Friday, March 09, 2007

Shabbat Shalom 19 Adar 5767

Illinois residents get out the Vaseline
Gov. Blagojevich tax increases will be painful

Illinois residents will only have themselves to blame when they start suffering the consequences of Governor Blagojevich (D) new tax increase, which is being dubbed the largest tax increase in state history. When Blago gave his State of the State address this past Wednesday, he actually had the chutzpah to say "business doesn't pay its fair share" of taxes in Illinois. In fact, business bears 45.4% of the total tax load (including property taxes) in Illinois, above the national average of 43.6%, according to the Council on State Taxation.

Under Blagojevich the state of Illinois has developed a horrible reputation in the corporate world as an unfriendly business state. Already high taxes, limited economic incentives, powerful (politically) unions and pay to play politics, have been the driving force keeping new business out of Illinois and driving jobs out of state. With the governor's new plan likely to pass, Illinois will become a bigger pariah in the business community and John Q Public can expect to pay higher prices for good and services, while many more jobs leave the state.

Last year Blago sold the state out when he implemented a universal health-care program for Illinois children. A noble idea on the surface, but in reality an election year ploy for votes without anyway to pay for the program. That isn't exactly correct. He was able to start paying by not paying into the state employee pension fund. For years, Illinois has not put a dime into the state employees pension fund. Now he is proposing to lease the state lottery to a private company to help address the pension problem, while also relying on the new tax increases to cover the rest of the burden as well as the health care and education spending increases.

At a time when staunch fiscal conservatives such as your brilliant blogger are disgusted at the Republican Party for their reckless spending and shameful expansion of government, I'm reminded by Blagojevich and his fellow Democrats that all my anger toward the GOP for their abandonment of fiscal restraint is still nothing compared to what the Dems do when they are in control. Sometimes I think Rod Blagojevich goes into a room with his advisers and they try to figure out how they can make Illinois more economically depressed than California under Gov. Gray Davis (D).

Even though I expect the Democratic machine to push this proposal through, not all Democrats have their head up their ass. “Corporations aren’t going to pay the tax, you and I are going to pay the taxes,” said state Sen. Mike Jacobs, an East Moline Democrat whose district is home to heavy equipment manufacturing giant Deere & Co. Jacobs called a vote for Blagojevich’s plan “career suicide.”

I have never feared for the future of the state of Illinois as much as I do at this moment. Like I said earlier, the citizens of Illinois only have themselves to blame.

Here Comes Bibi
Netanyahu leading in polls

President Bush may have low approval ratings, but compared to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Bush is admired and adored by his constituents. In a recent poll conducted in Israel by the New Wave Institute, only 3% of Israelis believe Olmert should continue serving as Prime Minister. 57% of Israelis believe new elections should be held today, which would mean that Likud Party Chairman Binyamin Netanyahu would be elected Prime Minister. "Bibi" currently has a large lead according to the polls. He has ten times Olmert's support with 30% of the vote, while the Labor Party's Ami Ayalon is in second place with 18%.

Israelis simply have no confidence in Olmert. Last summers war against Hezbollah is viewed as a disaster in the eyes of most Israelis. With Iran promising to "wipe Israel off the map," citizens of the Jewish State know that a defensive minded leader is crucial to their survival. Netanyahu fits that description.

Netanyahu may be leading the polls, but there is still one major problem. There are no elections on the horizon and in Israeli politics, today's leader can be in last place tomorrow. Bibi knows that if he is to be PM again, he needs to continue his crusade against Iran and appear statesman like instead of constantly attacking his opponents. As for your brilliant blogger, I am a huge fan of Netanyahu and often pray that the future and security of Israel will soon be in his hands.

Carter stands firm on apartheid accusations
anti-Semitic groups utilizing Carter's positions.

I was reading an article in the Israeli publication Haaretz about former President Jimmy Carter and his recent engagement at George Washington University. In the story, the writer mentions the groups outside the auditorium protesting for or against Carter and Israel. The anti-Israel hate group, End The Occupation, was present passing out anti-Israel propaganda. Their presence at a Jimmy Carter event should serve as a reminder to Jews who still think Carter is a friend of Israel and the Jewish people. His book, 'Palestine: Peace not Apartheid', is undoubtedly being used a tool for those who believe Israel has no right to exist and support the terrorist acts committed against the Jewish people.

End The Occupation has achieved great notoriety in recent years at anti-war rallies in which they find sympathizers amongst liberals who do not support the war in Iraq. They in conjunction with other groups such as the Answer Coalition not only disagree with the war, but vehemently hate the United States and Israel. Now these anti-Semites are taking advantage of Jimmy Carter's writings and using them to promote disdain for Israel and support for terrorism.

Quick note: End The Occupation has a hall of fame and hall of shame list of representatives and senators. Judge for yourself. It is interesting who is still in or was recently voted out of office.



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