There is a huge corruption tax in Chicago.
Last week’s indictments of CPS leadership is evidence of that.
But the indictment of CPS CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett is just going after low hanging fruit. The corruption goes deeper and higher.
Mayor Rahm is now engaged in a cover-up over how deep and how high.
While much of the picture remains missing, the email logs and documents the administration did release show frequent communication among key Emanuel aides, Chicago school leaders and the heads of the SUPES Academy consulting firm in the months, weeks and days leading up to Emanuel’s hand-picked school board awarding the contract in June 2013.
Now, turn to the Trib’s editorial today. They demand that alderman vote down the Mayor’s property tax increase until the Mayor cuts city wages, pension benefits and services to the most needy in the city.
It’s the Rauner turnaround agenda.
They applaud the Mayor for the cuts he has already made. Those cuts are just not enough, says the Trib.
Emanuel has taken some steps to make government more accountable. He curbed the city’s habit of selling off assets to balance budgets. He instituted a new way of collecting garbage that is more efficient. He is phasing out costly health care benefits for city retirees. He ended free water service to certain nonprofits.
The city also decreased its workforce under Emanuel — mostly through attrition, though, not layoffs. He tried to negotiate pension reforms with unions — some of those reforms are now being challenged in court — yet he had little success with police and fire, the two pension funds that make up most of the city’s unfunded liability.
Given the headlines of the past week, is takes a certain sense of the absurd for an editorial writer to keyboard those two paragraphs and consider it praise.
The Trib calls increased pain for the working people of Chicago budget reform. It is language that conceals. It is like bombing a hospital, killings doctors and patients and calling that collateral damage.
I agree with the Trib that aldermen should vote down this property tax increase. But what the Trib will never call for is increasing revenue.
Even with the totally appropriate rebate for low-income home owners, the burden of taxation falls too heavily on the working people of this city.
The Queen of England just bought a condo on Lakeshore Drive. She will pay the same property tax rate as us.
The truth is they don’t want us here.
Aldermen, particularly those who call themselves Progressive, should vote this tax burden down, defend services and fight for a tax policy in the city and state that stops protecting the rich and provides adequate revenue.