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“Rauner to city: Drop dead”

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2014

* Not really. My headline is merely a bit of snark based on a May 29th Tribune editorial about the Chicago pension reform bill entitled “Quinn to city: Drop dead”

Quinn, the self-described I-was-put-on-Earth-to-get-this-done pension reformer, should have signed the bill seven weeks ago. Instead, he’s been playing the role of fictional superhero, claiming to be protecting Chicago property taxpayers by sitting on the bill.

“I’m committed to property tax reform and property tax relief,” Quinn said recently of the bill on his desk. “We’re going to look at the bill and we’ll review it.”

But if Quinn vetoes the bill, and it appears he might, that action would come at the expense of Chicago taxpayers, not at their benefit. […]

The clock is running. Sign the bill. Quit fretting about the impact on your re-election chances. Let Chicago help itself.

Stop telling this City to Drop Dead.

If Quinn had listened to the Tribune and signed the city’s pension bill in April, would Mayor Rahm Emanuel have switched gears and passed a 911 service tax hike to cover the pension reform’s first-year costs? Heck no.

Politics 101: Never take political advice from editorial boards.

* Speaking of which, this is from a Sun-Times editorial last week urging Quinn to sign the bill

Quinn’s Republican opponent in the race for governor, Bruce Rauner, opposes the pension bill and likely will blame Quinn if Chicago property taxes rise. Quinn easily can swat away such a disingenuous claim.

Um, no, it won’t be easy. At all. This was a big risk by Quinn.

* But let’s get back to the Tribune. Here is part of Rauner’s statement from yesterday…

Despite pledging to lower property taxes for homeowners, Gov. Quinn broke yet another promise by signing the Chicago pension bill into law, thereby forcing City Hall to raise property taxes on hardworking Chicagoans. Even if the city diverted $50 million in new 911 emergency phone tax revenue to pay for the pension bill, City Hall would still face a massive shortfall over the five-year phase-in, paving the way for a massive property tax hike.

Without that pension reform bill, the property tax hikes would’ve been much, much larger and Rauner knows it.

* Today’s Tribune editorial only briefly mentioned Rauner

Sure enough, it took only minutes for his Republican opponent, Bruce Rauner to issue a statement accusing Quinn of “forcing City Hall to raise property taxes on hardworking Chicagoans.”

Quinn did nothing of the sort. As he pointed out in his signing statement, the original bill would have mandated a property increase. Quinn and others objected loudly, and that provision was scrapped.

What? No hyperbolic insanity about how Rauner wants to ruin Chicago? Funny how that page can be so reserved when it comes to their guy and so way, WAY over the top when it comes to Quinn.

* Mayor Emanuel wasn’t so reserved yesterday…

“Bruce Rauner needs to learn that there is a difference between running for office and actually serving. The economic future of the state’s largest city and the retirement of 60,000 workers is not a political football to be tossed around. Governor Quinn today stood up for Chicago. Bruce Rauner has merely confirmed his unwillingness to do so.”

* Anyway, despite the dismissiveness by the Trib, property taxes are gonna rise eventually. There’s just no way around it. Mark Brown

There should be no doubt: This legislation is going to lead to a tax increase in Chicago, probably including property taxes, just maybe not this year if aldermen get their say in postponing it.

Emanuel’s plan would pay an additional $250 million a year in city revenue into these two pension funds by the fifth year—which adds up to an extra $750 million total over that period. That’s not chump change, and it has to come from somewhere. […]

In his own statement, Emanuel promised to “work with City Council in the coming months to find alternative options to replace property taxes as the source of the City’s first pension payment.”

Please note he said “first” pension payment. After that, all bets are off, including whether Emanuel will still be mayor when it comes time to identify the source of the second pension payment.

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


60 Comments
  1. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 10:34 am:

    I have no idea what Bruce Rauner’s position is other than to be against everything. Still waiting for him to give me a reason to vote for him. Bueller. Bueller.


  2. - William j Kelly - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    Real Chicagoans will stop Rahm’s property tax. Williamjkellyforchicago.com


  3. - DuPage - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 10:43 am:

    Chicago/Cook County homeowners have much lower assessments then everyone else in the state.


  4. - Chris - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 10:48 am:

    “Without that pension reform bill, the property tax hikes would’ve been much, much larger and Rauner knows it.”

    Rauner knows that the City’s taxes were raised as soon as there was a continuing deficit in the City’s aggregate accounts. He’s not stupid, but he’s sure trying hard to make it seem like he is.


