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Fun with numbers

Tuesday, Jul 16, 2019

* Illinois Policy Institute’s Austin Berg

Illinois motorists over Independence Day weekend were greeted with higher prices at the pump.

The driving cause? Illinois’ gas tax, which doubled overnight, making Illinoisans subject to the highest state and local gas tax burden in the Midwest. This will cost the average driver around $100 more per year. […]

Rush University Medical Center, part of a private health system with annual revenues of $2.4 billion, will receive a $14 million grant from Illinois taxpayers.

The state will send $50 million in capital plan grants to parks and recreational units for improvements, such as pickleball courts. The Chicago Park District will receive $15 million for a new field house at Jackie Robinson Park.

Taxpayers will float $5 million to Northwestern University to purchase new science equipment. The private university boasts an endowment of $11 billion.

Those are vertical projects and therefore not funded by the Motor Fuel Tax increase.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

36 Comments
  1. - Henry Francis - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 11:35 am:

    Hmmmm . . . With all the parks throughout the state that are to receive state funds, why did the IPI cite Jackie Robinson Park?


  2. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 11:36 am:

    ===why did the IPI cite Jackie Robinson Park?===

    🤔


  3. - lakeside - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 11:37 am:

    Why dog whistle when you can shout?


  4. - Yiddishcowboy - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 11:39 am:

    It costs me more than $100 to repair my car due to crappy road and bridge conditions. For safe and smooth roads, etc., I’ll gladly pay an additional $100 in gas tax. It’s a no brainer.


  5. - Dee Lay - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 11:41 am:

    Accuracy has never Berg’s or IPI’s modus operandi.

    It’ll cost the average taxpayer $100 a year AND headaches from construction projects, but hey, our bridges won’t be falling down and the potholes won’t be as bad as they are in Indiana.


  6. - Montrose - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 11:41 am:

    IPI Staff Meeting: “I don’t want to see a piece of writing leave this office that doesn’t talk about pickle ball. All pickle ball, all the time. If you can’t handle that, there’s the door.”


  7. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 11:44 am:

    Diana Rickert came from the Ilinois Policy Institute, and when a cartoon needed context… welp, we know how she responded.

    Jackie Robinson Park is as much of an accident as IPI cartoons, and the ridiculous way others wanted to respond to them.

    It’s right in front of you. They want you to see it.


  8. - illini - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 11:44 am:

    Am I missing something here? What is the connection between the gas tax and Rush University, Chicago parks and Northwestern?

    Obviously there is none, so why not throw extraneous facts in to fill the space.


  9. - Shemp - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 11:46 am:

    I think the point is that if the capital funds for these other particular projects were used instead for roads, there wouldn’t be the need to double the MFT.


  10. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 11:49 am:

    ===I think the point is===

    I think you missed the point.


  11. - Linus - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 11:51 am:

    Is Berg moonlighting as an ASCME union steward?


  12. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 11:51 am:

    I’m starting to think a piece like this isn’t all that concerned about honesty to thought or to the governing they want highlighted.

    It’s becoming more apparent the most important factoid to the IPI target audience in that mess above is… Jackie Robinson Park.

    It doesn’t matter if the monies and connections aren’t accurate, or the intentions are confusingly vague to the honesty of the thoughts… nope.

    One fact is most important… and spelled correctly too.


  13. - Moe Berg - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 11:53 am:

    I can’t help but notice that all of the projects listed are in or very close to Chicago. It must be that downstate communities, including areas in the vicinity of Rantoul, will receive no capital $.

    Thanks for blowing the (dog) whistle, Austin. You are a grifter among grifters.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 11:56 am:

    ===When you know you have a losing argument in supporting the MFT===

    (Sigh)

    ===Those are vertical projects and therefore not funded by the Motor Fuel Tax increase.===


  15. - oh? - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 12:03 pm:

    Austin Berg is intellectually dishonest and that is giving him the extreme benefit of the doubt.


  16. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 12:05 pm:

    IPI’s record of inaccuracy continues …


  17. - Glengarry - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 12:06 pm:

    IPI is a joke. Most people get that by now.


  18. - Morty - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 12:12 pm:

    Shocked that IPI would get something wrong. They seemed very diligent in fact-checking their assertions in the past


  19. - City Zen - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 12:18 pm:

    ==With all the parks throughout the state that are to receive state funds, why did the IPI cite Jackie Robinson Park?==

    Maybe because that $15 million was, by far, the largest line item allocation to any park district in the entire state. Coming in at #2 was a $2 million allocation for another park in the Chicago Park District.

