Chicago's approaching doomsday

You thought bankrupt Detroit was bad? Read this informative analysis by Reboot Illinois and come to more fully understand why Chicago's situation is possibly worse.

It took many years of warnings before Illinois state lawmakers and most taxpayers finally grasped the danger of the debt the state had accumulated with its five public employee pension systems.

Now the reality of impending pension doom is hitting Chicago city government. But where we experienced the state’s pension debt as a gradual creep into essential services like education — or the slow squeeze of Squeezy the Python, if you prefer — Chicago is looking at immediate costs that, without major reform, will hit taxpayers directly and suddenly in both property tax bills and in potential layoffs of thousands of teachers and police officers. (This infographic shows what the city owes to its various unions.)

It beats me how Chicago is ever going to emerge from this crisis without going bankrupt.

What was America's greatest come-from-behind war? Go here to find out.

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    "Detroit" is a like a drinking game in some circles. Stay uninformed, say "Detroit," take a shot.

    Seriously, have you ever been to Detroit?

    Try to follow: Detroit, as a city, has been in economic decline since the 1950s.

    Chicago, as a city, is still relatively robust, economically. But the finances of city government are a mess, due to the fiscal laziness and incompetence of Richard M. Daley and a lapdog city council.

    They hit the credit card to pay for groceries, year after year, and didn't even pay the monthly minimum. Thats why in the near future Chicago homeowners will start paying property taxes at levels that the rest of Illinoisans have been paying for decades.

    Paying your bills. What a concept.

    Daley, by the way, had the full-throated support of the august Chicago "business community" and wise civic leaders like the Chicago Tribune for his entire tenure.

    Lot of good that did us.

    Government finances and the economy are not synonymous. How hard is that to follow?

  • In reply to Sven Nelson:

    This sounds like a rant from a pensioner. Are you saying that the politicians that the unions put in office didn't do a good job with the city finances? Are you saying it was a bad idea to let the teachers get away with not contributing the required amount to their pension? Are you saying that union bosses shouldn't have gambled pension money away in the market?

    Oh yes, raise property taxes because Chicagoans don't pay enough other taxes and fees, right? We'll put that right next to the 67% income tax raise we got from Illinois.

    The historical nefarious relationship between labor and politician in Detroit and Chicago is but an internet search away, so please take your hypocrisy and shove it.

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