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Taxpayers United of America

Taxpayers United of America Founded in 1976, TUA is one of the largest taxpayer organizations in America. For more information, For more information, visit: http://www.taxpayersunited.org

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https://www.taxpayereducation.org/2021/12/the-midwest-rail-plan-is-a-disaster-in-the-making/ The plan by Midwestern stat...
12/09/2021
THE MIDWEST RAIL PLAN IS “A DISASTER IN THE MAKING” | Taxpayer Education Foundation

https://www.taxpayereducation.org/2021/12/the-midwest-rail-plan-is-a-disaster-in-the-making/

The plan by Midwestern states to squander up to $12 billion of federal funds on a “Midwest Regional Rail Plan” is a disaster in the making, according to Randal O’Toole, Cato Institute senior fellow specializing in land‐​use and transportation issues.

The plan calls for a Chicago hub with spokes radiating to Detroit, Pittsburgh, Columbus (via either Fort Wayne or Indianapolis), Cincinnati, Nashville, Kansas City (via St. Louis), Omaha, and the Twin Cities, and, writes O’Toole, calls for building dedicated lines only in the countryside between Chicago and Detroit, Chicago and Ft. Wayne, Chicago and Nashville, Chicago and St. Louis, and Chicago and St. Paul.

The trains would use tracks shared with freight trains in the cities and in outlying areas such as St. Louis-Kansas City, Indianapolis-Cincinnati.

The plan projects that it will carry 17 million to 33 million riders a year. Projected fares of $1.5 billion to $1.9 billion a year would “nearly” cover operating costs.

“Both of these claims are highly optimistic,” states O’Toole, adding that the Northeast Corridor is more amenable to passenger train ridership than the Midwest. Yet, in 2019, Amtrak trains in the Northeast Corridor carried just 12.5 million riders.
Another problem is that in addition to ridership projections that are too high, the Midwest Plan’s projections of operating costs are too low.

The model is defective, writes O’Toole. “A major flaw in the Midwest Rail Plan is its hub-and-spoke model. That works fine in the Northeast Corridor where there are just two spokes going in opposite directions, but with six spokes going in all directions it leaves out a lot of potential trips.”

Furthermore, even if Midwest rails are built to 150- or 180-mileper-hour standards, trains would rarely be time-competitive with air travel. “The plan’s proposed use of shared rails in major urban areas would mean that trains could only go 20 to 30 miles per hour in those sections, greatly adding to total travel times.”

A caption of an Amtrak’s publicity photo is “Passengers enjoy the scenery between St. Louis and Chicago.” But, comments O’Toole, “Passengers are also enjoying the many empty seats: Amtrak’s 2019 performance report says that its Midwest trains normally fill only 38 to 59 percent of their seats.”

There are other problems. The plan requires that the states acquire 1,500 miles of right-of-way. Landowners resist right-of-way sales to high-speed rail projects.

Finally, “There is also the sheer cost of the project,” writes O’Toole. “The $12 billion in the infrastructure bill will be spread across the country, and if the Midwest gets the same share as it did the Obama funds, it will only get about $3 billion of it. That will barely pay for the feasibility studies required to build a $116 billion to $162 billion project.”

The plan by Midwestern states to squander up to $12 billion of federal funds on a “Midwest Regional Rail Plan” is a disaster in the making, according to Randal O’Toole, Cato Institute senior fellow specializing in land‐​use and transportation issues.

The annual inflation rate in the U.S. edged up to a 13-year high of 5.4% in September of 2021 from 5.3% in August and ab...
11/03/2021
BIDEN’S INFLATION MONSTER WOULD REDUCE EVERYONE’S ASSETS - Taxpayers United Of America

The annual inflation rate in the U.S. edged up to a 13-year high of 5.4% in September of 2021 from 5.3% in August and above market expectations of 5.3%. What is hard for most consumers to grasp is that inflation is a hidden, insidious tax that affects everything. It affects low-income families who struggle to pay for food and services, and harms the vital middle-class needed for a stable society.

Not only does it eat away at the value of the dollar, it devalues other assets such as real estate. A 5% rate of inflation will lessen the value of a person’s home by 5% regardless of market value, without the owner’s being aware of it.

Biden’s proposed spending bill is in the trillions of dollars. Whether it is partly funded by tax increases or not, it will cause massive inflation over and above the present rate and will bring back painful memories of the inflation that ravaged the country under the administration of peanut-farmer Jimmy Carter (D).

