I’m realistic enough to realize that nothing for free in politics; especially in Chicago. But, to blatantly place a Senate seat on the auction block to the highest bidder for the personal gain of Blagojevich does boggle the mind. But, maybe not.
Over the last few decades there has been a iron triangle with the Democratic party, the MSM and the bicoastal elite to cover for almost every transgression of almost any Democratic politician. That with a constituency that only care about free government checks, abortion and gay marriage. Frankly, as long as these three things are delivered, you could get caught in bed with immature gerbils and still get re-elected; as a Democrat. Impeached philanderer, Bill Clinton still collects a government pension and is making stacks of money speechifying on the rubber chicken circuit. Hill’s about to take over at the State Department.
And, it almost becomes regarded as a birthright, for these politicians, that the law is for other people. I suspect that Blagojevich is so marinated in the corruption of Chicago/Illinois politics that it never occurred to him that what he was doing illegal. So marinated that he could presume to conduct this corruption openly over the phone even though he was already under Federal scrutiny; a federal wiretap didn’t even cross his mind.
This corruption has a real cost. Illinois, particularly the Chicago area, is a miserably expensive place to live. Sales taxes edging towards ten percent. Property taxes, at least compared to Wyoming, aren’t just higher by a percentage but almost by an order of magnitude.
And these taxes and the spending imperatives behind them come from an attitude of complete lack of respect that this money, that these corrupt politicians tax and spend, is not their money. It is this fundamental attitude that your money becomes the personal property of every tax-and-spend politician. In turn leading to a high tax and high cost environment that seems to, in particular, typify blue-state America.
Also, because there are always individuals who can command compensation regardless of the tax environment, such compensation demanded will be priced to discount these high tax levels. This drags up the entire pricing environment and drags prices and cost of living for up for everyone.
I’m only hoping the moribund Illinois GOP can seize this opportunity to push through true reform. Simultaneously, demonstrate that corrupt politics as usual has real costs; in high taxes and general cost of living.