? Is the General Assembly following in the ranks of Congress and making victims jump through hoops to end up frustrated with the process and retract their complaints? Are the legislators on both sides looking for this to quiet down so they can all save their seats? Denise Rotheimer, victim rights advocate and accuser of State Sen. Ira Silverstein of sexual harassment, joins Dan and Amy to discuss if the Inspector General will ever investigate her complaint.

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Proft: Dan and Amy, and that story that Mike Scott was reporting about, that Veterans' Home in Quincy...good reporting, WBEZ Dave McKinney and Tony Arnold on that. Since July of 2015, 13 residents of that home in Quincy have died from Legionnaires Disease. Jacobson: Oh my gosh... Proft: 11 families now suing the state for negligence. This...I mean...Legionnaires...this is a matter of...of like, cleanliness in that facility. Jacobson: Cleanliness, yeah. They don't have a fountain in that facility, either. Proft: So, we've spent a lot of time and rightly so talking about VA hospitals and their failure to provide the service and medical care that our veterans are guaranteed and have earned, and we seem to have the same thing going on in the state. Rauner...Governor Rauner...where is he? Jeanne Ives saying that if Rauner can't manage a 200 acre facility with 250 clients, then he really isn't in charge, as he has previously said. This is big, it's a big issue. The state fai...at the state level, failing our military men and women. There's also another seeming failure going on, and have you noticed since the allegations started, allegations of sexual misconduct against high-profile individuals in media and entertainment and politics, since they started...we were expecting that the floodgates would open in Illinois too. Jacobson: Yeah! Because there were so many rumblings of people who wanted to tell their stories, but we've really only had one person publicly come forward. Proft: Well right, we had...you had 300 women sign a letter, and we've had one woman so far in testimony for a hearing for a specific piece of legislation, make an accusation about a specific politician, state senator Ira Silverstein. Denise Rotheimer accusing Silverstein of pursuing her while she was just trying to pursue legislation on behalf of her daughter, who is the victim of a sexual crime. And the result of that was a couple of things. One, without admitting any guilt, Silverstein was removed from Senate Democrat leadership, and from his committee chairmanship. He's still in the Senate. And then two, we find out that Denise Rotheimer's complaint that she filed to the Legislative Inspector General's office last November hadn't been acted upon, because there is no... Jacobson: Because there is NO Legislative Inspector General! Proft: There wasn't until two weeks ago! So, and then we find out from another legislator that there's more than two dozen complaints of one nature or another, some ostensensibly including allegations of sexual misconduct by members of the General Assembly, that have also just lain there, collecting dust. And so, what's happened since these revelations? No one else has come forward, they hurry through legislation, mandatory sexual harassment training for all the legislators, but we don't have any action on the release of those complaints, even with the accusers' names redacted, and we don't have any action on...are we waiving any time restrictions, because of the General Assembly's failure to have a Legislative Inspector General? Which was...and was that purposeful? So they could have this kind of non-partisan combine, hat tip John Kass, non-aggression pact? "If you allow us to protect our bad actors, we'll allow you to protect your bad actors."? Is that what's going on? What's going on? There's a task force, a House task force, that has had hearings...so where are we? For more on this topic, we're going to talk to the one woman who HAS come forward, who made those accusations against state senator Ira Silverstein. She is Denise Rotheimer, Denise thanks for joining us again, appreciate it. Rotheimer: Thank you. Thanks for having me again. Proft: So, there's been a couple of sexual harassment task force hearings, have you participated in those hearings? Rotheimer: I believe those are closed to the public. I've watched them online...I listen to the hearings. Proft: Well, why didn't you go before the task force to tell your story? Rotheimer: They won't allow me, because I'm an active case. And so being an active case, I can't even speak with the members of the Ethics Commission, which I understand. So as an alternative, to be heard, I've been trying to reach out to Leader Durkin, and express the concerns I have while going through this process, because what I've learned since testifying at that hearing for prohibiting sexual harassment is that I have no right. And it's very scary to be put in a situation I was once in back in 2003 when my daughter was raped, and I don't want to go through that kind of trauma, being railroaded again. So I'm just not... Proft: Well okay, well...so, on the legislative Ethics Commission, so let me know, the Legislative Ethics Commission...are they charged with making recommendations to the Legislative Inspector General for pursuing investigations? Rotheimer: How the process works is THEY get the complaint, then they give the authority to the Legislative Inspector General to investigate. So the Legislative Inspector General has to get approval from the Legislative Ethics Commission to investigate, which NO other agency has to do. Legislative Inspector Generals of the other state agencies like Treasurer's Office, Comptroller, Governor, they can just investigate a complaint they receive. My complaint was actually referred by the Executive General's Office of the Governor to Senate President Cullerton. It didn't even get to the Legislature, it was first handed to him. And then he said, after my testimony and all that, that they referred it to the Legislative Inspector General, knowing that there was no one there. Proft: This is like the game that Congress is playing! Jacobson: Yeah, but