  5. - Frenchie Mendoza - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    As much as I despise Rauner’s candidacy, I do understand that “to be against everything” is pretty much status quo these days.

    It’s actually much better, much easier, to be against stuff than to be for it. Voters seem to love it. They don’t know what they’re for, but they ain’t for the status quo: Cuz, man, it’s all about freedom. And lowering taxes. And government waste. These are what brother Rauner is going fix. He’s gonna come in and fix it. It don’t matter how. Plan? Who needs a plan? The plan is to shake up Springfield. Cuz Springfield is the backbone of the state. Like the farmers are the backbone of the state. Like small business owners. The state’s broken cuz it’s got a lot of backbones. Rauner’s gonna fix it.


  6. - Bogart - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 10:50 am:

    DuPage - Chicago has much higher sales tax, and 911 tax, and parking tax, etc. etc. etc.. What’s your point?


  7. - Jimbo - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    Cook should be allowed to raise rates. Everyone else’s are higher. It is shameful though, how hizzoner wanted Springfield to mandate the increases. Rahm always wants to blame someone else. Seems the big chair is a bit too big for him.


  8. - Chris - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 10:53 am:

    Bill Kelly: “Real Chicagoans will stop Rahm’s property tax. ”

    What’s *your* plan, Bill?

    DuPage: “Chicago/Cook County homeowners have much lower assessments then everyone else in the state.”

    1. So? This isn’t California, with a rate cap. Assessment * RATE is all that matters.
    2. Ignore the issue in 1, and focus on the point, it’s *false*–Oak Brook has the lowest property taxes in the state.
    3. Know where the “highest” taxes are in the state–Ford Heights, which is in … wait for it … Cook County. So, just not right.

    Yes, Chicago currently has the lowest property tax *rate* in Cook County, and one of the lowest in the state. There’s certainly a lot of room to bump it up.


  9. - Walker - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 10:56 am:

    No matter what Quinn does with this, the oppos will claim it once again shows he’s a champion of tax increases.

    Do the right thing — you lose either way politically.


  10. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 10:57 am:

    Quinn is the only governor we have. The ball is in his court. We don’t empower “shadow governors” with the abilities we give our current governor. Even when it looks like voters are going to dump the current governor and the political pressure of the shadow governor is having an effect - you cannot expect the guy who is not in office to do what the guy who is in office can’t do.

    What Quinn has to do is show us how well he can do the job as governor. If he can do it, he will be reelected. If not, his alternative will have the job and the proper time to come up with solutions.

    While they may be vying for the same job - only one is the incumbent with all the perks and drawbacks that accompany it. They are not equal. You cannot treat them equally. Recognizing that is not being unfair.

    You want a rational approach? That can’t really be done. Challengers always have their set of advantages, and incumbents, theirs. When times are good, the incumbents have the advantage. When times suck and repeated polling exposes the opinion that half the state would consider leaving to another state - the advantage is to the challenger.

    Quinn has to sweat, work and govern and Rauner can smile, wave and promise to be better than Quinn. The election is Quinn’s to win or lose.


  11. - Dan Johnson - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 10:59 am:

    It’s really not the legislation that will lead to normal property tax rates for Chicago. Four or five (or six?) decades of rock-bottom residential property tax rates means that bills were not paid. Now they have come due. Trimming the benefits doesn’t change the fundamentals: Chicago pays too little.

    I don’t understand how Chicagoans managed to convince themselves their property taxes are too high — especially seniors who have some of the lowest rates imaginable.

    Let’s not blame the bill for the inevitable normalization of Chicago’s property tax rates.


  12. - ejhickey - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 10:59 am:

    To some, this might be a dumb question, but i don’t know the answer. Aren’t City of Chicago pensions also covered by the Illinois constitution and thus protected from being reduced or diminished? Will this bill also be challenged in the courts?


  13. - Upon Further Review - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    Raising taxes without spending discipline is not a solution. We have had a higher state income tax for four years. The additional revenue was supposed to pay down past due bills, but that did not come to pass.

    Gasoline is heavily taxed in Illinois, but the roads are loaded with potholes. In Chicago, gas is over $4.00. In our neighboring state of Iowa, fuel is $3.25. Let’s not worry. Rahm wants all of us to ride bicycles.

    Corruption taxes are costly to Illinois residents.


  14. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    ===Raising taxes without spending discipline is not a solution===

    Um, that’s why the reform bill had to pass first.

