Friday, January 29, 2010

With Friends Like These.. Who Needs Enemies?

Yesterday morning I get the following status update from the Chicago Defender:

Chicago Defender Newspaper: feels that in order to keep building upon that (Nov. 2008 electoral) success, we have to have a friend in the governor's mansion in Springfield. We believe the person is incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn.

Of course I'm piping hot about this so I made the following comment:

Glenn Gamble: Chicago Defender needs to wake the fuck up and stop saying yes massa! Endorsing a candidate who wants to raise taxes 50%. No wonder the Defender has gone to the shitter.

Surprisingly Lou Ransom, editor of the Chicago Defender had this to say after I, along with other facebookers made our comments against this ridiculous endorsement:

Lou Ransom: Illinois has a $11 billion deficit. If there isn't any new revenue, how will that deficit be closed? You can't lay off $11 billion worth of state workers. You can't cut $11 billion and have the same services. Both Quinn AND Hynes have proposed an income tax (Hynes wants his to be graduated). You don't want them to raise taxes, what get cut -- ... See Moreeducation, health care, infrastructure?

These are the people running for governor. You will have a governor whether or not you like the choices. Find someone you like and vote for them. If you don't like Quinn because he's Irish, or because he slept on Blago, or because you believe that Harold Washington thought he was incompetent 22 years ago, punch someone else's number.

There goes my chances for a feature article in the Chicago Defender where I talk about my book. Yep, those chances are in the shitter now. Of course, another "old black democrat" came to the defense of the Defender's endorsement and supported Lou Ransom's comment.

Lou, Thanks for being sensible! Some people(Isiah, Lorenzo and Glenn) like to pontificate while they regurgitate!

Of course, I whip out my facebook mobile and ask this logical question:

Glenn Gamble: Algernon, do you think that voting for the same people who ran up this $18 BB deficit is the most sensible solution?

Of course good ol' Al had this to say:

Algernon H. Penn: It's $11BB, not $18BB. Glenn the question is how do you fix the problem? There has to be a tax increase.Cut where you can. But cuts alone won't cure the problem. There is no ther way. Hynes was the controller and said nothing when Blago was Governor. We needed a FAIR tax hike years ago. The wealthy has to pay their fair share. This is not Quinn's fault. If Blago was still Governor, we would be talking about the same thing. But, if you think things can't get any worse without a tax hike, then vote for one of the Republican's who will promise the moon and them some. Lorenzo the ballot is full of candidates to choose from whether you like them or not. So pick whoever you like. You sound like a complainer not a doer.

So vote democrat, after all they won't promise the moon like the republicans. I gotta hop on the bandwagon because I'm black and blacks love to automatically vote democrat.. the party of LOWER expectations. Of course I had this to say to Al.

Glenn Gamble: The deficit shouldn't have reached 11 billion in the first place. It didn't get there due to low taxes, it got there due to mismanagement of the budget by the same politicians who have promised the moon to blacks and delivered quick sand. So no, I do not favor a candidate who's going to mismanage the budget. I favor a candidate who can actually count and not spend more than the state has. What's the use of approving a tax increase when they're going to overspend into another deficit. And for those of you who say a 50 percent increase in income taxes is necessary, then how come states such as Oregon who don't collect state income taxes are in so much better financial shape than Illinois? They balance their budgets without taxing pe0ple's income. The problem with the idea of 'oh, we're going to tax the wealthy' is that the wealthy are more mobile than regular people. They'll move to a state with lower taxes leaving regular people holding the bag. This is how the democrats raise taxes on everyone!

Faithful Al just gave me the political answer:

Algernon H. Penn: Ok Glenn Your Turn! :-) You are correct that no public offical deserves not to be criticized for not balancing their budgets without cause. And yes, there are times where it is necessary for that to happen. However you are generally right. But as for Illinois budget problems, it's the Dems who are in control. It's partly their fault (and Blago's), partly the economy. The economy has placed a serious drain on human services and those services are critically needed now more than ever. Services such as unemployment benefits, food stamps, health care for those who can least afford them. But when Blago gives a no new tax increase pledge, he's blowing smoke. As for the state of Oregon goes, I have no knowledge of what their taxing bodies are. They have a lot less people. So the questions are what do they tax and how much? Do they have a sales tax? Do they have a sin tax? (Cigaretts and Alcohol? How do they fund their schools? What drives their economy,etc. You have to a full comparison to say how they do it better. In response to a tax increase, the wealthy should pay their fair share. Everyone won't move out of state. Some will. But the wealthy should pay more. The middle class and the working poor pays disproportionally more. But you can only cut services and certain categories only so far before people get hurt. You have no other choice but to raise taxes. Give Quinn some slack for at least being honest with people that this had to be done.

We'll talk about Oregon later. Look! Lou Ransom followed with this:

Lou Ransom: The bottom line is that until someone comes up with a plan to get better candidates, we are stuck with the ones we have. If there were a viable Black candidate, with a viable way of funding his campaign, they would get my vote. But this year, in this governor's race, there is none.

