The psychology of JB’s massive tax hike plan

The psychology of JB’s massive tax hike plan
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The psychology of JB’s massive tax hike plan

JB Pritzker has been lobbying hard to get the legislature to adopt his “Fair Tax” plan, but that plan is just a cover for 18 other big tax hikes that are waiting to slam your pocket book. The Pritzker “Fair Tax” will replace the Flat Tax with a Graduated Tax and must be voted on during a referendum in the November 2020 election. But what is the psychology behind a man named “Jay Robert Pritzker” who is afraid to use “JR” as his initials and uses “JB” instead? It all just seems a little too suspicious for me.

By Ray Hanania

In the last Governor’s race, we allowed money to blind us. Gov. J.B. Pritzker bought the election because he spent the most on it.

“JB,” as he likes to be called, spent nearly $200 million of his own personal wealth to win an office that only pays $177.412 a year in salary.

That doesn’t include all that PAC and “Dark” money from secret contributors. But, it should have been our first clue something was wrong.

The Pritzker’s are ranked by Fortune Magazine as the 7th richest family in America, with $29 billion. There are 11 billionaires in the Pritzker family. They own the Hyatt Corporation, which began as a small motel outside of Los Angeles Airport. All but one family member divested from the Hyatt Corporation back in 2000.

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Pritzker isn’t just a rich kid who lives down the street. He’s a “super rich” kid worth nearly $2,8 billion. Does money even have value to a person who has $2.8 billion?

Actor Larry Hagman played JR Ewing in the 1980s hit series Dallas. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Actor Larry Hagman played JR Ewing in the 1980s hit series Dallas. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

There is a psychology in all of this that we really need to understand.

First, let’s start with his name, “JB Pritzker.” I’m suspicious of people who use initials as their name. Arrogance? Or cutting corners. It’s a family thing. His wife does it too. She’s “MK.” That’s how JB introduced us to her in the election last year.

Most people don’t even really know what “JB” stands for. They should. “JB” is supposed to stand for “Jay Robert” Pritzker. But apparently, those initials, “JR,” would be problematic for anyone with political ambitions.

For seniors, who do most of the voting, the initials “JR” evoke memories of the infamously wealthy and vicious TV character, “JR Ewing,” played by the late actor Larry Hagman in the TV series “Dallas,” which ran from 1978 until 1991. Rolling Stone magazine describes JR Ewing as Tony Soprano in a Stetson. He was famous for off-colorful TV quotes. Can you imagine the campaign attack mailers?

JR Pritzker Ewing

JR Pritzker Ewing

For those Millennials reading this column, the TV Series “Dallas” was as popular then in the 1980s as Game of Thrones was popular now. (JR Ewing would have been the Dallas version of Ramzi Bolton.)

So, “Jay Robert” Pritzker did what any billionaire would do who wanted to run for public office. He adapted his initials. “Jay Robert” became “Jay Bob.” And JR thus became JB.

Are you surprised after all this that JB wants to impose an array of new taxes?

JB is calling for a whopping new tax of 7 percent on streaming home movies? Illinois already charges a 9 percent “amusement tax” which includes streaming movie services when you are on vacation, something we won’t be able to afford any more.

Do you actually think JB streams movies in his movie theater-sized recreation room, passing the popcorn? His sister, Gigi, is a movie producer. He probably gets the movies from her before they hit the big screen, maybe hand-delivered by his Hollywood movie star pals.

Planning on selling the only house you own? The JB tax on that is doubling to $1 per $500 in value. Pritzker doesn’t have one home. He has three homes, in addition to other “investment properties” (homes) including one that has no toilets to get a tax break. He can afford it!

JB is going to double the tax on alcohol and on recreational marijuana. Alcohol, and doobies, are things normal people use to forget about how poor they really are and close their eyes to mounting credit card debt.

In JB’s world, the average schlep will have to pay a lot more just to feel sorry for themselves.

JB is going to tax “Managed Care,” you know, the “Grandma Care Tax.” He’s also going to tax Sports and cigarette addictions. He’s going to tax plastic bags. Your license plate is going to double, parking taxes will increase, as will the gasoline tax. We won’t be able to afford a vacation, let alone leaving the house.

JB is proposing a total of 19 new taxes or tax hikes, including the so-called “Fair Tax” plan which would replace the equitable “Fixed Income Tax” with a “Graduated Income Tax.” The Graduated Tax will make it easier for JB to raise taxes on the Middle Class without upsetting the poor.

(The “Fair Tax” was approved by the Illinois House this week and will be placed on the November 2020 General Election ballot as a referendum for voter approval. That gives Pritzker enough time to spend another $10 million to lobby voters enough to make them dizzy and support the referendum.)

Do you honestly think, however, that a guy who has $2.8 billion has any sense of what it is like to pay taxes? Money is meaningless to him. He doesn’t care what he has to pay.

You can expect that voters will be bombarded by millions of dollars in TV commercials over the next 18 months by both Pritzker and foes of the “Fair Tax” hounding us to support or reject the plan. So, get ready to put on your flak jackets.

Maybe the TV Commercials might include some of the great lines from Dallas.

JR Ewing, who at least got his initials right, had a lot of famous quotes that can be used.

“Once you get rid of integrity, the rest is a piece of cake.”

Or, “Like my daddy always said. Where there’s a way, there’s a will.”

And the most famous, “Sue Ellen, you’re a drunk, a tramp and an unfit mother.”

I’ll let you decide which quote best represents Illinois.

(Published in the Southwest News Newspaper Group. Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall political reporter. His columns on Chicagoland politics and topics appear every week. Visit his personal website at www.Hanania.com for more columns and share your thoughts with Ray by email at rghanania@gmail.com.)

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist, author & former Chicago City Hall reporter (1977-1992). A veteran who served during the Vietnam War and the recipient of four SPJ Peter Lisagor Awards for column writing, Hanania writes weekly opinion columns on mainstream American & Chicagoland topics for the Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News, the Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers, and Suburban Chicagoland.  

Hanania also writes about Middle East issues for the Arab News, and The Arab Daily News criticizing government policies in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A critic of mainstream news media bias, Hanania advocates for peace & justice for Israel & Palestine, & the empowerment of Arabs in America. 

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Click Here to LISTEN to Hanania's live radio show on 2nd Friday every month 7 AM CST. Click here to listen to Ray's Podcasts. 

His columns are archived here. Hanania was named "Best Ethnic American Columnist" by the New America Media in November 2007, and is the 2009 recipient of the SPJ National Sigma Delta Chi Award for column writing.

Email Ray Hanania at rghanania@gmail.com.

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