Angry thoughts went through my head as I signed my tax check to Illinois. We don’t have a budget. Legalizing marijuana is seriously being considered to bring in more revenue that will be an excuse to spend more. Every taxpaying 401(k) employee in the state owns a share of our enormous public pension debt. Lawmakers are getting fat and happy while Illinois’ finances deteriorate past the point of recovery. Why did we hold tax protests in Chicago this weekend? Because we don’t know what President Trump paid to the government.
Tax protests are for the politically stupid
Potential gubernatorial candidates are already lining up to run against Governor Rauner. It won’t make any difference who wins. The problem isn’t in the governor’s office. State lawmakers shoulder most of the blame but it may not be their fault, either. The tax protests prove we are just too dumb to understand politics. The terminally stupid get what they deserve. In this case we got leftist politicians with long, prosperous careers, government workers with enormous pensions, unpaid bills, no budget, and not much else.
So why are we wasting our time with tax protests over Trump’s returns?
Is the angry left obsessed or just dumb?
If you have time to protest, you probably don’t have the kind of life and career that forces you to pay a lot in taxes. That’s not a good thing if your hand is out and the GOP is in charge.
Thousands took to the streets over Trump’s 1040s. You no doubt saw the footage on the news. The joke is on the protesters, of course. This is a cause with no end. Even if they get the information they want it won’t be enough because there is no amount of taxes Trump can pay that will satisfy the angry left. It would make a lot more sense for them to cut to the chase and start impeachment and removal protests. That’s what this is really about.
Anti-American tax rhetoric
There is something fundamentally anti-American about what the demonstrators want, which is more of Trump’s income and the incomes of every American who make more money than they do.
The rhetoric from Capitol Hill grows increasingly desperate. We heard this from New Jersey Rep. Bill Pascrell after a recent “Resolution of Inquiry” demanding ten years of the president’s tax returns was shot down:
“What are they hiding? Our constituents are demanding that we make a case for transparency. The committee majority acted today to hide the President’s secrets, to bury their heads in the sand, and prove derelict in their duty to protect our institutions, our Constitution, and our country as we know it,” Rep. Pascrell said.1
Does our country’s survival depend on what Donald Trump paid to the IRS? More likely the angry left’s future on Capitol Hill depends on a smokescreen to cover up failure. I seriously doubt that there was a flood of phone calls demanding transparency. Looking at some of the tax protest signs makes me wonder whether demonstrators even know how to spell “transparency.”
Illinois proves it: we are too dumb to dabble in politics
A recent press release from Illinois Rep. Mike Quigley proves how deluded Illinois tax protesters are. The congressman urged the Trump administration to restore funding to a program that helps pay to incarcerate criminal aliens. Did he forget that Chicago is a sanctuary city that won’t hold criminals for ICE? Doubtful. Most of the money from the program goes to pay correctional officers’ salaries.2 That’s one of the things that Illinois understands.
This is also the kind of reasoning that made Illinois what it is today. Politicians get paid. Government workers get paid. Bills don’t get paid. Pensions are floundering out of control. Another tax increase is inevitable. It won’t fix the problem that state residents who turned out in droves to protest Trump’s taxes are just too dumb, deluded, or desperate to care about, but it might soothe their anger over other people not paying enough to make their lives better.
UPDATE April 17, 2017:
Benefits.gov is a federal website that helps us find out what benefit programs we qualify for. The site points out that there are 20 different federal programs to help taxpayers complete their tax returns.3 Recently, Texas Rep. Kevin Brady observed that it takes 8.9 billion hours of our time4 to complete this annual task.
Now that’s something worth protesting.
1. “Pascrell Responds to Markup of Resolution Seeking Trump Tax Returns.” Congressman Bill Pascrell. March 28, 2017. https://pascrell.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/pascrell-responds-to-markup-of-resolution-seeking-trump-tax-returns, retrieved April 16, 2017.
2. “Office of Justice Programs. Program Name: State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP).” Office of Justice Programs. https://ojp.gov/about/pdfs/BJA_SCAAP%20Prog%20Summary_For%20FY%2017%20PresBud.pdf, retrieved April 11, 2017.
3. “Prepare for Tax Day 2017.” Benefits.gov. April 6, 2017. https://www.benefits.gov/newsroom/news-and-updates/article/281, retrieved April 17, 2017.
4. Opinion: U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady Discusses Tax Day and More.” Kevin Brady. April 11, 2017. http://kevinbrady.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=400409, retrieved April 17, 2017.