Washington politicians are very skillful at raising taxes through inflation. Politicians love inflation because creating money from nothing makes it easy to finance wars and pork. Whenever money is needed by the federal government for wars or pork, the Federal Reserve will buy securities from the U.S. Treasury by means of a check drawn on itself. The Treasury then uses this new money to finance increased federal spending. The Fed is the only entity that can legally create money from nothing. Created by anyone else, it is called counterfeiting.

Newly created money from nothing floods the economy and makes all assets, whether liquid or not, worth less. If Biden’s spending bill becomes law, even consumers in the middle-class will struggle to pay their bills and the entire economy of the U.S. will suffer.

https://taxpayersunitedofamerica.org/bidens-inflation-monster-would-reduce-everyones-assets/

The annual inflation rate in the U.S. edged up to a 13-year high of 5.4% in September of 2021 from 5.3% in August and above market expectations of 5.3%. What is hard for most consumers to grasp is that inflation is a hidden, insidious tax that affects everything. It affects low-income families who s...

10/27/2021
10/18/2021
Winnebago County increased property taxes by nearly $1 million for the 2021 tax year despite Rockford’s effort to keep t...
10/06/2021
Rockford Taxpayers Can’t Catch a Break - Taxpayers United Of America

Winnebago County increased property taxes by nearly $1 million for the 2021 tax year despite Rockford’s effort to keep taxes stable. While this tax increase was made in daylight, several tax increases have been heaped upon taxpayers under the cover of the corrupt and massive Illinois State government.

“Rockford taxpayers have been tolerating some of the highest tax rates in the state and the country,” stated Val W. Zimnicki of Taxpayers United of America. “Now they have state bureaucrats dumping on them as well.”

“Now that Gov. J. B. Pritzker signed SB508 into law, the state can sneak in new property taxes. Specifically, SB508 allows the state to increase this year’s property tax by the amount of refunds due to adjustments from last year.”

“So, when I get my senior discount, the amount I save is covered by everyone else in my district. A classic ‘redistribution of wealth’. That phrase, redistribution of wealth, is a misnomer. It conveniently leads one to believe that only the wealthy are negatively affected by it when, in reality, it affects the middle class by supplanting the tax burden to them.”

“The big guy in Springfield also keeps reducing the amount of revenue collected by the state income-tax that is returned to the local district. When Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF) was enacted, the amount was set at 10% of the total state income-tax revenue collected to be returned to the local governments. Pritzker just decreased it to 6.06%! Bureaucrats want nothing else but to see property tax increases to offset this.

“Which brings us to the $64 million question: why are bureaucrats so despite to raise our taxes? Their own benefit, that’s what. Many government employees are paid lavish salaries using our property taxes, which in turn sets their starting state pension. Furthermore, pension plans in the Illinois Municipal Retirement System are primarily funded with property taxes.”

The pensions and salaries of the local government retirees take the biggest bite out of the property-tax revenue pie. The government schools impose the greatest property tax hikes. Approximately 58.8% of property-tax increases went to the government schools.

“Rockford area government pensioners are bleeding the area’s taxpayers dry. How can a Winnebago County retiree soak the taxpayers for more than $5 million in property taxes? Simply by retiring at the age of 57 with an annual pension of $175,970. Winnebago County retiree Paul A. Logli did just that and will collect $5,074,976 over a normal lifetime.

“Retired Rockford teacher, Alan S. Brown, began draining taxpayers at the age of 55. His current annual pension is $194,493 and will accumulate to a stunning $5,322,245 when he reaches 85 years of age.”

“Kishwaukee College’s David Louis is on track to collect $4,735,522 by age 85, thanks to his constitutionally protected 3% cost of living adjustment (COLA) on his current annual pension of $197,577.”

“There are no quick fixes for Illinois’ dire financial situation, although the solutions are painfully obvious: stop adding new hires to the same broken system and place them in a defined contribution plan like a 401(k), increase the amount that government employees contribute to their own pension, get a referendum on the ballot to end the 3% compounded COLA.”

https://taxpayersunitedofamerica.org/rockford-taxpayers-cant-catch-a-break/

Winnebago County increased property taxes by nearly $1 million for the 2021 tax year despite Rockford’s effort to keep taxes stable. While this tax increase was made in daylight, several tax increases have been heaped upon taxpayers under the cover of the corrupt and massive Illinois State governm...

