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Archive → May 9th, 2016

Illinois lawmakers search high and low for ways to raise taxes on residents

 

Austin Berg 5/6/2016   Illinois Policy Institute

When tough times befall the U.S. economy, it’s important that state governments are able to keep their doors open. It’s also essential that states are financially prepared for this scenario, so politicians don’t resort to massive tax hikes on struggling residents.

Illinois is built to fail on both fronts.

As Illinois lawmakers search high and low for ways to raise taxes on residents, a reportfrom Moody’s Investors Service highlights how to ensure financial stability in good times and bad. One key takeaway? Illinoisans were wise to fight back against a progressive income tax.

Moody’s “stress test,” released April 21, measures the ability of the 20 largest states to weather a potential recession. Texas took the No. 1 spot, meaning it is best able to stabilize state finances should a recession hit. At the bottom of the rankings are Illinois and California, meaning their state finances are most likely to be thrown into turmoil should another recession hit.

While many parallels can be drawn between the mismanagement of Illinois and California, each state is ill prepared for different reasons. The difference illuminates the paths Illinois lawmakers should avoid in trying to put the state on sustainable fiscal footing.

For one, California relies heavily on its progressive income tax to raise revenue from wealthy individuals. This results in massive year-to-year swings when the economy takes a dive. In 2000, when the tech boom was at its peak, California saw its revenues grow by more than 20 percent in a single year. But two years later revenues tanked by more than 17 percent. The state also saw a 12 percent decline in 2009 when another recession struck the state.

By contrast, Texas hasn’t seen a single year in recent history when revenue declined by more than 9 percent. And as Moody’s notes, “the greatest decline in Texas came not during the 1980s oil downturn, but during the 2009 recession.”

What’s the key to Texas’ even keel?

Instead of taking dollars directly out of residents’ paychecks, Texas gets a majority of its state revenue through a broad sales tax. These revenues are much less vulnerable to wild swings. The Lonestar State also empowers its governor with the flexibility to make midyear spending cuts in concert with the Legislative Budget Board.

Another important difference between California and Illinois is the portion of state revenue swallowed up by fixed costs: debt and pensions.

The less debt a state has when a recession hits, the easier it is to bounce back on the way up.Crippling debt and an irrational tax hike attempting to fix it were part of why Illinois experienced a tremendously painful recovery from the Great Recession.

According to Moody’s analysis, 28 cents of every state dollar in Illinois goes to two things: pensions and debt payments. That’s far higher than states such as Indiana (7.3 cents), Ohio (7 cents), Texas (8.5 cents), Florida (5.7 cents) and even California (12.5 cents).

Illinois spends 25 percent of all state revenue on pensions alone, which is a higher share than pension and debt payments combined in every other state measured.

When Illinois last hiked its income tax in 2011, 90 percent of the new money went to pay for pensions. It’s no wonder Illinoisans won’t stomach another tax hike without major spending reforms.

Changes that can save money, grow the economy and help the middle class are the smart way forward on the spending side. Moving away from the income tax and toward a broad sales tax are the smart moves on the revenue side.

The latter shouldn’t come before the former. 

TAGS: consumption tax, corporate income tax, graduated income tax, income tax, progressive income tax

Source: Will County News

Social Security moves to block the mentally ill from purchasing guns

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is proposing to report people who receive disability benefits and have a mental health condition to the FBI’s background check system.

The proposal, which stems from a memorandum that President Obama issued in 2013, would essentially block some people with severe mental health problems from buying guns.

The SSA, which will propose the rule in Thursday’s edition of the Federal Register, says it plans to notify disability beneficiaries who might be reported and establish a process for them to appeal their placement in the FBI’s background check system.
The proposal is just the latest attempt by the Obama administration to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.

Similar efforts by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have been met with controversy. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has accused the VA of reporting veterans to the FBI simply because they cannot manage their personal finances and must be assigned a fiduciary.

According to Grassley, 99 percent of the people the FBI prohibits from owning guns because they are considered “mentally defective” come from the VA.

Now, the SSA is proposing to take similar precautions with people who receive disability insurance because they are unable to work due to mental health disorders.

“It appears that just like the VA, SSA’s regulatory action will not require the government to first prove that the individual is a danger to self or others,” Grassley wrote last July in a letter to Carolyn Colvin, acting commissioner of the Social Security Administration.

