Sunday, October 03, 2021


A tweet from Fox News this morning:

So the Democratic senator is a tax cheat? I assume that's what Fox expects Twitter followers to believe if they read only headlines. But click through to the story and you get some clarification:
U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., is among more than 27,000 homeowners in Cook County, Illinois, who don’t pay a cent in property tax, according to a report.

The reason: Duckworth and the other zero-tax homeowners take advantage of various exemptions that the Illinois General Assembly has made possible over the years, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

But critics say all those exemptions make too many people eligible to pay no tax, thus increasing the burden on those who fail to qualify for breaks, according to the report.
Oh, so it's a bunch of Democrats in a Democratic state doling out tax exemptions willy-nilly? Well, no, not exactly:
"What we have done is to create all special sorts of categories – veterans, disabled people, senior citizens – and all of those exemptions administered by the county basically undermine the integrity of the property tax system," Laurence Msall, president of Chicago tax watchdog group the Civic Federation, told the Sun-Times.
Oh -- seniors, veterans, and disabled people. In fact, Duckworth falls into two of those categories:
In Duckworth’s case, the 53-year-old U.S. senator pays zero in property taxes because she is a disabled U.S. military veteran with a 70% or higher disability rating, as determined by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

She and other similarly disabled veterans in Cook County who own homes get the tax break regardless of their income level, the Sun-Times reported.
Oh, come on -- how bad could her injuries be?
Duckworth lost both of her legs and some use of her right arm after the helicopter she was piloting was hit by a rocket-fired grenade in Iraq in 2004.
Er ... okay, that sounds bad. Maybe that should have been in the tweet.

To be fair, Duckworth has a six-fgure salary as a senator, and recently received significant royalties on a book. Her husband is also employed, and the two of them own a second home near D.C. on which they do pay property taxes.

The story quotes Laurence Msall of the Chicago Civic Federation. The Federation isn't right-wing -- in fact, it dates back to 1883, and one of its co-founders was the progressive reformer Jane Addams.

But imagine what would happen if good-government liberals decided it was time to start means-testing this tax break. Fox would be all over the story -- this time howling that liberals were trying to squeeze more tax revenue out of ... disabled veterans! Horribly injured homeowners would be featured in Fox stories, and we'd be told that the evil Dems wanted to put them at risk of losing their homes. Could the left possibly hate America more?

They get you coming and going.

No comments: