Rahm Should Know Better Than Anyone That Taxpayers Are ATM's!

Rahm Should Know Better Than Anyone That Taxpayers Are ATM's!

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel doesn't want Chicago Taxpayers to be treated as Automatic Teller Machines (ATM's) to help cover renovations at US Cellular and Soldier Field after the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority took more than $1.1 million in taxes that was supposed to go to the City of Chicago. But why is Da Mayor even pissed about that? After all, when it comes to strong-arming and doing a hatchet job on Chicago Taxpayers, Da Mayor should know better than anyone else who and what constitutes an ATM.

And when it comes to ATM's? Chicago (and Illinois) Taxpayers were given one hell of a raw deal when the Illinois Sports Facility Authority (ISFA) was created by the Illinois Legislature in 1987. The fact that it was rammed down the throats of taxpayers in the 11th hour by former Governor James Thompson in order to keep the Chicago White Sox from going through with their "empty" threat to move to Tampa Bay still irritates many to this day.

Although long-suffering Chicago Baseball fans were eventually rewarded for subsidizing the Cell with a 2005 World Series Championship, the only real winner in this legislative farce has been (and remains to be) Jerry Reinsdorf and his many savvy investors. Taxpayers probably don't realize it, but the White Sox pay ISFA a paltry $1.5 million a-year to lease "the Cell" while keeping all the profits from ticket sales, stadium parking, concessions and merchandise sales. Talk about a Sweet Deal for the White Sox! And let's not forget about the many political insiders who benefit from more than their fair share of perks while the real fans fans get "Nose Bleed" on a regular basis.

Of course, it hasn't been much different for Chicago Bears fans either. After all, the ISFA got involved again when the Bears wanted to cash in on the taxpayer bonanza. They too threatened to move their team to the suburbs or even out of state in order to secure substantial taxpayer subsidies. Naturally, the Chicago Bears and the Chicago White Sox are the epitome of what Professional Sports has become. Sports Teams are only concerned with making outrageous profits - but when it actually comes to running a business and accepting the financial burdens that go along with that, well, let's just screw the taxpayer twice. Once at the Box Office and then again with a multitude of taxes and fees tacked on. What a bunch of parasites!

But hey, professional sports aren't the only parasites among us. City, County and State Government, especially here in Illinois, has been right up there at the top. Da Mayor, for instance, is pissed that his taxpayers are being treated as ATM's - but what in the hell has he done ever since assuming office?  Hasn't he too treated Chicago Taxpayers as his own personal ATM? Seems to me that the umpteen increases, which were imposed upon residents and visitors alike, speaks for themselves.

According to the Chicago Tribune "In his first city budget that was unanimously approved last month, Emanuel raised the cost of vehicle stickers by $10-$15, increased the parking tax by $2 a day, raised the hotel tax by 1 percentage point and put in place a host of fine increases. In addition, water bills would more than double during the next four years."

So - Is someone else living inside Da Mayor's Head Rahmbo? I mean when it comes to strong-arming residents and visitors he has done a most brilliant (and quite painful) job of keeping the burden on taxpayers. His Administration, though, is built largely on smoke and mirrors. And when it comes to being the "most transparent" administration, well Rahm Emanual has done everything in his power to make a mockery of the Freedom of Information Act. Rahm Emanual knows how to play the political shell game extremely well and as a result he will never give taxpayers any real or substantial transparency.

I hate to say it, but so far as Rahm Emanual goes - this Bozo is no different than the last Bozo. He is every bit the greedy and crony rewarding politician that Richard M. Daley ever was, but what sets him apart is that he is a heck of a good liar too! So don't play poker or other games of chance with this dude.

As for a closing thought on ATM's go - I wonder how much that "No Snow In Sight" Snow Route Ordinance brought in for Rahmbo today?

Cha-Cha-Ching - Chicago!

