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Everybody’s Talking about Taxes. Do They Know Anything about Taxes?

John Powers 3 May 2010 6 Comments

From Rich Miller, re Bill Brady’s tax returns

“So, instead of fading away into the weekend, the story kept going strong. Editorial boards and columnists weighed in. Reporters started combing through what they had for more tidbits, and in the meantime they wrote stories about Brady’s refusal to provide them with copies of his returns as Gov. Quinn had done.”

Especially Rich Miller, who is marketing this story as both a testimonial to his lack of understanding of basic accounting principles or a partisan attack against the Republican candidate.

In Illinois, we have S type corporations and LLC’s both of which allow corporate losses to offset personal taxes.  If you lose more money than gross, you don’t pay income taxes.  It is not a loophole. It is a well established rule that income taxes are assessed against Net Income, not Gross Income.

You still pay State and Federal employment taxes, withholding tax for employees, sales tax, property tax, and any number of other taxes, and in the building industry permits, variances, and fees associated with the ability to run your business.

Running a small (or a big business for that matter) business is hard enough without the sniping of media types who are willfully ignoring tax accounting to smear an opposition candidate.  If the media wants to change tax laws to hit gross income rather than net income, go ahead, but don’t fault a candidate for following the current law.


John Powers is the Chairman of the Editorial Board of the Chicago Daily Observer

image Hacking Shaquille O’Neal, or a Hack-a-Shaq


  • Dan Kelley said:

    Rich Miller does not have too much credibility as a political analyst. He has abandoned objectivity to pander to the Democratic majority in Springfield. Capitol Fax has some value as a source for tips on activities in the legislature, but Miller’s columns do not count for much in my opinion.

  • John Powers (author) said:

    Well yes Dan,

    But he does write the narrative for the rest of the media, and is a hard worker (as opposed to…)

    When he gets going on a subject, it becomes the talk of Chicago Media for a month.

    Brady lost money and kept running his business. It sounds like a heroic effort to me, rather than some type of scandal.


  • Darrell Mitchell said:

    I guess a relavent question is can a man that cannot make a go of it in private business be expected to run a multibillion dollar corporation that is the State of Illinois ?

  • Dan Kelley said:


    Please show me a realtor whose business has not suffered during the recent crash. I do not think that Brady can be faulted for Fannie Mae and the Community Reinvestment Act disasters which were, of course, sponsored by the likes of Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd among others.

  • John Powers (author) said:


    That is a relevant question, and not the one Mark Brown and Rich Miller are asking.

    In my opinion, I would rather have a guy who risks his own money and his own reputation and makes or loses money by his own hard work, than a person who has been on the Government payroll his entire adult life.

    Pat Quinn has never made a payroll in their life. He have no concept of the problems created by Government in trying to run a small business or a large business for that matter.

    I would much rather support someone who makes a variety of attempts at running a private legitimate business than someone who claims getting a guaranteed job with the State of Illinois (and early retirement at age 48) is good for the economy.


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