Casualty of Capitalism

Exiled into Wilmington, Delaware by virtue of corporate layoffs. (Note: Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this blog are Copyright 2005, Michael Collins, and cannot be used without permission.)

Location: Wilmington, Delaware, United States

Graduate of University of Maryland School of Law; University of Maryland, College Park (Economics/Political Science).

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Blue State Blues

I live in Chicago, a city run by Democrats. The Democrats are the party of the "working people." Yet the working people are taxed and burdened with fees for everything to the point of farce. Like they say, it would be funny if it wasn't so sad (and expensive). I'm already miffed at the revenue collection scheme disguised as "street cleaning" (signs are posted on Wednesday night for a Thursday morning cleaning, if you aren't lucky and your car is parked on a street where you won't see the sign when you leave for work, expect a $50 ticket...I have been scammed several times on this backdoor tax). Now, just in time for Christmas, we get this gift from our compassionate Mayor Daley:

Mayor Richard Daley today proposed hiking Chicago's sales tax to 9 percent—a move that would put it among the highest in the nation—and asked the City Council to raise other taxes and cut hundreds of jobs to close a $220 million budget deficit.

Of course, any budget shortfall is probably Bush's fault. Nevermind that in this area of the state, Osama bin Laden has a better chance of getting elected than a Republican. That being the case, this deficit can squarely be blamed on the entrenched Democratic leadership in this city.

Any benefit I might get from a cut on my federal taxes will be thrown away as soon as I buy anything in this town. One more reason to treasure internet shopping.

Wait, there's more!

Other tax hikes Daley has said he would seek include a doubling of the cigarette tax, to 32 cents a pack, up from 16 cents now; and alcohol tax increases amounting to 7 cents per case of beer, and 6 cents per fifth of hard liquor.

The amusement tax for tickets to events at larger venues would rise to 8 percent from 7 percent. The hotel tax would rise to 3.5 percent from 3 percent. The tax on each parking space in lots and garages would rise by a quarter, to $2.25. The rental-car tax would rise to $3.75 from $2.75.

So we can't even drown our newly imposed sorrows without getting penalized. And going to a Cubs game will be a double-whammy: since drinking is required AND the amusement tax will increase on sports tickets, it's just pure piling on!

Oh, and just to add insult to injury, those cursed parking fines are going up, too:

Fines for city code violations also would go up. Parking in a handicapped space, for example, would cost violators $200, up from $150.

Maybe Mayor Daley knows that for us small government types, higher taxes are our kryptonite. This could be part of some sort of diabolical plan to squeeze every last Republican out of the city. Democrats are impervious to new taxes, and seem rather to enjoy them so they won't be going anywhere. With the economy as bad as it in Chicago, I don't know whether higher taxes are going to help. I will certainly take my business elsewhere (but I still won't be able to avoid those infernal parking tickets!!!). Sigh.

Also note that it is interesting that a party that portrays itself as the party of the working poor has decided to raise revenue by taxing exactly those things that will hurt that constituency the most: goods, cigarettes, liquor, parking, and leisure. They sure know how to ruin the fun. Daley's plan to include a casino as a revenue generator also hurts the working poor by catering to the addictions of the some of the weaker willed who have dreams of striking it rich on the pull of a lever. The rich can absorb a hit here and there, but for the poor a bad bet could be devastating. Daley specifically declined to raise property taxes, one of the few taxes he could have raised that would hurt the better off most. I really do not advocate the increase of any taxes, but the falsity of the "party of the poor" argument is definitely on display here. Granted, the taxes will be used to keep services in the city that will benefit those with lower incomes, but the government is inherently inefficient and by crowding out the entrepreneurial crowd who might otherwise provide those services in a competitive atmosphere, I would guess that this tax increase is a net loser for everyone.

Just an idea, but here in Chicago, a simple tax on the bevy of traitors would probably close any budget gap.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

mayor daley? he is like the pope. he's in for life!

8:22 PM  
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