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illinois taxes

Kick Out Chicago

Is Chicago taking valuable resources from the rest of Illinois? Is there any benefit to the Chicago-centric approach of state government? Is Chicago scaling their corruption, debt, and tax hikes to the rest of the state? Should the rest of the state bailout Chicago like Mayor Lightfoot wants? State Rep. Brad Halbrook from Shelbyville joins Dan and Kristen McQueary to discuss his plan to have the rest of Illinois separate from Chicago.

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Wake Up, Illinois!

What states are Illinoisans fleeing to? Are Illinoisans voting with their feet and following the jobs? Can we rely on politicians to finally wake up? How does this end for Illinois? Professor of economics at the University of Michigan, Mark Perry joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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Hand It Over

Are property taxes making homeowners sign over the deed to their homes to the government? Are you going to vote in your local elections? If not, you’ll see your property taxes continue to skyrocket. Dan and Amy discuss the latest property tax report in McHenry County.

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No Return On Investment In Blue States

Why is Illinois one of the worst states in providing services to people with disabilities yet it has some of the highest taxes and spending? As taxes increase, are public employees getting more in return than the rest of the residents? Where are millenials leaving from and going to? Contributing Editor at City Journal, Steven Malagna joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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4 States Of The Apocalypse

What keeps Illinois from sinking to the bottom? What’s the existential threat to the city of Chicago? What should taxpayers in Illinois who are unhappy with their tax refunds do? Does either party want to cut government spending? Chief economist for CNN, Steve Moore joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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No Adults Allowed

How can New York and Illinois bring people back? Lower their taxes. Why are “pro-business groups” in Chicago advocating for more taxes? Where are the “adults” in the room telling Democrats the catastrophic effects of eliminating all fossil fuels? Chief Economist for CNN, Steve Moore joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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Pols Looking To Tax Residents Escaping Illinois

Are Illinois politicians looking to enact an exit tax to keep residents from leaving? Does Illinois do its best to get rid of productive people? Will there be any surprises in the veto session or concern for lame ducks? What’s going to be IPI’s push this legislative session with Democrats controlling all chambers of state government? Government Affairs Legislative Analyst for the Illinois Policy Institute, Mindy Ruckman joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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Movin’ Out

Are you planning on “movin’ out” of Illinois? There’s a new song for you to listen to while packing up. Tim O’Donnell from West Chicago joins Dan in studio to debut his new hit single, “Movin’ Out,” an Illinois inspired parody.

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“Everything Is Fine”- IL Gets Another F For Financial Health

How does Illinois stack up against our midwestern neighbors? Where are we going to find more money to prop up the status quo? If we liquidated everything would we even be able to pay off the pension liabilities? How did we get to the point where our debt is at $50k per taxpayer? TruthinAccouting.org's Sheila Weinberg joins Dan and Amy with a new report on IL's financial health. 

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Political Ruling Class Destroying Your Home Value

The political ruling class in Illinois wants you to believe you own your home. But aren’t you essentially renting it from the government when paying an upwards of 3% of home value in property taxes? Why is your home collateral for someone else’s pension? Dan and Amy discuss the latest devastating property tax report from Kane County.  

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Which Are You Willing To Give Up To Stay In IL: Your Job, Your Pension, Or Your Home?

One (or more) will be taken from you without a change in political leadership and policy choices. Mark it down. So which one will it be? Where’s the policy alternative from IL Leaders? Dan and Amy discuss the latest property tax destruction update in Lake County.

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$21 Bil Needed To Maintain IL Infrastructure

Politicians love “infrastructure spending.” Have we kept building and building in hopes of creating more wealth but left ourselves with more liabilities? Is this problem with maintaining the state’s infrastructure accelerating even more with Illinois’ population loss? Founder of StrongTowns.org, Chuck Marohn joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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City Of Harvey Lays Off Half Of The Police And Fire Departments

Your job, your pension, or your home. You can’t get all three and some can’t even get one. The pension crisis in Harvey is just the first of several other Illinois towns that are going to get hit with the harsh reality that the math doesn’t work. Ponzi schemes always end and always end badly. Dan and Amy delve into a recent report from the South Cook News that reveals Harvey fire pensioners paid $1.1M into the retirement fund and have so far collected $25M.

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Is More Kash The Answer To Illinois’ Fiscal Mess?

Is a third party candidate a viable alternative to the two leftist plutocrats representing the major parties? The Libertarian party fights to maximize freedom and minimize government, but can social conservatives feel comfortable voting for him? Liberals say there should be less money in politics, but should there be more Kash? Libertarian candidate for Illinois Governor Kash Jackson joins Dan and Amy to discuss his campaign platform and what he needs to get on the ballot.

