Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Pushing Chicago's poor out of the city. Who will stand up to Rahm Emanuel's death budget?

At last night's Progressive Caucus community forum in Logan Square, Caucus members and community groups spoke out against Rahm's austerity budget and massive property tax increase. 
Will enough typically spineless Chicago Alders finally find their way out of Rahm's pocket to push back on his draconian budget proposal? Doubtful.
There are 11 members of the City Council progressive caucus who generally don’t side with the mayor on fiscal policy (including Arena); an 18-member aldermanic black caucus that plays nice with Emanuel but doesn’t back the garbage-fee proposal; and a handful of Hispanic aldermen, including Ald. Roberto Maldonado, who think the mayor’s budget proposal, as it stands, well, stinks. -- Mark Konkol, DNAInfo
Rahm's strategy, like his predecessor Daley's, includes selling off or privatizing everything that's not nailed down. Closing schools and getting rid of public space also weakens unions and public decision making.
His idea of privatizing the 311 call center came in his 2016 budget address, saying it would save the city "about a million dollars a year" to replace union workers with outside contractors. It was one of the few pieces of actual news Tuesday, after the mayor's administration had spent the past week dribbling out many of their financial proposals for the coming year. -- John Byrne, Tribune  
His budget proposal includes an unprecedented increase in property taxes and fees which will hit hardest on the poor (renters), the middle class whose incomes can't keep pace with increases on assessed home values, and those on fixed income (retirees and disabled). The wealthiest and the connected who pay the same tax rate as the working poor, will be fine.

How about a Mansion Tax like they have in N.Y., on sales of homes valued at over a million bucks? Fat chance.

As usual, it will be Rahm's cronies, his big campaign donors and downtown developers who will reap super-profits off the plan. The new budget represents another huge transfer of wealth from the poor to the wealthiest.
Planned DePaul basketball arena.
The [DePaul basketball] arena, which was announced about a week before City Hall closed 49 public schools in 2013, has been controversial since it was proposed. City Hall approved $55 million in tax-increment financing funds towards the Marriott hotel... -- David Matthews, DNAInfo
The net result is the continued the whitenizing of Chicago, (already the 7th most expensive city in the world to live in) and the continued push of the poor out of the city.


  1. In addition to reworking the tax structure (which is badly needed), what we really need to do is rework the way the market is structured on the front end to favor the rich. Right-wingers like to squawk about "redistribution" and "socialism" and all, but they won't even look at how the market redistributes the wealth upward in the first place. I have my issues with Robert Reich, but I just finished reading his latest book, SAVING CAPITALISM, and I'm recommending it far and wide because it explains, in easy layman's terms, just how the market is structured against us all the way along - property, monopoly, contracts, bankruptcy and enforcement - the building blocks of the market. Structured by the government, of course, so it's not a matter of "the government" vs. the "free market", it's simply a matter of how the government structures the market and in whose favor. The rich and powerful now own pretty much all shares of what used to be our government, so they are the ones writing the market rules. Reich gives dozens of examples of how we're getting screwed on all fronts and it has nothing to do with what anyone "deserves". Should be required reading.

  2. We need to organize a non-payment campaign.


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.