Want to rile folks? Give some people a tax break or government benefit that the rest of us don’t get.
Everybody in Springfield felt good doing something nice for disabled veterans. Then the reality sets in.
A 90-percent disabled Marine Corps vet is getting an $8,000-a-year break on his $395,000 house in Troy. Add that Donald Moore is a conservative Republican running against incumbent state Rep. Charlie Meier because Meier isn’t Republican enough, and a little hypocrisy sets in.
But Meier, too, is getting a little something-something from the government. He’s a farmer who since 1995 received more than $700,000 in subsidies for his farm near Okawville. Subsidies lower consumer prices by making an essential service profitable, and at $20 billion a year they represent the largest form of corporate welfare.
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We appreciate our retirees in Illinois. No state income tax for them, 5 percent for you. That’s a $2 billion perk. Illinois and two other states do not tax retirement income out of 41 states with income taxes.
If Granny Smith is on the brink of subsisting on cat food after her service to our nation, that’s one thing.
But if Granny Smith is living in a house worth $400K, she can afford property and income taxes.
Means testing would be one fix. Ending special benefits for special groups would be another. Making a decision not to take a benefit that you really don’t need would fix things, too.