I find the similarities of Belleville’s decline very similar to the East St. Louis decline over 50 years ago. At one time, East St. Louis was an upscale place to shop and many Belleville residents shopped there. Like Belleville, East St. Louis was politically corrupt, wasting tax money on political friends. East St. Louis started raising taxes. The industries in East St. Louis began to leave or close. The tax base began to shrink but the spending didn’t. I think we all know what’s going to happen next.
The Madison County state’s attorney’s raid on the Madison County Board’s office smacks of political tactics. It reveals the creation of an anti-corruption task force, something that never existed when the Democrats were in power. Without solid evidence of what is going on, this will probably backfire on them. This just in: the raid was looking for evidence of Russian collusion.
Never miss a local story.
Smart ones flee
The BND had an excellent article about Illinois property taxes rising six times faster than household income between 2008 and 2015. For the readers who still can’t figure out what that means, your property tax in St. Clair County has doubled between 2000 and 2015. Has your income doubled in that time period? Only New Jersey shafts their residents more than Illinois. Any wonder property values are going down and smart people are fleeing Illinois?
I am normally one to place all the blame on the person who broke the law, but in the case of the Rev. Hechenberger, how much blame can we place on Bishop Braxton or the church? Braxton seems so focused on race issues and the racial divide in America that he failed to realize one of his own priests was in trouble. One look at Hechenberger and you can tell he’s no “Servant of Christ and Steward of the Mysteries of God.” Where’s the pastoral oversight of the bishop?
Anne Hannigan needs to realize that pedophilia and addiction are two different conditions. We’re lucky that this man was caught and is out of the community.
Bishop Braxton needs to leave. He protected another priest and he’s not doing a good job as a leader. We need a new bishop.
O’Fallon gets it
I applaud Mayor Roach and the members of O’Fallon City Council for trying to find ways to cut rather than increases taxes on their residents. O’Fallon offers residents many more services than Belleville like a pool, many parks and more. Belleville offers trash service. Too bad we can’t use it to haul our mayor and his cronies out of town.
Just something to think about in the new year: Whether you share the cost with your employer or pay for it completely on your own, health care insurance is more than your housing costs. You don’t need a degree in economics to know that this will bankrupt the country in the very near future.
Soak the rich, again
Democrats running for governor want progressive state income tax. The same old tired Democratic theme of making the rich pay more. Madison County Office of Education Superintendent Bob Daiber illustrated why our school systems are in so much trouble. Illinois is broke and the Democrats raised your taxes to 4.95 percent last year. Daiber’s plan is to cut taxes for the majority of Illinois residents with incomes under $150,000, only raising taxes on those with incomes over $1 million. The key word is “incomes” and there aren’t that many million-dollar taxable incomes. Daiber guessed it would raise $1 billion. I don’t agree with that guess.
J.B. Pritzker wants a progressive state income tax. In other words, the jolly little dough boy wants to raise your taxes again. The state is close to bankruptcy thanks to the Madigan Democrats. Pritzker doesn’t talk about how he’s going to fix the systemic fiscal problems, which were created by the Democrats over the past 20 years. As we heard from the FBI taped conversation between Blagojevich and Pritzker, they are two corrupt birds of a feather. But Pritzker said he would lower the taxes for those who make up the Democratic vote. Illinois will continue to be the worst state in the country.
The caller who listed the St. Clair County officials who were quietly given raises, including Debra Moore, left one name off the list. Former Cahokia Mayor Frank Bergman, remember him?
Raises for nurses
Congratulations to Barnes President Richard Liekweg on his promotion from his last reported 2015 salary of $1.6 million to the CEO salary of $2.5 million. This will buy a lot of fish some bicycles. How about raising some of the nursing salaries to attract more registered nurses to the local hospitals instead of paying CEOs high salaries?
It may well be time to change President Trump’s official acronym from POTUS to PMOTUS; “Potty Mouth of the United States.”
Glenn McCoy’s recent “shithole” cartoon brings up a good question. When President Trump says “shithole countries,” it’s deemed racist by the mainstream media and others. When McCoy refers to Illinois with that same term, is that racist as well? When a country or state’s population leaves in droves that indicates a failure of government.
The jury is still out but now I’m reading that our U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin wasn’t as good a listener as everyone initially gave him credit for. He emphatically stated to the press and the American people that President Trump had said “shithole countries” during their Oval Office meeting. Now there’s discussion that Trump may have said “house” rather than “hole” in conjunction with the vulgar term. While the context doesn’t change, it makes you wonder what else Durbin didn’t hear quite right.
Trump’s 100 percent right. Haiti and other countries are “shitholes.” They are corrupt, people are uneducated and welfare dependent. Sen. Durbin is incapable of providing any intelligent solutions for U.S. or Illinois systemic problems. Always wanted a President that spoke the truth. Much different than Obama, who talked for 15 minutes, never asked the question, nor made an intelligent or truthful point.
Replace silent ones
President Trump asked Congress to come up with DACA legislation and said he would sign whatever they came up with. He said he would “take the heat.” Sens. Graham and Durbin did their work, then the president did what he has often done throughout his business life — he reneged on his promise. His expressed racism during the meeting wasn’t accidental. It is part of his brand and core appeal. His incessant distortions of reality (lying) require that people of all parties demand that Congress hold him accountable. Any silent congressman needs to be replaced.
Dreaming of Durbin
I don’t know what kind of houses Sen. Dick Durbin has, but I’m sure his are better than mine. I’ve dreamed of living in a better place for years so I guess I should go ahead and move in; he won’t object. I bet he even pays for my groceries, medical and dental bills, and lets me tell him how to run the place. After all, I’m just another dreamer.
How is it that Oprah Winfrey, a long-time Harvey Weinstein friend, supporter and enabler, can don a black dress, make an acceptance speech at the Golden Globe awards to all her hypocritical peers, and be heralded as a #MeToo movement champion? Then there’s Oprah’s long-time relationship with sexual assaulter Bill Clinton and enabler and victim intimidator Hillary. Oh, the liberal hypocrisy.
Bruce Rauner is the worst Republican governor in America according to the National Review, which happens to be the leading conservative publication in the country. The highways are jam packed with residents fleeing the state. Thanks for the two years without a budget. Thanks for no progress on pension reform. Thanks for nothing.
Interesting how Illinois produces so many worthless politicians — Obama, Durbin, Duckworth, Madigan, and Blagojevich. They have mastered the art of lying thru their teeth. Not a good measure of one’s character, but the one character trait Illinois Democratic politicians have in common.
Power bill rise
Anybody else upset with the amount owed on their recent Illinois power bills? I went from an average of $175 a month to well over $300 a month. I understand that it has been very cold, but this is just ridiculous. The power company is trying to milk people to death. They just advertised a couple of months ago that prices were going to be lower, but look what they’re doing. They’re hurting people. Maybe Ameren wants people to wear coats around the house?
Faithful fight flu
I know how to slow the spread of the flu epidemic. During the flu season, have all churches stop asking their parishioners to hold or shake hands during the religious services. Also, don’t drink wine from the chalice or take communion. I’ve been doing all these things for 25 years and I’ve never had the flu.