In an article published Friday, the Chicago Sun-Times identified Duckworth as one of more than 27,000 homeowners in Cook...
10/06/2021
Democrat Tammy Duckworth slammed for getting tax break on her Illinois home

In an article published Friday, the Chicago Sun-Times identified Duckworth as one of more than 27,000 homeowners in Cook County who avoid paying the tax by claiming various exemptions that the Illinois General Assembly has made possible over the years.

"I’m surprised that someone would question veterans who have been wounded in service to their nation in a combat zone accessing benefits," Duckworth responded, according to the Sun-Times.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/democrat-tammy-duckworth-property-tax-illinois-home-disabled-veteran-exemption

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., a disabled U.S. military veteran, has been criticized by a Chicago newspaper for getting a tax break that has allowed her to avoid paying property taxes on her Cook County, Illinois, home since 2015.

The average person drives 13,500 according to the The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration...
09/28/2021

The average person drives 13,500 according to the The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration. That means a $1,080 tax just to drive your car that you paid for with income that was taxed, paid sales tax on, and were taxed for licensing fees. Don't forget the fuel required to drive it was taxed.

https://taxpayersunitedofamerica.org/build-back-better-act-harmful-and-a-money-loser/ The tax provisions in the “Build B...
09/28/2021
“BUILD BACK BETTER ACT” HARMFUL AND A MONEY-LOSER - Taxpayers United Of America

https://taxpayersunitedofamerica.org/build-back-better-act-harmful-and-a-money-loser/

The tax provisions in the “Build Back Better Act” proposed in the House Ways and Means Committee would result in long-run GDP dropping by more than $2 for every $1 in new tax revenue, according to the nonpartisan Washington-based Tax Foundation.

“It is important to consider the economic impacts, which include reduced economic output, wages, and jobs,” writes the foundation’s Garrett Watson.

“We estimate that the Ways and Means tax plan would reduce long-run GDP by 0.98 percent, which in today’s dollars amounts to about $332 billion of lost output annually. We estimate the plan would in the long run raise about $152 billion annually in new tax revenue, conventionally estimated in today’s dollars, meaning for every $1 in revenue raised, economic output would fall by $2.18.”

According to the foundation, starting with a 0.09 percent drop in GDP in the first year (about $20 billion) and building to a 0.64 percent drop in GDP by 2031 (about $212 billion), the plan would result in a cumulative GDP loss of nearly $1.2 trillion from 2022 through 2031, as shown in the following Figure.

The Ways and Means tax plan reduces economic output by reducing the after-tax return to investment opportunities for firms and the incentive to work through higher tax rates on labor income. More than half of the plan’s economic impact is due to increasing the tax burden on corporations, which is the most economically costly way to raise revenue.

The report notes that even before accounting for a smaller economy, taxpayers earning less than $400,000 would see lower after-tax incomes due to higher corporate taxes and higher taxes levied on ni****ne and ci******es.

Overall, the plan would reduce average after-tax income per filer by $171 in 2031, on a conventional basis, and by $971 per filer in the long run on a dynamic basis. That is, the economic harm of the plan would reduce after-tax incomes by about $800 per filer on average each year.

The report concludes, “The economic harm caused by the tax increases would claw back some of the plan’s expanded tax credits aimed at low- and middle-income families. For those in the bottom 20 percent, it would reduce the average net benefit of the plan per filer from $341 to $233, a 30 percent reduction.”

The tax provisions in the “Build Back Better Act” proposed in the House Ways and Means Committee would result in long-run GDP dropping by more than $2 for every $1 in new tax revenue, according to the nonpartisan Washington-based Tax Foundation.

09/27/2021

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09/23/2021

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The energy policies of the Biden administration are counter-productive and are harming the U.S.The U.S. became energy in...
09/23/2021
BIDEN ENERGY POLICIES ARE COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE AND DESTRUCTIVE - Taxpayers United Of America

The energy policies of the Biden administration are counter-productive and are harming the U.S.

The U.S. became energy independent a couple of years prior to President Biden’s executive orders. Biden stopped oil and gas leases on federal lands and then stopped construction on the Keystone pipeline. Simultaneously, he approved Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany, which will supply that country as well as other European countries with oil, thus weakening U.S. oil exports. This puzzling action makes no economic sense. It’s a double-hit on U.S. oil exports and U.S. oil independence. As a result, the U.S. is a net oil importer once again.

