A lesson in economics from Jimmy John Liautaud

The Madison County Record Oct. 7, 2012, 6:55am

Americans who watched the first presidential debate Wednesday night learned several interesting things. For one, President Barack Obama, though he may be an orator of sorts, is not much of a debater. The leader of the world's most prosperous and powerful country seemed lost without his teleprompter.

He also seemed unprepared for the debate, speaking mostly in generalities and offering little of substance.

Most interesting of all was his utter ignorance of basic economics.
His Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, valiantly tried to explain how tax cuts can spur the economy -- leading to more production, more employment, and more tax revenue -- but Obama clearly did not get it.

Nor do many of his fellow Party members. Democrats in Illinois obviously don't. Last year's increase of the state income tax from 3 to 5 percent is guaranteed to suppress our economy and reduce state tax revenues.

Jimmy John Liautaud could explain it to them. The tax hike figures
prominently in his decision to move the licensing division of Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches from its headquarters in Champaign to a more friendly environment elsewhere.

"I can move myself and my licensing division to Florida, and I can move 70 percent of my income from Illinois to Florida. And it's going to cost Illinois 5 percent of that income, and you know what? It's going to pay for my house and my boat," says Liautaud. "I don't mind paying the tax in Illinois," he adds, "if they'd just spend it the way I respected it."

Meanwhile, as if the tax increase weren't enough, the Jimmy John's store in Alton is being sued for more than $50,000 by a customer who claims to have tripped over a CO2 container in front of their soda fountain. (How'd he not notice that?)

A native son creates a successful enterprise offering good food and good jobs, and this is how we thank him?

Maybe we need a lesson in economics, too.

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