    ===The additional revenue was supposed to pay down past due bills, but that did not come to pass.===

    Actually, a portion was set aside in the statute to pay the interest on a bond sale which would’ve been used to pay down the bills. The bond sale wasn’t approved by the GA. But bills have been substantially reduced since the tax hike was passed. Although they’re gonna go back up if the extension isn’t passed.

    Also, pretty much every penny of that tax hike has been used to make pension payments.

    This isn’t difficult stuff, URF. Try engaging your mind before your two typing fingers.


  15. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    ===What Quinn has to do is show us how well he can do the job as governor. If he can do it, he will be reelected. If not, his alternative will have the job and the proper time to come up with solutions.===

    You type and type and type… It is not a referendum.

    It’s not.

    You spin yourself silly thinking that typing it “differently” it will be true. It won’t.


  16. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 11:04 am:

    DuPage, you apparently were unaware that Evanston and Oak Park - both of which have astronomical property taxes, are in Cook County.

    And William J. Kelly, what you’re doing is no better than Rauner. Sloganeering is not a plan. Real plans with real numbers please if you want to be taken even remotely seriously.


  17. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 11:10 am:

    ==you cannot expect the guy who is not in office to do what the guy who is in office can’t do.==

    I can expect him to tell me what he might do. No matter how many times you type your referendum garbage it doesn’t make it true.


  18. - Frenchie Mendoza - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 11:10 am:


    The election is Quinn’s to win or lose.

    Right — and Rauner’s will be whatever Quinn’s isn’t. Rauner can wave and smile and promise, but unless you’re captivated by his weirdly uncharismatic posturing and pretending — and I suspect much of Rauner’s campaign is based on the hope that most voters will be capitivated –, you’ll invariably have a moment where you realize that you can’t really articulate Rauner policy because there isn’t any policy. It’s the refrigerator moment after a fun movie. It was an ok movie, but just as you go for the soda, in the fridge, you realize it didn’t make sense. And then you realize there was a lot that didn’t make sense. And then you realize — wait, maybe it was a crappy movie. And you realize, dimly, you’ve been cleverly duped. You go ahead and get the soda, but you realize — or hope, maybe — that doesn’t ever happen again. But it will — and does.

    BTW — I’m surprised by the shadow governor business. It makes sense, but for uncharismatic “outsider” like Rauner, it sure plays like insider politics at its worst. Is the GOP so exhausted by their inability to achieve tangible policy goals that they’ll give into anyone who promises even non-policy policy? It’s the worst kind of political cynicism, IMHO.


  19. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 11:11 am:

    ===Even when it looks like voters are going to dump the current governor and the political pressure of the shadow governor is having an effect - you cannot expect the guy who is not in office to do what the guy who is in office can’t do.===

    Wow, that’s migraine inducing. 237 words to say “Quinn won’t win?”

    Somebody pass me the aspirin.


  20. - kjackson921 - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    During the state budget debate, I asked why people and (especially) the media just took for granted that we would need Draconian cuts if the temporary tax increase expires, given the fact we were told the increased revenue would be used to pay down bills–not increase spending. I have a similar question now. We just allowed a mayor to say that we need additional revenue to manage and maintain our 911 center. Now that the mayor has been given the ability to raise that tax to the highest level in the nation, we just assume the revenue will go to secure the pensions.

    Why is this acceptable? Why not hold the mayor accountable for what he said then and how the revenue will actually be used? I refuse to NOT vote and it’s going to be very difficult for me to vote for Quinn, Rahm, and the rest. It’s frustrating knowing I’m being lied to and the people charged with keeping politicians honest seem complicit in the lies. At this point, I feel like my vote for Rauner is his to lose…even if he refuses to state a position on anything.


  21. - CircularFiringSquad - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 11:15 am:

    Hey let’s agree that big piles of money spent poorly still cannot elect a mope. BTW is it time to pick another one of Mitt’s 400 biz success and see who they screwed over?
    Rainy day …hmmmm get ready


  22. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 11:15 am:

    ===Wow, that’s migraine inducing. 237 words to say “Quinn won’t win?===

    Careful. I got chastised by - VanillaMan - because, like you, I can read.

    - VanillaMan - in one breath thinks Quinn needs to run touting his successes, and we must then forget - VanillaMan - telling us how one party rule, and “change” means defeat for Quinn, coupled with, you guessed it, his poor record.

    If you have extra aspirin…


  23. - Upon Further Review - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 11:16 am:

    @Chicago Cynic

    Evanston is a microcosm of what is wrong in Illinois. An entrenched political machine runs its City Hall and its finances are out of control. A year and a half ago, Maria Pappas released figures on Evanston’s indebtedness that were fairly damning. It is one of the worse administered cities in Illinois.


