Dear State of Illinois Corrupt Officials,
I am not sure, which corrupt official I should send this to first. Therefore I thought I would make one gigantic sweeping measure and write an open letter here on my blog to all the corrupt politicians, and see if any would respond.
For the past 100 or so years we have put up with your obnoxious behavior of new taxes, eroding services, and general ineptitude. I understand the difficulty of running a clean state when your pockets are so full of grease. The fact is that money must just slip out of your hands all the time. Oops there goes the education budget this year. Whoopsie! Forget about helping special needs adults. They are over the age of 18. That magical age when they are ready to deal with all of life’s challenges after years of coddling in special ed programs. Did I just increase the taxes for businesses again this year? Oh well! Let’s retroactively tax people on their online purchases back to 1945 when that rule was invented (Not kidding, this was a conversation I had with the state recently).
That fact is that you are chasing out the best and brightest away. Albeit, since we have the lowest educational funding per capita that is a challenging feat. However, the coup d’etat is that you have now managed to find a way to tax companies that do not have a location in your state. As of yesterday, every affiliate in Illinois was sent a termination letter by Amazon. Were we fired for being a lazy group of affiliates. No! Were we fired, because Jeff Bezos did not like Abraham Lincoln. Wrong again! Instead, we were fired, because the state of Illinois, in Amazon’s words, “…specifically imposes the collection of taxes from consumers on sales by online retailers – including but not limited to those referred by Illinois-based affiliates like you – even if those retailers have no physical presence in the state.”
Now, let’s evaluate the reason behind their decision. Actually, let’s evaluate all 15 billion reasons for them.That was the deficit this year, until they decided to raise $12 billion dollars in additional financing, plus increase the state income tax from 3 to 5%. Gee, what a great idea! Let’s overtax the people of Illinois, so we can resolve this dilemma. Businesses are getting mad, and I have heard a lot of grumbling about some moving out of Illinois.
Indiana is looking mighty appealing with their more friendly business attitude. Not to say that it is always a picnic there, but I have found in past business dealings that they are much more business friendly than Illinois.
Now, why am I so distraught over their actions. A decade ago the entire budget was balanced and there was a huge surplus. At the end of the 90’s, politicians had an opportunity to save the money for a rainy day like today. Instead, I remember when I started teaching, all of the teachers were complaining about how they might be losing their lasik insurance. The state was actually paying for lasik surgery for teachers. That to me, epitomized to me the stupid spending on the part of the state.
So, what would would a letter that ranted and raved like I have be without some type of solution.
1. Maybe this is just crazy talk, but perhaps we should encourage more businesses to actually want to do business in the state of Illinois. Instead of scaring them off with tax increases, let’ s talk about how to provide incentives for more companies to succeed and provide a long lasting tax base.
2. As a measure of goodwill, perhaps cut the salaries in half of all state reps and senators, plus the executive cabinet members. Additionally all of their heads of staff should take a 10% reduction.
3. Maybe this is crazy, but in a more digital world perhaps we could shutter some locations and invest in technology to make it easier to submit forms, plus allowing more modern payment methods, such as Paypal or Google checkout. Save the environment campaign started at the same time. 2012 is right around the corner and this seems like a win-win issue.
4. Maybe we could have students actually learn business skills by setting up businesses that support their education. Similar to tuition programs for college kids. They can sell T-shirts and other products. They would have to create a business plan and then execute the plan. Maybe the first business would be a T-shirt that says, “Quinn is Fin!” Half of all profits would go to the school and half would go to the specific students college education.
So, to all of those corrupt Illinois officials who can get the grease off their hands long enough to write me a response, I look forward to what exciting fiscal changes we have in store for the budget next year. At least, according to tradition we balanced the budget again! That is a relief!