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My brief experience as a left-leaning, radical liberal feminist came about quite unexpectedly when in a dream I found myself rallying with other feminist radicals, holding a pink sign that read, “I stand with Planned Parenthood,” and making demands that Trump make federal payments to Planned Parenthood.

By Nancy Thorner –

When the word “Liberal” comes to mind, unknown to many is that the word has a proud heritage.  Originally it was a word that described men who were political opposites of modern “Liberals.”

The word “liberal” derives from the Latin word for “free.”  As to how the word “liberal” acquired its change of meaning:

The early liberals worked for freedom from burdensome and oppressive old laws and regulations. Liberalism meant action. The ideal of change toward increased freedom and modernity drifted into accepting change almost for its own sake — or so I conjecture. Many conditions in the world plausibly seemed open to improvement — even in the liberal direction — by changing or adding some laws and regulations.

Leland B. Yeager in his post on March 9, 2011, Reclaiming the Word “Liberal”, proposed calling left-liberals what they really are, without qualification, to reclaim the original name of an honorable and old political tradition in the classical sense of the word as a way to align its usage in the U.S. to what exists in much of the world outside the U.S. As such, Classical liberalism “is the term used to designate the ideology advocating private property, an unhampered market economy, the rule of law, constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion and of the press, and international peace based on free trade. Up until around 1900, this ideology was generally known simply as liberalism.”

The Liberals of the 19th century would be aghast over the outrageous corruption and modern use of the word “Liberal” in respect to how modern liberalism is perceived, which seeks to promote, advocate, and enforce the centralization of all political power into an all-powerful central government.

My brief experience as a left-leaning, radical liberal feminist came about quite unexpectedly when in a dream I found myself rallying with other feminist radicals, holding a pink sign that read, “I stand with Planned Parenthood”, and making demands that Trump make federal payments to Planned Parenthood.

Those who know me would realize the absurdity of that dream, as a staunch Republican conservative my entire life, but I did wonder briefly what it would be like to be a liberal in today’s sense of the word.

A few days later, on July 9, 2017, as a subscriber to Burt Prelutsky’s three to four weekly subscription articles, I received an astute and witty commentary, LIBERALS: EVIL OR JUST STUPID?, in which Mr. Prelutsky likewise speculated on what it would be like to be a member of the Left.  (Mr. Prelutsky’s new subscription year starts at the end of August at an annual cost of $150.  CLICK HERE for a direct feed to Burt Prelutsky if interested in subscribing.)

 Who is Burt Prelutsky?

Burt Prelutsky is an extremely gifted CA writer who was born in Chicago in 1940, but was raised in CA when his family moved to CA in 1946.  Burt’s home is in North Hills, CA (the San Fernando Valley), where he lives with his wife, Yvonne, and dog, Angel   Highlights of his Prelutsky’s career include:  Film Reviewer for Los Angeles Magazine, 1959-1971; Weekly Humor Columnist for L.A. Times, 1967-1978; Freelance for TV Guide, NY Times, Holiday, Emmy, Sports Illustrated, 1965-1990; TV Credits: Dragnet, McMillan & Wife, MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Bob Newhart, Family Ties, Dr. Quinn, Diagnosis Murder+ 5 TV movies; Blogger: Patriot Post, Breitbart, WorldNet Daily, BernardGoldberg.com; Political Pundit 2000-Present (over 2100 political articles);  Author (8 books), Angels on Tap has been made into a major motion picture.

Following are excerpts from Burt Prelutsky’s commentary, LIBERALS: EVIL OR JUST STUPID?:

There are times when I try to imagine what it must be like to be a member of the Left.  But no matter how hard I try, I find I simply can’t bring it off.  Instead, I wind up marveling at their ability.

I mean, there are so many things they have to believe that simply aren’t true and to doubt so many other things that are factual.

For openers, they’re required to believe that America is not only not superior to other nations, but is in a great many ways inferior.  They have to accept that whereas those who espouse the values of Christianity and Judaism are superstitious bigots, whereas those who pray to Allah are noble in their natures and their spiritual aspirations.

They have to accept the lie that cops, including those who are black, are violent racists, but those who demonstrate in the streets and call for the killing of cops are not.

They are also required to believe that conservative speakers are fascists and should therefore not be permitted to express their opinions on college campuses, whereas those who shout them down and torch buildings in displaying their contempt for the 1st Amendment are to be regarded as defenders of the truth.

In similar fashion, they are called upon to side with terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, jihadists who openly call for the genocidal extermination of Jews, while labeling Israel, a western-style democracy, as the latter-day version of Nazi Germany.