  24. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 11:19 am:

    ===VanillaMan - in one breath thinks Quinn needs to run touting his successes,===

    Lol, but he also believe Quinn has no successes, so there you go.

    Never have so many words been used to say so little.


  25. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    Dan Johnson, you are 100% right about Chicago property taxes. I’ve said it for years - Chicago property taxes are too low. Mayor Daley needed to raise them decades ago, but instead he sold off assets and mortgaged our future with idiotic deals like the parking meters and other one-time fixes.

    I don’t love Rahm, but in this area he consistently gets a raw deal from the press and his opponents. The fault for this mess lies squarely and firmly with Richard M. Daley and his lapdog City Councils.


  26. - William j Kelly - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 11:21 am:

    Chicago cynic, you nailed me!! I guess I didn’t realize it was that obvious that Chicago’s financial crisis murder crisis education crisis corruption crisis unemployment crisis was really all William Kelly’s fault! How will I ever be taken SERIOUSLY after this revelation?


  27. - Chris - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 11:26 am:

    “I don’t understand how Chicagoans managed to convince themselves their property taxes are too high”

    It’s a question of perception–what we get for our tax dollars. The *perception* is that the roads are crap, crime is out of control bc of lack of cops, the schools are pits of despair, and everything is just falling apart.

    There’s a nugget of truth in each of those things, but the single biggest issue relates to the school thing–people look at comparable homes in suburbs comparable to their city neighborhood and see that they are (1) lower priced and therefor (2) have taxes–at worst–slightly higher than the city, but offer a HS that they’d send their kids to. That’s about 75% of what the Chicago-tax-issue is about.


  28. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 11:26 am:

    The propensity of taxes in Oak Park go to the elementary and high school districts…it’s like paying for private school, but with your real estate taxes…


  29. - Chris - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 11:27 am:

    “Chicago cynic, you nailed me!! I guess I didn’t realize it was that obvious …”

    william j kelly has no plan, either, and just wants to kvetch about the failings of others?

    Yes, you didn’t realize that that was that obvious, either.


  30. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 11:27 am:

    Thanks. I’ll take that as an acknowledgment that you don’t want to be taken seriously and stop feeding the troll. NEXT.


  31. - Steve - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 11:32 am:

    William Kelly is understating the problem. No one has blamed the Koch brothers. They must be blamed. They have such a huge influence on Chicago’s City Council. Let’s also blame those anti-tax zealots who think Chicago’s sales tax is too high. As far as property taxes go, everyone knows it’s the Republican party in Chicago that’s preventing higher property taxes, their grip on City Council is well known for decades. The only thing preventing Chicago from having better public schools is those backward types who can’t see the value in Chicago’s excellent public schools. Strength through unity, dissenters can’t be tolerated when so much good can be done in the name of higher taxes.


  32. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 11:33 am:

    You seem to believe that you can ask Rauner what he would do if he was governor, but that makes sense and I’m asking Quinn what he has done as governor, but that makes no sense?

    Whatever happened to normal reelection campaigns? Remember those? That is what I am telling Quinn to begin doing, so he can be reelected.

    I don’t believe he has nothing. But then, he isn’t telling me otherwise, is he?


  33. - William j Kelly - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 11:34 am:

    My definition of a troll is someone who is too afraid to use their own name. Now forgive me but I need to get back to fighting the people who ARE REALLY responsible for all the previously listed problems facing my city. Williamjkellyforchicago.com


  34. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 11:40 am:

    If not a Troll, a Gnat?

    ===That is what I am telling Quinn to begin doing, so he can be reelected.

    I don’t believe he has nothing. But then, he isn’t telling me otherwise, is he?===

    How - VanillaMan is not dizzy…

    - Steve -, can we get what you have “over the counter” or is being a victim with that outlook something you naturally have?

    Snark is fun. Snark wrapped up as a victim is still being a victim, but with “style”…


  35. - Steve - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    Anyone wanting a simple, reasonable, doable plan should start thinking about filing a Chapter 9 bankruptcy for Chicago. It’s coming. There’s no possible way Chicago taxpayers can pay all those promised pensions. Anyone who tells you otherwise is in big denial or a student of Common Core math.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-10-29/ten-us-cities-less-ten-days-cash-hand

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-07-28/chicago-next-windy-city-cash-balance-plummets-only-33-million-debt-triples


  36. - anon - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    “===Raising taxes without spending discipline is not a solution===

    Um, that’s why the reform bill had to pass first.