During the Trump administration, domestic oil production rose 44 percent, and we were a oil exporter for the first time in almost 60 years. This has changed. Due to Biden’s executive orders, we are now asking OPEC to pump more oil to meet our needs, and, of course, this comes at a cost. Gas and oil prices are now at highest levels in 7 years, since October 2014.

Americans are paying much more at the pump, and this hurts not only the middle class but the poor. Last year the national average for regular grade oil was $2.38 a gallon; today it’s almost a dollar more.

As usual, the costs are higher in Illinois and other blue states. Economists see oil and gas prices continuing to trend in an upward direction.

Transportation costs are not the only ones directly affected by the administration’s economic policies. Oil and natural gas are needed for products like tires, medical equipment, phones, shampoos, dresses, deodorants, sweaters, and about 6,000 other commodities. Watch for more inflation affecting many everyday products dependent on oil. Of course, politicians love higher-priced merchandise. Higher prices create higher taxes!

The energy policies of the Biden administration are counter-productive and are harming the U.S.

Despite so much of the property tax share going to public pensions, there is still a huge unmet pension debt. The averag...
09/23/2021
Over 90% of Rock Island municipal property taxes taken by public pensions

Despite so much of the property tax share going to public pensions, there is still a huge unmet pension debt. The average Rock Island household owes nearly $40,000 to state and local pensions.

https://www.illinoispolicy.org/over-90-of-rock-island-municipal-property-taxes-taken-by-public-pensions/

Despite so much of the property tax share going to public pensions, there is still a huge unmet pension debt. The average Rock Island household owes nearly $40,000 to state and local pensions.

https://taxpayersunitedofamerica.org/millionaire-monday-robert-molaro/Positively, absolutely nothing can stop the Illino...
09/20/2021
Millionaire Monday: Robert Molaro - Taxpayers United Of America

https://taxpayersunitedofamerica.org/millionaire-monday-robert-molaro/

Positively, absolutely nothing can stop the Illinois state pension madness as it is now, not even death.

Robert Molaro (D), was in both houses of the Illinois General Assembly and collected a enormous taxpayer subsidized pension. In 2019, not long before his death, Robert was collecting $141,972 estimated a year in pension payouts. He had put in only $109,860, and had received over his lifetime $1,233,126. Robert was expected to receive $4,322,660 by the time he reached 85.

Alas, Robert did not make it that long. On June 15th, 2020 Robert Molaro passed away. However, his pension certainly didn’t pass away. Instead, it was passed on to Barbara Molaro.

Who is Barbara Molaro, you might ask? Well, she was the late Robert’s wife, and also pled guilty in a ghost payroll case initiated by the feds. In 1996, Barbara Molaro was indicted by the feds under charges of receiving $40,000 during 6 years she was on the Illinois Senate payroll without having to do any work.

Barbara now receives as of 2021 and estimated $100,413 annually from a General Assembly Retirement System pension. By the time she is 85 she is expected to have received $1,933,043, the lion’s share coming from Illinois state taxpayers.

While is Barbara’s pension so high? That’s because her pension is calculated based off of what Robert Molaro was receiving. Why was Robert Molaro’s pension so high? Its because Chicago Alderman Edward M. Burke hired Molaro as an expert on pensions of all things. Robert wrote a 19-page white paper on Chicago's pension funds. Molaro worked as an aide to Burke for one month, earned $12,000, and nearly doubled his pension. For those that need a reminder, this is the same Burke that has a 14-count corruption case pending on him.

Positively, absolutely nothing can stop the Illinois state pension madness as it is now, not even death.

Chicago’s property tax levy will rise by $76.5 million in 2022. The levy increase covers $22.9 million for the automatic...
09/20/2021
Lightfoot plans to increase Chicago’s property tax levy by $76.5M in 2022, aldermen told

Chicago’s property tax levy will rise by $76.5 million in 2022. The levy increase covers $22.9 million for the automatic escalator tied to the consumer price index; $25 million to bankroll the 2022 installment of Lightfoot’s $3.7 billion capital plan; and $28.6 million captured from “new property.”

