About two weeks ago I read two frightening articles in the Chicago Sun-Times with the following headlines: CIVIC GROUP: GOV. QUINN’S PROPOSED 2012 BUDGET NOT ‘REALISTIC’, and $587 MILLION BUDGET DEFICIT AWAITS RAHM EMANUEL. If I was still a resident of Chicago and Illinois, as my daughter is, I would be scared stiff.
Currently my daughter drives her car out of Cook County when making larger purchases to avoid paying the 10+% sales tax that was imposed a couple of years ago by the last President of the Cook County Board, inept and corrupt Todd Stroger. Even with the high price of gasoline, she makes the trip once a week and saves a bundle on her food bill.
I’ll attach links to both articles and you can draw your own conclusions, but you and I know that taxes will have to be increased in both Chicago and Illinois to meet the deficits in both administrations.
No wonder families are fleeing the City of Chicago for the suburbs and even the State for sites in warmer weather locations and places where the sales tax and personal income tax burden does not prop-up corrupt, complicit union pension deals that politicians have granted in return for campaign donations and votes.
A recent Chicago Tribune article reported Chicago home sales and prices tumbled in the first quarter by 9.9%. Governor Quinn just granted Motorola $100 million tax abatement, U.S. Cellular a $7 million tax credit, a $19 million tax break to Continental Tire, and $65 million to keep Navistar in Illinois. Reports now floating around indicate that even Sears (which was founded in Chicago in 1893) is considering offers from Georgia, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
Consider all the tax revenue lost in these transactions. All this to save jobs at the expense of lost tax revenue, in other words robbing Peter to pay Paul.
No wonder Mayor Richard M. Daley chose not to run for re-election. He saw the handwriting on the wall. He moves on with a big fat million dollar plus City pension, health insurance, City auto, and police protection with the budget now being Rahm Emanuel’s problem.
As a long time observer of politics in my old hometown, I predict a big battle brewing for political power with the vicious no-holds-barred new Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He will eat-up Gov. Pat Quinn in the process with the backing of his strong Chicago state legislators.
Additionally, Emanuel is now out of the shadow of President Obama, and he now holds some critical political cards that Obama will require for his re-election bid, and Emanuel knows he now has significant power over Obama’s political future. Obama may be forced to financially bail-out Emanuel, but he has no obligations to a politically weakened Governor.
By Next St. Patrick’s Day the Chicago River may not run its usual green, but red with the blood from the deficit that will soon be flowing freely in the coming months. Stay turned.