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Mayor Emanuel’s Fiscal hyperbole

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Recently, in regards to the city’s fiscal condition, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said “If we make no reforms at all across our pension funds, we would have to raise City property taxes by 150%… Business and families would flee, not just from our city but from our state,”

This deceptive wording and hyperbolic rhetoric has been a calling card for Rahm ever since he questionably attained the position of mayor. Rahm is using the fiscal crisis that the states faces as an excuse to gut the pensions of hardworking Teachers, Firefighters, and Policemen in Chicago.

tifNot once does he bring up Tax Increment Financing (TIF). TIF used to be a off-the-book financial robbery of 1 of every 10 tax dollars that the city collects from its citizenry. In fact this fiscal diversion has robbed the city of more than 5.5 Billion dollars in revenue since 1986.

What is TIF and how is it possible that tax payers are funding something that delivers almost nothing in terms of public services? TIF was supposed to be a program that diverts tax dollars to designated projects that improve impoverished areas of the city, but it has proven to be just another tax subsidy for private companies. It turns out that it is a slush fund for corporate elites masquerading as an economic development tool for under-developed communities.

The costs of TIF has greatly exceeded the pension requirements for the city, but Emanuel only mentions the pension programs as a cause or solution for the fiscal wrongs of Chi-Town. For shame on you Emanuel for ignoring decade of fiscal sleight of hand that has been masked in the veil of the TIF program. Since 2007, the cost of the TIF program has exceeded that of the pension programs, so why isn’t consideration given to modify that program? Oh yeah, no one makes billions upon billions of dollars in corporate welfare and crony rewards.

The city’s pension costs were $385.8 million in 2012, while TIF diverted $457 million in property tax revenues. If this was just about the city’s budget, Emanuel would be looking at the revenue that is diverted by the TIF program than the pension and it will less of a negative impact on the lives of our citizens.

In a nutshell, Mayor Emanuel is not giving the citizens the full picture. He is merely pointing is budget cutting fingers at the well-earned pension program as the main rationale for the city’s financial shortfall. Please remember Mr. Emanuel that these pensions are the result of hardworking public workers giving up raises, benefits, vacation time and other benefits in order help with financial problems at that time. The teachers, firemen, policemen, sanitation workers and other public sector works have suffered and struggled, in order to reap a somewhat equalizing earned reward now (pensions) and now you want to strip them of that; for shame.

Chicagoans, this is yet another in a long list of reasons you should vote this Rahm out of office. Bye Rahm, HOPEFULLY!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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