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Proft: Top of the morning, Dan and Amy. And, we've got a governor's election in Illinois, obviously other statewide Constitutional offices as well, legislative races. But with two Leftist plutocrats running... Jacobson: Yeah, I don't know which one's more progressive. Proft: Leftist...yeah. Jacobson: Yeah. Governor Rauner and JB. Proft: Well, it's a stiff competition, and that's the only thing stiff between the two of those. Jacobson: Hey-oh! Proft: But...is this an option...a third-party candidacy? Is that something you'll consider this cycle? I mean, this is very much like Gary Johnson's run, when you had two candidates of the two major parties that were not particularly well-liked by the electorate. So the question for Kash Jackson, Libertarian candidate for Illinois...is do you know where Allepo is? Do you know what that is? Because we don't want you to fall prey to the Gary Johnson problem! Jackson (in studio): I think I pinpointed it. Proft: Okay, very good. And the reason you can is because you're somewhat steeped in these geopolitical and national security issues because your background is military. Jackson: Absolutely, yes. Spent 20 years in the United States Navy, retired in 2016 at the ripe old age of 37, and so yeah, I did have the opportunity to travel all around the world, circumnavigate the globe. Albeit, we did cheat inside the submarine, we went to the top of the globe and did the smallest circle we possibly could, but I think it "circumnavigate the globe", yeah. I did my time in the military, and now I'm in politics. Proft: Hotrodding in a nuclear sub. Jackson: Absolutely. Proft: All right, very good. Jacobson: That's the only way to go! The only way to travel. But you were born in Louisiana, but you were stationed up here for a while. And now do you live here, you call this place home? Jackson: Yeah, so right now I live up in Antioch, in Lake County. I'm maybe two miles from the Wisconsin border (Proft: Oh yeah.), and love it up there, live up there around a bunch of big horse farms, and my little three-bedroom, one-bath farmhouse, and I like it up there. Proft: Well so, speaking of that, we did a story in one of my papers about that, talking about the property taxes...Lake County I think has the...is the county...22nd or 23rd ranked county in the NATION in terms of terms of highest property taxes. So you're talking about 4 and 5% of home value up there, HUGE issue. And in Antioch, we compared a couple of house on Cross Lake, one on the Wisconsin side, one on the Illinois side, just about five piers apart. And the BIGGER house on the Wisconsin side had a tax bill, a property tax bill, that was about half of the smaller house on the Wisconsin (sic, meant Illinois) side, and this in part is a way to just sort of crystallize and tell the story about property taxation in Illinois. And I wonder, where you come down on what we should do about the highest property taxes in the nation. Jackson: Well, you know...and it's something that personally affected me. I owned a home there in Lake Villa, purchased it in 2009 whenever I was first stationed up here. My property taxes that year were $4500. I sold that home in 2015, my taxes were just shy of $9000. And it was... Proft: That's almost a doubling in six years, right? Jackson: It did, yeah. It effectively doubled in a six year time frame. And I'm a fan of the Illinois Policy Institute, and the proposals they have made to address property taxes. I would like to see a five-year property tax freeze enacted for (?), to give people's wages time to kind of catch up, but then to work to regress those taxes, they're entirely too much, and they're really hurting Illinois citizens, and we know it's a large part of our out-migration statewide. Jacobson: So, why are you running for Governor? Jackson: Well... Jacobson: Basic question, but I DO want to know! Jackson: Well yes, it is a basic question, but... Proft: Ted Kennedy could answer it! Jacobson: You've had an accomplished career, and you're retired now, and you were a...drill sergeant up here at...? Jackson: Yeah, well so, we're called a Recruit Division Commander, but in layman's terms, a drill instructor. Jacobson: Okay, a drill instructor... Proft: At Great Lakes. Jacobson: Great Lakes! Jackson: Yes. Jacobson: So, why do you want to be governor? Jackson: Well, I want to be governor because I swore an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, for the better part of two decades. And we can see every single day here in Illinois, where our Constitutional rights are being continuously infringed upon...recently we had...there in Deerfield, where they just passed their Township ordinance where you can't possess semi-automatic firearms, pistols and rifles. And it's things like that that drove me into politics. I'm like, this is absolutely uncalled for in a country that I served for 20 years. Proft: And why the Libertarian Party, as opposed to the other two major parties? Jackson: Well, I believe in maximizing freedom and minimizing government, and I don't think that anyone can argue that the size of government, with 7K local units of government in our state, is entirely too large. That's exactly what I want to do, I want to shrink big government, and I want to maximize personal individual freedoms, and the Libertarian Party is the one that seeks to do that. Jacobson: And you need help still getting on the ballot, correct? Tell us about that. Jackson: Yeah, so ballot access is extremely restricted for third parties and independents, and I have to get 25K minimum good signatures to get onto the ballot. And, it's an uphill climb, but it's something that the Libertarian Party has been successful at in previous election cycles, and it's something we'll be successful at this year as well. Jacobson: And how many signatures do you have so far? Proft: It's only just started, he's been allowed to circulate in the last...week, right? Jackson: Week, yeah. So we just started petition circulation a week ago, and I would venture to say, just guessing here, that we're probably over a thousand right now. Proft: Yeah. So...so, you get the 50K signatures, so you can withstand a challenge, good signatures, you get on the ballot...is the real goal here 5%? And then, because...5%, for those who don't know, means that the Libertarian Party would then be able to run and have the same access as the Republican and Democrat Party, in terms of signature requirements and time frame and that sort of thing. Jackson: Absolutely. So, 5% is absolutely a goal that we have and want to achieve, for us to become an established party in the state, make no mistake, making us competitive in 2020 for local elections. And we can see that in places like McLean County, where we've got 8 individuals running for local seats there, because Gary Johnson had broken 5% in that County whenever he ran. And that's something that I think we need to do, and I think where it really benefits Illinois citizens when we do that is that in areas that are heavily gerrymandered, where it's really not feasible for, say, a Republican to run, a candidate inside a Democratic stronghold, Libertarians can be much more competitive inside that area, and this is an area where it would really benefit Illinois citizens to have third parties like the Libertarian Party have that ballot access to do that, and then take some of those seats. Proft: And...let me suggest that this is your argument, you tell me if I'm right...is that Libertarians...I mean, sometimes people have the perception because of the free market nature of Libertarian economic thought, that...well, that "Libertarians? Well, they just take votes away from Republicans!", and in point of fact, if you look at some Libertarian candidates, they pull...now, it's not big numbers at this point...they pull in from both parties. So, they can pull in some Bernie Sanders types, and then they can pull in some Friedman-ites on the...that would otherwise vote Republican. Jackson: Absolutely. You know, generally speaking, we do pull about an even number from Republicans and Democrats. And it's not uncommon for me to hear "Well, you're going to steal votes!" Well, I'm not stealing anything, I'm EARNING people's votes by getting my voice out there, and campaigning, and putting the work in to earn those votes. That's what I'm doing, and if a Republican or Democrat loses the election, and they feel it's because of that, I'm gonna tell 'em "Well, you didn't WORK hard enough, and you should have earned those votes the same way that I did." Jacobson: So, what are you hearing about people's concerns as you travel, you know, through the Counties, and...besides property taxes, I know, is there anything else? Jackson: Absolutely. The pension system is, of course, a looming issue, when we have between $130B to $200B in unfunded pensions, and again I'm going to sort of revert back to the pragmatic point of view from the Illinois Policy Institute, to incorporate the 401(k) system in the state of Illinois, and those are the two largest issues I run into is just the pensions and property taxes. And third, of course, is jobs, and if we can address those two, the two large issues, then of course we can start working towards bringing jobs back in Illinois as well. So, those are kind of the three big ones. Proft: Where are you on some of the other contentious, in some respects, emotional issues, but also moral issues. Because, you've got two people who are on the same side on so many issues; sanctuary state, taxpayer funding of abortion...not so much on guns, you know...junk science, I would say, on gender and so...it provides an opportunity, maybe, for social conservatives to feel comfortable voting Libertarian, but that requires that your positions would be different than Rauner's or Pritzker's. Jackson: Right, well I will say this...just as an individual, I am personally pro-life, whereas the Libertarian Party itself doesn't take a position, and says that the government should not be involved in any regard, I am personally pro-life and that's something that I will espouse very readily. And that's something that differentiates myself between Bruce Rauner and JB Pritzker. Uh...immigration is another big issue, and that's one where I'll probably align more with on Conservatives, because I don't believe that individuals that are here, that are honestly working, that have jobs, many of them are entrepreneurs, I think I've read in the Harvard Business Review that about 15% of immigrants have their own businesses, and they account for about 25% of the entrepreneurial market, and so those people who are here, and they are working and contributing, I would like to see it streamlined so those people that are working and contributing, that we could help ease that process to transition them into naturalized citizens. But those that are violent criminals, those that cannot conform to American ideals and values, I would definitely be an advocate of immediately deporting, especially any violent criminals. Proft: What about Sanctuary City and Sanctuary State designations? Jackson: I am...you know, because I'm a Libertarian, I'm not a fan of helping out the Federal government to do THEIR job. It is the Federal Government's job to enforce immigration. It is not the state's job to enforce immigration. My job is to find real viable solutions to issues, very complex issues, that we're facing, and one of the most complex issues that our state is facing is out-migration, and if we have people here that are working, and they're willing to work, I would much rather find a more fiscally and morally responsible approach to help naturalize those people that WANT to be American citizens and uphold those values. Proft: Well, you can't have it both ways. You can't say on the one hand, there's a naturalization issue and that's a Federal policy issue and I want to get involved in that, but when it comes to Federal immigration law enforcement, I don't want to get involved, because that's a Federal issue. So if you want to be involved as an advocate, you have to be willing to weigh in on the range of issues. So the question is, if you were Governor, and it got to your desk, would you repeal Sanctuary State or would you veto that legislation? Jackson: Umm...that would be a decision that I would have to come to with my policy team, to really find out whether or not that is something that is a moral...morally responsible thing to do, is it fiscally responsible? Because immigrants ARE providing a tremendous amount of revenue to our state. They do help to lower costs in a variety of areas. They are paying, when they rent places, into property taxes. So, in all honesty, that could potentially hurt our state, and so that's something that we have to take a very very close look at, and it's not something that I would just jump to and make a decision on. Jacobson: On a lighter note, besides your parents giving you the name "Kash"...is it a family name? Jackson: No, it's actually a chosen name. So it's Grayson Kash Jackson, and I actually went through a formal name change about a year ago, and I did so because I was raised by maternal grandparents, I was not raised by the paternal side of my family. And I wanted to pay tribute to both sides of my family, so I chose the name Grayson Kash Jackson. Proft: Interesting. And then you've got the AG candidate, on the Libertarian slate...named Bubba. So you got Bubba and Kash, which sounds like a buddy cop film. Jackson: "Bubba and Kash", yep! Jacobson: And then also too, in the governor's race, they can say "They may have millions, but we have the Kash!" Jackson: "But we have the Kash!", right! Jacobson: Get it? Proft: No, I don't get it. Right, so how many hundreds of millions of dollars of your own money are you going to put into this race? (Jacobson: Yeah!) Jackson: Well, you know I think I still have $5 in change in my truck right now, (both laugh) but I'm probably gonna have to use that on tolls on the way back home. Proft: Mmm...what about that? What about, you know, as a candidate, even if they're, you know, there are more modest and attainable goals, and there's nothing wrong with that, thinking long-term about the party, I wish REPUBLICANS would do the same thing in this state but they don't, but what about getting your message out and maximize your opportunity with the prospect of two candidates that are going to slug it out with hundreds of millions of dollars, and both probably end up not being particularly popular among the general electorate? Jackson: Right, well you know what? I was really impressed with Jeanne Ives' campaign, the fact that they ran such a strong grassroots effort, I think they spent on average $12 per vote, as opposed to Bruce Rauner's $250 per vote, which just goes to show you that money doesn't always equate to success. She was very very successful in that campaign, and that's something we want to seek to duplicate in our campaign. Jacobson: All right. Proft: All right. Jacobson: Now, where can people learn more information about you? Jackson: They can go to Kash2018.com, Kash with a K, and they can also...I'm on Facebook, I'm on Twitter, I'm on Instagram, so if you just search Kash Jackson, Kash with a K, it's not gonna be too hard to find me. Jacobson: "Kash...Kash Jackson!" Proft: Yeah, you gotta just gotta do some fun videos, just with the circus name, get Carl Weathers to endorse you, or "Action Jackson" to endorse Kash Jackson, something to make this indelible. Kash Jackson, Libertarian candidate for governor. You can follow him on Twitter at Kash, with a K, @KashJackson2018, you just heard the website. Kash, thanks so much for joining us, appreciate it. Jackson: Thank you guys for having me on!