Their ignorance is so vast and their reliance on propaganda so absolute that they not only had no trouble accepting the lie that Trump is Putin’s puppet, but ignored the fact that Hillary Clinton turned over a quarter of America’s uranium deposits to Russia in exchange for a massive bribe to the Clinton Foundation and that Obama, after promising Putin to be more flexible after the 2012 election, then stood idly by while Putin invaded Ukraine and Syria.

They have also chosen to ignore John Podesta’s financial ties with Russia while hyperventilating over Michael Flynn’s accepting a check from Turkey.To further establish their fidelity to left-wing nuttiness, they have to pretend that the pampered propagandists at the NY Times, the Washington Post, CNN and MSNBC, are objective reporters whose sole allegiance is to the truth, crass partisanship be damned, and that ObamaCare has been anything but an unmitigated disaster.

Speaking of which, they not only had to overlook Obama’s promise that his radical healthcare bill would allow people to retain their doctors and their current policies if they were happy with them, but the fact that the Democrats in Congress who shoved the rancid bill down our throats saw to it that they didn’t have to depend on it for their own healthcare needs.

Even their credulity must be strained to the breaking point when they’re expected to ignore basic biology and promote the absurd fiction that gender is nothing but a matter of opinion.  Or, for that matter, feel compelled to ignore the inconvenient truth that 20 years after Al Gore sounded the climate alarm, none of the nightmarish scenarios he predicted have come to pass.

Something else that liberals never stop chattering about is something called income inequality.  The amusing part of that is that those doing most of the chattering — people like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton, Maxine Waters and Chuck Schumer — are all multi-millionaires who have never done an honest day’s work in their entire lives.

And when it’s not the career politicians doing the yammering about the great financial divide, it is cable news hosts who pull down millions of dollars a year for insulting President Trump or the privileged snowflakes at places like Yale, Harvard, Middlebury and Cal Berkeley, where the yearly tuition dwarfs most people’s annual income.

Because they have no idea what they’re squawking about, and lack the motivation to question their own privileged status, they never stop to consider the reasons for income inequality or even the dire consequences of arbitrarily raising the minimum wage to, say, $15-an-hour.

Further enlightenment into the mindset of Liberals

Family Guardianship Fellowship has come forward with 60 Hard Truths about “Liberals”Number one follows:

At the most basic level, the Liberal is anti-God. He is an intellectually dishonest, unprincipled, mentally immature, spoiled child who is forever in search of a world without moral consequence. That is why the Liberal makes “The State” his god. The Liberal worships THE STATE. The Liberal attempts to use his god (government) to eliminate all moral consequences for immoral behavior. In the name of “Justice,” the Liberal also pretends to make his god (The State) “level” all peoples so that the wise or the beautiful or the genius will have no advantage over the unwise, the ugly and the simpleton in the marketplace. The Liberal calls this tyrannical State of Government, UTOPIA.

For additional information to clarify your thinking, check the e-book written by Ludwig Von Mises entitled “Liberalism”, which was published 5/21/1927.  Ludwig von Mises was the acknowledged leader of the Austrian School of economic thought, a prodigious originator in economic theory, and a prolific author.

Another excellent article by John Hawkins features 20 Hypocrisies of Liberalism.   Hawkins states as his #1 liberal belief:

It’s impossible to come to any sort of reasonable compromise with conservatives on anything, but that we can fix our problems with nations like Iran and North Korea by just sitting down and talking things out.

This commentary written almost 10 years ago by John Hawkins (September 21, 2007), Explaining Liberal Thinking In A Single Column, deserves a thorough reading.

Following is the first paragraph of Hawkins’ article to whet your appetite.

Liberals love to think of themselves as intellectual and nuanced, but liberalism is incredibly simplistic. It’s nothing more than “childlike emotionalism applied to adult issues.” Very seldom does any issue that doesn’t involve pandering to their supporters boil down at its core level to more than feeling “nice” or “mean” to liberals. This makes liberals ill-equipped to deal with complex issues.

Also check out Jim Hawkins’ book, 101 Things All Young Adults Should Know, available at Amazon.com. Gleaned from a lifetime of trial, error, and writing it down, Hawkins provides advice everyone can benefit from in short, digestible chapters.

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By Nancy Thorner – 

Donald Trump is the most powerful man in the world, so technically, the U.S. Presidency is the “Most Powerful Office in the World.”  But what if you were told of another public office that (ultimately) chooses who will be President and virtually every other elected official in the U. S.?  If that were true, wouldn’t that office (ultimately) be the “Most Powerful Office in the World”?

Conservatives take pride in their knowledge of the Constitution and the outward forms of American Government. Many can quote the Founding Fathers, such as, “The least governed are the best governed” (Jefferson) and “Government is like fire, a useful servant but a deadly master” (George Washington), etc., but the bottom line is, many conservatives know next to nothing about the real system of American government, which isn’t the fairy tale that has been taught in school and colleges over the past few decades.

