The Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street

About 10 months ago, Illinois passed what some believe to be the largest tax increase in the state’s history.  This was on top of a tax rate in Illinois that already was one of the highest in the country.  I don’t know whether Governor Pat Quinn (D.) followed this up by proudly announcing that Ilinois was open for business, but, if he did, it isn’t working out too well.

Three of the largest taxpayers in Illinois have let it be known that they are “seriously” considering relocating their headquarters to another state because, well, their taxes are too high.  One of these taxpayers, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, has said that the tax increase has cost it $50 million a year.  The other two taxpayers are the Chicago Board Options Exchange, and Sears.  This will never do.  So,

[s]oon the Illinois state legislature will meet in special session to consider the Chicago machine’s latest favor: legislation designed to deliver tax relief to [these] companies.

The legislature may well be mulling over some recently “leaked” information before making any decision.

According to a soon-to-be released study of IRS tax filings from the free-market Illinois Policy Institute, between 1995 and 2008 Illinois lost 345,891 tax filers.  All in all, that works out to a $188 billion loss in net income.  That loss is remarkable, especially given that one in four taxpayers moved to a neighboring state.

I don’t know about the other companies, but the Chicago Mercantile Exchange donated heavily to Governor Quinn, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and House Speaker Mike Madigan in recent elections.  Could there be a connection between these donations and the upcoming “special” legislative session?

Illinois Policy Institute’s Collin Hill had this to say,

Our Chicago machine has come up with a deal so rotten it’s uniting Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party.

This is just one more example of crony capitalism.  The little guy gets to pull harder, while more and more friends of the administration get to ride in the wagon.

So much for “shared sacrifice”, at least in Illinois.



The Sound Off Sister was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and special trial attorney for the Department of Justice, Criminal Division; a partner in the Florida law firm of Shutts & Bowen, and an adjunct professor at the University of Miami, School of Law. The Sound Off Sister offers frequent commentary concerning legislation making its way through Congress, including the health reform legislation passed in early 2010.


  1. johnboy111 on November 15, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    has HR822 been passed????

    • Dimsdale on November 15, 2011 at 10:11 pm

      According to the Wall Street Journal:

      “Soon the Illinois state legislature will meet in special session to consider the Chicago machine’s latest favor: legislation designed to deliver tax relief to three of the state’s largest companies. These tax breaks for the lucky few come just 10 months after the Illinois legislature approved what has been described as the largest tax increase in the state’s history.”

  2. ricbee on November 15, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    ?This is nothing new,it’s been happening more & more. But at least these facts are getting out to the public now. Big Business cannot flourish without government subsidies & protections. The little guys will run rings around them if left unmolested.

  3. Benjamin Less on November 16, 2011 at 7:25 am

    I don’t buy it, especially concerning a company like Sears.? Michael Levine has recruited and championed some of the best business lawyers in the country for way over a decade, most of their focuses were drawn on economics and new business development.? That just plainly equates to TAX forecasting.? It’s been said that Kmart itself courted the company purely on their internal legal department’s abilities.? If Sears is crying about tax increases, it’s because someone political gave an eye wink to complain about.? The eye wink means you cry- you get fed.
    I dug this up

  4. PatRiot on November 16, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Occupy Wall St (with the exception of some episodes of lack of respect),? is meeting the T.E.A. Party where most of the average Americans already are – in a place called common sense.

  5. JBS on November 16, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Isn’t the Zero a product of the Chicago Democrat Party Machine? It’s really interesting what happens when the big $$$ Democrat Illinois taxpayers’ “tame politicians” turn on them and become predatory! They don’t like it. Thus, special exemptions have to be provided for them or they will take their businesses elsewhere!
    Follow the money. . .


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