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The Illinois Kleptocracy

Is a barber from Wonder Lake the last best hope to change IL's political culture? Why is a seemingly good government policy causing so much pushback? Who are the invested parties? McHenry Township Trustee, Bob Anderson joins Dan and Shaun to talk government consolidation.

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Proft: Good morning, Dan...and in for Amy this morning is "Shaun from Elmwood Park" and... Thompson: Pruning the audience? Proft: *laughs* Yeah, there's no question about that. Appreciate the...feedback. (Thompson: Yeah.) Believe me, I'm passing along your...comments (?) to "Shaun from Elmwood Park", so perhaps we can modify his conduct. Thompson: Uh-huh. Proft: If you want an antidote for the fatalism that afflicts Illinois, I can't think of a better one than a gentleman named Bob Anderson. Bob Anderson, if I'm remembering correctly, came to McHenry County in 1947. So... Thompson: That's when cars were CARS, baby! Proft: So you want to talk about someone who's been in it for the long haul, and who has fought the fight against the kleptocracy that Illinois...there's a lot of politicians run around talking about things like government consolidation, eliminating redundant units of government, in a state that has the most units of government and the most elected officials in the country. Bob Anderson's been fighting that fight for the better part of the last three decades, while also operating a barber shop in McHenry Township, where he serves as a trustee, and it's been painstaking, but some progress is being made, thanks to Bob Anderson's stick-to-itiveness. There is a referendum on the November ballot, up McHenry Township way, that would eliminate the Township's Road District, and place it under the purview of the Township Board of Trustees. And you think that this is a relatively minor thing, perhaps, but this is a minor thing happening all over the state that turns out to be a MAJOR thing. And how major is it? How difficult is it to accomplish what, to hear me describe it, sounds like a relatively simple good government move? Well, I'll let Bob Anderson tell you how difficult it is, and what you're up again. Bob Anderson, McHenry County Trustee, Wonder Lake barber...thanks so much for joining us, Bob, appreciate it. Anderson: Thank you! Good morning, and thank you for those kinds words. Proft: Well... Anderson: And how tough it is? Well, I guess it's hard to find the words for that without repeating myself, except that...the resistance, the push back, I use the word "mob action" when you go to a trustee meeting when I'm there. It's very embarrassing to have people shout things at me, scream at me, say things there, they'll say "Well, what does he know? He's just the barber!" These people are brought in by the tax officials to actually scare me off of my position, which is not going to happen. But I can take those things in a personal situation, but when you sit there as an elected official, and hear things that people will say to protect this...this entity, is...is...kind of escapes my words right now, Dan, is...it's just not right. It's embarrassing for those people...go ahead, yeah? Proft: Tell us what this referendum would do, if it were passed, what this referendum would do, and who are the vested parties that are so opposed to it, what's the reason? Anderson: Okay, but first, I'm not gonna use the word IF...we're gonna win it, okay? Proft: Okay! All right. Anderson: I mean, you don't win things when you say IF. You only win things if you're DETERMINED to win it, okay? Proft: Okay, yes sir. Anderson: And the vested parties, basically would be the political establishment that supports all the government officials instead of Illinois, and it starts at the Township level. And, you know, I'm bringing this up too, had a great conversation last night with one of my supporters, and that would be...why is the Roads Commissioner even ELECTED? That should be something that's hired by the Township Board, and overseeing that. But, we have the Supervisor, he votes against us. He's been connected with the Road Commissioner...they both...they both were appointed to their positions. Our Supervisor was a Trustee, got appointed to Supervisor, the Road Commissioner was a Trustee, got appointed there, and all these things kind of go from one building block to another, and then they start supporting people at the County level, and that's in the County level, to the people you put down in Springfield. Proft: And they're all...and they're all working together because there are salaries and benefits at stake, and we saw this play out in one of the most extreme examples on record, which is in McHenry County, not your Township, but Algonquin Township, and Bob Miller, the Highway Commissioner there who was defeated in the last municipal election, but that was after half a century of fleecing taxpayers, of $400K worth of families on salary, just for that small Township's Highway Department, and this is some of the abuse I assume you're referencing. Anderson: There's no question about it, and also, speaking of Bob Miller, would be that his wife would be on the County Board year after year... Thompson: *sarcastically* SHOCKING! Anderson: ...in his office, and not one person on the County Board, because I've attended quite a few County Board members (sic), not one person would absolutely stand up and say "Anna May, you should not be on this County Board, and hold a seat there. You should resign, as long as you have those two jobs." Nobody stood up! Thompson: You know Bob, with an attitude like yours...you're NEVER gonna get a Poker Video Game, a liquor license, or a marijuana distribution license, you know! And these are gonna be the only things that are left, it's called the "Sam Giancana Economic Plan"! So I wanted to tell you that. Number two, Bob, I'm really only good at two things, and one of 'em is fighting in a parking lot, so you tell me when your next meeting is, because I'd LOVE to come up there, and let's see how they yell! Anderson: *laughing* Okay! Well I'll tell ya, our meetings are at 7 o'clock, at the second Thursday of the month. And I'm not so sure now, I'll tell you, it'd be interesting that,,,anybody invited from the press for sure could attend the meeting, but I'll tell you now, I'm not so sure now that it will be so violent, it could be. But the night that we got this vote reversed, that we failed by a 3-2 vote back in January, in February we got it through, THAT was a night that everybody should have been here to see what was going on. They loaded up the meeting with low commissioners from as far away as Wauconda! And it was...it was...it was a...sweating that night, I found the other trustee that minute, we both were threatened, we filed a police report the next day, the (?) police showed up at the end of the meeting, two squad cars, two police people came in, officers... Thompson: Sounds like a party! Anderson: It was just terrible! Proft: And your business has been vandalized as well for your positions, right? Anderson: That's right, I've had nails thrown at my barber shop, the day after the election last year in April...a year coming up in April. I'm working the afternoon, a customer left, came back and says "Bob, look what I found!", and there's nails behind the cars out there, 59 of 'em. Then a few weeks later, I had nails that were put behind my car at my home, I live about 4 blocks from the barber shop. I just recently had a guy go by from the Township...he