Has a “new” counter-point to the Tribune emerged?
Thursday, Feb 11, 2016
* Now that the Sun-Times has finally shed itself of its meddling pro-Rauner owner, might we see more editorials like this?…
They do get some things wrong. Rauner long ago abandoned his robust and harmful (to his own aims) public push for so-called “right to work” laws, for example.
* Most importantly, though, Chicago has done far more harm to itself with ridiculous tax and spend policies (low property taxes on residents and too much spending as well as too much delay on dealing with pensions) over the past couple of decades (with mayors and aldermanic majorities endorsed by the Sun-Times) than Rauner could ever possibly do in a year.
I get their anger. I share it. But the city’s leaders started this raging fire and then deliberately ignored it until they had pushed Chicago to the cusp of insolvency. Emanuel didn’t have the courage to raise taxes in his first term, and, of course, there was Daley’s (endorsed) abject cowardice. Now, the tax hikes have to be much larger and the cuts much deeper if Chicago hopes to ever survive, which is why Rauner and others are pushing so hard for the bankruptcy option.
* Illinois, on the other hand, did address its revenue problem in 2011, much to the chagrin of many. But then Rauner demanded that the Democrats not renew that tax hike and the Dems complied. Big mistake in hindsight. However, because he made that request, Rauner now owns the current state problems much more than he owns Chicago’s.
And while many don’t or refuse to believe it, state spending was cut before Rauner took over (not enough, but it was). Now it can’t be cut with any sort of reasonableness and logic and humaneness because we don’t have a budget and the judiciary is ordering spending, while some entities (like rape crisis centers and universities) aren’t getting any state money at all.
* So, I don’t have many quibbles with this…
Again, Rauner, to his credit, did dump the so-called “right to work” issue last year. But his obsession with unions is downright bizarre.
* The governor also seems to enjoy kicking people and entities when they’re down, and he’s been far too eager to do that to Chicago. So the editorial is spot on in that regard.
And he’s mostly contained the state meltdown to Chicago, where problems with schools, crime and the state’s only majority African-American public university are rapidly coming to a head. He should be trying to help, no doubt, but he would say he has offered help. Trouble is, that was all wrapped up in his anti-union obsession. He really needs to find other ways to make this state more competitive.
But you can’t deliberately hit yourself in the head with a hammer and then sue the manufacturer. Well, you can (this is Illinois, after all /snark), but you’d look pretty silly doing it.
* Either way, and despite my strong disagreements, having a “new” Chicago counterpoint to the Tribune is most definitely needed. That paper has been dominating this debate for far too long.