Am I Next? Layoffs in Cook County, Illinois -- soda tax repeal

The bloated bureaucracy and corrupt leadership of Cook County has found themselves with a $200 million revenue shortfall resulting in the layoff of 321 people and the elimination of 1,017 vacant positions.

According to Cook County Budget Director Tanya Anthony, “Today, we stand with an additional gap of $200.6 million resulting from the board vote to repeal the sweetened beverage tax.”

“The original 2016 vote on the sweetened beverage tax was a tie, which County Board President Toni Preckwinkle broke to approve it. Three commissioners who originally voted for the tax, eventually switched sides. Commissioners voted on Oct. 11 to repeal the widely unpopular tax, effective Dec. 1. The 15-2 vote reflected the overwhelming opposition the tax faced among Cook County residents. Recent polls showed more than 85 percent of people in the county were against the tax. Preckwinkle had defended the tax, saying it was necessary to fund essential county services, but has said she will work with the board to balance the budget without the estimated $200 million in annual revenue. <Source>

Of course, like all politicians, Preckwinkle spun the her social engineering failure as business as usual. "Through shared sacrifice and cooperation we were able to develop and pass a balanced budget."  "We have had to make exceedingly difficult but necessary choices, but we have met our fiscal obligation to the people of Cook County. While at the same time protecting key public health and public safety services." <Source> Public corruption remains rampant and endemic in Cook County. <Source>

Heaven forbid, the County cut back on its profligate special interest spending and its costly support of illegal aliens, to save resident’s jobs. Let us remember that budgets do not reflect actual spending and are an amalgam of assumptions and projections that may be rendered meaningless when an entity has the ability to continually borrow money to keep itself afloat. Only reductions in spending will cure their fiscal problems.