was in a Township truck but had a Township shirt on, keeps you from...a safety vest on, but he saw me looking out the window, he gives me the finger. They've thrown cans...I've got...my barbershop's got an apartment on it, it's quite a long building, (Thompson: And WE have to pay those pension!) and the garbage cans were thrown to the barbershop side of the building...there was a message there. Proft: And, McHenry County Highway Commissioner James Condon has said that you're NOT spending your time and energy providing PROOF that what you have proposed to do with this consolidation saves any substantial taxpayer dollars. He said...and I've spoken with Condon before, I believe, he seemed like a reasonable guy, but he suggests that...you're telling half-truths and not really going to save taxpayer money with this consolidation. How do you respond? Anderson: I respond to that very plainly. First of all, this is a simple, common-sense question, and what that question is going to be for the voters to decide on is do you want the Road Commission...and it's not just, you know, Jim Condon, or my Road Commissioner in McHenry Township...it's every road commissioner in the state of Illinois...should that Road Commissioner have this kind of power? They have more power for spending public money than the governor of Illinois, and the question for the voters to decide on is this; do you want a committee of ONE, the Road Commissioner, to make a decision...in this case, $3M, also hiring/firing, or do you want that to be transferred over to the Township Board, we have a committee of five, overseeing that. You don't NEED an expensive study for that, and another...I haven't really put this out yet, this is the first time...I use it when I talk to people to come in my barber shop, my supporters though...is why doesn't Jim Condon come out...why doesn't he come out and say "Let's have a study, see if it's gonna cost more?" You can just reverse that. But there is nothing but stall tactic, stall tactic, stall tactic, and they all evolved when we brought in my state Representative, Steve Reick, and he makes a big speech about "You cannot move forward, you must have a study on jto prove you're going to save money on this, otherwise..." then he said "I'd be for it." Without question, he entered that bill, and that bill gets buried in Committee, but now they've got somebody in the Senate now, coming up in the Senate with a similar bill, that you must have a study to prove, before the boards can have a chance to weight on a simple subject like this, to prove that you're going to save money. This is more about saving money, the sums...the savings are becoming the future. But right now, this is about reducing the size and cost of government, we have those 7,000 governments, somewhere...you gotta start someplace, and I think this is a perfect place to start. Proft: Well, and the point that you raised, what you're getting to is this game that's played by public officials, "Hey, don't go after MY fiefdom, go after somebody else's fiefdom." Like, so "I agree in principle that we have too many units of government, too many public officials, too many taxing bodies, government is too expansive, too redundant, too expensive in Illinois. I agree with all that, but just don't go after my cynosure, or my position, or my unit of government, go after somebody else's." So they have you in this perpetual shell game...you know the Constitution, the state Constitution, provides for referendum to eliminate Township government. And it's not...this consolidation wouldn't be a first of its kind, but it's unfortunately fairly rare. But, but, you're always in this Shell Game with the political class, and nobody wants to provide the leadership. And so, hey, you know, the response to me for you, Bob, when people say "Hey, why are you targeting the Road Commissioner and not X, Y, or Z?", "Hey, I'm showing leadership where I can! If you all, or other people, want to show leadership at the municipal level, or the county level, or the state level, super-fantastic!" I mean, the whole point is, I think, part of your example is hoping that other people will pick it up and replicate it. Anderson: There's no question...those are great words, that really feed into what I've been trying to accomplish. But, first of all, I want to correct you, that we do have a local Representative here, David McSweeney... Proft: Yeah, right. Anderson: He is standing up for the people! He is taking this issue on! He is saying that he wants...and he knows this, okay? And he knows that we do not have the people that have got the backbone or the guts that are in the General Assembly or in County or municipal government to take on this whole thing about all these fiefdoms. But he...and what he's saying is "Let's get something on the ballot and let the people decide!" And that's what's so frustrating about Jim Condon and all these Road Commissioners, they have supported Bob Miller down through the years, is that they are afraid of the people. And even with it on the ballot, they have so much money, and so much clout, that it's going to be a fierce battle, but we're gonna win this, though, because it's a common-sense question and people are tired of this. In addition to this, as you've said on your program too, and it's in the papers all the time, people are leaving Illinois by the droves. In the last, what was this, since 2010, we've lost over half a million residents. If you lose half a million residents, don't you think you can get by with less government? No, not in this state, people do not have the backbone to stand up...and what I say to quite a few often...quite often to customers in my barbershop is if we have an elected official...which you'd believe this too Dan, if they were doing their jobs, you wouldn't even KNOW about me. It would be done! Proft: Mmhmm, yeah. He is... Anderson: They don't have the guts to do it. And even now, even now, even though this is getting a lot of news coverage, the momentum is building up, where ARE they? I'm not getting calls saying "Bob, you know...", sort of like my state Senator, Pamela Althoff, I've been in her office I don't know how many times dealing with stuff. Some of the things we'd go through would be like "Okay, we've got a little bit there." but all I've gotten is disappointment, she never had any LEADERSHIP, and now I find her name...and I can't remember the Senator that's taken up that new bill that you have to have a study here, but she is the first chief co-sponsor on that! That is so frustrating to me! But there, again, it's backstabbing, and how we deal with people from the public that come into your office, "Yeah Bob, you're right, you're right," but when it comes down to get something accomplished, nothing's there. Proft: Well, that's because we don't have enough Bob Anderson's in this state, it's just as simple as that, we don't have enough people that are courageous, we don't have people willing to suffer the slings and arrows that you have suffered to prosecute the case...but I'm glad that you are doing it! He is Wonder Lake barber Bob Anderson, McHenry Township...McHenry TOWNSHIP Trustee and Chairman of Citizens for Consolidation, this is the group pushing the referendum in McHenry Township this November. Bob, thanks so much for joining us and telling your story and putting in the fight, appreciate it. Anderson: Thank you very much, thanks for the kind words, have a nice day, and Happy Easter! Proft: Happy Easter to you, and your family. And he joined us on the Turnkey Dot Pro Answer Line.