this seems worse, it seems a little more unorganized. So, how many times have you had to testify, or tell your story to people? Rotheimer: Well back in November of 2016, I went directly to Cullerton's office, and when I was being ignored on the status of my complaint, I went to my state senator. She then stopped returning my call or giving me any follow-up. So really, I was just silenced way back then, until I testified for Senate Bill 402 on Halloween in support of that bill, and I briefly touched on my experience to support that bill, and then after that they got the inspector general. I met with her for two and a half hours, I wasn't comfortable in the situation because I'm already not trusting anyone, for obvious reasons. So she just kind of confirmed for me that I need to have my own voice. So I'm just trying to figure out how I can be heard by the Legislative Ethics Commission, who actually determines the outcome of the case. Proft: Well, how they do that without hearing from the accuser? Rotheimer: Well, that's the thing! I've read the operation rules, it's about 13 pages long, not one word is mentioned in there about the complainant, or the accuser. So, there was never an intent to give a voice to the person actually making the complaint. Proft: Well, that's remarkable...it's...it's ABSURD, because not only should you hear from the accuser, and be able to query the accuser, but also in your case, it's not like you're asking for any special treatment! "I don't want my name disclosed, I don't want anybody in the room, I want this to be closed to the public", "I'm Denise Rotheimer, I've got this complaint. I've been trying to pursue this complaint FOR A YEAR, through all these avenues. I've been given the run-around. I just want to testify to what I...what happened to me, before this commission, and I'm there to answer questions", and they're uninterested! I mean...what is that? Rotheimer: Well, they don't even want to hear it, is the point, just like they didn't want to do anything about the complaint I filed last year. All Spring Session, even up to Senate Bill 402 was authored and filed by Senate President Cullerton, there was no intention of ever filling the vacancy, KNOWING there was a live, active complaint! They didn't even want to go there! It was only because I spoke out that they had no choice. So, I'm not under the impression that they care or take my complaint seriously, at all. Because if they did, they would have filled the vacancy before they filed Senate Bill 402. Jacobson: Well, what do you think should happen to state senator Ira Silverstein? Or what do you think he should do? Rotheimer: I think we should BOTH have the right to due process. He is afforded already the right to due process, he has rights, he gets representation, he even has relief. So if there's an appeal, he's fined for any reason, he can appeal that. I get absolutely NOTHING. So what I would like to see happen is a fair playing field. Let me have an opportunity to be heard. It's very important that I'm heard, and it's also important to be cross-examined, you know, to have them ask any questions, because you're not going to know the hostile environment that I was in until you hear from me. Proft: I'll tell ya, this is just...it's...here's what I think is happening. Jacobson: It's a hot mess. Proft: Here's what I think is happening. I think this is fairly straightforward because these people down there are not all that smart. "Sexual harassment training, we'll mandate that, we'll rush through some legislation, then we'll get...since we've been called out on not having a Legislative Inspector General, we'll put somebody in that post. Keep the complaints that have been sitting there untended to for a year, just keep those behind closed doors, push those off. Let's keep those until at least March...", and then they'll say "at least get past November." This is just about protecting everybody's hindquarters for elections..."and you don't go after names that have been rumored about, and we won't go after names on your side that have been rumored about. And we'll just kind of protect everybody, close ranks. If Denise calls, don't answer her." Her Democratic state senator won't answer, the House Republican leader won't answer...this is the bi-partisan combine, self-survival so the floodgates DO NOT open, and that all of the bad actors down there...and it's NOT just Ira Silverstein I can GUARANTEE you that! So all of them are protected and they find a way maybe at some point to quietly move on without being held to account. That's what I think is happening. Rotheimer: If they really wanted people to speak out and come forward and go through this process, they would afford them with some basic rights: a right to notification, a right to information, a right to some level of participation, even a right to representation. We have absolutely, as complaints, ZERO. So you're...my first conversation with a reporter, I asked her, "What rights do I have?" She said "None that I can think of." I called Lida Jerkins (?) office, I said "Can you explain to me why I'm going through a process that does not afford me any rights?" And he said "I understand what you're saying, I don't have an answer to your question." He referred me to the operational rules. Proft: Yeah, this is...this is like what's happening in Congress. You have to go through all these hoops, because they want to frustrate you, they want to tire you out. The only thing we don't have, or we don't know we have yet maybe, are these secret, clandestine, taxpayer-funded sexual harassment settlements. We'll see if those are ultimately a part of this story like they are in Illinois like they are nationally as well. Denise, thanks so much again for joining us, and for your continued willingness to speak, to publicly speak out and try to break this thing loose. Because there's another two dozen complaints that we should see. Absolutely. Denise, Denise Rotheimer, Victim Rights Advocate, we appreciate your time and we'll continue on this story. Thanks for joining us. Rotheimer: Thank you, thank you and have a good day. Jacobson: And she joined us on our Turnkey Dot Pro Answer Line.