The levy increase covers $22.9 million for the automatic escalator tied to the consumer price index; $25 million to bankroll the 2022 installment of Lightfoot’s $3.7 billion capital plan; and $28.6 million captured from "new property."

In a press report, the Biden Administration announced that it is sending $64 million dollars to Taliban Controlled Afgha...
09/14/2021
Ransom Payment? Biden Administration Sending $64 Million In Taxpayer Dollars To Taliban Controlled Afghanistan - Taxpayers United Of America

In a press report, the Biden Administration announced that it is sending $64 million dollars to Taliban Controlled Afghanistan. According to the report:

“Today, the United States announced nearly $64 million in additional humanitarian assistance for the people of Afghanistan. This funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of State will flow through independent organizations, such as UN agencies and NGOs, and provide life-saving support directly to Afghans facing the compounding effects of insecurity, conflict, recurring natural disasters, and the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“This payment is highly suspicious,” noted Matthew Schultz, executive director of Taxpayers United of America. “We know from recent testimony from Secretary of State Antony Blinken that roughly 100 American citizens who want to leave Afghanistan remain in the country as of the end of last week. We also know for a fact that the Taliban have hampered US civilian efforts to leave the country.”

“If this is not outright a ransom payment, then what else is it? Assuming that any of this money actually reaches people, and is not just intercepted by the Taliban, than what does it achieve? Afghanistan is in chaos. There is a drought in the country, police have been replaced with Islamic radicals, and banks are limiting withdrawals due to a fear of a bank run. Infusions of ‘aid’ into the economy would help stabilize the country, and strengthen the Taliban’s control.”

“In essence, no matter who the money goes to in Afghanistan, it will help the Taliban.”

“The only way to know if this really is a ransom payment is to see what happens next. Either way, the situation is ridiculous. Taxpayers pay enormous amounts of money to the government to ensure our safety and security. Indeed, a large portion of our tax bill goes to fund the greatest military force in the world. To think that despite all the money that we pay for all these ships, planes, and tanks, that hundreds of Americans are left behind enemy lines is absurd. The notion that we have to pay even more as a ransom to those that helped terrorists ram planes into our buildings is disgusting.”

https://taxpayersunitedofamerica.org/ransom-payment-biden-administration-sending-64-million-in-taxpayer-dollars-to-taliban-controlled-afghanistan/

In a press report, the Biden Administration announced that it is sending $64 million dollars to Taliban Controlled Afghanistan.

https://taxpayersunitedofamerica.org/biden-administration-falsely-claims-97-of-small-businesses-exempt-from-biden-taxes/...
09/08/2021
BIDEN ADMINISTRATION FALSELY CLAIMS 97% OF SMALL BUSINESSES EXEMPT FROM BIDEN TAXES - Taxpayers United Of America

https://taxpayersunitedofamerica.org/biden-administration-falsely-claims-97-of-small-businesses-exempt-from-biden-taxes/

The Biden administration’s claim that the President’s agenda will protect 97 percent of small business owners from income tax rate increases is misleading, according to a study by the nonpartisan Washington-based Tax Foundation.

“To assess the economic effect of higher marginal tax rates, it matters how much income or investment will be affected—not how many taxpayers,” write the foundation’s Alex Durante and Erica York.

“The Treasury analysis specifically examines filers with pass-through income, or income that is reported through a sole proprietor, partnership, or S corp. Although the White House news release does not link to the actual study, it appears that they simply calculate how many filers are above the income thresholds where President Biden’s taxes would apply.”

Looking at filers with pass-through income likely understates the effect on small businesses, and therefore underestimates the effect on the economy more broadly, asserts the study.

The government analysis classifies as small businesses many filers at the lower part of the income distribution who may not operate what we think of as a traditional business that makes capital investments, employs workers, and generates significant income.

According to the study, “A better way to assess the overall impact of the Biden tax increase on the economy would be to look at the share of pass-through income that would be impacted by it.”

The foundation found that 6 percent of filers with pass-through net income with adjusted gross incomes above $400,000 were responsible for 52 percent of all pass-through income reported to the IRS. That such a small group of filers generates more than half of all pass-through income implies that taxes that target this group could impact the economy significantly.

Moreover, according to the study, recent IRS data for tax year 2018 further confirms that a significant share of pass-through business income would face higher marginal tax rates under Biden’s proposals.

