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The [Friday] Papers

"House Speaker Michael Madigan played a little role reversal Thursday, proposing to cut in half the state income tax on corporations, a move that could further frame this year's elections along economic lines as Democrats try to stave off Republican efforts to win the governor's office and lessen their grip on the General Assembly," the Tribune reports.

Yeah, that's a lot of confusing concepts for one opening paragraph.

The Sun-Times went at it like this:

"A day after Republicans slammed Gov. Pat Quinn for the state's jobs climate, House Speaker Michael Madigan gift-wrapped a $1.5 billion election-year bouquet to Illinois businesses by offering to halve corporate income tax rates so they can 'grow their work forces with good-paying jobs.'"

I would have done something more like this:

"Just one month after decrying that Illinois corporations "don't pay their fair share" in taxes, House Speaker Michael Madigan on Thursday surprised the state's political world - including the governor - with a proposal to cut corporate income taxes in half, amounting to a $1.5 billion annual loss to the state budget.

"The proposal throws a potential monkey wrench into Pat Quinn's re-election campaign by placing a potential huge corporate tax cut on the agenda just as the governor is being pressed about whether he supports letting a temporary tax increase imposed on businesses and individuals three years ago actually expire amidst the state's gaping budget deficits.

"As is often the case with Madigan, the political class is left wondering what underlying agenda motivated the move."

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From the Tribune:

"Madigan's move may be an attempt to undermine a Republican campaign theme that he and the Democrats who rule state government have enabled the deterioration of Illinois' slow-to-recover economy and continued high unemployment, particularly through that 2011 tax hike."

Doubtful. First, it's not clear at all that any theme coming out of the Republican primary right now is in need of undermining. Second, Madigan has always been about protecting his own majority, which hardly seems in danger. Still, that's the direction I would look - that and the very real possibility he would prefer a Republican win the governorship and felt now was the time to put Quinn in a corner.

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"I am hopeful this legislation will encourage CEOs to grow their work forces with good paying jobs," Madigan said.

Then why not just eliminate corporate taxes? I'd like to know how Madigan arrived at the figure he thought would provide optimum encouragement.

Also, good luck! Those savings are going in the pockets of executives, not workers.

Raisin' Rahm
"Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently met with the four leaders of the Illinois General Assembly to discuss major shortfalls in the city's employee pension funds that could blow a huge hole in next year's city and Chicago Public Schools budgets," the Tribune reports.

"The mayor regularly meets with the legislative leaders to discuss the city's agenda in Springfield, including pensions," said city spokeswoman Kelley Quinn in a written statement when asked about the meeting. "He has repeatedly said Springfield's work on pensions is not complete until Chicago's funds are addressed to protect taxpayers and preserve retirement security for our workers."

Why would any public official in Chicago face questions from reporters when they know they can just send in a written statement that will dutifully be printed?

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Meanwhile, the Sun-Times, which "broke" the story, buried the lead literally at the bottom of a story about the Chicago Teachers Union (predictably) forming a coalition to fight the mayor's pension proposal.

"Last Friday, the mayor held a 2.5-hour meeting with the Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, both Chicago Democrats, to outline the magnitude of the problem and propose solutions.

"Emanuel wants the General Assembly to impose annual property tax increases on Chicago home-owners and businesses, but put off the balloon payment to shore up police and fire pensions until 2023 to make the bitter pill easier to swallow."

Rich Miller responded on his Capitol Fax blog:

"Emanuel wants the General Assembly to hike property taxes so he can avoid direct responsibility? That's rich."

After all, this is the mayor who touts his ability to fearlessly make difficult decisions instead of merely kicking cans down the road like his predecessor.

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Rahm's press statement wasn't available for comment.

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Beachwood Photo Booth: Deluxe Cleaners
Professional dry cleaning.

Local TV News Agrees
Don't worry, be happy.

The Week In Chicago Rock
More like "the weak."

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BeachBook
* When David Gregory Welcomed Michael Chertoff Back!

* Terror Defendant's Lawyer Wins Access To Secret Papers.

* United's Topeka-Chicago Flights Averaging 25 Percent Of Capacity.

* Feds Keep Drone Info From Congress That They've Already Released Publicly.

* Press Conference On $9 Billion In SNAP Cuts Affecting NYC.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Hysterical.



Permalink

Posted on January 31, 2014


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Vizio Settles Spying Complaints.
POLITICS - The Terror And Rights Violations Of Obama's Deportees.
SPORTS - Saturday's 'Greatest Horse Since Secretariat.'

BOOKS - Bannon, The Best And The Brightest.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Beachwood Photo Booth: Descending Darkly.


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