Chicago Is MAGA Country...Again

Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson has a superb explanation for why his proposed tax increase was rejected by the voters.

It was MAGA. Chicago is MAGA country!

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Johnson is the former teacher union organizer-turned-mayor who has been driving Chicago into the ground. He won by out-progressiving Lori Lightfoot, and has proven to be just as incompetent as she. 

Certain that he hasn't enough money to destroy Chicago as quickly as he likes, Johnson has been pushing for a huge tax increase on the transfer of property in the city. While lowering the taxes a bit for the least valuable properties, it more than doubled them for high-valued properties. 

The taxes were intended to deal with the homeless problem.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Bring Chicago Home referendum, meant to restructure real estate transfer taxes to benefit Chicago's unhoused population, appeared to be headed for defeat Wednesday morning.

Advocates for the homeless now regrouping and trying to figure out what went wrong and led voters to apparently reject the referendum.

The latest number show support for the measure at 46%.

It's hard to imagine why any Chicago taxpayer would be skeptical about Johnson's ability to solve homelessness, since he can draw on the experience of other progressive mayors in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. 

With models like those--where they spend unGodly amounts of money to great effect--how could anything go wrong?

Not mention a great big loophole: there were actually no limits to how the money would be spent. It went into the general fund, so any promise that it would go to fixing any particular problem was worth exactly as much as the air used to make it. 

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They call it the Windy City not because of the breeze, but because the politicians blow so much hot air. 

Bring Chicago Home proposed creating three tax brackets for property sales, applied to sales below $1 million, between $1 million and $1.5 million, and over $1.5 million.

Property sales under $1 million would see a slight cut to their transfer tax, while properties over $1 million and $1.5 million would be taxed at an increased rate on revenue over the respective benchmark.

Chicago business leaders were, as you might imagine, not thrilled with the proposal. It was transparently aimed at hitting "rich" people, but with Chicago property prices so high, it's not that hard to own something worth more than a million dollars. 

That's why many Black business owners rejected the plea. Many called it the "migrant tax," referring to the flood of illegal aliens the city is blowing big bucks on. 

Chicago already levies some of the highest commercial real estate property taxes in the nation. Cornel Darden, the Chicago Southland Black Chamber of Commerce chairman, said advocates of the tax hike are pushing a narrative that it's just the "rich, white man" who is going to see an increase in taxes.

"They make it a race thing and say, 'we're just going to tax the rich, white people and we're going to help out everyone else,' but it's not just white people who own property just north of a million. Our chamber members own property north of a million dollars," Darden said.

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With progressives, it is always about race. Or gender. Or some other rung on the intersectional ladder. Nothing is ever about the basics, such as what works and what doesn't. 

Just once I would like to see a politician admit that they lost because the voters, or at least a majority of them, rejected what they were selling. 

Johnson and Lightfoot are at least proving that no matter how incompetent a politician, their replacements can be much worse. Perhaps the voters of Chicago will learn that simply filling in the circle next to a Democrat's name is not a good idea. 

I doubt it though. Chicago, alas, may never be MAGA country. 

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