When Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot took over for Rahm Emanuel, the general sentiment in the city was positive. She ran on bold ideas and made stunning promises about how she was going to turn around the city. But as is so often the case, replacing one failing Democratic regime with another should make everyone in Chicago ask themselves if they qualify for Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity.
To those on the right, all we can do is shake our head as the progressive utopia of the midwest continues its downward spiral in nearly every indicator for quality of life. Crime continues to rise. Education is getting worse. They’re facing an apocalyptic budget deficit while offering solutions that won’t make dent. Corruption among politicians who are almost always Democrats is rampant.
And yet, the city keeps propping up Democrat after Democrat in hopes that this time, miraculously, the results will be different. Let’s take a look at some of the stories from this week alone that point to reasons why the city continues to collapse.
Let’s start with the favorite topic of Democrats: Raising taxes.
The tax Lightfoot wants to raise is but a fraction of the levy Chicago diners pay every time they eat out. The sales tax in Chicago is 10.25 percent, one of the highest in the nation. The current .25 city tax is on top of that, as is a a 1% food and beverage tax for the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority that is levied at downtown restaurants as well as the two airports.
The proposal precedes Lightfoot’s Oct. 23 budget address, when she’s expected to explain how she plans to fill the gaping deficit.
Dating to her campaign for mayor earlier this year, Lightfoot has repeatedly promised to cut expenses wherever she could before seeking to raise politically unpopular taxes.
But the city’s gargantuan shortfall is large enough that some increased taxes will be necessary, as the mayor has previously acknowledged.
This week, Lightfoot began trickling out details of her plan. On Friday, the mayor said she will seek to more than triple the tax charged on most solo ride-share patrons heading in and out of downtown Chicago as part of a plan to bring in $40 million more a year.
Lightfoot’s plan to bring in new revenue and curb traffic congestion would also hike the tax on solo riders using services such as Uber and Lyft elsewhere in the city by 74%.
Keep in mind, this unpopular tax increase is expected to raise around $20 million, which seems unrealistic as it prompts people to stop eating out, which will hurt the restaurant industry, which will make more people stop wanting to eat out… you get the picture. And all of that is supposed to chip away at their budget deficit, which is around $838 million.
But Lightfoot is also dealing with issues with the city’s teachers. Helping teachers was among Lightfoot’s multitude of promises. It seems that the teachers are unwilling to wait for her magical solutions to spring out of nothing on their own.
Chicago Teachers Strike: Union teachers picket for 2nd day, but no contract deal reached; CPS classes remain canceled
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and CPS CEO Janice Jackson released a statement saying, in part, “We are encouraged that today’s negotiations were productive and yielded real movement on a number of key issues, including staffing for clinical groups, special education, and supports for Students in Temporary Living Situations.”
CPS classes were canceled for a second day Friday and, Lightfoot said, will remain canceled until the teachers give word they’ve agreed to a contract and the strike is over.
Thousands of CPS teachers returned to the picket lines Friday morning. Twenty-six thousand CPS teachers and 8,000 support staff workers including custodians, special education assistants and bus aides are on strike. It is the first CPS teacher strike since 2012.
Sadly, it’s the children who are most harmed by this. Some will blame the teachers. Others will blame the teachers’ union. But at the end of the day, Lightfoot’s leadership was seen as a huge win for teachers based solely on promises she hasn’t kept. It’s no wonder they’re striking.
Democrats often point to helping teachers as one of their signature policies because it sounds good and helps them win primaries as teachers’ unions are generally left-leaning and support Democrats. These people are supposed to be educated; they’re educators, after all. If that’s the case, why do they continue to support failed policies? How many times must they be disappointed before they realize Democrats offer promises during election time they are unwilling or unable to keep once they’re in office.
The last big story of the week coming out of Chicago is unfortunate because it surrounds Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who I happen to believe is a great cop. He knows what he’s doing and even though his department is hampered by Democratic policies and obtuse gun control measures that have expanded gun violence (remember, criminals break laws, including gun laws), he’s been able to keep thins running as smoothly as possible.
That’s why it’s a shame to point out an issue that surrounds him. But this isn’t really about him alone. It dives into a deeper corruption that starts in the Mayor’s office and degrades morale among law enforcement officers. That includes Eddie Johnson.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson had “a couple of drinks with dinner” before he was found asleep on his car, the mayor says.
Johnson was driving home early Thursday when he felt lightheaded and parked his car near his home, police said in a statement.
Officers found him after a passerby called 911 to report that a person was asleep at a stop sign.
Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Chicago voters have absolutely no reason to wonder why their city continues to fall apart. They keep recycling the radical progressive of the moment to lead them.
We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.
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