The whine this time is local, as all politics
eventually ends up being, per former U.S. House
Speaker "Tip" O'Neill. Chicago's Cook County,
amid great fanfare, has dropped 25% of the 1% recently
added to our sales tax. We're still among the top three
or four highest sales-tax entities in the nation,
nevertheless.--But the comments from some business
owners, elected officials and others might lead
one to think this is a progressive watershed moment.
It IS, however, the fulfillment of Cook County Board
President Toni Preckwinkle's campaign promise to lower
Cook County's excessive sales tax. Since our county is
the 19th largest taxing body in the U.S., anything it
enacts has high significance. The announcement's attendant
happy hyperbole irks me, nevertheless. Last week The Chicago
Sun-Times devoted column space analyzing the reduction in
consumer costs for items such as sweaters and washer/dryers.
The "before" and "after" price comparisons made me snort in
derision (-too bad I was in public at the time!). Some
savings were far less than the price of a pack of gum.
That very interesting arithmetic was adjacent to all the
quotes from the thriftily delighted.
In the wider world, as Election 2012 bears down on
us, watch for dollars, cents and hot air.
"What's sense got to do with it?" You may well ask.
And please DO.