    ===The additional revenue was supposed to pay down past due bills, but that did not come to pass.===

    Actually, a portion was set aside in the statute to pay the interest on a bond sale which would’ve been used to pay down the bills. The bond sale wasn’t approved by the GA. But bills have been substantially reduced since the tax hike was passed. Although they’re gonna go back up if the extension isn’t passed.

    Also, pretty much every penny of that tax hike has been used to make pension payments.

    This isn’t difficult stuff, URF. Try engaging your mind before your two typing fingers.

    @ Rich, I don’t understand why your comments characterize pension payments as “spending” and put pension payments in a separate and distinct category from other unpaid bills. Pension payments are exactly unpaid bills for past services. Why do you think a bill submitted by a business for past work rendered should be paid yet it is somehow great policy for workers to get stiffed on payment for past work rendered?


  37. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    Welp, at least - Steve - didn’t invoke “Detroit” by name, so that was a plus…

    Chicago is Detroit? That road has been driven on… use the search key .

    What’s next; Counties vote?


  38. - OldSmoky2 - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 11:47 am:

    I am all for making the pension payments as promised; it’s irresponsible how both the city and the state have avoided doing that for years. And, no, I’m not at all surprised that the Tribune is all about attacking Quinn no matter what he does while giving Rauner a free pass on explaining whether or not he really has a plan. I suspect they know that he obviously doesn’t; the Trib just doesn’t care about that detail. That said, there are better alternatives than this regressive phone tax, and I hope somebody wakes up enough Chicago City Council members, especially in the lower-income wards, before this comes up for a vote.
    The new phone tax is going to be $28.80 per year on every phone bill in Chicago, no matter your income or ability to pay and regardless of whether you own a $600 iPhone with a monthly bill of $100, own a cheap feature phone with a monthly bill of $30, or own just a basic landline at $13 month. Everyone will pay the same $28.80 increase. That’s about as regressive as a tax can get.
    How about instead Emanuel gets serious about the TIF reform he talked about when he ran for mayor. Does a wealthy private university that owns blocks and blocks of land in Chicago’s most expensive neighborhood really need a $93 million TIF subsidy for a new basketball arena? Should millions in TIF subsidies help build upscale condos to speed up gentrification in neighborhoods like Uptown? I say no; let’s take $50 million out of that $400 million slush fund instead of raising everyone’s phone tax.


  39. - Steve - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 11:55 am:

    - Oswego Willy -

    Chicago isn’t Detroit. Chicago has a bigger population , but bigger debt problems. The next recession should be a major problem for Chicago. After all, Rahm Emanuel, Gov. Quinn, and Mike Madigan act like the business cycle has been repealed . It hasn’t. Check out the table down below. How many more months are we away from declining tax receipts?

    http://www.nber.org/cycles/cyclesmain.html


  40. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 11:58 am:

    ===The next recession should be a major problem for Chicago.===

    If you can predict “when and how bad” the next recession will be, there are a boatload of people who want to talk to you…


  41. - MrJM (@MisterJayEm) - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 12:03 pm:

    A newspaper’s “editorial voice” is a tough trick to pull off under the best of circumstances — the Tribune’s slavish devotion to Rauner’s vacuous campaign has rendered it positively incoherent.

    – MrJM


  42. - Steve - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 12:05 pm:

    - Oswego Willy -
    Since World War 2 the average expansion phase was 58.4 months. This recovery is 73 months long. So, longer than average but certainly not the longest expansion. If the Federal Reserve could predict the next recession the last one wouldn’t have happened. They certainly missed the boat last time.


  43. - Mark Glennon - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 12:08 pm:

    Anybody want to explain where the city will get the $250M/year needed to hit the ARC in 2020? The unfunded liability in those pensions will grow before that happens.


  44. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 12:16 pm:

    “big piles of money spent poorly still cannot elect a mope.”

    True that, CFS. You should re-post that on the Derrick Smith post, eh?


  45. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 12:17 pm:

    === If the Federal Reserve could predict the next recession the last one wouldn’t have happened. They certainly missed the boat last time.===

    Like I said, if you know the timing, length, and depth of the next one, you are sitting on a gold mine.

    Otherwise, you are a victim again, and lumping us all in your victimness with the Federal Reserve comment.