“While taxpayers making above $500,000 comprise roughly just 4 percent of returns that reported either business net income or net losses, they account for more than half of the resulting net income. In other words, while a relatively small number of business owners would be affected, an outsized share of business activity (as measured by business income) would be affected by the proposed tax increases.”

The study concludes: “When thinking how higher tax rates would affect the economy, the relevant piece of information is not the number of people affected—it’s the amount of economic activity. By focusing on the number of people, the Biden administration is misleadingly claiming their tax proposals would have a small effect. The actual statistics show more than half of pass-through business income could face tax increases.”

The Biden administration’s claim that the President’s agenda will protect 97 percent of small business owners from income tax rate increases is misleading, according to a study by the nonpartisan Washington-based Tax Foundation.

Taxpayers United of America (TUA) worked with taxpayers in Warren Township Dist. 121 to help them defeat a property tax ...
08/27/2021
WARREN TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL DIST. 121 WILL TRY AGAIN FOR A MONEY GRAB IN 2022! - Taxpayers United Of America

Taxpayers United of America (TUA) worked with taxpayers in Warren Township Dist. 121 to help them defeat a property tax increase referendum on April 6, 2021. However, the greedy bureaucrats on the school board have not given up. They decided to place another property tax increase referendum on the June 28, 2022 ballot.

On August 27, 2021, the Board of Education approved placing a 60-cent operating rate increase question on the 2022 ballot.

In opposing the April 6, 2021 referendum, TUA president Jim Tobin stated that “Warren TWP HSD 121 (WTHS) wants to raises taxes during a pandemic! The school district has placed on the April 6th ballot a referendum to increase the limiting rate on property taxes, effectively raising property taxes by $7.6 million!”

“Illinois is still locked down, schools aren’t even fully open, yet the career tax-raisers at WTHS want taxpayers to fork over another $7.6 million. This is really hitting the taxpayers when they’re down.”

Tobin pointed out to taxpayers that it’s really the bureaucrats and teachers who profit from these property tax hikes, not the students. “All of the top 15 annual salaries in WTHS are greater than $136,000, and, when they retire, each of these teachers will collect millions from the Teachers Retirement System (TRS). It’s unconscionable that government school administrators would expect taxpayers to subsidize these overpaid teachers with more of their hard-earned money.”

Lake County’s average annual property tax of $6,285 is the highest of all Illinois counties. It ranks 18th out of 3,143 counties for property taxes as a percentage of annual income: 6.76%.

Tobin had a suggestion for the school board: “WTHS needs to sell the 100-acre parcel that they purchased in 2008 for $8 million. Proceeds from the sale would go a long way to protect the programs that the government school bureaucrats are threatening to drop if the referendum fails. They have threatened to risk students’ ability to qualify for colleges, scholarships, and just to succeed in life.”

“They also threaten to go to a seven-period day, but I’m sure teachers and staff would not consent to a 12.5% pay-cut,” said Tobin. “It’s time to freeze teachers’ salaries.”

https://taxpayersunitedofamerica.org/warren-township-high-school-dist-121-will-try-again-for-a-money-grab-in-2022/

Taxpayers United of America (TUA) worked with taxpayers in Warren Township Dist. 121 to help them defeat a property tax increase referendum on April 6, 2021. However, the greedy bureaucrats on the school board have not given up. They decided to place another property tax increase referendum on the J...

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https://www.taxpayereducation.org/2021/12/the-midwest-rail-plan-is-a-disaster-in-the-making/

The plan by Midwestern states to squander up to $12 billion of federal funds on a “Midwest Regional Rail Plan” is a disaster in the making, according to Randal O’Toole, Cato Institute senior fellow specializing in land‐​use and transportation issues.

The plan calls for a Chicago hub with spokes radiating to Detroit, Pittsburgh, Columbus (via either Fort Wayne or Indianapolis), Cincinnati, Nashville, Kansas City (via St. Louis), Omaha, and the Twin Cities, and, writes O’Toole, calls for building dedicated lines only in the countryside between Chicago and Detroit, Chicago and Ft. Wayne, Chicago and Nashville, Chicago and St. Louis, and Chicago and St. Paul.

The trains would use tracks shared with freight trains in the cities and in outlying areas such as St. Louis-Kansas City, Indianapolis-Cincinnati.

The plan projects that it will carry 17 million to 33 million riders a year. Projected fares of $1.5 billion to $1.9 billion a year would “nearly” cover operating costs.

