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Asked and kinda sorta answered

Friday, Jun 6, 2014

* NFIB member Ken Jarosch penned a letter to the editor for the Daily Herald which was reprinted by Reboot

In a published report last month, Michael Madigan clearly displays his disdain for businesses. “I’m not here for employers…” says Madigan, as he pushes for a minimum wage referendum to appear on the ballot.

I am an employer, Speaker Madigan. I take offense to your remarks. Evidently, you do not represent me in Springfield, even though I willingly paid an additional 67 percent tax on my income. As an employer, I also sent 67 percent more tax from each of my 60-plus employees. […]

We have given minimum wage jobs to immigrants with limited skills. We provided opportunities to gain skills and increase their wages. Several are now top-tier bakers, raising families, buying homes and putting kids through college. How ‘bout a high-five, Mike? […]

We have paid our bills. You have not. We have created jobs. You have not. We not misled the taxpayers (your employers), but you have, Michael Madigan. You’re “not here for employers.” Well, who are you here for?

* Madigan answered that question during the hearing

“I’m not here for employers. I’m here for workers, for people [like the ones sitting before you] who are up against it, and they want the government to give them a little help in this United States of America,” Madigan said. “The simple question is do you want the government to help the people at the bottom or do you not. That’s it.”

That was some seriously white-hot populist rhetoric, but that’s pretty much all it was. Madigan didn’t really push all that hard for a minimum wage hike this year. He’s very close to the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and IRMA was dead set against it. So, he put the question on the ballot instead.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - PolPal56 - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 11:08 am:

    “I’m here for the workers, the people - unless you work for the people.”

  2. - Colossus - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 11:09 am:

    The headline at Reboot is:

    I don’t see any way to read this other than “Government should exist to help employers, NOT anyone else.” I get the point the guy is making, but the employees paid the same tax increase. Why would you lead with such a bonehead dichotomy?

    (And yeah, that’s my comment on the reboot article, I recycled points more succinctly given the enlightened readership here.)

  3. - Jimmy CrackCorn - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 11:09 am:

    ==Evidently, you do not represent me in Springfield==

    FACT: The 22nd district does not include Elk Grove. No argument there.

  4. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 11:11 am:

    “Government should look out for the little fish, because the big fish can look out for themselves.”

    As for the NFIB, I can’t recall a time when they have ever taken a strong position on any issue on the opposite side of big business and the Chamber of Commerce.

    Let’s get something straight: the biggest threat to small businesses is not the minimum wage, which creates a level playing field. It is tax codes, regulatory statutes and other laws written to give big businesses a huge advantage over small employers.

    Small businesses can and will thrive in a fair competitive environment. In fact, they probably have a huge advantage on a level playing field because they can adapt much more quickly to take advantage of consumer preference shifts and other changes in the market.

    If I am wrong about the cozy relationship between the NFIB and big business, I am eager to see the evidence.

  5. - wordslinger - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 11:12 am:

    Yeah, that’s some populist rhetoric from Madigan, but that’s it.

    He quarterbacked an enormous tax cut for CME in the midst of the recession.

    Overall, the Illinois tax code for big employers is very sweet. Small business, not so much.

  6. - OneMan - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 11:12 am:

    Unless you are a business appealing your property taxes, then he is there for you….

  7. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    The Speaker as full-throated populist. Almost did a spit-take on that one.

    Wasn’t this the same Speaker that personally helped write and testify as he introduced a resolution to bailout the ratepayer-paid for nuclear fleet of Exelon? Oh, that’s right, let’s amend.

    “I’m not here for employers…unless you’re Exelon.” Spare me.

  8. - Walker - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 11:17 am:

    Jarosch has run a good neighborhood bakery for years, and his folks treat customers well — which probably reflects how he treats them. I’m sure he tells like he feels it.

    The reality is that all his costs, sugar, rent, flour, water, electricity, have gone up over the years, but not what he pays at the bottom of his wage scale. Why would he expect his average labor costs to go down versus inflation, while everything else, including what he charges to his customers, has risen in the same period?

  9. - VanillaMan - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 11:23 am:

    “I’m not here for employers. I’m here for workers, for people [like the ones sitting before you] who are up against it, and they want the government to give them a little help in this United States of America,” Madigan said. “The simple question is do you want the government to help the people at the bottom or do you not. That’s it.”

    Can the “Forgotten Man” crap Mr. Speaker! You are playing class warfare, pitting people who own businesses against the people they hire and pay. You are not helping anyone by pretending the relationship between employee and employer needs a bureaucratic government between them to tell each of them what to do every day. Hiring someone doesn’t give you, Mr. Speaker, a license to step in and take away our freedoms because of your faux fairness concerns.

    You are in this for the money you take from both the employer and the employee, and justify doing so by claiming that neither person is trustworthy enough for the other one to do business with - so you are needed.

    Who comes out ahead in your little world, Mr. Speaker? You do, right? You’ve legislated yourself into everyone’s working lives and have settled yourself down into a very cozy little place where you collect buckets of money which you can then divvy out to your political supporters.

    When it comes to little people, Mr. Speaker - you haven’t been little since 1971. Please be aware that when it comes to being little - everyone in Illinois is beneath you as long as you can call the shots under the Dome. So don’t try to hide behind business people, employers or anyone else because you are too damn big to hide.

  10. - Walker - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 11:33 am:

    VMan: You’re frothing today.

  11. - A. Nonymous - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 11:37 am:

    NFIB is another one of those those shill right-wing organizations through and through. No other way to say it. Not much different than IPI, Heartland, etc.

    Too bad Ken wrote that. I love his delish sweet pastries. Oh well. I’m an “employee” too. If he, as an employer, doesn’t want to pay his workers a decent wage then he doesn’t need my money.

  12. - dupage dan - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 11:58 am:

    YDD - “Let’s get something straight: the biggest threat to small businesses is not the minimum wage, which creates a level playing field. It is tax codes, regulatory statutes and other laws written to give big businesses a huge advantage over small employers”.

    I don’t know if I would agree completely regarding the minimum wage law but YDD is dead on accurate about the regs, etc. And the big businesses work very hard to get the gov’t to do this. You can bet they don’t care which party is in power, just so long as they have access.

  13. - Jimmy - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 12:10 pm:

    I don’t see what’s wrong with everyone having some success in this country. The disparity in wealth has become too great and, if nothing is done the same disparity will hurt our economy, democracy and, ultimately, the strength of our nation. Madigan is correct on this issue.

  14. - Wally - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 12:11 pm:

    I bet if you asked 100 people, do you know an employer has to match 7.65% for Social Security and Medicare for pretty much every dollar in wages, 98 wouldn’t realize that.

    So, if the minimum wage goes up to $10 or $15 or whatever, not only do small businesses incur much higher wage expense, they have to match 7.65% on those higher wages.

    Who cares about those greedy, selfish employers??? They are millionaires, right?(sarcasm intended)

  15. - CircularFiringSquad - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 12:11 pm:

    Gotta love KJ’s empathy for those immigrants — gotta know he had some other word typed in and made a change.
    He is happy to hire them ’cause he knows the G will subsidize his hires with SNAP, medical and housing freebies.
    Madigan notes if you pay people enough to feed and house themselves the cost of government goes DOWN ….put that in big letters so the Ms. ReBooter would get it.

  16. - Anyone Remember - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 12:13 pm:

    NFIB predicted the “end of the world” when Bill Clinton signed the Family Medical Leave Act in 1993 (George HW Bush had vetoed similar legislation in 1990 and 1992). Last I looked, 21 years on, we still have small businesses.

  17. - Dishpan - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 12:14 pm:

    What I would like to know is what will be done about rising costs once higher minimum wage is in place? Do people understand that is what will happen, the markets will begin adjusting themselves to the higher minimum wage thus increasing the costs of goods and services in return, so any minimum wage hike is almost pointless as these same people will be crying they can’t afford to support their families still.

  18. - wordslinger - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 12:18 pm:

    From the WSJ:

    –A long-awaited liftoff in the U.S. economy is facing pressure from stubbornly weak wage growth, muddying the outlook for consumers and challenging Federal Reserve policy makers who are counting on a pickup as they unwind the central bank’s extraordinary support for the recovery.–

    The stock market and corporate earnings have more than recovered from the recession: They’re breaking records every day.

    Unless you have some first-day Econ 101 “philosophical” argument against the minimum wage, an increase is in order, as it would benefit the primary real drivers of the economy, the consumer.

  19. - Jimmy - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 12:22 pm:

    As an aside, Seattle just raised its minimum wage to $15 per hour.

    Here’s a link to the full story:

  20. - Steve - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 12:22 pm:

    This is all funny stuff. The government looking out for the little people! In Illinois, they recently raised tolls and a state income tax on little people. The government is nothing more than theft on a grand scale with property tax appeals con man Mike Madigan at the top.

  21. - Just Observing - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 12:24 pm:

    I see nothing wrong with what Ken said. I’m not a businessman, but I hate when politicians demonize business for their own political gain.

  22. - Steve - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 12:28 pm:

    No word yet on whether “unpaid internships” will be banned by Illinois because the violate the spirit of the minimum wage law.

  23. - Wally - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 12:31 pm:

    “The stcok market has more than recovered from the recession.”

    Maybe the 65(use to be 85) BILLION dollar stimulus pumped into the economy EACH month has a little something to do with that. Mortgage rates are around 3% for a 15 year loan and 4-4.25% for a 30 year loan and the housing market is still s0-so.

  24. - wordslinger - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 12:46 pm:

    –Maybe the 65(use to be 85) BILLION dollar–

    Gee, Wally, does all caps impress Eddie, Lumpy and the Beaver? Yeah, I’m well aware of what Fed policy has been. What’s your point?

  25. - VanillaMan - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 12:50 pm:

    Would an “LOL” lighten that up a bit?
    Consider it added at the end :)

  26. - Wally - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 12:58 pm:

    Just the Beav, Word. I fully expect you know the point.

    Also, I believe the Family Medical Leave Act applies to companies with 50 or more employees. There are a lot of small businesses with less than 50 employees.

  27. - Jeff Trigg - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 1:34 pm:

    So Madigan is in favor of increasing the standard deduction in Illinois so his income tax hike stops hitting the poor working families of Illinois harder than just about every other state in this country? What a bleepin’ hypocritical bleeper he has become. Illinois is in the top 5 states for the highest tax burden on poor people, and he has the gall to say that?

    I’ve also never heard Madigan recommend that the feds stop taxing poor people’s income for FICA. Everybody, even the poor, pays that 7.65% and their employers have to match it. Stop taking that 7.65% from poor people’s income and make the employers give their 7.65% to the employee instead of the feds and that would be just as good as, if not better than, raising the minimum wage.

  28. - Demoralized - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 2:31 pm:

    ==The government is nothing more than theft on a grand scale==

    Oh please. Having fun playing the victim?

  29. - Walker - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 2:50 pm:

    VMan: I apologize.

    Been there, done that.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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