Code Red: Two Economists Examine the U.S. Healthcare System

November 7, 2012

The Consolidation of Power

Filed under: Uncategorized — David Dranove and Craig Garthwaite (from Oct 11, 2013) @ 10:31 am

Note: This is hardly about health care but I need to vent.

The devil has consolidated his power.

I am talking about Michael Madigan, of course. For those of you not from Illinois, Mr. Madigan runs our state. He is Speaker of the House and no Democrat can win election to that body without his support, so he controls all the Democratic votes. (Dare I mention that his daughter is Attorney General and the favorite to be our next governor?) Thanks to Madigan’s recent redistricting plan and last night’s vote, Illinois Democrats have a veto-proof majority in both the state Senate and House. I don’t think anyone expected such an overwhelming victory for Illinois Democrats.

With Madigan firmly in control of our legislature, Governor Patrick Quinn’s surprising fiscal restraint will do taxpayers no good Our income tax, which Madigan recently raised from 3 to 5 percent, will undoubtedly increase again; I am guessing we will soon see a top rate of 10 percent for high wage earners. On top of this, Chicago has the highest sales tax in the nation and our ridiculous property tax rates have kept the housing market on ice even as the rest of the nation is thawing out. I guess that someone has to pay for all our government workers and their pensions.

With the top federal income tax rate poised to rise to nearly 40 percent, and a Medicare payroll tax set to jump to 3.8 percent, courtesy of Obamacare, I face an interesting problem. When my school offers me additional compensation to take on additional teaching responsibilities, I will pocket less than half of what they pay me. Most of it will pay for government expenses. It is not like my extra teaching imposes a burden on the government. This is pure highway robbery. Why should I bother?

I live pretty well and I don’t expect sympathy. But if millions of other Americans see things they way I do, they will also think twice about taking on additional responsibilities. The nation’s economy will tank and the U.S. will look more and more like the EU.

I increasingly wonder if I should move away from Illinois. But then I realize that thanks to Michael Madigan’s shenanigans, I can stay put and experience what it is like to live in Greece.


  1. You are absolutely on target but perhaps too restrained in your comments. Illinois voters confirm Einstein’s definition of insanity with each election.

    Comment by Ken Chalmers — November 7, 2012 @ 8:27 pm

  2. Living in Illinois is like being stranded on the Titanic. You can’t afford the taxes, but you can’t sell you home to leave. Very sad for this once-great state.

    Comment by Donna Sargis — March 5, 2013 @ 1:13 am

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