“Is the SSA using the VA’s regulatory standard as a template for reporting names to the [FBI]?” he asked. “If not, in what ways is the SSA’s regulatory scheme different from the VA’s?”

Some of the mental conditions the SSA screens for include schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, personality disorders, intellectual disabilities, anxiety-related disorders, substance addiction disorders and autistic disorders.

Depending on the severity of their condition, people with mental health disorders may qualify for disability insurance.

The public has 60 days to comment about the proposal.

Source: Will County News

The Establishment Political Class prefer Hilary to keep their Statis Quo

May 6, 2016
nevertrump
Trump not in their secret society and answers to no one. He is a huge problem to the Establishment grip on power.
Never mind that the establishment party hacks and nattering nabobs had cheated and finagled and lied about and dissembled Ron Paul out of contention before finally banning him from a convention speech and pushing his delegates to the outer reaches of the convention – when it wasn’t pulling dirty tricks to keep them from even entering the arena. Real conservatives who saw the dirty tricks and who knew Romney equaled establishment Republican progressivism should have just “sucked it up” and “gotten over it” and pulled the Republican lever regardless – for the party.

Now those same nattering nabobs of #NeverTrump are promising to stay home – or worse (from the Republican Party’s point of view) – vote for the other party’s candidate so they can vote against Donald Trump.

Seems that to the nattering class, what’s good for the goose isn’t good for the gander. That’s because it’s not really about party to them. Nor is it about America first.

 

To the Republican nattering class and most of the establishment Republicans it’s about status quo and big government statism. There is nothing conservative about the GOP establishment and their enabling nattering class. They are war-loving, empire-building statists.

Trump is likewise a statist, but he’s a threat to their status quo because he’s not their statist. Hillary Clinton, though she’s a Democrat, is their statist because she represents the status quo. Like them, the witch from Chappaqua is a war-loving, empire-building statist. And statists gonna state.

Source: Will County News

America is the world leader for invading your privacy

NSA(I began publishing my monthly newsletter The Bob Livingston Letter™ in 1969.

 

The following is an excerpt from the May 1999 issue in which I warned readers about the many ways the U.S. government was working to steal your privacy. In it I stated that I had often wondered what kind of shock it would take to wake the American people up. We now have the answer to this question. It took whistleblowers like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange who risked their lives to expose secrets the government didn’t want you to know. Governments federal, state and local continue to steal from the people through the IRS and through forfeiture laws, and more people are finally waking up to the fact that their trust in authority has been misplaced. The advice to keep a low profile and remain invisible is still sound after 17 years.)

 

The United States of America is the world leader for invading your privacy. No other country past or present even comes close and this absolutely includes Nazi Germany. Not many Americans really know this.

The reason is that the government itself keeps a low profile on its invasion of your privacy. This is a modern phase of psychological warfare developed since World War II. For example when new laws are enacted that further invade your privacy and restrict your liberty, they always without exception give titles to these laws that deceive you into thinking that the new law is for your benefit. People never read the new law, only the misleading title. The taxpayers’ Bill of Rights Act of 1988 is a classic example of psychological warfare.

I call the American system benevolent totalitarianism because there has been created in the U.S. a seductive system of psychological warfare coupled with a highly oppressive legal system that essentially puts the people in an economic and political straitjacket while keeping them believing that they are free. Believe me, this system is so sophisticated that precious few suspect a thing while most people defend the system without question. Anyone who does question the system is immediately branded unpatriotic. The people control system plays people off against each other according to their capacity to deal with reality.

The underlying problem is the implicit trust of authority. People believe what the politicians and the bureaucrats say almost without question. I have often wondered what kind of shock it would take to wake the American people up.

If you have anything and don’t want your possessions taken from you through suit happy lawyers or the government, you should become conscious of being low profile and make yourself as invisible as possible. The time is now to do this!!!

Source: Will County News

Miracles can remind us of the existence of God, Heaven, and Hell

Editors note: When you witness a miracle like this, you realize there is much more to life than what we see. There is life here as we living understand it and there is life everlasting when our soul moves on from this dimension. We too often neglect thinking of the supernatural, maybe because it seems imaginary, to hard to comprehend, or frighting. Heaven is where believe all our loved ones that pass into the spiritual realm go, we don’t want to think of Hell as the final point of no return. In the end God looks at how we lived and what we believed and practiced. He alone is the Judge.

