I just read that because of our second-highest property tax, our estate tax and our fifth-highest gas tax in the nation, Illinois is the second-worst state for retirees behind only New Jersey. One would think that with all this revenue, Illinois would at least be able to provide good services and be fiscally sound, but we are not.
One explanation for this is incompetent and corrupt leadership that has controlled Illinois politics for years. Speaker of the House Mr. Madigan would have to take much of the blame. The Tribune had an article recently asking Madigan's campaign manager why he is providing campaign funding for incumbents, including state Rep. Derrick Smith who is facing federal bribery charges and was expelled from the House less than two years ago by Madigan. The answer was "because we support incumbents" -- or at least the incumbents he has already bought off and controls.
Now, as millionaire Rauner is the Republican nominee for governor, Mr. Madigan has a stroke of genius and proposes a 3 percent additional tax on incomes over $1 million. This cheap, transparent political ploy to trap Rauner into supporting a tax increase or generating more class warfare by protecting himself and his millionaire friends at the expense of the lower class has already been pointed out by many columnists. In a recent Daily Herald article it was implied that term limits would not be good for the state because of the loss of so many experienced legislators in Springfield. Since Illinois is close to last in so many state ranking categories, there isn't much downside, and getting some fresh faces and ideas into Springfield might actually turn this state around.
I hope everyone considers supporting the term limit and redistricting reform proposals that hopefully will be on the ballot this November, as well as candidates who can offer new ideas on addressing our state's problems. We are in desperate need of new leaders and a new direction.