 

If you are tired of seeing things continue to go down the drain, it is essential that you understand how liberals dominate our government.  Madigan’s budget deal was the straw that broke camel’s back for many conservatives.

What might be done to salvage Illinois after ten Republicans joined Madigan and 60 other Democrats in voting for a permanent, 32 percent income tax increase and 33 percent corporate tax hike, when Illinois residents already shoulder the heaviest local and state tax burden in the country?

Irresponsible is that a three-fifths majority of state lawmakers, including Republicans, sold out their constituencies to reward the special interest groups (public employee unions, trial lawyers and other political insiders) that have been paying to keep them in office for decades.

Understanding the seven laws of American government, set forth in an essay by Phyllis Schlafly in the early 90’s — The Most Powerful Office in The World Is NOT The President of the United States! — is essential to change Illinois from a failed state to one that will live up to its potential, where people feel proud to live and work and where businesses can grow and prosper.  The lack of good people at the grass roots is why we get so many bad apples that call themselves “Republicans”.

E-mail Andy Schlafly to order copies of Phyllis Schlafly’s article.

Phyllis Schlafly (August 15, 1924 – September 5, 2016) was a founding member of the modern conservative movement. She was described by the New York Times as the “one of the most relentless and accomplished platform debaters of any gender to be found on any side of any issue.”

Following are excerpts from Phyllis’ article, which is as powerful today as it was back in the early 90’s:

1.  To change things, you have to change the law. 

Are there things about our country you want to change? Taxes? Deficits? Schools? Crime? Abortion? Gay rights? Government funding of anti-social projects? Government over-regulation of business?

Are you satisfied with the way the present Congress is raising our taxes, spending our money, and reducing our liberties?

Our Constitution makes Congress the most powerful branch of government. It can pass laws, impose taxes, and spend our money. State Legislatures are powerful, too, especially over public schools.

2.  To change the laws, you have to change the people who make them.

Congress and the State Legislatures pass thousands of laws every year. No citizen or group can possibly read them all, research them to find out their effect in advance, or alert their friends to go into action with letter-writing and phone-calling. Congressmen and state legislators who have been elected by liberal and anti-family groups will not be receptive to your messages anyway.

If you want to change the laws or taxes, you must elect representatives you can reliably count on to vote conservative and pro-family all the time.

3.  To be elected, your candidate must be on the ballot. 

How often have you voted for “the lesser of two evils” when you didn’t like either of the two candidates running for an important office? Have you ever wondered why, despite the rhetoric, both candidates seem to back the same anti-conservative, liberal and anti-family agenda? How many times is a good conservative, pro-family candidate not even on the ballot?

4.  To get on the ballot in a general election, you have to be nominated for an office in a Party Primary Election or Convention. 

The winners in the Party Primary or Convention will be the candidates who appear on the ballot in November. Except in very rare cases, all candidates must first win a Party Primary or Convention. Write-in campaigns are theoretically possible, but they rarely succeed. Third-party candidates are theoretically possible, but unless a candidate has as much money as Ross Perot, running as a third-party candidate probably won’t be successful and the votes may not even be counted or reported

5.  Candidates endorsed by the Party usually win the Primary Election. 

Most voters don’t investigate the Primary candidates, or even find out who they are. Sometimes, many candidates run in the Primary for nomination to the same office and the voters are confused. Only a small minority of Americans vote in Primary elections. One of the reasons for the small turnout in Primary elections (in addition to voter apathy) is that you usually must declare yourself a member of one Party or another in order to vote in the Primary. Primary Election rules vary from state to state, but in most states, in order to vote in a Primary you either have to pre-register as a Republican or a Democrat OR ask for a Republican or a Democratic Party ballot on Primary Election day.

6.  Primary endorsements are often made by the Party’s “County Committee” (or Township Committee, etc.), which is elected by the Precinct Committeemen of the Party. 

Each political party has national state, county, township, and (in the big cities) ward organizations (usually called committees or central committees). The county and township committees frequently endorse candidates in the Primary, and that endorsement is often the key to a Primary victory.

7.  It’s easy to be elected a Precinct Committeeman. 

The way you get elected a Precinct Committeeman is usually very simple. In a typical state, you can call your county clerk and get the necessary forms, get ten of your friends to sign a Petition requesting that you be on the ballot in the primary.

As a typical county may have dozens of precincts without any Precinct Committeeman because no one has bothered to run, it is sometimes easy to be appointed to one of these positions by calling your Party Chairman. Many precincts have do-nothing Committeemen who can easily be defeated because they don’t do their job.