    But don’t let facts cloud your conspiracy theories.


  20. - Huh? - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 12:23 pm:

    {Read the headline, check the byline, read “Adam Berg”, snort in derision, turn the newspaper page}


  21. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 12:35 pm:

    I think they forgot to include thier obligatory lines about the state giving the union more money as an additional argument.


  22. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 12:36 pm:

    ==But don’t let facts cloud your conspiracy theories.==

    Shoudn’t you be talking about the marriage penalty instead of defending their nonsense?


  23. - Been There - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 12:36 pm:

    ===Taxpayers will float $5 million to Northwestern University to purchase new science equipment. The private university boasts an endowment of $11 billion.===
    Not that Univ of Chicago doesn’t have a huge endowment also but there was an amendment to the capital bill that switched the money over to U of C. But why do any homework when you are writing stories?

    http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/101/HB/PDF/10100HB0062sam002.pdf


  24. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 12:39 pm:

    ===Shoudn’t you be talking about the marriage penalty instead of defending their nonsense?===

    Aw. I was enjoying that. Now the programming will kick in again…


  25. - City Zen - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 12:55 pm:

    ==Shoudn’t you be talking about the marriage penalty instead of defending their nonsense?==

    Marriage Penalty. Please use the proper capitalization when referencing the Fair Tax. Just like No Inflation Indexing or Yearly Tax Hike (can’t decide which is better).


  26. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 1:00 pm:

    =Maybe because that $15 million was, by far, the largest line item allocation to any park district in the entire state. Coming in at #2 was a $2 million allocation for another park in the Chicago Park District.

    But don’t let facts cloud your conspiracy theories.=

    Weird how the largest amount of money from the capital project (not the MTF as was implied- and in no way should you find that irresponsible) for the largest city in Illinois that is also the financial driver for Illinois.

    But the IPI isn’t trying to push conspiracies……../s

    Or conflate two separate issues…..

    Or imply all of the pork is in Chicago…….

    Or what ever nonsense they are selling.


  27. - Proud Sucker - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 1:03 pm:

    It cannot be said enough: if MFT had been indexed to inflation it would be $0.37 now (just confirmed via two online calculators). I’m willing to hear grousing about the penny difference, but we were losing purchasing power for the past 19 years.


  28. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 1:25 pm:

    My journey to Barnes Jewish in St. Loo revealed the price of petroleum in Waterloo at $2.99/gal. St. Loo $2.54. Yikes.


  29. - City Zen - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 1:42 pm:

    ==Or imply all of the pork is in Chicago==

    No doubt they’re trying the “look what Chicago gets and you don’t” plan of attack. But it was indeed the largest single line-item park district expenditure. I can’t blame him for using it.

    ==if MFT had been indexed to inflation==

    We’ll be saying the same thing in 2022 and every year after that since there is No Inflation Indexing with the progressive tax brackets. Some might call it a Yearly Tax Hike.


  30. - Dysfunction Junction - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 1:59 pm:

    That same holiday weekend, I drove to my sister’s house in Minneapolis, filling up in Illinois along the way. Some five hours later, I safely crossed the I-35 bridge over the Mississippi. If Mr. Berg has access to the Google machine, I would suggest a search on “2007 Minnesota bridge collapse” to understand why some drivers support an additional $100/year for infrastructure projects.


  31. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 2:23 pm:

    “No doubt they’re trying the “look what Chicago gets and you don’t” plan of attack.”

    The IPI is headquartered in Chicago. The IPI is hate hustling, trying to stir up anti-Chicago resentment, just like other right wingers.


  32. - cover - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 4:03 pm:

    = The IPI is headquartered in Chicago. =

    Wouldn’t IPI be better suited to having its headquarters in Effingham?


  33. - 37B - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 4:17 pm:

    @ cover-
    Or perhaps DuQuoin


  34. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 5:09 pm:

    ==Wouldn’t IPI be better suited to having its headquarters in Effingham?==
    I’m sure some of them can’t quit their day jobs./s


  35. - Former State Worker - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 6:32 pm:

    Can the IPI just move to Des Moines? Please and thanks.


  36. - JoanP - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 6:40 pm:

    =My journey to Barnes Jewish in St. Loo revealed the price of petroleum in Waterloo at $2.99/gal. St. Loo $2.54. Yikes.=

    Gas prices are weird. The gas stations nearest me have unleaded at $3.69. I filled up today, still in Chicago, 10 miles away, for $3.17.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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