Illinois is one of a few states which has a flat income tax. No matter who you are or what you make, your income is taxed at the same rate.
But Illinois is one of those states which is in trouble: like California, the Illinois state government is spending more money than it has to spend, and it's fast approaching bankruptcy.
The Democrat-controlled government's answer? Raise taxes!
The tax increase is supposed to be "temporary". Do you know what happened to the last "temporary" income tax increase Illinois enacted?
Yeah: it became "permanent".
Even better, this tax hike was the last act of the lame duck Illinois congress before the new congress was sworn in. They quite literally passed it in the wee hours of the morning.
As soon as the bunker gets sold, the new bunker is going to be in Indiana, because the taxes there are a hell of a lot lower than here. Take, for example, property taxes; I was talking with a banker the other day who wants to move out of Crete as soon as she can because the property taxes are insane in Will County. And they're not any better elsewhere in Illinois.
I took that opportunity to make a wry comment about the "Taj Mahal" out on the west side of town: the new $60 million high school nobody needed and for which they couldn't afford to buy any equipment. I recall one story in the local paper about how the high school needed to scrounge up a clapped-out spinet piano for music classes because there was no money in the budget that year.
They tax the shit out of us already; and now they're going to tax us even more.
You know, you try to explain this to people, and they never listen. The Democrats are going to raise your taxes. Illinois has been facing the same budget problems for three years, and anyone with any sense could have predicted that Pat Quinn--a Democrat who said he wanted to raise the income tax before the election--was going to get his tax increase once the lesilators were comfortably distant from an election. We could have elected a governor who would have at least tried not to raise taxes.
The tax increase comes with a promise that future spending increases won't be more than 2% per year. Any bets on how long it'll take them to worm around that 2% limit? I bet they purposely built in language to make it easy to avoid; probably they exclude from that limit spending increases in the various things which they are most likely to want to increase. And anyway, that's 2% over 2010 numbers, which are grossly inflated.
There are no budget cuts whatsoever.
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By the way: I'm hearing that a couple of major volanoes have erupted. Krakatau and some volcano up on the Kamchatka Peninsula are spewing crap and aerosols into the air.
Recall, if you will, the Pinatubo eruption of 1991. That was a pretty big one, and it lowered the global temperature anomaly by 0.1° all by itself. I have no idea how big these eruptions are compared with Pinatubo; but at this point it probably doesn't matter all that much.
You see, we're still in an extended solar minimum. There were more sunspots last year than the year before, but nothing like a normal amount. There were only about 50 spotless days last year (days without sunspots) compared to 260 in 2009; but both the solar magnetic field and solar wind are still the weakest they've been since we've been able to measure them and the trend is downward. If the sun's magnetic field gets weak enough, sunspots stop forming--and the sunspot count tracks rather nicely with climate records; fewer spots means cooler temperatures.
Some solar scientists are wondering if the sun's going to drop into a Maunder-style minimum, or "only" a Dalton-type...but regardless, it means cooler summers and cold winters.
Add to this, then, two volcanoes spewing gunk into the atmosphere. Volcanic activity has a cooling effect--this is partly what led Sagan et al to bloviate about "nuclear winter" and set the stage for the anthropogenic global warming nonsense--and the planet is already cooling due to lower solar output.
Draw the obvious conclusion.
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Thunderstorms make antimatter. Jesus.
...which demonstrates how little we know about the workings of Earth's atmosphere, by the way. Climatologists would do well to think on that.
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After the excitement this morning, of securing a real interview for a real job, I crashed hard. Damn it, I hit the hay like a laser-guided bunker buster. Except for various phone calls, I slept like a rock.
I have a lot to do tomorrow: take the suit to the tailor, get over to the local bank with the information required to start the paperwork, run the snowblower; I have to think about hitting the grocery store, too.
Guess I'd better play WoW while I can.