Bloggers Deserve a Tax Break, Too - NBC Chicago
Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Bloggers Deserve a Tax Break, Too



    Dear House Speaker Michael Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton and Gov. Pat Quinn:

    Unless I get a tax break during this month’s veto session, I am going to start writing this blog from Milwaukee.

    I want the same deal Sears and CME got. Basically, I want my state income tax rolled back to its 2010 level of 3 percent. If not, I’ll blog from a more business-friendly state.

    You see, legislators, the world of journalism has changed since I started my career, 20 years ago. Then, I actually had to go to an office and type my stories into a computer owned by the newspaper for which I was writing. There was no way to write for the Chicago Tribune unless I was actually in Chicago, or at one of the newspaper’s suburban bureaus. Now, because of the Internet, I can type my blog posts on a laptop, and send them from anywhere in the world. For all you know, I could have written this post in Gary, or St. Louis.

    Thanks also to the Internet, I don’t need to be in Springfield to report on your proceedings. I can watch live video on my computer by logging on to your website. I also have a cell phone with a 312 area code, so all my sources will think I’m calling from Chicago.

    Computerization made it possible for the Merc to squeeze a tax break out of you by threatening to move its electronic trading systems and headquarters to Indianapolis. Such a threat would have been impossible in 1971.  

    It is estimated (by me) that bloggers generate 88 percent of the words written about Illinois politics. We produce more hot air than all the committee meetings and floor debates in both chambers of the legislature. We’re essential to the political process in this state.

    Marathon Pundit, one of Illinois’s premier bloggers, has been blogging from Las Vegas all week, spending money on showgirls. He’s contributing to the Nevada economy while still commenting daily on “Illinois, America and the world.”

    So, once you pass the tax breaks for Sears and the Merc, I suggest you take up “The Ward Room Blogger Income Tax Exemption Act of 2011.” Or I’ll be paying my Internet and my cell phone in Wisconsin. 

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