Friday, August 1, 2008

Time to tax the rich and cut the military budget!

By John Bachtell
Chicago Mayor Richard Daley announced July 30 the city is facing a serious $400 million shortfall for the 2009 budget. This is 6% of the total budget.

"Food prices go up. Gas prices go up. And expenses go up. The dollar is losing value continually. We are in a serious financial crisis in America. I keep saying that. People look at it and, maybe, dismiss it. But, I think we're in a much more serious financial crisis than people . . . believe. It's gonna have a long effect on this economy," Daley said at a recent newsconference. This much he got right.

City expenses are skyrocketing, income from the real estate transfer tax and sales taxes are down.

So what's his answer? This is where he gets it wrong. As always, he finds a way to take it from those who can least afford it - the city's working families. According to sources, everything (givebacks) is on the table.

Daley's top financial/budget aides met with leaders of the Chicago Federation of Labor to prepare them for cuts in services (aka: jobs), furloughs, etc. Pensions are not far behind.

In addition, Daley wants to change the "booting" policy to boot cars after the second unpaid ticket.

Every solution, is directed at taking away from the city's working families. There's objective limits to this direction.

What about some talk about the sacred cows which Daley has been mum on - an emergency tax of the top 10% richest families and corporations in the city? How about a special assessment on the Board of Trade and Mercantile Exchange? And how about leading the movement to end the Iraq war and demanding a federal bailout of the cities; slashing the bloated and corrupt military budget and transfering emergency funds to the cities and communities.

What about leading the charge for a massive federal and state public works jobs program?

Working families can't take anymore of the burden of this crisis placed on their shoulders.

It's reported in Springfield that there is widespread support in the House for an constitutional amendment allowing a higher tax on the rich. That's more like it.

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