To be remembered (Phyllis continues):

  • To change things, we must change the laws.
  • To change the laws, we must change the people who make them.
  • To get elected, your candidate must be on the ballot.
  • To get on the November ballot you must win the Primary.
  • To win the Primary, you must get the support of people who make endorsements in the Primary, who reliably vote in the Primary, and who get out the vote of others in the Primary. Those people are the Precinct Committeemen.

Therefore, Precinct Committeeman is the most powerful office in the world because Precinct Committeemen determine who gets the chance to be elected to office at every level of government. Remember, if your candidate is not on the ballot, he will not be elected.

Duties of the Precinct Committeeman

The Precinct Committeeman is the person who is legally charged with getting out the vote on election day. If he does his job well, he will ring the doorbell of every household in the precinct and ask polite questions to find out the Party and other political views of every voter. (That’s called canvassing.) Then, before each election, the Precinct Committeeman will personally deliver campaign literature (such as a marked sample ballot) to every voter who is expected to vote for your Party or candidate. Then the Precinct Committeeman makes sure that all his voters get to the polls on election day. This is the way elections are won.

Powers of the Precinct Committeeman

  1. Friendly access to neighbors. Most people are eager to know more about their government and the people who run it. When you introduce yourself as their “Republican Precinct Committeeman,” they assume you have something to say. You can provide them with information on candidates and issues. Of course, you don’t waste your time on those who would rather get their information from the Precinct Committeeman of the other Party.
  2. Respect from elected officials. Since a Precinct Committeeman represents, on average, 500 voters, and has the power to vote for other Party officials and to make endorsements of candidates, any call or letter from a Precinct Committeeman gets the attention of elected officials.
  3. Launching pad for other offices. You would be amazed at how many of our Presidents, Senators, Congressmen, and state and local officials started as Precinct Committeemen, and still serve as Precinct Committeemen even though they hold a higher elected office. That’s because they know the power of a Precinct Committeeman.
  4. Direct influence over Party Platform, policies, and selection of candidates. At state, district, county, and township caucuses and conventions, the Precinct Committeeman is an active player. He can have a tremendous influence on the adoption of the Party Platform and policies, support of or opposition to issues, and selection of candidates.

End of Phyllis Schlafly excerpts

Lake County where Nancy Thorner lives, is typical among U.S. counties. 25-50% of the committeeman spots of the dominant party are normally “vacant”. In these precincts, if you get on the primary ballot with no primary opponent, the only way you can lose is an opponent with a very hard write-in campaign. In the other 50-75% of precincts, you will probably have to oust an incumbent committeeman (sometimes they withdraw rather than fight). But most incumbent committeemen are patronage hacks who do little besides drop off party literature and endorsements. (When was the last time any committeeman came to your door?). $50 for literature, a few weekends visiting the hundred or so homes that might vote in your party’s primary and any dedicated conservative can win.

For Illinois outside Cook County:  call or go to the Internet site of your County Clerk for your party’s nominating papers and filing rules for precinct committeeman. Also get a list of your precinct’s voters. Filing deadline is 90 days before the primary. Try to file the first minute possible to get the advantageous first ballot position. File at least 15 signatures to avoid challenges that knock your off the ballot. You need a minimum of 10 primary electors of your party (primary electors of the party are people who voted in your party’s primary in previous elections.) After filing, print a campaign leaflet that you can leave if people are not home with your name, address, phone number, job description, family picture, anything you have done for your neighborhood and your party. Then concentrate on meeting in person the voters of your party that live in your precinct.

 

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By Nancy Thorner – 

John Kass calls it “The Combine”, others call it the Illinois Uniparty. But it’s obvious both parties in Illinois love to raise taxes and spend more money. In 1969, Republican Governor Ogilvie created a 2 1/2% income tax (he asked for a 4% rate initially) and helped ram through a new Illinois Constitution to make sure it would stay in place as constitutional. This is the same Constitution the Illinois Supreme Court says mandates absolutely no changes in Illinois’ outrageous government pensions.

But Dick Ogilvie and his Republican party paid the price in the next elections, so the income tax rate stayed the same except for temporary tax increases under Republican Jim Thompson until it was permanently hiked to 3% in 1990, as Thompson was retiring. The next income tax hike to 5% under Democrat Governor Quinn created such a backlash that it was obvious Quinn was likely to lose in 2014.

Enter Bruce Rauner, political unknown in 2013. Rauner made his money as a pay-to-play (especially to Democrats) manager of government pension funds.

