Category Archives: Illinois

Tax Hike Passes By One Vote: Illinois is Nation’s Worst Credit Risk by Gregory Hilton

Illinois is the worst credit risk in the nation because for years its lawmakers have refused to adequately address its budget gap.

The Illinois legislature voted last night to increase the state personal income taxes by 67 percent and business taxes by 46 percent. Illinois now has the highest effective corporate tax rate in the industrialized world, and prior to the vote Illinois ranked 48th in job creation. All Democrats voted yes, and all Republicans in both the House and Senate voted no. The Senate passed the measure at 1:30 am by a 30 to 29 vote margin. Continue reading

Trivia Questions: Has a Snow Storm Ever Resulted in a Political Upset? by Gregory Hilton

QUESTION: Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) is now receiving negative news media coverage because he is at Disney World while his state is suffering from a snow storm. His Lt. Governor is also out of state and Democrats are in charge of the emergency. Has a snow storm ever resulted in a major political upset? Continue reading

Mayor Daley Retires, Liberals Take Aim at Rahm Emanuel by Gregory Hilton

Mayor Richard Daley (D-Chicago) announced his retirement earlier today. He will not be seeking re-election to a 7th term and the Daley era which began with his father’s 1956 victory is coming to an end. Also coming to an end is the excellent reputation the city once had. In half a century it has gone from “the city that works”, to a Worker’s Paradise as Mayor’s have continually caved into the demands of public employee unions. The first Mayor Daley was regarded as a conservative Democrat but now the city is as liberal as San Francisco and the decline is apparent. One example is the steep loss of convention business because of union wages and rules. The school system is not well regarded and the corruption is generations old. Continue reading

Chairman Dan Rostenkowski (D-IL) is Dead, Leaves Final Message

Former Congressman Dan Rostenkowski died of lung cancer today at the age of 82. Her served on Capitol Hill from 1958 to 1994 and was Chairman of the Democratic Caucus and the House Ways and Means Committee. He was a liberal Democrat but unlike many in his party, he was never a protectionist. One of his greatest triumphs was passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Continue reading

Why is Illinois the Worst Credit Risk in the Nation? by Gregory Hilton

Illinois is the worst credit risk in the nation. A quick way to generate an immediate $400 million/year is to lift the ban on smoking in casinos.

Illinois is the heartland of Blue America. They sent Barack Obama to the U.S. Senate with 70% of the vote in 2004 and they returned the Democratic Whip, Dick Durbin, with a thundering 68% in 2008. Obama won another statewide landslide that year. Continue reading

Campaign Update: Wisconsin, Illinois is Number One, and McCain Seems Safe by Gregory Hilton

Both the 2010 campaign and 2012 presidential race will be decided by independent voters in the industrial Midwest. In 2008, Republicans failed to carry even one state in the Big 10 conference. The gubernatorial races now show GOP leads in IL 6%, OH 5%, WI 8%, MI 7%, PA 15% and IA 17%.
The GOP has no vulnerable Senators, while 7 Democratic incumbents are now under 50%. The highest tier battleground is for blue collar independents in the Big 10. They voted decisively for Obama, and Wal-Mart has today released a survey of its shoppers that was jointly conducted by a prominent GOP and Democratic firm. The GOP has gained 20% among these voters, and only 14% of them approve of Obamacare while 61% are in opposition to the Democratic Congress. It is difficult to imagine how Obama could be re-elected if he is unable to carry PA and OH.
Wisconsin Governor’s Race
We all know 2010 is a good year for the GOP, but some of the survey results we are now seeing from the heart of Blue America are shocking. The Wisconsin GOP has not run a successful statewide campaign since 1998, and liberal Democrats have been in firm control for almost a decade. Wisconsin has voted for Democrats in the last six presidential elections and hasn’t elected a Republican senator since 1986. State GOP Chairman Reince Priebus says “We have been absolutely clobbered in recent elections.”
Now the liberals are losing by large margins, and unlike the past, the GOP has not nominated a moderate. Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker is a solid conservative who has vetoed every spending increase and is committed to rolling back taxes. Walker continues to have a significant lead in the gubernatorial race over Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
Illinois is Now Number One.
They have beaten California, which has passed the baton. Thanks to its Democratic legislature and Governor, Illinois is now the worst credit risk in America. They have not balanced a budget in a decade and the state debt is close to the borderline between junk and investment grade.
Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
The Arizona GOP Senate primary is not until August 24th, but Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) renomination now appears to be secure. The race was close but many conservative activists are now dumping former Rep. J.D. Hayworth. A 2007 TV infomercial has surfaced (see below link) in which Hayworth tells viewers they can rake in big bucks from the government by applying for federal grants that do not have to be paid back. Tabitha Hale of Freedom Works is one of many Hayworth supporters who abandoned him today:

