Tuesday, June 23, 2009

LEN: “And You Can Forget About Uptown, Too.”

Monday, June 22nd, 2009, 4:46 pm, by By LORRAINE SWANSON, Editor

Recalling the 1980s when Illinois’s medical institutions dumped thousands of mentally ill wards of the state on the streets of Uptown and Edgewater to fend for themselves, members of the American Federation of County, Municipal and State Employees issued some of the most dire warnings yet of the state’s budget crisis.

Backed by 40 fellow union members, Steve Edwards, president of AFCMSE Local 2858 urged residents attending Sen. Ira Silverstein’s (D-8th) town hall meeting last Wednesday to support a state income tax increase. Illinois state legislators will reconvene tomorrow to continue budget negotiations.

Read the entire article here, at Lake Effect News.


  1. This is simply a threat on behalf of those who want higher taxes and larger governments. They're trying to shame us into accepting higher taxes by picking on the least fortunate among us. I think its a pretty cheap political move by the Democrats, and I stand by the Republicans in Springfield who won't stand for such shenanigans.

  2. I am sick and tired of spending money on others. I worked all my life and paid my share in taxes to everything you can think of. I made my own future and now I live it retired. A nice one too. I feel I should not have to spread my wealth around to those who just wasted their lifes away and think others should be held to support them. You are only what you make yourselfs to be........

  3. Are we really that naive to believe that after this "crisis" another "crisis" wont just pop right up?

    We live in the age of "crisis" and we all know we can "never let a good crisis go to waste."

    I can't wait to pile on extra income taxes along with the countries highest sales tax and gas taxes. Oh, let us not forget we will be paying for Da Mayors Olympic Nightmare for years to come.

    Way to make the hard decisions Springfield. I will make sure I push to vote out every single one of you that raises taxes in this economy.

  4. "Oh, let us not forget we will be paying for Da Mayors Olympic Nightmare for years to come."

    Has anyone done a breakdown of what cost overruns could potentially cost the city? I think if you could break it down on a person level (IE, every city citizen's portion is X dollars), you'd see support start to crumble fast. On the No Games site I didn't see anything like that.

    I think if the personal cost exceeds a certain amount (like 1000 dollars) you should be allowed to compete. Sign me up for the shot put.

  5. I love your thinking Freddie. If I get to compete in the 1500 then I'm all for it. I'll gladly chip in a few grand to live out one of my childhood dreams.

  6. You note that "Gov Gimme" is only shown with those who pay little or no taxes. Couldn't believe my eyes when he appeared on the news with several large ladies jumping up and down like an idiot. Remember! He did endorse Blogo and Toddler.

  7. Olympic cost, per person (based on 2007 population) = $2,820.22

    Take out those members of the population who do not pay taxes, and that number will go up, of course.

    Short version - the State is happy to give Daley a $250M guarantee, and Council a $500M guarantee for his legacy project while we're having the sword of social services Damocles hanging above our necks.

    Nothing about any of this is fair, or just ... but it will continue, I'm afraid, since not one single politician is willing to put COMMON WELFARE ahead of their own selfish desires.

    The social services threat could easily be avoided if the legislature were to make other cuts, first.

    There are solutions to this problem, but they ignore creativity for expediency.

    They simply picked social services since they knew full well the knee-jerk and angry response it would bring.

    And the greedy, ignorant political lemmings have shown up on queue.

    (Remember Blago's presser following his arrest as he surrounded himself with folks on canes and in wheelchairs).

    It's a political ploy coming into vogue as we've seen in California, Michigan and other states, recently.

    It's disgusting and anyone using this tactic should be drop kicked from the public sector, never to be returned.

  8. Yo, are your calculations from the 700M stated? I'm just trying to get my numbers straight. Of course it would be hard to do, given that the costs are largely being kept secret. I think it wouldn't be too far off the mark to take the cost overrun of Mil. Park as a base and work from there. Still, the 2K number doesn't sound remote at all. If anything, its likely low as you stated.

  9. An example of how the IL legislature is playing fast and loose with our money: Link

    If calculated against their base pay of $67,835, the 365-day plan will cost each lawmaker a total of $743 from their paycheck.

    If they based it on a five-day workweek, it would cost them a total of $1,043.

    The way it is written into the proposed law, the total savings of the measure to taxpayers could amount to $131,583.

    If the furloughs were calculated on a five-day work week, the savings to the budget would be $184,722.

    $50,000+ difference based on fuzzy math.

    How many kids good get a good meal with $50k?

  10. Your Olympic projections are off because you forget about "income".

    There will be ticket sales, concessions, money from advertising, money from the networks that broadcast it etc. Just the extra money from the hotel tax will likely add up into the hundred of millions of dollars. Expect the tax to be boosted for the Olympics.

    Using Millenium Park as an example is not good. What the park was projected to be and what it became are two different things.

    Personally if Patrick Fitzgerald would become Olympics "CZAR" I wouldn't have as much concern about it.

    Chicago is perhaps the best place in the world to hold an Olympics because of our central location in North America. There are basically 200 million people+ withing 1400 miles. That's a whole lotta potential ticket sales and a hard day's drive for any ambitious bumpkins who wish to visit our corrupt city.

    If Soldier Field has been torn down and rebuilt with a retractable roof and more seating, which would have cost about the same as the "renovation" there would be little question of whether the Olympics would be profitable. Even so the odds of the Olympics being "profitable" are good.

    My biggest concern is the "corruption" and pigs at the trough politicians lining up for what they feel is their due.

    Put some Federal Authority in charge of the Olympics with subpoena power and the ability to bring criminal charges and I'd be less concerned.

    Now I'll let you non-compassionate conservatives get back to your regularly scheduled complaining.

    There are one or two of you who are so constant in your complaints that I wonder whether you are mentally stable or some kind of "plant" designed to make Uptown Update and the evil condo owners look EVIL.

    Me, I'm a shiny happy person.

  11. yo,

    are you honestly questioning whether or not our lawmakers work 365 days a year? Cmon, everyone knows they work every day. Heck, every time I stop by Das Shiller's office she's sitting in there answering the tough questions posed by her constituents.

  12. Politicians careers are defined by big events, projects, and programs; not by managing everyday, mundane stuff. Let's face it, we need social programs and someone has to pay. Us, the taxpayer. It's either going to be at the state, local, or federal level. Of course, when money is tight, all of the above want the other to pick up the responsiblity. Does Uptown need Wilson Yard? No. With state and federal funding drying up for social programs, the city should be filling in to maintain these services. But, who's going to be remembered for covering costs when someone else wouldn't pay. Helen will mostly likely be remembered for Wilson Yard (good or bad), not for ensuring someone gets their haloperidol.

  13. "income" from the Olympics.

    That's funny.

    The city would "make" more by returning TIFs to the general revenue (~$500m/yr X 7 = $3.5B) than they could even dream of profiting from the Olympics (Salt Lake City pulled $110M).

    And how many people could the gub'mint help out with that kinda of money over the course of the next 7 years?

    How much good could social services have been able to do with $60M+ in the WY TIF, alone?

    Or, schools, or the cops or ...

    Again, if our "elected" officials would stop stealing from us, we'd have plenty of cash.

  14. Oh, and the London games of 2012? The bid was about $4 billion (2.4 billion pounds). The latest estimate? About $32 billion (almost 20 billion pounds), a cost overrun TEN TIMES the bid amount. And that's in London, not Chicago, with its storied history of crooked construction contracting, fake minority front companies and connected subcontracting where everyone and their uncle gets a piece.

  15. Irish Pirate, are you saying that you are in favor of the Olympics? Or, only if we could be assured that the "Chicago Way" wouldn't prevail? (If that is possible.)

    I am assuming that Helen Shiller will follow Daley and Pat Ryan's lead when whatever sham of a discussion is held in City Council in 40-65 days? I'd love to point out some of the massive contradictions that supporting this Olympic plan would have for our former Black Panther radical/affordable housing advocate but she never listens anyway so why bother...

  16. Huh? How did this become an olympic discussion?

    Well, you cannot compare Chicago's bid to London. Totally different.

  17. Magical city guy, people are very frustrated with having little say over how massive amounts of their tax dollars are being spent. From the local level (Wilson Yard) to the city level (the Olympics) to the state level (the huge deficit) there is a lot going on and few assurances to the citizenry that things are being handled in the most responsible and transparent way.

    As I see it, these are not being seen as entirely separate concerns by the readers here or by folks I have come into contact with in Chicagoland.