“Both of these claims are highly optimistic,” states O’Toole, adding that the Northeast Corridor is more amenable to passenger train ridership than the Midwest. Yet, in 2019, Amtrak trains in the Northeast Corridor carried just 12.5 million riders.
Another problem is that in addition to ridership projections that are too high, the Midwest Plan’s projections of operating costs are too low.

The model is defective, writes O’Toole. “A major flaw in the Midwest Rail Plan is its hub-and-spoke model. That works fine in the Northeast Corridor where there are just two spokes going in opposite directions, but with six spokes going in all directions it leaves out a lot of potential trips.”

Furthermore, even if Midwest rails are built to 150- or 180-mileper-hour standards, trains would rarely be time-competitive with air travel. “The plan’s proposed use of shared rails in major urban areas would mean that trains could only go 20 to 30 miles per hour in those sections, greatly adding to total travel times.”

A caption of an Amtrak’s publicity photo is “Passengers enjoy the scenery between St. Louis and Chicago.” But, comments O’Toole, “Passengers are also enjoying the many empty seats: Amtrak’s 2019 performance report says that its Midwest trains normally fill only 38 to 59 percent of their seats.”

There are other problems. The plan requires that the states acquire 1,500 miles of right-of-way. Landowners resist right-of-way sales to high-speed rail projects.

Finally, “There is also the sheer cost of the project,” writes O’Toole. “The $12 billion in the infrastructure bill will be spread across the country, and if the Midwest gets the same share as it did the Obama funds, it will only get about $3 billion of it. That will barely pay for the feasibility studies required to build a $116 billion to $162 billion project.”
The annual inflation rate in the U.S. edged up to a 13-year high of 5.4% in September of 2021 from 5.3% in August and above market expectations of 5.3%. What is hard for most consumers to grasp is that inflation is a hidden, insidious tax that affects everything. It affects low-income families who struggle to pay for food and services, and harms the vital middle-class needed for a stable society.

Not only does it eat away at the value of the dollar, it devalues other assets such as real estate. A 5% rate of inflation will lessen the value of a person’s home by 5% regardless of market value, without the owner’s being aware of it.

Biden’s proposed spending bill is in the trillions of dollars. Whether it is partly funded by tax increases or not, it will cause massive inflation over and above the present rate and will bring back painful memories of the inflation that ravaged the country under the administration of peanut-farmer Jimmy Carter (D).

Washington politicians are very skillful at raising taxes through inflation. Politicians love inflation because creating money from nothing makes it easy to finance wars and pork. Whenever money is needed by the federal government for wars or pork, the Federal Reserve will buy securities from the U.S. Treasury by means of a check drawn on itself. The Treasury then uses this new money to finance increased federal spending. The Fed is the only entity that can legally create money from nothing. Created by anyone else, it is called counterfeiting.

Newly created money from nothing floods the economy and makes all assets, whether liquid or not, worth less. If Biden’s spending bill becomes law, even consumers in the middle-class will struggle to pay their bills and the entire economy of the U.S. will suffer.

https://taxpayersunitedofamerica.org/bidens-inflation-monster-would-reduce-everyones-assets/
Winnebago County increased property taxes by nearly $1 million for the 2021 tax year despite Rockford’s effort to keep taxes stable. While this tax increase was made in daylight, several tax increases have been heaped upon taxpayers under the cover of the corrupt and massive Illinois State government.

“Rockford taxpayers have been tolerating some of the highest tax rates in the state and the country,” stated Val W. Zimnicki of Taxpayers United of America. “Now they have state bureaucrats dumping on them as well.”

“Now that Gov. J. B. Pritzker signed SB508 into law, the state can sneak in new property taxes. Specifically, SB508 allows the state to increase this year’s property tax by the amount of refunds due to adjustments from last year.”

“So, when I get my senior discount, the amount I save is covered by everyone else in my district. A classic ‘redistribution of wealth’. That phrase, redistribution of wealth, is a misnomer. It conveniently leads one to believe that only the wealthy are negatively affected by it when, in reality, it affects the middle class by supplanting the tax burden to them.”

“The big guy in Springfield also keeps reducing the amount of revenue collected by the state income-tax that is returned to the local district. When Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF) was enacted, the amount was set at 10% of the total state income-tax revenue collected to be returned to the local governments. Pritzker just decreased it to 6.06%! Bureaucrats want nothing else but to see property tax increases to offset this.

