In an exclusive interview regarding articles that I have written on the plight of Chicago finances, a Chicago alderman told me that he knows how to fix what ails the city.
“We cannot raise property taxes forever. It’s time to get creative. Too many people are having too much fun, while others suffer in misery. We need a tax on fun. Rush street bars and popular pizza restaurants need to pay their fair share,” said the alderman.
The alderman blamed governor Bruce Rauner and mayor Rahm Emanuel for this mess.
Commenting specifically on the plight of Chicago public schools, “We need higher taxes, and more creative taxes, for the kids” screamed the alderman straight into my face.
Upon further questioning, alderman Markham Upbigg revealed that his wife, Ponita “Pony” Upbigg is a Chicago public school teacher who is concerned about her pension. Pony Upbigg got the last word “Do it for the kids!”
Meanwhile, please let me point out, this is April 1.
Nonetheless, I wonder how far off reality this spoof will eventually prove to be.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
next a tax on existing….to breath…etc
dentss dunnigan said:
we already have that …it’s called Obamacare
We already have that; it’s the taxes and regulations on carbon dioxide emission. YOU are polluting the planet with every breath you exhale. If we can just get rid of all the humans, the earth will be fine!
Emmanuel M said:
Since pensions cause the problem, why not have a tax on public pensions ?
Such a tax would be flexible, and could be increased to fund bigger pensions
Chicago could increase public pensions by 80% and put a 80% tax on public pensions.
This would be vertuous and help control spiraling exepenses, while still paying pensiosn and raising more revneus as pension costs go up.
Mark Yacoubian said:
Another thing: I have always thought that the GOVERNMENT should pay taxes!
Unfortunately, we live in times that anything might be possible. The parody horizon seems to be passed long time ago… 😀
Old Guy said:
Our community decided on a hotel/restaurant tax of an additional 1% to beautify the city. The only problem is if your not in the downtown area you do not benefit from this tax. Most hotels/restaurants are not locate in the downtown area. What does the mayor spend the money on bronze statues of children and places them in the downtown area. We call them the pervert statues. People dress them with child’s and baby clothing it is creepy. Oh he bought a 134,000 dollar Christmas tree that did not work when it was installed and oh the company they bought it from is now out of business. This tax was for the children and none of it hits the schools.
Our mayor uses the money for what ever whim he has for the year. We were very vocal against the tax as it went to the general fund and was not slated for exclusive school use. This alderman will do the same thing.
@Mark the federal government is already trying to tax the air you breathe with the use of a Carbon tax. This tax basically charges business to continue to pollute and then pass the tax onto you the consumer by increasing their price and does nothing for the environment. One of the biggest scams in history.
The country where I live they continuously close squares and streets to beautify and reform the towns. Unfortunately the majority of businesses that are where works are being carried out immediately go bust due to the lack of custom, seriously. Those would be businesses that were established decades ago in many cases. It is such a problem across the country that it has been taken to the top courts, who apparently ruled against any indemnity. Just cannot get in the way of progress it seems.
Just re-reading and ‘immediately go bust’ seems an exageration, so a true to life perspective :
You have a street or square with ten businesses that you know have been there for many years, decades even. Every year or two one might change hands. Then they start renewing pavements, building new accesses etc. etc., and the area becomes a maze of barriers and walkways. Then they do a section nearby as well. People just stay away. When all seems done, after a few months, you return and only two of the businesses are as they were, a couple have downsized, the rest have changed ownership and pursuit.
The point of this story being that authorities have no idea of how fragile real world arrangements are, or if they do they don’t care because they expect the world to adapt. That it does, but the resulting structure is little more than precarious, untested, and contributes little in terms of stability to the neighbourhood – the turnover of businesses due to failure remains far higher afterwards and the mood of the area never returns.
The US schools turn out kids that can’t find the Pacific Ocean on a map. I won’t vote for a dime more until the schools turn out kids who can spell, do math and,OMG, think!
Yancey Ward said:
Wrong!!! They can’t find the Earth on a globe.
Taxpayers are slaves to the elected politicians, and to the welfare voting class. Perhaps a Constitutional convention can free the slaves.
Bill H said:
San Diego already has a 10.5% tax on fun (hotel room tax) and is proposing to raise it first to 2% to pay for tourism promotion, and then to 16.5% for a new football stadium. They say it won’t hurt tourism because Anaheim and San Francisco have similar tax rates. Now all we need is Disneyland, like Anaheim has, and Fisherman’s Whart and a Golden Gate Bridge and we’ll be all set.
Tony Bennett said:
The one thing you can count – the MSM to go along with whatever proposed by the pols.
Hahaha…good one and it’s not so impossible either 😀
Uh, I hate to say this, but that is a terrific idea……………………………………………(April fools)
Yancey Ward said:
Mish, with everything happening in this country these days, satire and parody are becoming nearly impossible writing assignments. I have long thought that The Onion isn’t parody at all, but a news publication sent to us from the future. The future has arrived.
I’ll be serious here. I live in South Florida. We have THOUSANDS of Northern retires down here who get pension checks from high-tax Union States. Like Illinois.
Why do they move to Florida? Other than the weather being nice, the taxes are lower. Why are the taxes lower? We don’t have these Northern Unions nor a State Income Tax.
Thus, these “greedy” Union workers grab all they can while working in their “home” State, then get the hell out of there when they retire so they don’t have to pay the very taxes necessary to pay their pension checks. Clever and I can’t blame them.
My solution is this: The State should have a special program where if you reside and retire in Illinois you get paid “x” amount with “y” taxes, but if you leave the State to retire, you get paid “x2” and pay a “y2” tax rate. See my logic? If you want the benefits from a high tax State, then you need to pay into that system. If you want to move to a lower tax State, but demand your pension be paid by the higher tax State, then there is a price.
The Fun Tax reminded me of “The beatings will continue until attitude improves”.
If they pay you to smile, they can tax you for smiling.
There are costs to having fun, they are someone else’s expense and need to be compensated so that social unity is maintained.
Social unity means social respect, and as respect is not temporary it is to be pervasive at all times and in all places.
So when you enjoy yourself in some way, be aware at every moment that tally of you is being kept , calculations of your participation as a function of social unity, and you will be charged for the productive losses that would not have occurred if you had selflessly dedicated your time to the service of the master plan.
The great reward of sanctity from punishment awaits the obedient. .
Gummans Gubbe said:
Isn’t everything politicians do a kind of fun tax?
If it works and people do it (fun): Tax it.
If it doesn’t work and nobody does it: Subsidize it.
Michael Rudmin said:
I’m not sure which is the April Fools Joke: Mish’s onion-style article, or the AP:
I’m net sure what is “unprecedented” about a one-day strike by Chicago teachers. Thus, I suspect it’s a joke.
They need a tax on politicians. That tax needs to be at least one million dollars more than their reported income every year. After the politicians are gone, then commerce can start again.
Tom Gooch said:
Ha! Mish, I’ll remind you now of what you already know: Every politician, everywhere, resorts to bluster and confrontation at the sight of any interviewer stomping on his World-View baby in front of his eyes. Keep stomping; there’s some really ugly political babies out there just now and Chicago’s is hideous…not even a mother…