Rauner also had extensive ties to Mayor Emanuel over several decades:

Rauner made it plain he was an extreme social liberal, but many “fiscal conservatives” in the Republican Party ignored all the signs he was a Democrat liberal masquerading as a Republican. The only fiscal conservatism they were interested in was the money and jobs a “winner” like Rauner would bring them.

After record election spending promising to pound Springfield politicians “like a pinata”, Rauner spent his time as Governor giving the same campaign speeches and ads on trivial issues to the voters like term limits and workman’s compensation.

Following the disastrous for Illinois Republican 2016 November elections that saw most of the major Illinois Republican officeholders from Rauner on down denounce their own presidential candidate, Rauner suddenly added a property tax freeze, but continued to emphasize term limits. This was a huge signal that Rauner was ready to cave on taxes in return for some fig leaf of “reform” like a property tax freeze that was sure to be rolled back after the 2018 election.

If Rauner wanted plans to really balance the budget, if he really wanted examples of waste and abuse that he could bring up every day when the legislature was in session, there were plenty of groups like the Illinois Policy Institute to help him.

An Illinois Senator on the job for only nine months, Dan McConchie, proposed as easy to sell and understand plan to balance the budget without new taxes along with his fellow Senator Kyle McCarter. This was after Rauner said he was “flexible” on the budget and did not condemn outright all the plans for hiking the income tax to 5%. Rauner could have made the very easy to understand point that hiking the income tax to 5% was tried in 2011 but the pension deficit and unpaid bills both grew by billions as businesses and high income taxpayers left the state to create the worst state economy in the U.S. Instead he spent millions basically recycling the same ads he used in the past.

Now we have the grandest political kabuki theater in Illinois history. Over a holiday weekend so the voters can’t lobby and object, after the budget deadline so Republicans have to be added to get a 60% bipartisan vote, and now facing threats the bond agencies will make Illinois the first junk-rated state in the country, fifteen “Republicans” (Andersson, Bryant, Cavaletto, Davidsmeyer, Fortner, Hammond, D. Harris, Hays, Jimenez, Meier, B. Mitchell, Phillips, Pritchard, Reis, Unes) voted for a massive income tax increase. This allowed 10 vulnerable Democrats to vote no: Connor, Costello, Halpin, Manley, Mayfield, Moylan, Mussman, Scherer, Stuart, Yingling. The end result was 72 votes for a tax increase, one more than needed, so no single state rep would be “the vote that raised your taxes.”

In addition to the $5 billion tax increase, the Illinois House also passed a $36 billion spending plan which came in the form of a 638 page amendment to Senate Bill 6. This budget had no reforms or meaningful spending cuts; however, it was passed 81-34 with even more Republican support despite nobody having enough time to find out what was actually in it.

At this point, Governor Rauner could have said:

“On Wednesday July 5, I will be spending millions in ads and phone calls in key districts urging state legislators to uphold my veto of these tax and spending increases that will do nothing to solve the deep structural problems of the state that I promised to change. I hope by the time I formally veto these bills on Monday July 10, enough legislative members will have changed their mind and uphold my veto. I will then keep the legislature in session until meaningful reforms and budget cuts are made so our state doesn’t continue to have the worst economy in the nation.”

The fix is now in, unless something changes in the next day or so. Rauner will pretend to have fought things with his veto, just like Illinois “Republican” House leader Jim Durkin who voted against the tax increase, but also voted for Madigan’s initial budget with a 5 billion deficit and no structural reform. (SB 6, Second Reading, Amendment 2). Bill Brady, the “Republican” Senate leader, can’t even pretend to be against raising taxes after proposing a 4.95% income tax rate earlier this year.

Whether he runs again or not, Bruce Rauner and the legislative leaders that allowed Madigan’s most vulnerable members to skate have doomed the Illinois Republican party to defeat in 2018; however, Rauner’s pension business and all the other loot Illinois politicians make off our government will be safe. And that was the reason Rauner ran, to force the state to have a big, “bipartisan” tax hike to keep things exactly the same – something another Republican beating Quinn might have changed.

After the Democrats sweep happens in 2018, Democrats will propose their ultimate solution—a constitutional amendment to allow a graduated income tax to fund a property tax “freeze” (with major loopholes, of course) until after the next gubernatorial election.  As after their 2010 victory over another “Republican” Trojan Horse, Bill Brady, the Democrats will have total power to gerrymander Illinois districts so Madigan will continue to reign another decade unless he faces eternal judgment. Illinois will become a one party dictatorship, like California, but without the good weather.

This is the result of over 50 years of Chuck Percy, “Me, Too But Slightly Less” tax and spend Illinois “Republican” leadership that has been tolerated by Illinois Republican Primary voters.

