Editor's note 12-02-21

It may not be enough to satisfy Joe Manchin, but here's something that needs to be deleted from the gargantuan spending plan now pending in the Senate. It's called the "Local News Payroll Tax Credit," and would provide up to $25,000 in the first year and $15,000 in years two through five for each full-time local journalist. It would benefit Illinois Times a little. It would benefit our competition a lot. Gannett Co., the nation's largest newspaper chain, could receive $37.5 million the first year and tens of millions after that, according to the New York Times. Once established, this government subsidy for the press could be made permanent, and then become a tail wagging the watchdog. "You really want to publish that story?" some future senator might say. "Or do you like your local news tax credit?" Remember the First Amendment, which says Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of the press. Take us out of the Build Back Better bill, and we'll all be better off. – Fletcher Farrar, editor