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Stroger has failed to lead

Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Chicago Sun-Times
by Sun Times editorial staff

When a politician pushes for a tax increase, he'll warn you every time that otherwise the sky will fall.

And when the most militant of the anti-tax crowd get wind of a proposed tax increase, they'll tell you every time that it's a waste of your money and sure to be the ruin of the local business community.

That's why it helps to have actual facts to sort and weigh -- to see where the truth lies. But hard facts have always been conspicuously absent from Cook County Board President Todd Stroger's defense of his penny-on-a-dollar sales tax increase.

We would be more inclined to believe his dire warnings of hospital and clinic closings if he had, in the first place, presented a thoughtful county budget that took an ax to obvious waste and patronage.

We opposed Stroger's tax increase last spring, and we oppose it now. We regret that the County Board was unable to override his veto and rescind the tax on Tuesday.

And we reject Stroger's accusation that opponents of the tax are rich North Siders who lack concern for the poor.

Good government and compassionate government are not mutually exclusive.

We don't see class warfare. We see a failure of leadership.



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