The sad thing is that we can’t be sure these same primary voters won’t return Bruce Rauner, and all “Republicans” who voted for Madigan’s budget and tax increases, to “oppose” Madigan’s Democrats. They fell for the lies of Bruce Rauner in 2014, and they could do the same thing in 2018 before Rauner, who has behaved as a Trojan Horse for the Democrats,

goes back to living off the taxpayers with his pension business.

Friday, June 30, 2017

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By Nancy Thorner –

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Illinois averaged more than 40,000 permits for new single-family houses per year prior to the so-called Great Recession. Compare that to 2016 when Illinois issued just over 10,000 single-family houses permits. The 75% drop observed is the worst in the nation.

But why are other states doing better? Consider Iowa, where teachers don’t have the out-of-control retirement plans provided to teachers in Illinois. Further, Illinois is experiencing one of the largest population losses in the nation. It remains suspect to build more housing in areas facing a declining population.

Property taxes, however, remain the biggest detriment to homebuilding in Illinois. With some of the highest property taxes in the nation, homebuilders are shackled by this burden along with other taxes and fees levied on construction until the property is sold.

All these issues were the focus of Heartland Institute’s recent forum, Why Illinois is the Worst Place to Own a Home. The evening’s presentation featured radio talk show host Dan Proft, who focused his comments around out-of-control government spending and exceedingly high property taxes that plague counties throughout Illinois.

As an aside:

An article posted at Illinois Review on June 14, 2017, explains why a tax plan announced by Republican state lawmakers calling on a four year freeze to property taxes to coincide with the four-year income tax hike. Yet, additional taxation is a bad solution to the Illinois’ budget crisis. The plan was presented by Republicans as the latest and best chance to reach bipartisan consensus in the near future. However, freezing property taxes would create a property tax “freeze” time bomb in a few ways.

  • The plan freezes property taxes for four years to coincide with the four-year income tax hike.
  • The Republicans’ plan will fail to help struggling homeowners. Illinoisans shouldn’t have to pay billions of dollars of extra income tax just to get a freeze on the highest property taxes in the nation.
  • And the freeze isn’t absolute. Local debt service payments are exempted from the freeze, meaning homeowners’ taxes could still rise.

Three areas of Illinois in regard to Property Taxes 

1. South Side homeowners are suffocated by property taxes:

Back in 1961, duplex units at Pacesetter Gardens advertised a “town and country location” just 23 minutes from the Loop. The community had a “Cabana Club” complete with a recreation center, a “big, L-shaped outdoor swimming pool,” a snack bar and a bath house. The units started at $19,000 ($150,613 inflation-adjusted) as of 2015. By 2015, the median home price in Riverdale was just $51,800, a third of what it was 54 years ago and down 62 percent from 2007 ($137,172 inflation-adjusted). Local Government Information Services, a newspaper chain Proft co-founded, reports Riverdale’s effective property tax rate (ETR) in 2015 was 7.61 percent, for a median bill of $3,942, the second-worst of fifty south suburbs.

Rich Township High School District 227 raised spending three percent from 2007 to 2015. That’s while operating three high schools at less than half of their capacity all while student enrollment in the district has fallen steadily– more than 17 percent in the last four years alone. During these spending increases, home prices continued to fall.

2. Homeowner equity in DuPage County is eroding quickly even as property taxes soar:

In January 2007, the average Willowbrook home was worth $305,000. Eight years later in January 2015, values are at just $182,000. That’s a fall of 48 percent in real, inflation-adjusted, dollars. Willowbrook happens to be the worst of 29 communities in DuPage County.

Driven by surging local government spending and massive municipal debts, homeowner equity in DuPage County is eroding quickly even as property taxes soar. The net result: property taxes are pressured higher and higher, and property values lower and lower.

Hinsdale home prices fell 25 percent from 2007 to 2015. But over the same period, Hinsdale School District 181 raised its local property tax levy by 20 percent, to $65.23 million. It spent $17,217 per student in 2015 — up from $12,924 in 2007 ($14,733 inflation-adjusted).

Elmhurst home prices also fell 25 percent. But Elmhurst District 205 kept spending, raising its bill to Elmhurst property taxpayers to a record $111.4 million, up 15 percent over the same period.

3. Soaring taxes are having a major impact on Lake County property values:

Cross Lake, 89 acres in size, straddles the Illinois-Wisconsin border has been greatly effected by soaring taxes. It’s western shore spans two adjacent communities, Antioch, Illinois and Trevor, Wisconsin, where a continuous development of modest lakefront homes makes the state line essentially indistinguishable.

Whether in Illinois or Wisconsin, the homes on Cross Lake look no different; however, in Trevor, a 1,368 square-foot two bedroom, two bath sold in fall 2015 for $255,000. Seven docks, or a three-minute walk south across the state line, a 2,400-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bath at 143 Lakewood in Antioch sold last spring for $225,000.

