I guess if we're dumb enough to let it happen, we deserve it. If we're dumb enough to elect a comatose county president, knowing that the Machine of Nepotism would plop his tax-happy son into the seat as soon as Captain Coma could blink out his resignation, then I guess we deserve what we got.
After all, Stroger's unapologetic slogan proclaims "Revenue is Reform."
Stroger and some of his not-so-civic-minded county commissioner colleagues enacted yet another tax hike which took effect today. With the Cook County rate at 9 percent, the sales tax in Chicago is now 10.25 percent, higher than the rate in any other city in the entire country.
I wonder: is this what President Stroger means when he says in his Cook County web site bio that his administration is "committed to reinventing Cook County government, by effecting real change in the government’s operations and finding creative solutions to its myriad challenges"?
Because if so? I call bullshit.
This tax hike is going to hurt everybody. Consumers and businesses alike. This article in the Southtown Star reports that a commercial developer in Tinley Park has already capitalized on the tax increase by urging businesses in south Cook County to consider relocating, citing the tax bite as an unnecessary business buster.
Mr. Stroger has shown himself to be plenty out of touch with reality: After spending Cook County money to upgrade his vehicle to a brand-new SUV that does not meet county vehicle environmental ordinances, he plans to spend Federal Homeland Security money to retro-fit it with computers and communications equipment. Because, Stroger says, "As the president, I'm the head of Emergency Management Homeland Security. So if anything happens...we need a vehicle that will get us [to headquarters]."
We only have one option, people, and that's to start making plans NOW to get this guy and his cronies out of Cook County government. This Tribune editorial has some ideas for how to make it happen. So does Cook County Commissioner Forrest Claypool.
Let's not make the same dumb mistake twice.