Illinois Blues: Limping North Avenue, Not Losing the Merc

At the Oak Park Library, July 17, 2013 — from Illinois Blues: How the Ruling Party Talks to Voters, Chapter 3, “There Will Be No Cuts,” continued:

The man [who had complained about Illinois’ lowest-in-nation bond rating] threw in the towel, giving way to the next questioner, asking about a much-protested pawn shop on economically limping North Avenue and related matters.

Rep. Lilly jumped on this. With more pointing and waving, she declared that North Avenue issues were “what I call ‘on the docket.’” For action or consideration, she didn’t say, nor on whose docket.

Then from the floor came an enterprising suggestion, that even with Sen. Harmon’s proposed fair tax (“graduated”) there still wouldn’t be enough money. “So how about the proposed tax on stock trades?” (A “sales tax on speculators,” a columnist called it.)

Lilly laughed. “Actually, I saw that proposal, among so many that I didn’t read.”

Harmon said he had heard testimony for this tax, naming a local socialist who was an energetic proponent of a mandated “living wage” for village employees. But he gently poured cold water on the idea, Lilly next to him nodding vigorous agreement.

“There’s the fear that this legislation would push the Chicago Mercantile Exchange out of the state,” Harmon explained. It was a rare nod to the role of taxation in damaging the economy.

Illinois Blues is available in paperbackepub and Amazon Kindle formats.

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