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Land Of Lincoln Turned To Land Of Losers

Thinking of moving to Illinois? Make sure you’re willing to hand over almost ¼ of your income to the state to cover unfunded pension liabilities. The GOP tax reform plan will most likely eliminate state and local tax deductions. Is this going to finally stoke the revolt against Springfield’s big government spending and corruption? After tax reform, what is the next big item Congress is going to tackle? Wall Street Journal Columnist, Senior Economist for CNN, and former Donald Trump advisor, Steve Moore joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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Proft: Good morning...good morning, Dan and Amy. And uh...hold on a second here... Jacobson: Uh oh... Proft: Trying to get Steve Moore...NO RELATION! Don't hold him accountable. Jacobson: Do you need a minute? Proft: Yeah...why don't you guys pipe in Steve Moore, since I'm having technical difficulties. Moore: Good morning! Jacobson: Oh, hi Steve! Proft: Good morning, thanks for joining us. Moore: Good morning guys! By the way, did you see the editorial this morning in the Wall Street Journal? Proft: About Illinois driving people away? Moore: Haha..."Land of Lincoln turns into Land of Losers". It's sad, actually. It's really sad, and I would refer every one of your listeners, when they get into the office, to read that editorial. It just chronicles the absurdity of policies in the great state of Illinois and how...I didn't realize, by the way, 9% corporate income tax in Chicago. Proft: 9 and a half, to be exact. Moore: *laughing* NINE AND A HALF? It's like *static* our country. It's amazing that any businesses are located in Chicago, and it's a great great city. It's just a sad commentary. Proft: Just a couple of bullets from that, since you brought it up...yeah, a couple of bullets from that since you brought it up...Illinois' unfunded pension liabilities, according to Fitch, equaled 23% of residents personal income last year, compared to a median of 3 percent across all states, 1 percent in Florida. 7x, 22x in Florida. Moore: What that means for the residents of Illinois or anyone who would want to move into the state, you know, is the government would have to take a quarter of your income to be able to pay...just to pay the unfunded liabilities for the services that have already been provided. It just makes Illinois an extremely attractive place to be, and again I say that heartbrokenly because I love the state of Illinois, I love Chicago. But how could the policies possibly be worse? Jacobson: I know. And our property taxes too. I mean, I have to refinance because it's...it's too much. So our property taxes in Cook County and Chicago, collar counties, are the highest in the country outside of California and the northeast. So with this new tax plan, are we going to feel the brunt of this? Moore: Well, you know, Illinois is...well first of all, everyone in the country is gonna benefit from this tax cut. I think it's gonna cause an even bigger boon in the economy, the economy by the way is growing at 3 and a half percent according the latest Federal Reserve data and, you know, I think we're gonna get the 4 percent next year, which is something that Obama in 8 years never came close to. But Illinois is just, as you just said, it's a high property tax state. Say your income taxes are kind of average, but your property taxes are through the roof...there's a $10,000...amount...on there that you can deduct from your income ta...your Federal income taxes, for your property tax in Illinois. But most people in Illinois are way over $10,000, so you're going to lose that deduction, and unfortunately in high tax states, and unfortunately that's going to make Illinois even less competitive, and what that means what has to happen for Illinois to get back to normalcy is to, you know, march with pitchforks on Springfield, and get those people *static*, cut the expenditures, cut the pension liabilities...the same thing in Chicago, I mean it has to happen. Cause you're in a slow...what was just a slow drip decline is now a Niagara Falls. Proft: Well, you know, we need Michael Jordan to come back, like Charles Barkley came back to Alabama, and say "We need to stop looking like idiots here in Illinois!", and maybe that will help. Moore: Ha ha ha, that WOULD help. And I mean, I'm disappointed in the governor, I'm disappointed that he hasn't taken a harder line on stuff. Now, he's tried, he's fought like crazy... Proft: Eh...not really... Moore: ...and he's tried, but he's facing...a machine in Springfield, really. Dan and Amy, do people really understand how CORRUPT it is in Springfield? And you have these people that have been in charge, I think, since I was in HIGH SCHOOL! Jacobson: Oh yeah, Madigan...Madigan's been there what, 30 years, what...Dan? Proft: He's been in the General Assembly since the 1970s, Speaker for 34 years. So that's not enough of a probationary period. We're