He is a total fraud. He’s a sell out, period. . . He will be a huge liability for the conservative movement. I have no interest in seeing him elected. . . The conservative movement is not responsible for McCain. We would be responsible for Hayworth. I’m not willing to be responsible for someone who is a) crazy and b) not conservative.

We Could Use a Man Like Uncle Joe Again: Speaker Cannon Would Have Been Popular This Year by Gregory Hilton

Inauguration Day, March 4, 1921. President Woodrow Wilson leaves the White House for the last time with Senator Warren Harding (R-OH), Rep. Joe Cannon (R-IL) and Senator Philander Knox (R-PA). Cannon was 84, but would outlive both Presidents Wilson and Harding.

Rep. Joseph Cannon (R-IL) was a vigorous foe of government spending, taxes, deficits and liberal legislation. He certainly would have approved of today’s Tea Party movement. Both his critics and admirers referred to him as Uncle Joe, which was the title of his autobiography. He was the most powerful Speaker in the history of the House of Representatives, and held that office from 1903 until 1911.
At the same time he served as Chairman of the Rules Committee. Legislation approved in committees would never make to the House floor if Cannon was opposed. If a bill included new spending measures, Uncle Joe’s opposition was often automatic.
The seniority system was not used in those days, and the Speaker was also able to control legislation by appointing all committee chairmen and members. Leaders of the so-called progressive era said they were consistently thwarted by “Cannonism,” which meant Congressional intransigence.
Uncle Joe was first elected in 1872 and served on Capitol Hill for 48 years. It was a record which remained unbroken until 1958. Despite his years of service, he only introduced one bill and it was a minor matter concerning post offices in 1874. He told one opponent, “The country does not need any legislation.”
Cannon was Chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee for eight years. He explained his job by saying: “You may think my work is to make appropriations, but it is not. It is to prevent them from being made.”

  • For six years the Speaker was successful in stopping passage of personal, corporate and inheritance taxes. He said income taxes were unnecessary because the government had sufficient revenues from tariffs. Democrats and liberal Republicans were in favor of a 2% income tax, but Cannon questioned how long that rate would stay in effect.
    The Senate enacted the income tax several times, but the Speaker was always able to defeat it until his last term. His effort to amend the income tax so it would expire after two years was not successful. Despite his opposition, the House passed the 16th Amendment to the Constitution establishing an income tax on July 12, 1909, and it bears Cannon’s signature.
  • Cannon always battled liberal Republicans, and referred to himself as a staunch conservative. He said President Theodore Roosevelt, a fellow Republican but a progressive, had “no more use for the Constitution than a tomcat has for a marriage license.”
  • On April 6, 1917, the House of Representatives debated a resolution to declare war on Germany. The Constitution had not yet been amended to grant women the right to vote, but several states had already done so. Freshman Rep. Jeannette Rankin (R-MT) remained silent throughout the roll call on America’s entry into World War I, and was planning not to vote.
    The clerk was calling the roll for the final time when former Speaker Cannon appeared at her side and said, “You represent the women of the country in the American Congress. I shall not advise you how to vote, but you should vote one way or another.”
    Rankin made up her mind and was one of 50 lawmakers to vote no. She was defeated in the next election and did not return to the House for 22 years. On December 8, 1941, she became the only lawmaker to vote against World War II, and was promptly defeated once again.
  • In 1923, the year Cannon left the House, Time magazine put him on the cover of its first issue. Cannon had been chairman of the committee whose work resulted in construction of the first office building for lawmakers. It opened in 1908, and in 1962 it was renamed the Cannon House Office Building.

The former Speaker died at the age of 90 in 1926, and if you want to learn more see Tyrant From Illinois: Uncle Joe Cannon’s Experiment With Personal Power by Blair Bolles (1951), or his autobiography, Uncle Joe Cannon, (1927).