Why would a home 75 percent larger with more bedrooms and bathrooms sell for $30,000 less? It is because of property taxes. The Wisconsin home is valued higher because its tax bill is so much lower. At $3,202 per year, it’s about half what their Illinois neighbor pays— $6,211 per year— just across the state line.

Every Lake County community saw its home values fall significantly all while rising property taxes compounded the pain.

The rise was driven, in large part, by steady increases in local school district spending, which make up 70 percent of a typical property tax bill. While Lake Forest homeowners saw their property values fall 23 percent, Lake Forest’s Roundout School District 72 increased spending by 29 percent over the same period when adjusted for inflation. Mundelein School District 120 raised spending 17 percent while Mundelein homeowners saw their home prices fall an average of 32 percent. Libertyville District 70 raised spending 15 percent while its homeowners saw their home values fall 23 percent.

In 2015, effective property tax rates in 41 of 43 Lake County communities were higher than 2.45 percent. An effective property tax rate is calculated by dividing what one pays annually in property taxes by their home’s value. The average rate in Lake County is 3.3 percent, twice the national average (1.31 percent) and more than three times the average rate in neighboring Indiana (0.88 percent). In 20 Lake County communities, it was higher than 4 percent.

If home prices fall at the same pace, homeowners in 14 Lake County communities will have paid more than their home’s full value in property taxes over the previous 16 years of ownership.

Proposed Reform Through Referendum

Proft believes that Illinoisans are ready for reform, that a revolt is real, and it only has to be stoked. Mirroring Indiana, Proft wants to impose a 1% hard cap on property taxes as a percentage of home value until a capital event such as home improvement or the home is sold. A home owner’s defense association will be formed to inform homeowners of their property tax situation.

There are also plans to place an advisory referendum ballot question on the 2018 election ballot so Illinoisans can come out to express their views. Unlike what has happened in other states where revolts have taken place, Illinois has failed to elect conservative reform leaders in Springfield to reign in the spending.

Youtube video of Dan Proft’s comments:  “Why Illinois is the Worst State to Own a Home”

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By Nancy Thorner & Edward Ingold – 

The shooting incident in the Virginia ball park was barely over before politicians began crying for gun control. Governor McAuliffe of Virginia claimed that 93 million Americans are subjects of gun violence each day. He did correct this to say 93 Americans, which includes suicides (50%) with the balance mainly gang violence in large Democratic cities. However this mistake illustrates the casual regard anti-gun activists have for facts, causes and solutions. “Too many guns”, says McAuliffe, “Too easy to get without background checks.”

The shooter in Virginia came from Illinois, which has among the most strict gun controls. He possessed a Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID), needed to possess or purchase firearms or ammunition. The guns were purchased legally, which would require a Federally-mandated background check. These requirements don’t seem to have any effect on gang members, so perhaps things need to be made more illegal. For criminals, guns are tools of their trade. No matter how many ordinary citizens are denied their right to “Keep and bear [carry] arms,” criminals will find a way.

The problem with anti-gun solutions is that their proposals affect many law-abiding citizens with little or no effect on criminals. In other words, a perversion of the slogan, “A Pound of Prevention for an Ounce of Cure.” How often do we hear “It’s for the children,” or “If this measure saves one life …” Children certainly do need to be saved, but most often from abusive or reckless parents, which account for the overwhelming majority of firearm incidents.

Since Cain and Abel, there have always been bad people who would inflict violence on others. Well into the 19th century, travelers in Europe and England were advised to travel in groups under arms. Members of Congress are proposing to grant themselves the right to carry concealed weapons, while ordinary citizens of Washington DC are denied the right to defend themselves in one of the most violent cities in the United States. In Chicago, a handful of robberies occur each week in the holiest part of the Loop, Millennium Park. On Wacker Drive yesterday, a motorist with a legal carry permit shot at (and missed) two assailants who tried to rob him while waiting in traffic.

Solutions to Gun Violence?

One solution is more guns in the hands of good people. Since a Federal court decision in 2013, Illinois residents have the right to apply for a license to carry a concealed weapon. Over 200,000 have availed themselves of this right. Illinois criminals have only about one chance in fifty of accosting an armed victim. With 30,000 armed robberies each year in Chicago, one would expect nearly 500 would be thwarted with a legal gun. Most, however, go unreported unless someone is killed or injured. While the courts have issued a similar decree against Washington DC, that city has issued no permits, in defiance of the courts. Congress is once again considering a measure which would require states recognize concealed weapon permits issued by other states, much as they must now recognize drivers’ licenses and marriage. Things are looking up.