  46. - OldSmoky2 - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 12:27 pm:

    ==Anybody want to explain where the city will get the $250M/year needed to hit the ARC in 2020? The unfunded liability in those pensions will grow before that happens.==

    As Mark Brown sort of noted in the column Rich cited above, a lot of people think Emanuel is just using this to put off the property tax increase he originally proposed until after the February 2015 city election. Too many aldermen got cold feet about voting for that before the election.


  47. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 12:31 pm:

    Let us not heap too much praise on Quinn for raising phone taxes.

    Phone taxes are extremely regressive, hitting middle class families and the working poor much harder than property taxes.

    Unless I am wrong, phone taxes do not apply to VOIP however, so Comcast is probably a winner here.

    Yeah.


  48. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 12:34 pm:

    As far as parity, Rich makes a good argument, unfortunately Team Quinn did not make it effectively to the Tribune beforehand, so they only have themselves to blame.


  49. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 12:55 pm:

    ==No one has blamed the Koch brothers. They must be blamed.==

    Victimhood still following your around I see @Steve.


  50. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 12:55 pm:

    “you” around


  51. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 1:02 pm:

    Demoralized, I think one day this summer I’m gonna have a party out here at the lakeside international headquarters and every time Steve whines about his victimhood we’ll all do a shot.

    Of course, there will be the added expense of a limo to safely take everyone home, and I might possibly even have to book an ambulance for insurance purposes, but it would be one heckuva party!


  52. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 1:03 pm:

    I’m in.


  53. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 2:19 pm:

    - ejhickey - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 10:59 am:

    Yes and Yes.

    - Steve - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    In general, Illinois municipalities are not allowed to file for bankruptcy.


  54. - Chris - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 2:29 pm:

    “Unless I am wrong, phone taxes do not apply to VOIP”

    Just checked my att VOIP bill–the 911 charge is on there.


  55. - Joan P. - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 2:56 pm:

    “My headline is merely a bit of snark based on a May 29th Tribune editorial about the Chicago pension reform bill entitled “Quinn to city: Drop dead”…”

    Which itself was a riff on the New York Daily News headline from back in 1975: “Ford to City: Drop Dead”


  56. - ejhickey - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 3:23 pm:

    RNUG

    Thanks. I wasn’t sure if the same constitutional provision also applied to municipal pensions


  57. - Chris - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 5:17 pm:

    “In general, Illinois municipalities are not allowed to file for bankruptcy.”

    The “Local Government Financial Planning and Supervision Act” 50 ILCS 320/9(b)(4) establishes the conditions necessary for a municipality to file Chapter 9. It’s a onerous process (which is why it doesn’t get used), but it’s there.

    Alternately, a municipality can elect to file chapter 9, and hope that no one objects. If there is no objection, it is possible for an Illinois muni to go thru bankruptcy.


  58. - Just The Way It Is One - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 7:38 pm:

    “Governor Quinn today stood up for Chicago,” so sayeth the Mayor of the People of the City of Chicago….

    And this win for Rahm was BIG, HUGE–make no mistake about it…And so NOW, RAHM EMANUEL, with all of the power, clout, and massivefunding he has proven time and again that HE can muster up for an Election that matters to him, will LIKEwise stand up for Pat Quinn from here on right up until the final vote is counted on November 4th…

    And along with the still-QUITE Popular President of the United States around these parts, this major development/crucial victory for the Mayor very well may be the clincher which the GOVernor needed to help put him over the top in a tough Election Year against a Gazillionaire, wild-spening Opponent…just keep your eyes peeled.


  59. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 7:48 pm:

    Rich -

    i am sure we would not need excuses to do shots.

    It is a sad state of affairs that here we are, nearly four years later, and it has fallen on you and me to repeatedly explain that the tax hike was intended to pay off past due bills through bonding — which Republcans killed.

    Despite that, past due bills have been cut roughly in half by my count.

    Remarkable on two counts.

    Frankly, I am surprised no enterprising legislator has not sponsored legislation to roll the tax hike back to 3 percent. with no bonds to pay off, do we need to keep a portion of the hike in place?


  60. - What is to be done - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 9:13 pm:

    Why is there a need for pension reform? The employees contributed their share every single pay check without fail. Where is the politician reform? How has not one single politician been held accountable for decades of pension payment theft? Do not agree to any cuts. This city is not only not broke, it’s far from broke. These politicians have hundreds of millions of dollars for pet projects that we don’t need. How about this river walk? DePaul stadium? Bike lanes? Etc. How much money is being spent on this garbage? You don’t spend money on wants when you can’t afford needs. Proper pension funding is a need. Hiring more police is a need. Fixing our crumbling roads is a need.


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