As Christians we believe we are forgiven because we believe and our actions are based on what we believe.

 

 

John the Baptist

Parishioners of Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Homer Glen, Illinois say this icon of St. John the Baptist exudes a fragrant oil with healing properties, April 29, 2016.

 

Thousands of people seeking miracles are visiting a Chicago-area Greek Orthodox Church to get samples of an oil they believe has healing properties because it’s said to be seeping from an icon of St. John the Baptist.

Neither the priest nor the congregants at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Homer Glen are able to explain how the icon of St. John the Baptist is exuding drops of fragrant oil. Equally as inexplicable is the fact that many of the parishioners claim to have been healed of ailments as a result of their contact with the liquid.

Parish priest the Rev. Sotirios Dimitriou, who told local news station WGN-TV that he’s given out 5,000 samples of the oil to parishoners and visitors, has called the phenomenon an act of God.

“The first thing out of my mouth was ‘What do I do?’” he said, according to a report this week from the Detroit Free Press. “It’s so powerful to see such an act of God before your eyes.”

The fragrant oil, which first began to seep from the icon last July, is emitted from the hands, wings, halo and beard of the religious symbol, according to Dimitriou. The priest collects the oil weekly after it settles into a cotton reservoir situated at the foot of the icon. Dimitriou then siphons-off the oil into a pitcher. From there, he saturates cotton balls which he places into plastic bags to give to parishioners.

Greek Orthodox church officials haven’t made any declarations about this reported phenomena or its alleged healing properties, leaving the decision making up to the hearts of believers.

“We don’t necessarily make official pronouncements on these things,” said Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago. “We let the faithful believe it if they wish. If it brings you closer to God, that’s wonderful. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.”

News of the happenings at the church doesn’t seem to need any promotion as stories of those who have experienced healing have been spreading by word of mouth. One individual claimed to be cancer-free after coming in contact with the oil, while another said that his blocked artery suddenly cleared. Even Dimitriou himself said he’s experienced healing. The priest, who used to experience fainting spells as a result of nerve damage, said he hasn’t been hospitalized once since the icon first began to emit oil.

Surprisingly enough, oil exuding from religious icons isn’t limited to Assumption Greek Orthodox Church. In 2012, another Greek Orthodox assembly, this one in Pennsylvania, reported a similar phenomena.

St. George’s Orthodox Greek Catholic Church in Taylor possessed two icons of the Blessed Mother of the Theotokos which they believed seeped myrrh, reported The Scranton Times-Tribune. St. George’s icons reportedly came in contact with the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God from Hawaii, which traveled to local Orthodox churches in the fall, and was also said exuded myrrh.

There is nothing unusual about the unexplained myrrh, said Father Sergius, the abbot at the Monastery of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk in South Canaan Township, Pennsylvania. “Miraculous icons are a normal part of orthodoxy.”

video
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/thousands-flock-chicago-church-miracle-healing-oil-john-the-baptist-icon-163307/#VVCODOp0ARsGL3oE.99

 

Source: Will County News

Paul Ryan panic: Primary challenger Nehlen SURGES to lead in new poll

Paul Ryan is becoming more and more disliked throughout the nation, and in his own House district, with voters approving of his challenger by greater and greater margins according to the new poll released by AMP Calypso, showing Mr. Nehlen capturing a jaw dropping amount of support.

AMP POLL:  05/01/2016  452 Voters

Ryan         41%
Nehlen     48%

Should Paul Ryan Endorse Trump?

YES 63%
NO   15%

 

Read More: http://prntly.com/2016/05/07/paul-ryan-panic-primary-challenger-nehlen-surges-to-lead-in-new-poll/

Source: Will County News

Ryan Is ‘The Next Eric Cantor’

Ryan Is ‘The Next Eric Cantor’

by Ian Hanchett6 May 2016

Columnist and author of “Adios, America,” Ann Coulter declared House Speaker Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) “the next Eric Cantor” on Friday’s broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time.”

Coulter said of Ryan, “He is so hated by the base. … He’s the next Eric Cantor, who was the highest member leadership ever to lose in a primary.”

Read More: http://www.breitbart.com/video/2016/05/06/coulter-ryan-is-the-next-eric-cantor/

 

Source: Will County News