“Which brings us to the $64 million question: why are bureaucrats so despite to raise our taxes? Their own benefit, that’s what. Many government employees are paid lavish salaries using our property taxes, which in turn sets their starting state pension. Furthermore, pension plans in the Illinois Municipal Retirement System are primarily funded with property taxes.”

The pensions and salaries of the local government retirees take the biggest bite out of the property-tax revenue pie. The government schools impose the greatest property tax hikes. Approximately 58.8% of property-tax increases went to the government schools.

“Rockford area government pensioners are bleeding the area’s taxpayers dry. How can a Winnebago County retiree soak the taxpayers for more than $5 million in property taxes? Simply by retiring at the age of 57 with an annual pension of $175,970. Winnebago County retiree Paul A. Logli did just that and will collect $5,074,976 over a normal lifetime.

“Retired Rockford teacher, Alan S. Brown, began draining taxpayers at the age of 55. His current annual pension is $194,493 and will accumulate to a stunning $5,322,245 when he reaches 85 years of age.”

“Kishwaukee College’s David Louis is on track to collect $4,735,522 by age 85, thanks to his constitutionally protected 3% cost of living adjustment (COLA) on his current annual pension of $197,577.”

“There are no quick fixes for Illinois’ dire financial situation, although the solutions are painfully obvious: stop adding new hires to the same broken system and place them in a defined contribution plan like a 401(k), increase the amount that government employees contribute to their own pension, get a referendum on the ballot to end the 3% compounded COLA.”

https://taxpayersunitedofamerica.org/rockford-taxpayers-cant-catch-a-break/
In an article published Friday, the Chicago Sun-Times identified Duckworth as one of more than 27,000 homeowners in Cook County who avoid paying the tax by claiming various exemptions that the Illinois General Assembly has made possible over the years.

"I’m surprised that someone would question veterans who have been wounded in service to their nation in a combat zone accessing benefits," Duckworth responded, according to the Sun-Times.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/democrat-tammy-duckworth-property-tax-illinois-home-disabled-veteran-exemption
The average person drives 13,500 according to the The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration. That means a $1,080 tax just to drive your car that you paid for with income that was taxed, paid sales tax on, and were taxed for licensing fees. Don't forget the fuel required to drive it was taxed.
https://taxpayersunitedofamerica.org/build-back-better-act-harmful-and-a-money-loser/

The tax provisions in the “Build Back Better Act” proposed in the House Ways and Means Committee would result in long-run GDP dropping by more than $2 for every $1 in new tax revenue, according to the nonpartisan Washington-based Tax Foundation.

“It is important to consider the economic impacts, which include reduced economic output, wages, and jobs,” writes the foundation’s Garrett Watson.

“We estimate that the Ways and Means tax plan would reduce long-run GDP by 0.98 percent, which in today’s dollars amounts to about $332 billion of lost output annually. We estimate the plan would in the long run raise about $152 billion annually in new tax revenue, conventionally estimated in today’s dollars, meaning for every $1 in revenue raised, economic output would fall by $2.18.”

According to the foundation, starting with a 0.09 percent drop in GDP in the first year (about $20 billion) and building to a 0.64 percent drop in GDP by 2031 (about $212 billion), the plan would result in a cumulative GDP loss of nearly $1.2 trillion from 2022 through 2031, as shown in the following Figure.

The Ways and Means tax plan reduces economic output by reducing the after-tax return to investment opportunities for firms and the incentive to work through higher tax rates on labor income. More than half of the plan’s economic impact is due to increasing the tax burden on corporations, which is the most economically costly way to raise revenue.

The report notes that even before accounting for a smaller economy, taxpayers earning less than $400,000 would see lower after-tax incomes due to higher corporate taxes and higher taxes levied on ni****ne and ci******es.

Overall, the plan would reduce average after-tax income per filer by $171 in 2031, on a conventional basis, and by $971 per filer in the long run on a dynamic basis. That is, the economic harm of the plan would reduce after-tax incomes by about $800 per filer on average each year.

The report concludes, “The economic harm caused by the tax increases would claw back some of the plan’s expanded tax credits aimed at low- and middle-income families. For those in the bottom 20 percent, it would reduce the average net benefit of the plan per filer from $341 to $233, a 30 percent reduction.”
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