If you are fed up with the politicians we have, it is incumbent upon you to find... and fund... new ones. You can't just walk away from the ballot box, because that doesn't bring you anything either. If you think Todd is lousy at his job, there are two other candidates, and we can debate whether or not they will do a better job. Frankly, with Todd in charge of the county, Tim Evans in charge of the courts, Dorothy as the Clerk of Courts and Toni Preckwinkle and her cohorts on council, we have considerable political heft in the county. Instead of them ripping at each other, it might be more advantageous for them to work together on an agenda ... an agenda that we can all work on.

You don't like Todd following his father? Neither do I, but he actually won an election. No one else won that election, he did. He was not appointed to the position, he got the majority of votes. White folks will tell you that he's a failure, but it is Daley implementing furloughs and it is the state with an $11 billion deficit. In that company, Todd looks pretty good.

Okay Lou and Al, we never said that it was all about getting a black candidate in there that's going to support our agenda. I want A CANDIDATE regardless of race that's going work for the people, not tax the shit out of us. Citing that Oregon being a much smaller state than Illinois is no reason that we can't run a state without state income taxes. WE CAN, because they can. The amount of taxes that Illinoisans are subjected to are utterly ridiculous. Homeowners have to pay property taxes, sales tax, extra taxes for candy and liquor, then an income tax on top of that; come on! When will Illinoisans say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH?

Back to Al's previous statement:

In response to a tax increase, the wealthy should pay their fair share. Everyone won't move out of state. Some will. But the wealthy should pay more. The middle class and the working poor pays disproportionally more. But you can only cut services and certain categories only so far before people get hurt. You have no other choice but to raise taxes.

If the middle class and the working poor pay disproportionately more taxes, then explain this graphic:

Let's put the myth to rest that taxing the wealthy at a higher rate will generate enough money to close the $11 billion dollar budget gap. IT DOESN'T WORK! Let's say that the top 1% of people who control 42% of the wealth remains constant in the state of Illinois. That means out of 13 million people in this great state 130,000 people who should pay more taxes. Let's say they all make $1 million a year and they all pay 37% of their income in federal taxes, now they're left with a net income of $630,000 without deducting state taxes. How much of that money do you tax? If its consistent with the amount that's taken out of my paycheck then 3 percent of their income is currently being taken out of their income. Three percent of 1 million dollars is $30,000. So now their net income is $600,000 in the state of Illinois. For those of you who are making $50,000 per year (avg. salary in this country is $30,000), how would you like to live in the state of Illinois if you knew that almost half your income was going towards paying taxes? YOU WOULDN'T! The same goes for the rich in the state of Illinois. They're already paying 40% of their income in TAXES. This doesn't include property taxes, and other taxes within their municipality or village such as city stickers, permits, etc.

So imagine yourself making 1 million dollars a year, and the state is proposing a 50% tax increase, where you're now paying $45,000 in taxes instead of $30,000. Would you happily pay an extra $15,000? OF COURSE NOT! That's a lot of money whether you make $50,000 or $1 million. Of course you'd pay your taxes, but you wouldn't be happy. By the way, Gov. Quinn's proposed tax increase is going to be 50% for everyone regardless of whether or not you're rich or poor in the state of Illinois. How is this man a friend to us in the governor's mansion?

Now I know that I threw a lot of numbers at you, but let's look at Al's theory that the wealthy should pay more taxes. Okay, let's propose a 100% increase for the wealthy and not increase taxes on the middle class and the working poor. Instead of paying $30,000 in state income taxes, they now pay $60,000. Since the state is already collecting $30,000 a year at its current tax rate, you can't count that as extra revenue, you have to count the amount of the increase which is $30,000. Remember that its 130,000 wealthy people who would be considered the top 1% in this country.

So tax increase on 130,000 people x $30,000 = $3.9 billion dollars in extra revenue generated. Now we'll apply that $3.9 BB to the $11 BB deficit

$3.9 BB + -$11 BB = -$7.1 deficit

And this is if NO ONE moves out of state.

In order to balance the budget through the "tax the wealthy at a higher rate" theory you will have to raise taxes on them by 300% which comes out to about $90,000. If everyone making a million dollars is paying $370,000 in federal taxes and $90,000 in state income taxes, the total amount they would pay as a resident of Illinois is $460,000, which brings their total income to $540,000. Sure its a lot of money, but NO ONE wants to lose 50% of their income to taxes. All of a sudden, states such as Texas, Florida, and Oregon start looking more attractive and they'll save $90,000. So yes, the budget will be balanced ONLY IF these wealthy individuals don't move out of state. If 10% move, then the budget won't be budgeted. Once half of this wealthy tax base moves out, guess who's left to pay for the shortfall? Yep, you the middle class and/or the working poor.

For those of you who still believe that the middle class and the poor pay disproportionately more in taxes need to read this article:

With that being said the Chicago Defender just couldn't stop with its stupidity. It endorsed Todd Stroger! WTF!!!

ChicagoDefender Newspaper: Pick up your copy of the Chicago Defender newspaper today. The Defender has endorsed Pat Quinn for Governor, Cheryle Jackson for U.S. Senate and Todd Stroger for Cook County Board President. Read more Feb. 2 endorsements in the Chicago Defender.

One day until my birthday this upcoming Saturday and I love receiving gifts. You can send a birthday card or gift to my address below:

Glenn Gamble
P.O. Box 964
Richton Park, IL 60471