Tuesday, July 01, 2008

T-Day in Obama's hometown: Highest sales tax of any big city in America

It's a dark day in Chicago history--because of the hubris of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, Chicagoans beginning today will pay the highest sales tax of any big city in the nation. To use James Thurber's words, it's true, you could look it up.

Chicago's sales tax jumps Tuesday to 10.25 percent, due in large part to Cook County's 1 percent tax increase. It's one of the highest tax rates in the country, even higher than New York and Los Angeles.

But you don't have to go too far to find lower taxes. They're just 7 percent in Lake and Will counties, and 7.25 percent in DuPage County.

I live close to Lake County, and do you know where I'm going to buy a big ticket item such as a laptop computer?

Residents of Chicago's Cook County suburbs, where I live, will pay a little bit less, anywhere from 9.75 percent to 10 percent.

Shameful.

Cook County government is led by a hack named Todd Stroger, who succeeded his hack father, the late John Stroger, after the Chicago Democrat withdrew his name from the 2006 general election ballot. The elder Stroger suffered a debilitating stroke earlier that year.

Voters in Cook didn't like the stench of son replacing father, and Tony Peraica came close to doing something no Republican had accomplished in forty years--win the presidency of the Cook County Board of Commissioners.

But a last minute push by Democratic heavies, including Barack Obama, was enough to put "the Toddler" over the top.

For maybe the fifth time or so, I refer to Eric Zorn's 2006 Chicago Tribune column about Stroger:

Obama's staff released a profoundly disheartening letter to voters this week in which Obama, joined by Sen. Dick Durbin, endorsed Cook County Board presidential candidate Todd Stroger.

The letter, which puffs lots of hot air into the saggy balloon of Stroger's legislative resume, refers to him as "a good progressive Democrat" who will "lead us into a new era of Cook County government."

Todd Stroger was a "strong voice" in Springfield, the letter says. He has "worked assiduously" for the poor as an alderman. Yet, of course, the record reveals that Stroger is an unimaginative legislative drone whose reform credentials are wholly imaginary--an unlikely trailblazer to a new era.

So true. Unless you call slapping a regressive tax increase to support a governmental body the Chicago Tribune calls "a fetid swamp" trailblazing.

Although Cook County certainly has some hard working and dedicated employees, the sad truth is that county government serves as a patronage army for the Cook County Regular Democratic Organization, known elsewhere as "The Machine."

More from Zorn:

And Obama has come too far as an inspiring new breed of politician on the national scene to muck around in local politics, endorsing machine hack candidates and substituting party for principle. Or so you'd imagine.

Principle...sounds familiar, such as Obama's abandoning the principle of public financing of political campaigns. And the paragraph above was written two years ago.

Not only is Cook County government bloated and inefficient, it's also corrupt. I have to reach back to, well, yesterday to find this story about an allegation that suburban businessman paid $2,500 in monthly bribes to a county official. Free registration is required for the link.

The elder Stroger's opponent in the 2006 Democratic primary was reformer Forrest Claypool, he calls the new tax a corruption tax.

Today, to use Barack Obama's words, "a new era of Cook County government" begins.

And three million Chicagoans, many of them poor, today start paying the nation's highest big city sales tax. Two million suburbanites, including yours truly, will pay just a little bit less.

What do you have to say about that, Senator? Is this change we can believe in?

Related posts:

Hey Obama! Speak out on proposal to impose nation's highest sales tax in your hometown: UDPATED
Patronage hiring still thrives in Cook County
Rita Rezko's contribution to America's worst government, Cook County
Update on America's worst governmental body, Cook County
Palatine wants to secede from Cook County
Something else for Obama to be silent on: Chicago will have the nation's highest sales tax
Say no to higher Cook County taxes
No fat in Cook County budget?
Beavers leaves it to the race card as America's worst governmental body gets worse
Your Cook County tax dollars at work
Stop the proposed Cook County phone tax
"Is anyone watching out for Chicago taxpayers?"
Time for me to shop...outside Cook County?
Marathon Pundit Chicago River dumping follow up
Obama and Chicago's "We Don't Want Nobody Nobody Sent" culture
Cook County sues Cook County
My day as a Cook County juror
Cook County treasurer's office working against taxpayers

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2 comments:

yo said...

Obama's not the only one keeping quiet.

Notice the deafening cricket noises coming from the up for re-electioners:

Dick Durbin

Jan Schakowsky

Peep?

Nope.

Endorsing Obama?

Of course.


Also keep in mind that with Barry moving the DNC operations to Chicago, an extra 1% of purchases made with money contributed to the DNC and Barry's campaign is being wasted to propagate corrupt government.

Wonder if little Sally Democrat is aware of how poorly ol' Barry Hack is utilizing her lemonade stand money.

Thanks for nuthin', Barry (you douchebag).

dm60462 said...

I now shop in New Lenox, Frnakfort and those parts of Tinley Park that are in Will County. I'll never shop in Cook County again. What's that you say? What about the cost of gas to get there? Gas is cheaper there, too. I just plan a trip to do all my shopping, inclusing gasoline over the county line.