Moody’s lowered the bond rating in Chicago. Which means that they believe Chicago cannot be fully trusted to pay back all the money loaned to them in bonds. It’s rich folks talking to more rich folks about how they should spend their money, as my sometimes mentor Don Washington explained to me today. He’s got a great take on it and you should read it because he’s much more knowledgeable about public policy and this stuff than I am, and he speaks in the dual gravitas of a policy wonk and an experienced community activist.
But I just wanna focus on Rahm’s solutions, as they are typical to neo-liberal and conservative tax policies. The solution for taxes for conservatives is always lower taxes. Neoliberals like Rahm don’t necessarily believe that, but their rich allies may. And neo-liberals will side with their allies. Knowing that he can’t bleed more property taxes out of landowners as the rates that have been exponentially raised the last decade, Mayor Emanuel ignores the incredible junket of taxes that are already at this disposal in the slush TIF funds (more than half of the near half a billion dollars put into these funds – largely from downtown and rich areas are taken from money that is supposed to – and that taxpayers are told do – go to the schools. That’s $250,000,000 per year. And we wonder why we’re at this crisis.), and he ignores the tax breaks he gives to the wealthy (like DePaul University which he is buying valuable land for, turning it tax free in the process, and then leasing it to the school – a stunner of a revelation coming out as it did at the same time 49 schools in Black and Brown neighborhoods were being shuttered).
So how does Chicago’s City Hall respond to a financial/economic crisis they’ve created? As always, by punishing the workers and the poor. And Rahm responds by firing thousands upon thousands of teachers and crowding classrooms – after closing fifty schools in one year! Because that’ll make middle class families want to stay and relocate in Chicago. And prepare black and poor students for the middle class world which is quickly dwindling.
I see were this is going. We’ll be talking more about this through the week. For now, please read my storify on the demonstrations and attendant thoughts:
#StopCPScuts: Public education and public under attack in Chicago
Read next page
Did you find this story interesting? Be the first to
like or comment.