Rahm Emanuel Wants America to be like Chicago
There’s one thing I respect about liberals: They never compromise on their principles no matter how bad they are. If the economy is in a funk, unemployment is high, there’s corruption at the highest level of their party, more people are dependent on the government than ever before, and there’s no foreseeable solution on the horizon, they put the same people back in office that created the problem and advocate for the same policies and give them a raise.
So it’s no surprise that one of the architects of President Obama’s worldview, the mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, believes that if America is going to prosper, Chicago must be the model for the nation.
Chicago is a city that is big on government. The people of Chicago are used to power-wielding politicians – from Richard Daly, who served 21 years as mayor and boss of the city, and Harold Washington to Richard Daly, Jr. and now Mr. Emanuel.
Like all promoters, Mayor Emanuel only wants to talk about the positives. Here are a few items that he left out of his Chicago-as-model-city-for-America article:
Murder Rate: From January to October 1 of 2012, there have been nearly 500 murders in Chicago. In 2011, there were 435. The murder rate can’t be blamed on free access to guns since Chicago has one of the nation’s most restrictive gun control laws, second behind Washington, DC.
Sales Tax Rate: Chicago has the highest sales tax rate in the nation at 9.5%. Sales tax, like hotel, entertainment, and car rental taxes force non-residents to fund the budget of a city. Emanuel wants 50 million tourists every year by 2020. Overseas visitors spend an average of $4,000 per trip. Its high sales tax income masks the city’s extravagant expenditures making Chicago look good fiscally. Not every city can duplicate Chicago’s non-resident revenue source.
Debt: Even with its huge windfall from sales taxes, Chicago’s extravagant payouts to government employees has resulted in “pension liabilities of at least $26.8 billion — far higher, according to some estimates — and will need to cut spending dramatically or raise taxes to astronomically-high levels in the near future.” Emanuel is caught between a political rock and a voting hard place because these generous payouts are what keep him and his fellow-Democrats in power. Tampering with the pensions like Gov. Scott Walker did in Wisconsin will bring a whole lot of political hurt down on him.
Unemployment: Job growth is a key to any city’s health. Look at Detroit. Emanuel points to Chicago’s job growth as a national model. Chicago’s unemployment rate is at 8.4%, “higher than the national average. And while the city was once a hub of entrepreneurship, the top four employers today are all government agencies, in order: the federal government, the public school system, the City of Chicago, and Cook County. Chicago has essentially become a government with an economy, rather than the other way around. That is a model that President Obama and his Democrats have already been following for the nation.” For 2011, nearly 21% of Chicago’s population lived below the poverty level.
The above three indicators were taken from Joel B. Pollak’s article on Breibart with a few of my own thoughts added. Pollak also mentions corruption and immigration. We already know about Chicago’s corruption. The city is infamous for it. Chicago needs immigration since people are leaving the city because of political corruption, violence, and high taxes. There has been a decade-long population decline. Population decline for the state resulted in the loss of a congressional seat.
While Chicago is a nice place to visit (the food is great), I doubt that it should be a model for America, unless you are President Obama.