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Trump Targets Amazon

What is Trump’s angle on Amazon? Hasn’t Amazon benefited the American people in creating cheaper prices for everyone? Will Illinois benefit if they land Amazon HQ even though they are giving out tremendous subsidies to court them? CNBC Contributor, Jim Iurio joins Dan and Shaun to discuss.

View full transcript


Proft: Good morning, Dan and Amy. Well, we have a discussion yesterday, Shaun, about the so-called "Fang Stocks", and the curious case of Amazon never making a profit, but Jeff Bezos being the richest man in the world. And now, there is a little more controversy with Amazon because President Trump took out after Amazon yesterday, tweeting "I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the election. Unlike others, they pay little or no taxes to state and local governments, use our Postal system as their delivery boy, causing tremendous loss to the US, and are putting many thousands of retailers out of business." Thompson: Yeah. Wharton huh, you went to Wharton, huh? Let's see what a PITT guy thinks! Proft: He did go to Wharton...that doesn't mean that everything he says is TRUE on matters of economic policy, as we've seen. And the only thing that is true in that tweet is that Amazon is putting thousands of retailers out of business, *under breath* because they've got a better competitive model, *louder* BUT... Thompson: Yeah. What this problem needs is GOVERNMENT! Proft: ...but he...they've also benefited from government, has Amazon, and it's worth pointing this out, as The Wall Street Journal did in their op-ed today...a Federal intervention from the OBAMA Justice Department...you know, the big government Democrats who like big government democratic benefits conferred to big corporations...Obama Justice Department brought an antitrust case against Apple, for trying to compete with Amazon's eBooks dominance. That helped...led to Amazon now being the dominant player, accounting for 75% of all eBook sales. So, perhaps not the most judicious use of antitrust policy ever pursued. Thompson: It's been...it's benefited from incompetent and corrupt government...'cuz there are a few states who said "We offer you this...NOTHING, but a well-run state." So, you know, it's only the states like Illinois that have to fluff Amazon, the rest of 'em don't! Proft: All right, for more on tech stocks, and where you should put your money, we're pleased to be joined by our friend Jim Iuorio, CNBC contributor. Jim, thanks for joining us. ...do we have Jim? Oh, okay we lost...Jim dropped. All right, well, we're gonna try and... Thompson: So I always like when we talk to Jim, for the same reason we talk to Scott Shelady. And that's because they're guys that actually traded THEIR money! They didn't raise money, aren't running a "lipstick on a pig" commercial like these Goldman-Sachs bankers, but these guys actually had to learn fundamentals! What they bring to the table is a brutal honesty about fundamental capitalism. Proft: All right, let's get some of that brutal honesty, we've got Jim back. Jim Iuorio, CNBC contributor, Jim thanks for being with us, appreciate it. Iuorio: *laughs* My pleasure. Proft: So, what about the President's pronouncements on Amazon, how did you react? Iuorio: Well, the one thing you just said a second ago was that they have barely turned a profit. So when you think about them using the Postal service as a delivery boy, squeezing out retailers, what they're really doing is creating cheaper prices for everyone who buys their goods, so it's not as simple as he makes it sound, like they're takers. They're takers and they're givers at the same time. With the President, the one thing is I think...the things he's done is very very interesting when he comes out with something like this, I do wonder what he's trying...what his angle is, trying to...is what his angle is here, because I don't think he cares that much about Amazon, and I haven't been able to identify it yet. But ultimately with Amazon...you know, I have no problem with people paying the right amount of taxes, but the beneficiary of all this is US, everybody has become addicted to Amazon because their prices are cheaper, we use that money for other things, like buying hamburgers at Brandt's of Palatine. Thompson: Ohhh, see what he did there? Proft: Oh...I see what you did...first answer, he works the plug right in there, I like it! Iuorio: Well, now we're done with it, we don't have to do it again. Proft: No, look, I've said...not just the best burger in Chicago, because I mistakenly said it was just the best burger in Chicago, the best burger in the country, at Brandt's. Iuorio: Well, that's what we're shooting for! Come and find out for yourself. Thompson: So Jim, I know what he's doing. It's that false positive quick pop that national populism and strongman economics shows you. It's why the Bernie Sanders of the world, ten years ago, were touting "Look how great Venezuela is!" Because that's what they did. Now granted, it does take some time for these moronic, ridiculous, corporatist policies that rear their head, the effect of them to happen. But what Trump's looking to do, is what last time I was here and you and I were talking, is...is cook the books of national protectionism. Showing that when you have this massive government spending in the Omnibus, and now right away the Infrastructure, how it can appear to a GDP as actual profit. So Trump's doing what he did with the stocks...he's fluffing the price to get the big loan, and then stiff the debt. That's what I think he's doing, but I... Iuorio: I like it! I like that theory, and you're probably right, and we have to realize though that running the country is massively different than running a privately traded company where you're trying to create a vision for your stock purchasers. We...nobody...you know, I guess you could call the lenders here, but remember the lenders to the Federal government up until a couple of months ago was the Federal Reserve, so at the same time we're losing our biggest sponsor, our biggest lender, all of a sudden we're issuing a bunch more debt. That could really kind of muck up the profit! So, at the same time, the biggest buyer is going away, and the selling is going to increase, you know, by another 400 billion over 2 years from what it was before in this bill alone. Proft: And what an Amazon, just sticking with them for a second, in HQ2, a legitimate complaint from a free market perspective would be with respect to all these states and localities putting together all of these inducements, if you will, to locate HQ2 in their community. I mean, in the state of Illinois, for example, we're talking about rebating all the state income tax that employees here at an HQ2 would pay, which would be projected to be north of $1B, and so you know, this is where it's easy to beat up on Amazon, because they're the beneficiaries of the rent-seeking behavior that both companies like Amazon like, as well as the politicians, like to confer so they can have press release successes. Iuorio: All that being said, I STILL want Amazon here. And if we have to give them concessions to get it...as grow...getting...growing....getting growth here and growing our local economy is a huge deal, because it's...that's not what... Thompson: It's fake, though, Jim. Iuorio: What's that? Thompson: It's FAKE. Yeah, I don't want to fake it, Jim! This is fake and... Iuorio: Hey, I don't want to fake it either, but I'd rather fake it than have everybody bug out and go somewhere else! I mean, people who are making 100 grand are GENUINELY spending money on rent, and on dinners, and on entertainment. Thompson: But it's fake, it's fake money! It's tax money, you're frauding it as real money. So when you said before about "I don't see the lender as faking it to...", the lender in this case and my other scenario of why he's faking it...is it's the voter! You could point to these fake GDP numbers...he just wants to get re-elected! The outcome of us being underwritten by our future...that's always there! That's the Federal Reserve System. So, I see the nut. I found the scam, and I think it's all a fraud. Iuorio: I'm with...I'm with you on that, we're not even arguing about this! On the Federal level I absolutely believe...one thing that we've learned here is that every different level of government continually tells us that they need more money. And we watch their behavior, and know that is FLATLY not true. Even when you break it down to the state of Illinois and the county of Cook, they keep telling us "Oh, shoot! We got these huge bills, we need more money!" No, you have TREMENDOUS amounts of money. The poor stewardship you've provided for that money, that's more your concern than it is ours. Take care of things! And I agree, that's the same on the Federal level too. We...yeah, is it cooking the books to make us, you know, "We're gonna do all these pet projects of everybody, and pass that burden onto our grandchildren's grandchildren."? I think it's absolutely absurd and ridiculous, I agree with you. Proft: But with respect to Amazon, you know, it pays to be preemptively free-trade, so even if other countries want to be protectionist, it's still a benefit to you to be free-trade. So why at the state and local level, if everybody else wants to play the rent-seeking game, wouldn't it behoove a state to not? Iuorio: Well, it's...certain situations dictate other behaviors. Right now, in the state of Illinois, where you and I are BOTH concerned about people leaving to find better regulatory and tax environments, to score a big win is going...is a good thing. To do it in the right way would be infinitely better, INFINITELY better, than to do it in the wrong way, by creating these special deals and creating this fake possible scenario is the worst possible way to do it. BUT, it's still slightly better than every headline I see being another company leaves Illinois. Do you not agree with that? Thompson: No. Iuorio: ...fair enough. Proft: Ahh, I...we talked to your friend and colleague, and ours, Scott Shellady yesterday, we're talking about these tech stocks that have driven the run-up of the market, and now may be driving the pullback, if that's what comes to pass. Where are you, with Facebook taking on some water, politically and from a public relations perspective, less popular, less trusted, which...we've talked about Amazon, Google, Netflix...I mean now that they've got Susan Rice I guess it's gonna be (Iuorio: It's gonna be fine.), blue skies, yeah, blue skies, right. But I mean, where are you with those tech stocks that drove the run-up, and may drive the retreat? Iuorio: Well, it's funny...we pass leadership from one sector to another often in the stock market often, and to do that, many times it's not the most elegant process we're going with that. The fact that we're going to zero in on Facebook and say "Can you believe that they were mining and selling data?" Well, OF COURSE we can believe it, that's why they were a half a trillion dollar market cap company. That's what they do, and I guess spoiler alert...that's what GOOGLE does, it's probably what Amazon and Netflix do as well, everybody's gathering data on you. We've been talking about that for three years, that being the next...data scientists in college, coming out, there's jobs waiting for them. So for us to be rolling our eyes and scratching our heads, "Can you believe this happened?", of course I can. So to me, it's more indicative of...you know, the NASDAQ itself had rallied more than 60% in 20 months. The "Fang stocks" had more than doubled and were the obvious clear leaders. When everybody is all built up on them, and everybody has so much of those "Fang stocks", the slightest story, and this is you know, real where if the media can draw attention and public opinion can change, because maybe people don't WANT all their information being collected and sold, or if I'm going to have my information sold, I want to benefit from that financially. And also the public opinion changes on these companies, that's a real thing, despite the fact the story is so old and ridiculous and trite, and we're pretending that it's fresh, but to me it's just indicative of market position and that has to work its way out. It's way off and that's probably what's happening in the entire market is this transition from a low-rate period to a medium-rate period, and in like a subset of that transition is the "Fang stocks" gonna give up leadership to something else, that leader hasn't stepped forward yet, I believe it will. As I said the last time I was on the show, I don't believe that any sort of Bear market is going to happen when all the economic data I see is good getting better, not bad getting worse, there's no big recession on the horizon at all. Thompson: I get my inputs from you, I want those 'puts, Jim! Iuorio: And I'll sell em to you! Proft: Shaun is also, you know, long on Bitcoin, so you know... Thompson: It was a big time! I was ahead of the curve. Iuorio: You gotta go low! Proft: I'm happy to end on a note of optimism from Jim. Also, this unsolicited tweet, Jim. "Brandt's, best deal in the northwest suburbs, hands down good value and family friendly!" Iuorio: Cmon now, did you tweet that? Proft: I did not tweet that, Patty O tweeted it. Iuorio: Oh. I don't know who Patty O is, but I love her! Proft: There you go. Jim Iuorio, CNBC contributor, thanks for joining us, appreciate it. Iuorio: Thanks for having me.

