At first blush, it may seem like civil forfeiture is different than the usual methods of justice: targeting poor people who have nothing and placing them in jail. As hard as state and federal governments may try, you can't take nothing from nothing so indigent populations are impervious to forfeiture schemes.
Congress sent a $622 billion tax extender bill to the president's desk last week. While the bill provides hundreds of billions in corporate tax breaks and, on a smaller scale, much-needed relief for low and moderate income workers, millions of hardworking immigrant taxpayers have been left out in the cold.
People can choose to define financial independence in their own way -- after all, not everyone wants a private jet and a mansion. However reaching real financial independence -- the ability to live comfortably off one's savings and investments with no debt whatsoever -- could be easier than you think.
Every Illinoisans is on the hook for 3 percent of their income going to state income taxes. Their federal taxes, however, likely will vary, and municipalities throughout the state levy their own local taxes on different things and at different levels. But some places in Illinois, and throughout the country, benefit more from state and local tax deductions than others.
While the rest of the state is suffering, the film industry is enjoying sales- and income-tax breaks. But the film industry isn't alone in receiving special treatment from the state. Since 2001, Illinois has given out more than $1 billion to the biggest businesses in the state through the EDGE tax-credit program, which is meant to spur economic growth. It's not working.