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Good Bye Land of Stinkin - 09/09


By Rich Trzupek
  This has been a long time coming, but the “Fair Tax” is the last straw. I’m done with the state of Illinois. It’ll take a month or two to find a new state and a new place, but the wheels are officially in motion.
  Leaving the state one has called home for 61 years ought to be difficult, but this Illinois – this rotting state led by a succession of corrupt, stupid, cynical, pathetically inept elected officials – bears no resemblance to the Illinois I grew up in. That Illinois no longer exists. I’m not leaving Illinois, so much as I’m acknowledging that Illinois left me, long ago.
  The “Fair Tax” is in fact the “Failure Tax.” It’s a last gasp, desperate attempt to kick the can a little farther down the road so the gang of idiots who periodically gather in Springfield to preen and posture can continue to do so for an election or two.
  Fiscal disaster is coming. If you can find a member of the General Assembly interested enough, clever enough and sober enough to recognize that truth and honest enough to admit it – which is admittedly a stretch – they would tell you that the “Fair Tax” isn’t going to avoid catastrophe, it’s just going to delay it a bit.
  What is truly pathetic is that the clowns in Springfield can’t bring themselves to admit that and are certain we’re stupid enough to believe them yet again. No doubt some of you are. But not this old Polack. The Illinois General Ass-embly is no longer welcome to redistribute my income.
  Twenty years ago those idiots told us not to worry when Blago raided the state’s pension funds to pay for a bunch of new goodies to give away. They assured us that our schools would get better, because all they needed was a little more money. They allowed Mike Madigan to run the House as his personal fiefdom year after year.
  Yet, we’re supposed to believe them when they promise that an amendment allowing the General Assembly to create different tax rates for different income groups will only affect the top 3 percent richest people in the state.
  No doubt that will be true on the first pass, but how long will it be before the charlatans decide that they need to raise rates for an additional five percent of the top? Or an additional 10 percent? There is already a mass exodus occurring in Illinois. More taxes of more incomes will only accelerate the process. The tax base will continue to drop, “forcing” the need for more revenue, perpetuating a death spiral that ends when the only people left in Illinois are Mike Madigan muttering to himself in darkened panic room and JB Pritzker surrounded by a lifetime supply of cheeseburgers.
  There are many parts of Illinois I still love and many Illinois citizens I am proud to call friends. There are an awful lot of good, hard-working people in the Prairie State. Unfortunately, they are cursed to live in a state dominated by the incurable, toxic cancer that is the City of Chicago.
  I was once proud to call myself a Chicagoan. As a kid, it was a joy to explore the city – to discover the character of its neighborhoods. Riding the L and the buses in my younger days was a grand adventure, one that took me from a southeast side home, to high school just south of the loop to college in Rogers Park.
  Sure, Chicago politics was a corrupt mess. It always had been. But that wasn’t what made Chicago. Chicago was about Chicagoans, not the hucksters and racketeers who ran it. We Chicagoans worked hard, played hard and yes, we prayed hard too. We were better than our leaders. The hope was that we could somehow raise them up. We failed. Instead they not only dragged the city down, they managed to take the state down as well.
  My Kind of Town Chicago Was. The City of Big Shoulders is now the City Without a Spine. The Toddling Town has become the Tottering Town. Sweet Home Chicago gave way to War Zone Chicago.
  There’s no reason to live in a state infected by Chicago’s cancer. If one can cross state lines and get the same house for half the money, pay a fraction of property tax, pay a fraction – or no – state income tax just why in God’s name wouldn’t you?
  Farewell Land of Stinkin.
  Good luck friends – you’re going to need it.
Email:richtrzupek@gmail.com

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