How and why ‘shifting’ became the new ‘taxing’

A little more than a decade ago, the state of Illinois hit a critical mass. Illinois hit a magical point on the spreadsheet wherein taxing more led to less revenue for government instead of more.

The memory of Ben Stein’s dry monotone voice explaining the Laffer Curve in the 1980s classic movie, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” had faded from our collective psyche.
Government officials, unable to deal with this new reality and unwilling to address their full-blown spending addiction had hit rock bottom. Instead of getting the professional help our state needed, state officials turned to new coping mechanisms instead of treatment. The new fix was the “shift.”

Perhaps out of recognition that the voting public would not return their spending — addicted politicians to office where they could maintain their nefarious spending habit, officeholders had to find a new way to shield their tax and spend ways. Thus was born the “shift.” Put another way, rob Peter to pay Paul.

Like many states, Illinois collects billions of dollars each year into “special funds.” Hundreds of these funds exist. Funds collected for each type of specialty license plate are deposited into their own “special fund.” Professional licensure fees for each type of state-regulated profession are deposited into their own “special fund.”Motor Fuel Taxes are deposited into a “special fund” called the road fund for infrastructure projects.

Physician Licensure fees are deposited into a “special fund” with the intention of being used toward new license processing costs and investigations into medical disciplinary complaints.

The scheme of the officeholders at the time? Raid them all!

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  1. Illinois is not much different than any other Public Sector operation at the Federal, state or local level. The corruption in the Public Sector today is systemic. Illinois just has mastered the art of corruption to an exceptional level. The problem that is destroying the nation at every level is the 50% over staffing and compensation levels in the Public Sector plus the millionaire Pension System that is the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on taxpayers in the History of the World. When the Public Sector operations cost more than $7 Trillion annually nearly 50% of GDP, there should be little doubt as to why the private sector and the “free market” economy is on life support add to this the oppressive taxation levels to support the 23 million millionaires of the Public Sector and you have the “Perfect Economic Storm”. The essence of the cancer is that Communism or Socialism does not work and as Hayek has put so well it is the road to Serfdom and Poverty. I think that it is much worse in that it is the end of another Empire and its civilization. There is a great book “Survival is not Enough” by Seth Godin that uses evolution as a great analogy for economic success. It clearly shows why the Nanny State is failing and why Central Planning and its associated corruption always fails to provide economic freedom and liberty.

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