Heeeeeeey! It's better than tax time. It's tax idea time!! Tolls on Lake Shore? No. More income tax? Maybe. Suburban toll? Ludicrous. Hey, has anyone asked me and the tens of ten of readers of this blog? In the past, I've opened up the flood gates to come up with new tax ideas. And I do it for free. I'm not some hoity-toity Inspector General who gets paid six figures. I am just a man of the people — people with good ideas. I'll start this annual list. It's one of my favorite blogs of the year. Please add:
- Bikes: They are getting a free pass. They get to use our streets and our sidewalks for free. I say you drop a license (like license plates) on bikes. You have to pay $30 a year to have a bike in Chicago. You apply the UPC code to the bike's frame and if you don't have one you get a $50 ticket. When you sell the bikes at bike stores, you can't walk out without one. Boom, that's a trillion in new revenue.
- I've always liked the liquor store concept of staying open for 24 hours. It means you can buy beer at any time of the night. But the city puts a tax on that beer so a six pack costs something like $15-20. I say you do the same thing with everything from tolls to pints. Anything between 2-6 a.m. on weekends will cost you double. Hey, you can party all you want. But it will cost you.
- Question for city: Are you charging any tax on panhandlers? Just asking. What about a sign tax? If you have a sign when you panhandle, you have to get a permit.
- If your restaurant sells 'small plates,' then it has to get double taxed. That's just the way it is. Tax trends.
- Fine the Park District $100,000 every time an NFL game has to be stopped because there is a huge nail in the field.
- Tax Rosie.
- Or just have a pledge drive.
B story: I watched the Bartman documentary last night. What a great story and awful time for Chicago baseball history. The documentary definitely brought up dark memories of that time. It helped me realize why I quit the Cubs in the first place. Too many idiots. Although I've never been able to place it, that season featured fans that I didn't want to be associated with. The extra ingredient of the threat of blowing the World Series just brought out the absolute worst in a half of Chicago. And it was way before the Bartman incident. I'm sorry, but didn't Cubs fans flip cars after beating Atlanta in the first round? Didn't Wrigleyville turn into a Juggalo festival every day and night towards the end of that season? Didn't Chicago just turn into mush for a month? That's why I don't like the Cubs. I really don't have anything against the baseball team. I think it's just the fans — and not the fans on a lazy August afternoon, but the fans when the game is on the line. The NFC Championship game last year brought intensity and excitement, but nobody flipped a car. The White Sox beat the Boston Red Sox in the first round of the AL playoffs in 2005 and mobs didn't try to take down light poles. You expect that behavior from the Sox fan (it's sort of their reputation), but it never really happened. Even up to the World Series victory. It was jubilant, not frenzied. So yeah, that's why I don't root, root, root for the Cubbies...anymore.
And I know that I'm not alone.
C story: The Occupy Wall Street movement got a nice shot in the arm on Facebook, thanks to a stirring commentary from Lawrence O'Donnell. So enough of the "mainstream media refuses to cover us!!!!" rant that floods my Twitter feed. Are we cool? What's going on with Occupy Chicago? It just goes to show, if you want the media's attention, get beat up by police. That's in the old mainstream media handbook: Anything about housing prices going down or police beating up college kids - automatic. (Editors note: There is no such handbook)
I will say this - the mark of a good protester is how you hold up when it is raining sideways. Today, it's raining sideways.
D story: Yeah! Debbie Halvorson will announce this week whether or not she'll run against incumbent congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. That's an old rivalry. It's not quite Green Bay/Chicago, but more like Detroit/Minnesota. It's definitely a noon game rivalry. But still, a rivalry nonetheless!
Weather: Yeah, rain.
Sports: Today is the last day of the MLB regular season. I have to say that it might have been the worst in recent Chicago history. These two teams were just downright awful. Nobody expected much from the Cubs and the Sox just imploded. Wait till next year. Sox GM Kenny Williams supposedly has a short list of managers to replace Ozzie. Oz will be announced as the new manager of the Marlins this afternoon. That press conference should interrupt regularly scheduled programming, eh? And will Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Zambrano join Ozzie in Florida?
Also, I can't believe that there hasn't been more media outcry over the fact that an NFL game was stopped due to a nail-like object sticking out of the Soldier Field turf. Is that not a story? It seems like a story, especially with the recent woes of the Park District to maintain a professional-grade field. Didn't they cancel Family Fest night because the field wasn't in shape? Will someone please tell me what is going on?