QUOTE OF THE DAY
Illinois state Rep. LaShawn Ford pleaded guilty to misdemeanor tax fraud Monday at a federal court hearing in Chicago.
The Chicago Democrat pleaded guilty to one count of delivering a false federal income tax return for 2007 as part of a plea deal. The misdemeanor carries a maximum sentence of a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
Ford had earlier pleaded not guilty to far more serious charges – eight felony counts of bank fraud and nine counts of submitting false information to the bank. But prosecutors said Monday that they would dismiss all the felony counts at Ford’s sentencing on Nov. 11.
Former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) slammed the administration’s ObamaCare rollout, calling President Obama’s claim that people could keep their insurance plans under the law a “lie.”
“The rollout was so bad, and I was appalled — I don’t understand how the president could have sat there and not been checking on that on a weekly basis,” Frank said in an interview with the Huffington Post published Friday.
“But frankly, he should never have said as much as he did, that if you like your current health care plan, you can keep it,” he continued. “That wasn’t true. And you shouldn’t lie to people. And they just lied to people.”
At the end of June, The Supreme Court ruled inHarris v. Quinn that the state of Illinois could not force private home healthcare workers to join a union the state foisted upon them using the basis of these private workers receiving government subsidies as a justification. Though the ruling was fairly narrow and specific, it turns out the home care workers weren’t the only folks in Illinois being treated this way. The state had done the same to day care providers for children from low-income families.
The state provides subsidies to these workers, too, and as the Illinois Policy Institute explains, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich issued an executive order in 2005 organizing them under the umbrella of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and deducting dues, whether they wanted the representation or not.
Longtime state Sen. Kirk Dillard, a Hinsdale Republican, announced his resignation from the post as he moves on to be chairman of the Regional Transportation Authority board.
His more than 20-year career as a DuPage County voice in the Illinois Senate included two close second place finishes in the last two Republican primaries for governor.
“I am proud to have worked in a bipartisan fashion, without ever giving up my Republican principles of less government, lower taxes and individual liberties,” he said in a statement.
About 1 out of every 10 people in Cook County, roughly 438,500 residents, live in “transit deserts” that are cut off from fast, frequent train and bus service, according to a new analysis that for the first time identifies dozens of Chicago-area mass transit dead zones and maps them in relation to major job clusters.
The study, conducted by the Chicago-based urban research group the Center for Neighborhood Technology using census and other data, found that four of the Chicago region’s five big employment areas are in suburbs that are not well-connected to high-quality transit, making them difficult to reach without a vehicle. Those four job centers make up the northwest corridor past O’Hare International Airport, Lombard,Naperville and Oak Brook.
As a result, many low-income individuals are spending hundreds of dollars each month on car ownership in order to travel to entry-level jobs, the study’s authors said.
Gov. Pat Quinn’s “millionaire tax” question, the most recent nonbinding vote added to the bloated November ballot, not only is a misguided effort to draw his base to the polls with blatant class warfare but incredibly poor public policy. Like all so-called “soak the rich” tax schemes, the imposition of increased taxes on high-income earners will discourage new capital and entrepreneurs from entering the state.
High-income taxes drive taxpayers out of the state and their income, capital and tax revenues with them. Illinois need only look to Maryland to see the results of such a tax; that state found that by the year after its millionaire tax was passed, instead of new revenue,one-third of the state’s millionaires disappeared.
Only a few years ago, Illinois’ tax competitiveness compared well to its neighbors and other states. In 2011, however, the state increased the personal income tax rate to 5 percent from 3.75 percent in 2011 and raised the corporate tax rate by 30 percent. As a result, the Tax Foundation’s State Business Climate Index ranks Illinois No. 31 in terms of competitive tax climates for businesses, far below its No. 17 rank in 2010.
President Barack Obama said corporate America has done well under his economic policies, telling the Economist magazine that chief executive officers should stop complaining about regulations and show greater social responsibility.
“If you look at what’s happened over the last four or five years, the folks who don’t have a right to complain are the folks at the top,” Obama said in an interview conducted last week and posted on the magazine’s website late on Saturday.
“It ain’t right,” says President Barack Obama. American companies who dodge the taxman by merging with overseas rivals are “renouncing their U.S. citizenship” and should be branded“corporate deserters,” he says. And in name of “economic patriotism,” Obama wants Congress to quickly close the corporate “inversion” loophole so these Benedict Arnold multinationals keep paying their fair share to Uncle Sam.
But patriotism, at least of the superficial sort, and business don’t mix. For example, after the 9/11 terror attacks, investors wondered if there would be a “patriots rally” once the New York Stock Exchange reopened. Well, there wasn’t. Instead, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by more than 7 percent on Sept. 18, 2001, one of largest one-day declines in Wall Street history. With fear of new attacks running high, there was little incentive for investors to stay in the market — even though it would have been the “patriotic” thing to do.
Corporations are not required to have America’s best interests at heart. This is business. And for many U.S. multinationals, there is little incentive to stay officially based in America and remain subject to a complex, confiscatory tax code. It’s not just that the U.S. has the highest statutory corporate tax rate — it’s 40 percent including federal and state levies —among advanced economies. Even once myriad tax breaks are factored in, the effective U.S. corporate tax rate is still tops. There’s no mystery as to why companies are going through all this trouble to escape the Treasury Department. It has nothing to do with a lack of patriotism, or the evasion of some sort of national duty, and everything to do with reducing costs and maximizing profits. That’s what businesses do — at least the ones that want to stay in business.
John Foust, a Democrat running for the 10th congressional seat in Northern Virginia, is—like Gov. Terry McAuliffe and other state Democrats—gung-ho to expand Medicaid. His wife’s position is, shall we say, a bit more nuanced.
Foust has slammed his opponent, Republican Del. Barbara Comstock, for her opposition to expansion. He has spoken of the need to “make health care available to 400,000 Virginians,” insisting it is “the right thing to do.”
Foust’s wife, Dr. Marilyn Jerome, practices with Foxhall OB/GYN in northwest Washington, D.C. Six of its physicians made Washingtonian magazine’s list of “Top Docs,” and one of them—Nichole Pardo—was featured on the cover. Not too shabby.
CARTOON OF THE DAY