Sunday, March 29, 2009
Taxes: Property, Income, Sales -- and Corruption
1,000 public corruption convictions since 1970
We know too well about taxes in this town. Property tax. Sales tax. Income tax. And there's another one.
It's the "corruption tax" -- the extra money they pay because of dishonest public officials.
People pay it when politicians give government jobs to unqualified cronies and when law enforcement spends millions prosecuting crooked politicians.
The head of political science at the University of Illinois in Chicago, Dick Simpson, found that all together, 1,000 public officials and businessmen have been convicted of public corruption in Illinois since 1970.
It's impossible to calculate the full cost of the corruption tax. Simpson's come up with a $300 million estimate, but that focuses on the Chicago area and doesn't directly apply to taxpayers downstate.