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Ives Within Striking Distance Of Rauner

Jeanne Ives is within striking distance of Gov. Rauner, and GOP voters are within striking distance of completely changing the political landscape in one election. Is there a turnout issue on the Republican side in the Illinois Primary? Is the progressive income tax on billionaires touted by the Democratic candidates for governor a Trojan Horse for a tax increase on all Illinoisans? Illinois Policy Institute's Marketing Manager, Eric Kohn joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

View full transcript


Proft: Good morning, Dan and Amy. Talk a little bit of state and local politics, you know we're five days away from a primary election. Jacobson: How are you feeling? You're really burning the candle at both ends. Are you getting enough sleep, Daniel? Proft: I am...NOT, Mom, but I'm okay. Jacobson: How are your eating habits? Proft: Thanks to you and your little gerbil... Jacobson: Gerbil food packs? Proft: Gerbil food packs here, I'm managing to survive. New survey out yesterday in the governor's race on the Republican side, this was a survey done by Jeanne Ives' campaign....42-35. Jacobson: WHAT? No way, really? Proft: Rauner's down to a 7-point lead. So this is getting really interesting here with five days to go. Here's something else that's interesting. (Jacobson: Yes?) The turnout so far, total ballots cast...or ballots requested and awaiting return...the Democrats...this is from a bit earlier this week but you get the gist of it...the Democrats, as compared to this time four years ago, so an off-Presidential year, the last governor's race...125% of ballots cast from four years ago. So, they're seeing an uptick in turnout, they're at 125% of ballots cast in 2014, as we stand here a couple of days ago. Republicans? FIFTY percent (50%) of ballots cast from four years ago. (Jacobson: WOW.) So, you've got a real turnout issue on the Republican side. Now that can be a lot of things...it can be in part people that are sometimes Republican, sometimes Democrat deciding to play in the Democrat primary because they think that's where more of the action is, that can certainly be part of it. Can be part of Republicans thinking "Oh, well Bruce Rauner is gonna win this race, so I'll go pick the least competitive Democrat," trying to play that game. Or, and it can also be "Because Rauner is so awful, and I'm so fatalistic about this state, 90% of people think it's on the wrong track, that I'm just not gonna participate after Rauner's betrayals, I'm just done with the Republican party." Jacobson: I don't like that option. Proft: Well, I'm just saying, I mean, it could be...it's a multitude of factors, I'm just saying, so now you know that you've got a competitive primary in the Republican side, that Jeanne Ives can win. On March 13th of 1996...this is not a perfect comparison, but it's about the best we have in terms of huge upsets...on March 13th of 1996, Al Salvi was down 14 points to Bob Kustra, and...for the Republican nomination for US Senate...and of course, those of you old enough to remember, Al Salvi ends up winning that race by a couple of points. Jacobson: I remember. Proft: Yeah, me too. So, so...when things break, they break. Jacobson: What about Glen (?), remember him? He was on the Democratic side, but nobody saw that coming. Proft: Right, another good example, right. When, and...when things break, they break, and there seems to be momentum with Ives and... Jacobson: How was her fly-around yesterday? Proft: and...so Conservatives...Conservatives have an opportunity....like they haven't had in my lifetime, and speaking as a Conservative. And this...there's rarely an opportunity that comes along where you can finally change the political landscape in one election, in one night. I mean, change it for generations...and that's the opportunity that's present in the Republican governor's race. That's there for the taking, if Conservatives come out and vote, and vote for a Conservative candidate to be the Republican nominee for governor. That really is, because if you don't, we're going to have Surrender Republicans, Fake Republicans as Tucker Carlson calls Rauner, against Chicago Democrats. It will be the same old same old, and this Going Out of Business Sale for the state of Illinois will continue in its orderly fashion. Ives, and the possibility of stoking the revolt that has been visited upon all of our Midwest neighbors, that is watershed, that is game-changer, so that's the opportunity on Tuesday, and it is right there for the taking. Not my opinion, the NUMBERS say so. And Jeanne Ives was on Chicago Tonight, flying solo, as we talked about yesterday... Jacobson: Oh yeah! Because Governor Rauner was a no-show. Proft: Mmhmm! Jacobson: I LOVE Gubernatorial debates when...when the "Gubernor" doesn't show up! Because it was really...but it gave her another opportunity just to get her policies across to the people...it was good. Proft: John Cass wrote about it, Amanda Vinicky who did the interview of Ives, said on air that Governor Rauner...MONTHS of not responding to TTW whether he'd participate, and then on the day of the interview, his staff told WTTW that he had another commitment. Jacobson: Well, wasn't he down South, vetoing the gun bill? Proft: *chuckles* Yeah. On...so John Cass writes...he compares Rauner to the knight in the Monty Python movie who "bravely ran ran away". He goes on to write, "Rauner is counting on JB's shrieks to cover the sounds of his own footsteps running away from Jeanne Ives. As I keep telling readers, what is not said, what constitutes the negative political space, is often the most important part of a political story, and at the debate that he ran away from, Rauner's silence was excruciatingly loud. He didn't want a confrontation with Ives on those notorious ads he's been running against her, ads alleging that Ives, the conservative Republican state rep from Wheaton, is a creature of Democrat boss Mike Madigan. It's a complete falsehood, of course, and rather ridiculous, but Rauner must think they're effective. But those lies will make it impossible for him to patch the Republican Party back together should he win the March 20 primary, which is still very much in doubt," writes Cass. And he goes on to detail "Brave Sir Robin Rauner's" various betrayals, which have put him in the position he is, which is starting to drop like a stone. Ives addressed the matter, in part, during her Chicago Tonight appearance. Ives (from Tape:) Rauner said nothing, either. He knew all about this too, he never called for the LIG... Proft (cutting the clip off): THAT's about the Inspector General and sexual harassment, but this is her responding to the commercials in question that John Cass writes... Jacobson: Oh, where she's "with Madigan"? Where they're long-lost lovers? Proft: Yes, right. Ives (from Tape): The truth is that I'm...I would be Mike Madigan's worst nightmare, because I actually have the courage to speak up for taxpayers and expose the games that are going on down there, and to put people in uncomfortable conversations where they actually have to explain their policy choices, and that's something that Governor Rauner failed to do. But make no doubt about it (sic), Governor Rauner has lied to everyone about everything over the last three years, and he's now lying about my record, because he can't talk about his, because he has no record to talk about. Proft: "Lying about me because he can't tell the truth about himself", and here's the Ives value proposition. Ives (from Tape): But you know what, when you put these people in a box....look, nobody, NONE of the Democrat governor candidates and not Bruce Rauner, is going to lead the taxpayer revolt that has to happen in this state. Proft: That's it. The taxpayer revolt. That's the choice, ultimately. Ives is a vessel for the revolt, and Rauner is a vessel for surrender. So, that's your choice. For more on this topic and this race, as well as others and the policy implications, we're pleased to be joined by Eric Kohn, who's the marketing manager at the Illinois Policy Institute. Eric, thanks for joining us, appreciate it. Kohn: Good morning, thanks for having me. Proft: Good morning. So, one of the things that was being bandied about, and was talked about again at last night's Democrat debate, Democrat Gubernatorial Debate, is the Graduated State Income Tax, this is something that the Democrats are intent to do, they are openly talking about it, advertising it, because they think it's politically popular and unfortunately, they're right. But this seems to be the case, that if Democrats remain in control of the General Assembly, and Pritzker or Kennedy or Bist is our next governor, that you're going to see a hard move to graduate the state income tax. Kohn: Absolutely. It has been something you've heard from many of the candidates running, that we