Jun 16, 2008
“Get workers to give back” screamed a nearly full-page headline in the Chicago Sun-Times. The paper was backing business groups who demand that the state of Illinois extract major concessions in pensions and retiree health care from state employees as a way to erase the state’s deficit.
Yet these businesses are the main beneficiaries of this year’s seven billion dollar budget deficit, with the state spending more than it takes in before borrowing money. Businesses are getting 1.5 billion dollars in various tax exemptions. The state gives 700 million dollars to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to directly subsidize companies. And the state is turning over most of 11 billion dollars in the “Illinois Capital Works” program to private construction contractors, under the pretext of improving schools, transportation and other buildings, which still remain in a deplorable condition.
In peddling the call for more concessions from state workers, the Sun-Times lines up with its fellow capitalists.