Trillions of Corporate Welfare In The U.S. Budget

by Stephen Moore | Illinois Conservative Examiner

If Republicans are going to get truly serious about cutting government spending, they are going to have to snip the umbilical cord from the Treasury to corporate America.  You can’t reform welfare programs for the poor until you’ve gotten Daddy Warbucks off the dole. Voters will insist on that — as well they should.

Federal budgetSo why hasn’t it happened? Why hasn’t the GOP pledged to end corporate welfare as we know it?

Part of the explanation is that too many have gotten confused about the difference between free-market capitalism and crony capitalism.

And part of the problem is corporate welfare that is so well hidden from public view in the budget that no one has really measured how big this mountain of giveaway cash to the Fortune 500 really is. Finding out is like trying to break into the CIA.

Until now. Open the Books, an Illinois-based watchdog group, has been scrupulously monitoring all federal grants, loans, direct payments and insurance subsidies flowing to individuals and companies.

Skillicorn spotlights district’s blight, slams tax-increment financing

“Walmart wins while taxpayers in Community School District 300 are stuck with the bill,” – Allen

By Jamie Barrand

Allen Skillicorn, Republican candidate for the 66th State House District seat and an East Dundee village trustee, is upset about the epidemic of abandoned and blighted buildings in the district he wants to represent, the latest of which is the former Walmart store in East Dundee.

Chicago Tribune Endorses Skillicorn For The Illinois House

Editorial Board | Chicago Tribune

66th District: Our first question to the four candidates running for this House seat: Anyone play guitar? Because someone might have to fill in for retiring Rep. Mike Tryon, R-Crystal Lake, member of the Boat Drink Caucus, a band made up of several lawmakers. Tryon announced last year he would not seek another term. Four Republicans are vying to replace him: Lakewood trustee Paul Serwatka, West Dundee trustee Dan Wilbrandt, East Dundee trustee Allen Skillicorn and McHenry County Board member Carolyn Schofield of Crystal Lake…

Trial Lawyers Hold Worker’s Comp Reforms Hostage

Breaking down the overall high cost and regulatory burden borne by businesses.

by Michael Lucci

Illinois’ workers’ compensation system is the most costly in the region, according to a 2014 biennial study of all states by the state of Oregon. The Oregon study compares workers’ compensation costs among states, averaged across industries, and shows that Illinois has the most expensive system in the Midwest and the seventh-most-expensive system nationwide.

How Illinois Democrats hoodwinked the middle class

by Kristen McQueary | Chicago Tribune | 10/22/2015

In 2011, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan attended a private fundraiser for Republican U.S. House Speaker John Boehner. Madigan was a guest of the host, Terrence Duffy, chairman of CME Group, the parent company of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade.

Four months later, Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton gathered lawmakers in Springfield for a rare special session to approve tax-break legislation that included CME Group, cutting the company’s annual state income taxes nearly in half.

At the time, Illinois was facing the possible shutdown of seven facilities, including mental health institutions and a home for the developmentally disabled. For weeks, parents with adult disabled children were visiting the Capitol trying to save the facility slated for closure. They pushed their loved ones around in wheelchairs or sat outside the House chamber carrying framed pictures of their kids.

Their efforts didn’t work. Jacksonville Developmental Center was eventually closed. But CME Group got its tax break.

CME Group is one of many big-donor firms to benefit from a form of corporate welfare from a Democrat-led state government. From 2010 to 2014, the state handed out tax breaks worth roughly $4.6 billion to Sears and Mitsubishi, Motorola and others, according to a subsidy tracker website.

Remember that the next time you hear Madigan or Cullerton or any Illinois Democrat boast that their party is the one putting the interests of the middle class ahead of big business.

It’s a theme you’ll hear repeatedly as the election cycle takes off.

25 People Enrolled On Food Stamps For Every Manufacturing Job

40 Years of Speaker Michael Madigan have just wrecked our state! – Allen

Illinois’ dismal business climate continues to inhibit jobs growth, especially in manufacturing, as the state put 25 people on food stamps for every factory job created during the recovery from the Great Recession.

Illinois is the only state in the Midwest to have added more people to food-stamp rolls than to employment rolls during the recovery from the Great Recession. Job losses from the Great Recession occurred from January 2008 to January 2010, and since then, states have had five-and-a-half years of recovery.

East Dundee candidates differ on Wal-Mart departure

By James Fuller | Daily Herald

Incumbent East Dundee village board candidates Allen Skillicorn and Jeff Lynam believe it’s long past time to roll back efforts to prevent Wal-Mart from leaving time. But at least one challenger, a face from the village’s recent political past, believes continuing the legal battle is the best first line of defense against a major loss of village tax revenue.

The Wal-Mart at 620 Dundee Ave. is the largest single generator of sales tax revenue in the village. It pours a little less than $800,000 a year into village coffers.

The big-box retailer announced it would jump the border and set up shop just about three miles away in Carpentersville as soon as its East Dundee lease expires in a little less than two years.

Village officials under Former Mayor Jerry Bartels direction went to court to block the company from leaving in belief that it is illegal for Wal-Mart to bolt to a shopping center that’s less than 10 miles away from a competing center when the tenant, Wal-Mart, will receive tax increment finance district assistance — property taxes above a certain point diverted from local governments and into redevelopment — to relocate.

Former Mayor Jerry Bartels is running for the village board with a promise of continuing that court battle despite the legal costs.

But incumbents Allen Skillicorn and Jeff Lynam said it’s time to think about how to replace Wal-Mart rather than keep it.

Skillicorn said the ongoing legal battle makes the village look weak. He’s also upset about the $100,000 of wasted  legal fees spent so far.

“I think that’s quite egregious,” Skillicorn said. “The fact is the law as it’s written has a gaping loophole. All Wal-Mart has to do is say this building doesn’t make enough money for us, and then they can leave. Right now it looks like we lost Dominick’s, lost Wal-Mart, and the best the village can do is sue Wal-Mart. That’s kind of silly. The question is how are we going to approach new businesses to come in, or are we going to sue people who want to leave?”

Lynam went so far as to say Wal-Mart leaving is “a good thing for the town.” He, too, believes times spent trying to save the village’s marriage with Wal-Mart is time that could be better spent wooing a new retail relationship.