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  • I agree completely with this article. Rahm has made painful decisions for the average taxpayer, but has shared none of the pain with the Top 1%. If anything things keep getting easier for them with Rahm lobbying downstate for tax breaks for CME and CBOE and ending the payroll tax without an guarantee that those dollars go to anyone but the business distributable profits. In terms of the IFSA, Rahm said: "I also want the taxpayers represented. I want their voices heard at the table." Since it is the holidays, thank you mayor for your fanciful holiday wish list. But all I can tell is there still is no "taxpayer" representation on the Sports Authority Board. Rahm is simply replacing Daley's millionaires with Rahm's millionaires (although on of Rahm's choices, Norm Bobins, was also one of Daley's millionaires who helped make the Chicago Public School system the shining asset that it is). And in this story there is no explanation about how Rahm's game of "millionaire musical chairs" will change anything and "protect" the public moving forward. These bonds still need to be paid, and they are still looking to help the Cubs billionaire owners and millionaire players out with their stadium. So the corporate Sports welfare system is certain to continue at the disadvantage to the taxpayers and to Chicago's uncompetitive tourism and convention business, which continue to absorb cost increases through these bond-repayment taxes that contributes to them going elsewhere.

  • In reply to Jeff Burdick:

    Jeff, thank you for your well crafted and reasoned comment.

  • I'll add my perspective that the opinions on lawsuits at the time about Soldier Field and Miller Park have made it impossible to challenge whatever the future deals of this kind might be (i.e. if Ricketts gets something).

    Besides the FOIA hypocrisy on Rahm's part (I wonder if Lisa is going to knock him back the way she did on the gun permits, and his stooge, Claypool, has engaged in the same), there is an air of milking a dead cow by raising the hotel tax, when the reason why the ISFA has to be bailed out is that the hotel tax isn't working now.

    The only quarrel I have with Jeff is that the CME deal is supposed to save jobs instead of just line the shareholders' pockets; however, since there is nothing said about metrics assuring that there is job growth, that, and undoubtedly Sears (which is going to fold sometime or another) just exhibits Quinn's propensity for giving in to corporate extortion. So, maybe Jeff is right.

    Which gets me to my main point...Quinn's cow eyes over that the corporate extortion bill has to have tax relief for the working poor, when he was the one who rammed the 2 point income tax increase on everyone, is the height of hypocrisy. However, I bet his supporters are sopping it up, sort of like how they bought that that tax increase was temporary. It won't be.

  • In reply to jack:

    Indeed Jack. You know I found it interesting when someone on the news this morning said that Quinn is only interested in enticing those companies who contribute to his campaign fund to stay in Illinois while those who don't - well - bye bye. Just goes to show you what the dynamics are here in Illinois. As for Lisa - well I am not sure whose side she is on - besides of course her daddy - so whatever daddy says in regard to Rahm's FOIA indiscretions, then that will be the course of action she takes (or avoids).

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    The Tribune has the resources to sue over the FOIAs, and that's about the only service that the Tribune provides. Then, we'll have to see if the Ill. Sup. Ct. sticks it to Rahm like they did to the (Naperville?) school district, which said that entire employment agreements were exempt under the personal information exemption.

    My understanding of the "burdensome" exemption was that it applies only if the scope of the request was so poorly defined as being overbroad, not, as Rahm now seems to assert, that it is too burdensome to see if anything contains exempt information, so everything is exempt. I don't think that even the Illinois. courts are going to buy that.

    The only real issue is whether the average Illinois voter (who keeps voting in these people) cares, and they have tolerated much larger outrages. Look at the CTA Tattler and Pollyanna Kevin today (and my comment).

    In any event, Chico probably would have been worse (and I see from District 299 that he was given a political hack job consolation prize by Quinn).

    At least we don't have to drive into, spend our money in, or use a hotel room in Chicago.

  • In reply to jack:

    After reading all the links you provided some time ago regarding the FOIA - it seems to me there is enough latitude built in to prevent politicians from pulling a fast one. The Tribune went out of their way to not make their request burdensome and even refined it down a few times to no avail - the Ill Supreme Court should be looking at how Rahm distorted the intent of the law.

    As should everyone. I, like you, agree the real issue in Illinois is why average voters keep putting up with the shenanigans. Then again, there are a hell of a lot of "regulars" on the government payroll who do vote - while the apathetic stay home.

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