Sorry for borrowing John Andrew's "controversial" title to his opinion piece on why Chicago is heading toward dissolution and anarchy. As artists, we stand on the shoulders of giants - as the saying goes.
Speaking of Big Shoulders: Chicago happens to be up the proverbial creek without the proverbial paddle and its tax-paying citizens will be proverbially, and profoundly pissed off within the next 4 years.
Why, you ask?
Because a new study listing the top 10 cities closest to having their pensions run out of money has Chicago at #2. You can be thankful that it's not at #1. (Yes, I'm a Glass-Half-Full person) but right now the city's unfunded liabilities hover at $44.8 billion.
From the study:
Many U.S. cities are therefore carrying substantial off‐balance‐sheet debt in the form of unfunded pension obligations. We also identify 6 major municipalities whose current pension assets would only be sufficient to pay already‐promised benefits through 2020, and 20 whose current pension assets would only be sufficient to pay already‐promised benefits through 2025.
Keep in mind that Daley's privatization of the parking meters only got him a lump sum debit to his cash account of $1.15 billion. And that lease goes for 99 years.
But even in good times this city sucks.
In the last 30 years, almost 79 local elected officials - 3 of the last 5 governors - and 27 aldermen have been convicted of a crime. And those are just the ones that they're able to catch. It is One-party rule here, with 50 alderman all running a socialist "utopia" and their hands into everything.
Have you noticed that with Daley not running for reelection, hundreds of people who were politically connected to Da'Mayor are now either crying, or quaking with fear. They know their days are numbered because when the next Mafioso steps in to take his place, he'll have a whole new cadre of automatons to do his bidding. Daley "balanced" the 2011 Chicago budget but used his father's Magic Kingdom slide-rule to make the numbers look quasi-legit, but there were significant omissions in their calculations.
As the-ever-brilliant SCC points out, the cupboard is indeed bare:
[Daley will use] a 20 percent increase in parking meter rates. So all those billions from the Skyway and parking meter and downtown garage leases? The 75-and-99-year leases? Gone in under three years. Way to plan ahead Dick! And we aren't sure about this, but aren't those parking meter increases all going to the leasing company?
But it gets worse:
He also plans to count on $80 million in “more favorable revenues” and $32 million in savings generated by a full year of union concessions not yet negotiated. An agreement that calls for unpaid furlough days and comp time instead of cash overtime expires June 30."more favorable revenues" is code for "fantasy numbers."
Even Leftist rags like Slate.com have wondered aloud why Chicago is such a hotbed of corruption. Here's Slate's history of the fetid swamp that IS Chicago politics.
Chicago moved towards a one-party system that made it even more vulnerable to corruption: The city's last Republican mayor left office in 1931. Today, not even the Democratic primaries are competitive—for the most part, once you're in office, you stay there. The weak campaign finance laws in Illinois probably helped to stave off competition in recent years.
This is what you get when a One-party, Liberal Democrat city that is run like a fiefdom. Daley and his old man are textbook examples of entrenched Machine politicians - taking money with one hand, handing it out for political favors with the other. Meanwhile Daley thinks he has the right to pick and choose which constitutional amendments apply to you and me. He doesn't like guns? Then in direct violation of the Second Amendment, Daley won't let you have a gun in your home in Chicago. You don't like what's happening to the CPD, and you think Weis is incompetent and you put out an opinion piece detailing why you think so (John Andrews blog)? Then you get stripped and possibly fired for exercising your First Amendment right to free speech.
And it goes on and on and on .....
God help us; please pray for this city and this state ... but also, VOTE on November 2nd and do not vote for ANYONE with a (D) after their name. The entire Democrat party has been hijacked by the New Left.
It's pretty pathetic that the voters of this country elected a bunch of Leftists hacks without realizing that Leftists only care about The Almighty State; NOT about individual rights or constitutional originalism.