Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle carried out her threat to propose a “bullet tax” in the county’s 2013 budget.
Thanks to profligate spending and rampant corruption by previous regimes, Cook Co. faces a massive budget shortfall that Preckwinkle is closing by layoffs and a barrage of new taxes, including a $1-a-pack cigarette tax, a “use tax” on anything worth more than $2,500 brought into the county, an $800 per machine tax on video poker machines, a $25 per gun tax on firearms and a nickel a “bullet” tax.
Preckwinkle contended that 29 percent of the guns used in Chicago crimes “are purchased legally in suburban Cook,” the Tribune reported. “We’ve got terrible problems with straw purchases and other ways of getting guns in the hands of criminals.”
“I make no apology for this,” she added, before making a reference to a popular comedian. “As Chris Rock would say, if it costs a million dollars to society for every gunshot wound, we ought to charge a tax of a million dollars per bullet.”
I think most all of us will applaud Preckwinkle’s efforts to clean up a budget deficit left by the corrupt Stroger dynasty that formerly ran Cook Co. But she is likely to discover that, unlike cigarettes and video poker machines, guns are constitutionally protected. There will be court cases, and lots of lawyers on both sides will get big paydays.
The projected proceeds from this violation of the the Bill of Rights? $1 million a year.