still waiting to see... Moore: A little more time, yeah. A little more time to see if he'll do things right. I've got two words for you guys; TERM LIMITS. Let's get some rotation in office, get some people who know something about how state, city is run, and you know look, I travel to Florida, I get to Texas, I travel to Utah, I go to Idaho, I go to New Hampshire, you know, states that are well run. I mean, Illinois is spending almost TWICE per person on state and local services what they spend, for example, in New Hampshire or Utah. And yet, New Hampshire, Utah, BETTER public services than Illinois. So what's going on here, where's that, where does all the money go? It'd be one thing if you spent more money on public services and you had great schools, and you had great roads, and great hospitals, and all this. Proft: Well, it's interesting... Jacobson: So where IS the money going? Proft: Well, it's a long story, but it's a kleptocracy with layers of Ponzi schemes, that's the short answer. But here, this is interesting...Steve, you travel a lot, but you're in this bubble of politics and policy. I was talking to a friend who travels about 15 states, he's got a region of 15 states, so he's in these 15 states all the time throughout the course of the year. And one thing that he noticed is that "in Chicago and Illinois, you guys talk more about politics then in conversations I hear in the other 14 states COMBINED." And you know what, what the reason for that is, my suggestion, is because when you are living in a government-centric society, like Chicago and Illinois is, of COURSE you're going to talk about government and politics because it has an outsized influence on your life, and that to me is one of the biggest indictments, and the most fundamental problem, in this state. Moore: Well, by the way...and you're exactly right...I was reading, or re-reading, an article that I mentioned, because you were talking about *static*, and how in the world is Illinois *static*ky and Missouri? I mean, c’mon...people are leaving Illinois to go to KENTUCKY? Proft: Yes! Moore: So what's wrong with that picture? Proft: Yes. They're going there to protect Rand Paul from his neighbors. Jacobson: Yeah, cause the grass clippings...which that fight was about, by the way. Proft: All right, so give us, uhh... Moore: Just gotta get the tax cut done! So I believe it will be next Wednesday, it will have passed through the House and the Senate. They're gonna have this conference, that will...they're gonna get the deal done by either tomorrow night or Friday, and then we're gonna get this bill! And I'm feeling very very confident about things, and I think the deal will be fine. I mean, they're working out some last-minute details...what's the corporate rate going to be, 20 or 21 percent, what are they going to do with the alternative minimum tax...the local tax deduction is going away, ladies and gentlemen. So it's a new reality for high tax states like Illinois. And this is going to be rocket fuel for the US economy, and the only question is whether Illinois will share in the benefits. Proft: So you're...just to be clear here...you're saying that a week from today, this goes to the President's desk? Moore: Well, probably...what's today, Wednesday...so probably...Thursday, I'm gonna say. A week from tomorrow. Jacobson: And then when they get back from the break, they're going to work on entitlement programs? Moore: Well, the next big...exactly, Amy. Let's *static* this moment, Amy! Umm, yeah, I think next year is Welfare reform. How do we get people off Welfare and into work? We did that in 96 under a Democratic president, Bill Clinton, and a Republican Congress. One of the most successful policies ever. By the way, Democrats...to mention Welfare reform to a Democrat is like putting a cross in front of a vampire, because the Welfare establishment hates that. But there's no argument for that anymore when you've virtually got full employment almost everywhere in the country, for people who are "Well, there's just no jobs for people!" There are jobs out there, everywhere I go I hear people tell me "We're looking for skilled people who could do the job, who could show up to work on time." We still have, what is it, 42 million people on Food Stamps, this is the EIGHTH year of recovery, cmon! If you get Food Stamps, you gotta work for it. If you're getting Medicaid, you gotta work for it. If you're getting, you know, public housing, you gotta work for it. I mean, we're a compassionate country, but we're giving people hand-UPS, not a handout. What do you think? Proft: Yeah, umm...right. "My brother's keeper", not a sugar daddy. Big difference. He is Steve Moore, Wall Street Journal columnist, senior economist for CNN, Steve thanks for joining us, appreciate it. Moore: Biggest tax cut since Reagan, baby! Proft: All right, mark Thursday, nick a week from tomorrow, thanks Steve. Jacobson: And he joined us on our Turnkey Dot Pro Answer Line.

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