need a progressive income tax, that billionaires need to pay their fair share. But, we should actually take a look at what is really being proposed. So, you need...first, you need two things to happen. We have to change the Illinois Constitution, first you'd have to get rid of the clause in the Constitution that mandates a flat income tax. And if they were successful in doing that, then it's the same state lawmakers who are responsible for the political culture in this state, who are responsible for the policy choices that have put the state in the situation it's in, to set the new graduated income tax rates. State Representative Robert Martwick was kind enough to file a bill with progressive tax rates, assuming that this constitutional change would happen, and we took a look at 'em. And what we found out is that anyone in Illinois who's making more than $17,300 a year is going to see their taxes go UP under this plan. And if you want to find out exactly how it would affect YOU, you can go to IllinoisPolicy.org and use our Tax Calculator and find out what it would mean for you if this progressive tax was to become a reality. Jacobson: Well, do you...I mean...so, Chris Kennedy, he keeps saying that he's going to reform the income property taxes, income tax and property taxes in Illinois. Do you know, does anybody know about the actual PLAN that he has? Kohn: I haven't seen the actual plan that he has there, but I think it's worth pointing out that if we look at the current situation, Illinois already has higher property taxes than any other state that doesn't even have ANY income tax, we have higher property taxes than Florida and Texas, every other state that does not have an income tax, we have higher property taxes than. Which indicates again that, you know, it's...this is a different-natured problem, and moving to a progressive income tax, while it's being sold as this way to, "We'll tax billionaires and that's the way we'll fix our state," that's not how it works in reality. In reality, it is a Trojan Horse for tax increases on the middle class. The progressive income tax would mean an overall 21% tax hike on most families, and that's just something that Illinois families cannot take, especially after dealing with the impacts of a tax hike in 2011, it did go away, and then the tax hike that happened last year. Proft: Yeah, it's interesting, too, what's happening in New Jersey, Zero Heads reporting on this yesterday. "New Jersey prepares to raise taxes on ALMOST EVERYTHING as it nears financial disaster. New Jersey's fiscal situation so dire that new Governor Phil Murphy is proposing taxing: online room-booking, ride-sharing, marijuana, e-cigarettes, internet transactions, along with raising taxes on millionaires and retail sales to fund their budget, which would do what? Boost spending on schools, pensions, and mass transit." So, again, we're not the only ones...the only state providing a bad example of how to govern, there are others...but we're still the WORST, make no mistake. But this is exactly what Big Government Republicans and Democrats have been doing that makes us the worst governed state in the nation, and you have Democrats in states like Jersey and Connecticut, California, doing the same thing. Kohn: Exactly. You know, in fairness to Illinois, we often take a look at the numbers and compare between different states, a total tax burden, property taxes etc. And in fairness, New Jersey is often the one state that keeps us from being WORST in the country in a handful of categories. But, you can see the philosophy is generally the same there. You take a look at the impact of the tax hike we had in 2011, our chief economist took a look at it and found that it cost the Illinois economy $56B in real GDP and cost about 9.3K jobs. We fully expect the impact of the 2017 tax hike to be similar to that. And now, here we are again, rather than talking about a spending cap, or spending reforms, or fixing a lot of the structural problems that plague the state of Illinois, now we're talking about a supposed tax to make billionaires pay their fair share, that is actually going to make any Illinoisan making more than 17 grand a year toss up more to Springfield. Jacobson: So, is there a possibility to fund our schools without using property taxes? Kohn: Well, I'm sure it's possible. It would require, again, changing the actual structure, the way we operate state government, which is of course a hard conversation that, of course, people in Springfield really don't want to have. So, instead, we get these conversations like "Oh, we just need to raise the income taxes on the flat tax we have, we need a progressive tax." Meanwhile, property taxes continue to go up. Unfortunately, many in Springfield don't want to have that kind of uncomfortable conversation, so we're having on that, as Dan rightly pointed out, plays popularly when you talk about taxing billionaires, when people, if they go to IllinoisPolicy.org, use our Tax Calculator, see what the impact would actually be on their family, they'll find out what the progressive income tax really is about, and it's about raising taxes on almost all Illinoisans. Proft: There's something interesting, and this is really a below the fold if you don'[t live up in McHenry County, you're not aware of this. But there's an interesting binding referendum on the ballot. This is in McHenry Township, where Bob Anderson, who we've spoken to on the show before, he's like an octogenarian barber from Wonder Lake, has been fighting against Township for a long time and he was able to get a referendum placed on the November ballot, I should clarify, that will ask voters whether to abolish the Township's road district. The binding referendum is sort of the first in...first of recent and note of...under the umbrella of consolidation of government. Illinois has more units of government than any other state, as you were just discussing Eric, that's what in part drives the highest property taxes in the nation, because you have all these taxing bodies, and in many cases there are redundancies. So it's not a...it's not an attack on Township government vs. municipal government vs. county government. You know, sometimes Township government is a better, more responsible actor than the municipal government or the county government, and so on and so forth. The issue is the larger issue of we just have larger and larger layers of government with redundancies and inefficiencies and we have to reduce those layers and those numbers if we're going to reduce people's property taxes and give them their homes back, for example. And so I just wonder what you think about this referendum up in McHenry County, how important it is, and how impactful REAL consolidation of local units of government could be in terms of improving the fiscal stability of the state. Kohn: This could have a huge impact, and yeah, that's a great example of what is going on in McHenry County, there. You know, and it would...people look at this and say "Oh, it's never possible, this never happens." It actually...it has happened before. I hail from Belleville, in Metro East, and Belleville eliminated Belleville Township just about a year, year and a half ago. So, this can happen, and it's going to need to happen, as you said, if we're going to reduce the property tax burdens that Illinoisans have. In addition to Townships, another one that we've proposed, and I think should seriously be considered, is reducing the number of school districts. Not the number of schools THEMSELVES (Proft: Yeah.), but the number of districts that oversee them. Because, of course, each district, you have a Superintendent, you have administration, you have that same kind of redundancy that exists. And that...if we could reduce the number of districts by approximately, I believe, 50%, by having the same approximate amount of students per district that California has, so it just shows you just how out of whack we are there, and each one of those districts with the personnel is what is continuing to drive the property tax burden that Illinoisans are paying and increasingly choosing NOT to pay by getting out of the state altogether. Proft: Well right, and just on that score of consolidation of school DISTRICTS, this...Jeanne Ives makes this point all the time, 1/4 of the school districts in the state, 850 school districts...have ONE SCHOOL. So it's just an unnecessary layer of government, as you're...and administrative bloat...as you're suggesting, Eric. So there's opportunities to restructure the way we do things in Illinois, we could do it, if we're so inclined. Eric Kohn, the marketing manager at the Illinois Policy Institute, IllinoisPolicy.org, Eric, thanks for joining us, appreciate it. Kohn: Thanks for having me!

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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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