3:41 PM, Sep 3, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Hal Dardick and Bill Ruthhart of the Chicago Tribune report that
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is set to call for the largest property tax increase in modern Chicago history to raise enough money to make a major pension payment for police and firefighters next year,
The tax increase, despite its size, will not be enough, however, to cover all of the markers put down by the Chicago political machine in previous years, so
The mayor also plans to push a new garbage collection tax, a new per-ride fee on taxis and ride-hailing services such as Uber and a new tax on electronic cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products.
This is not exclusively a Chicago phenomenon. Detroit has already been there and was finally forced into bankruptcy. The one-party, big city, political machines found it agreeable and easy to stay in power by making promises to the municipal unions (among others) that others would have to keep. So Mayor Emanuel is obliged to cover a
… major increase in police and fire pension payments that has been looming over City Hall since the General Assembly approved a state law when Mayor Richard M. Daley was in charge.
And as one Chicago Alderman says
"It's not as if we weren't warned, We have known for several years that the pension shortfall was going to cause us to make some really painful decisions, particularly if we didn't receive any relief from Springfield, and we didn't receive any relief from Springfield.”
Springfield being the capital of
The nation's fifth most populous state [which] is entering its third month without a budget, and there are no signs longtime Democratic leaders and the first-term governor are close to an agreement on confronting a shortfall recently projected at $5 billion.
Sooner or later, the bill comes due. Question is, how many businesses in Chicago (and Illinois) will decided they aren’t going to stick around and pay it.
5:08 PM, Jul 1, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
One reads of the crisis in Greece. And the one much closer to home in Puerto Rico. The crisis, that is, that inevitably comes after spending too much and taking on more debt than it is possible even to service, much less pay down. One thinks of how unfortunate it is for the people who will now redeem with pain, the promises made by the politicians of previous generations.
7:48 AM, Jun 10, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
First Lady Michelle Obama had some strong words for the graduating class of Martin Luther King Jr. Preparatory High School in Chicago, Illinois. She advised the class on how to get past "struggles."
The first lady's main point was "a lesson about how to get through those struggles, and that is, instead of letting your hardships and failures discourage or exhaust you, let them inspire you," as Obama said. "Let them make you even hungrier to succeed."
2:55 PM, Apr 28, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Baltimore Orioles will play tomorrow's baseball game at an empty stadium. It will be closed to the public due to ongoing riots in Baltimore.
The baseball team announced the unusual move in a press release:
The Orioles tweeted out the announcement:
A falling star in Chicago.Mar 23, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 27 • By JOSEPH EPSTEIN
Difficult, they say, to pass a family business on to the third generation. Proof of this assertion is the business known as the City of Chicago, run by the Daley family for two generations but now turned over to non-Irish carpetbaggers, with no future Daley in view.
11:34 AM, Mar 9, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is removing some of the money-making traffic cameras from the city’s intersections.
9:03 PM, Feb 19, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is up for reelection, and President Obama stopped by his campaign headquarters to praise his mayor.
6:38 AM, Oct 21, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Last night at a Democratic fundraiser in Chicago, President Obama mentioned that there are some "unpaid bills" on his desk in Chicago--which he left when moved to the White House after winning the presidential election in 2008. Here's what he said:
Joseph Epstein; a fan's notes.Oct 13, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 05 • By JOSEPH EPSTEIN
Sometime in mid-February, after the long winter, baseball fans are delighted to read, usually over a two-paragraph-long story buried beneath the fold in the sports pages, the tag line Pitchers and Catchers Report. They are reporting, of course, to spring training two or three weeks ahead of the rest of their teams, and the announcement bodes the first news of the lengthy and leisurely baseball season ahead.
9:21 PM, Oct 1, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama has arrived in Chicago, where he'll spend the night before two public events in his hometown. The president did not travel with his family.
He's now dining out with top adviser Valerie Jarrett and various friends, according to the White House pool report. They're at the steak house RPM Steak, where a nice cut can cost up tp $155, according to the restaurant's website.
Here's what Obama has on tap in Chicago tomorrow, according to the White House:
1:32 PM, Jul 14, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
One of the Democratic party’s most loyal and powerful interest groups is, evidently, falling out of love with the Obama administration. As Peter Sullivan of The Hill reports:
11:34 AM, May 11, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel might be in trouble. If a recent poll is to be believed, Rahm might have trouble getting reelected.
"Only one in five Chicago voters credit Mayor Rahm Emanuel with doing a better job of running the city than Richard M. Daley did, and only 29 percent would support him if the mayoral election were held today," the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
8:02 AM, May 7, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Kristen McQueary, a member of the Chicago Tribune editorial board, has a devastating piece in her paper on Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel. In short, the mayor--the former congressman and former chief of staff to President Obama--hasn't lived up to the bluster.