The United States is not a poor society. Illinois is not a poor state.
As “conservative” intellectual Francis Fukuyama observed, the United States has replicated the problem of a banana republic: The 1 percent have used their influence on government to exempt themselves from taxation.
Fixing Illinois pensions is simple, if the Illinois General Assembly is willing to tax the rich.
Enacting a small $1 tax on the sale of option contracts at the Chicago Board of Trade would raise $6 billion per year. Since these contracts already have fees to the house of $8.95, this tax would be a minimal change in the cost of doing business. And it's a tax that would primarily fall on out-of-state billionaires.
But members of the Illinois General Assembly would rather cut pensions of public sector workers (violating the Illinois Constitution) than tax billionaires.
That's the dysfunction of the modern United States.
- Carl Nyberg, Chicago (Hegewisch)