Aug 25, 2008
Mayor Daley said,“It’s a crisis,” with respect to the next city budget, saying the city will be 420 million dollars in the hole. Blaming the recession for reduced tax revenues, Daley said, “It’s going to take some tough decisions.” Either the unions agree to big concessions or the city will lay off one to two thousand workers – that’s Daley’s proposal.
The recession is real enough, but that hasn’t led the city of Chicago to reduce its fantastic giveaways to big corporations. Just last June it provided another 20 million dollars subsidy for the Block 37 super subway station in downtown Chicago. This is after the total cost to government had risen to 320 million.
The city just agreed to spend 158 million dollars in contracts to big companies for the testing, recruiting and hiring of city employees. This includes 40 million dollars to Aon Consulting, 20 million to accounting giant Ernst & Young and 20 million to Valtera Corp.
And the city continues to subsidize all kinds of wealthy developers. There is 52 million dollars to Target and Aldi for construction at Wilson Yard. There is another 51 million dollars for Walton Street Capital to turn the old Main Post Office into condos and a hotel. According to the Civic Federation, a business group, more than half the property taxes the city would collect goes directly to business in subsidies.
Daley has the nerve to say there is no money and to demand that city workers accept concessions or face layoffs. No! If he needs 420 million dollars, he can get it from the gifts he gives to big business. And there is plenty more that could be used to expand needed programs and hire more workers, giving them a decent wage.