    The bottom line for me is that if you waste money, you'll find yourself cashed-out when it comes time to pay for your basic responsibilities. Uptown is one of those communities that pays dearly when opportunities have been frittered away by the corrupt or inept (or both).

  18. Well, unfortunately you have a lot of people you don't understand that so they keep the same people in office. Life sucks and then you die.

    It amazes me how little politicans really know also.

  19. Sassy,

    I just discovered that Mayor Daley is actually my uncle. I am all for the Olympics.

    Seriously, take my wife, please.

    My ill informed guess is that a properly run Chicago Olympics would make a profit.

    Here's a rundown of profits or loss for more recent Olympics:

    Olympic Games Profits Since 1984

    1984: Los Angeles Olympic Games made profits of US $250 million.

    1988: Seoul Olympic Games made profits of US $300 million, a record high for a government-run Olympiad.

    1992: Barcelona Olympic Games made profits of US $5 million.

    1996: Atlanta Olympic Games made profits of US $10 million.

    2000: Sydney Olympic Games Organizing Committee generated an income of US $1.756 billion.

    2004: Athens Olympic Games ended in a loss.

    As I stated so eloquently earlier because of our central location on the North American continent Chicago may be the ideal location for the Summer Olympics.

    Atlanta is too damn hot. NYC is too annoying. Montreal lost money, but they are in Canada and speak French etc.

    Since the 84 LA Olympics the organizers have figured out how to "monetize" the games.

    I know it's not a particularly popular thing to say, but my gut feeling is that a Chicago Olympics would be profitable. Perhaps very profitable for the host city.

    Couple that with the long term publicity and tourist dollars and the infrastructure improvements and it could be a very good thing for Chicago.

    Check back with me in 7 years and we'll see if I'm right. I'll be very surprised if Chicago doesn't get the Olympics.

    The world loves President Obama,he had an easy act to follow, and Obama is pressing hard for the Chicago Games. His ample ego would love being able to open the games.

    I hope to get the peanut concession from my "Uncle Richie".

    Now if you will excuse me I'm back in town for a few days for a wedding. I need to pick up a tuxedo. I'm the MC for my nieces wedding. "Here they come spinning out of the turn".......luckily she has a good sense of humor.

  20. "I am sick and tired of spending money on others. I worked all my life and paid my share in taxes to everything you can think of. I made my own future and now I live it retired. A nice one too. I feel I should not have to spread my wealth around to those who just wasted their life's away and think others should be held to support them. You are only what you make yourself to be........"

    This kind of thinking is exactly what is wrong with this country; it promotes an idea that capitalism can work for everyone, that everyone is equal, and everyone can achieve the "american dream". Illinois will close 6 out of its 9 state mental institutions, leaving severely mentally disabled children, adults and elderly to be homeless. Our taxes have to take care of those who can not take care of themselves. Humans have to be humanitarian if nothing else. If you do not think that your tax money should be spent on providing basic human needs for those who do not have shelter, food or clothing, education, then move, go find a tiny isolated island where you can wallow in your mighty cash and material objects.

    This statement is intolerant and is in no way even realistic to what life is like. Perhaps you do not posses an understanding of the cyclical nature of poverty, institutionalized racism, or the absolute failures of capitalism; but a tiny bit of empathy would go along way. Mentally disabled humans in no way wasted their life away. It is incredibly cruel for you to make such a statement; it you have no real understanding of such massive problems a very large number of americans face, you are in no place to judge others.

  21. "This statement is intolerant and is in no way even realistic to what life is like"

    Wow Steph maybe you can explain how stating everyone else but your perception on life is intolerant?

    I find it ironic that you feel the need to throw fear tactics around and by golly if we do not pass this flawed budget all the handicap, senior citizens & virginal little sisters will be left on the streets to their own accord.

    Do us a favor. Go back and read the Constitution before you start telling us what we and our taxes "HAVE" to do. If you don't like what it says feel free to move to Sweden.

    Capitalism isn't flawed as much as it's the Humans that are flawed. That is what makes Capitalism great, it rewards people who choose to strive for excellence while generating enough fruits of that labor to house your mentally ill friends, your seniors, and your virginal sisters.

    I say help the helpless but for the love of god we need to cut the cord on the clueless.

  22. Where are these virgins you speak of Chip Douglas?

    I never liked criticism and I need to find them.