In the Virginia ball park, only two law enforcement officers were on hand to confront the gunman in a timely fashion. Facing an high powered rifle with handguns is not a good situation, yet that’s what they did. In a situation like this, the gunman will forget his intended victims and devote his undivided attention to the people shooting at him. That probably saved the lives of up to 25 Congressmen until help arrived in force, after three and a half long minutes.

Another solution is to arm police guarding events or patrolling the streets with rifles, for example scary black semi-automatic rifles. Psychologically, these weapons leave no doubt who is in charge. On a tactical level, a rifle multiplies the effectiveness of that officer at least fourfold. He is a match for an assailant with a rifle, or any other weapon at much longer distances. The effective range of a handgun is only about 10 yards under combat conditions, whereas a rifle is effective to 200 yard or more. A man with a gun, knife, axe or machete is deadly to unarmed citizens, and it may not be possible to get within 10 yards in time to save them, or risk shooting bystanders along with the assailant. A trained rifleman can put three rounds inside a 4” target at 200 yards in under two seconds. (An expert can do much better). When the chips are down, that means one less criminal with far less danger to his victims than pistol fire.

Who’s to blame for the violence?

Former DC US Attorney, Joe DiGenova, expressed his anger on the Laura Ingraham radio show, where he called out  Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Maxine Waters for directly inciting Sanders campaign volunteer James Hodgkinson to attempt the murder of Majority Whip Steve Scalise and many others on June 14 at the GOP charity baseball practice.  DiGenova declared that they had blood on their hands.  Evidence collected after the shooting shows that Hodgkinson was a fanboy of every Democrat talking point that implicitly called for violence against Donald Trump and Republicans.

Democrats appear to sanction, if not endorse the violent counter-protests at Trump rallies and against Trump supporters. They also sanction Black Lives Matter protests, which disrupt business and travel, often accompanied by violence and vandalism, and threats against the police, The Freedom of Speech is the freedom to voice your opinion, not to silence or intimidate others.

In a subscription article shared by California writer and author, Burt Prelutsky, on Saturday, June 18, 2017, BE AFRAID, BE VERY AFRAID, Mr. Prelutsky included these astute remarks about shooter Hodgkinson that are laced with Burt’s uncanny ability to combine noteworthy political commentary with doses of wit.   Mr. Prelutsky speaks of 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, IL, as one who clearly belonged in Bellevue:

Although Hodgkinson was an avid supporter of Bernie Sanders, a cuckoo in his own right, Sanders isn’t responsible for Hodgkinson using Republican congressmen and their aides for target practice.  If I were to blame anyone aside from Hodgkinson, it would be Sen. Chuck Schumer, Rep. Al Green, Rep. Maxine Waters, and their lap dogs in the media who have conspired to make it appear that Adolf Hitler has come out of hiding and taken up residence in the White House.

And, after all, which of us has not at some time fantasized using a time machine to transport us back to the late 20s or early 30s and assassinating Der Fuhrer before he could launch the events leading to the deaths of 70 million people?

For months, the leftist rabble has devoted all its time to demonizing President Trump over his alleged ties to Vladimir Putin, ties that have been concocted out of whole cloth in order to rationalize Hillary’s loss and to bring down the duly-elected president.  The Democrats in Congress and their lap dogs in the media should be ashamed of themselves, but shame, along with honesty and integrity, are alien to their nature.

In addition to all that, I’m willing to wager that despite their calls for Trump’s impeachment, dullards such as Maxine Waters and Al Green couldn’t find Russia on a map.

Talk of bi-partisanship in Congress a pipedream?

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., received a standing ovation following remarks that emphasized a connection between the two parties that prevails despite the frequent and intense partisan bickering.

“For all the noise and fury, we are a family,” Ryan said. “These were our brothers and sisters in the line of fire.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., praised Ryan’s speech and added, “We will use this occasion as one that brings us together and not separates us further.”

It took only one day for Nancy Pelosi to change her tune to suggest that Fox News was partly to blame for “a lot of the vitriol and invective” in politics, noting that a man who was arrested for threatening her years ago had been, according to the man’s mother, an avid Fox News viewer.  Pelosi also claimed that partisanship began escalating in the 1990’s, instigated by the GOP who relentlessly investigated President Clinton and eventually impeached him.  The most liberal of Democrats suggested that the divisive mood was recently escalated thanks to Trump when he flung crude insults at the media, Democrats, and member of his own party.

In this divided nation where President Trump is being challenged and confronted daily by those who will do and say anything to have him removed from office, there is a good chance that things will get worse before they get better, which is essential if this nation is to survive what would qualify as a treasonous act in another era — subversion of government with the removal of a duly elected president through nefarious means.