Lori Lightweight Lightfoot may be Chicago’s worst mayor ever, and her inept policies are driving people out of the city. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
While mayor Lori Lightfoot continues to try and assure the public that she has everything under control, the exodus from Chicago as a result of the looting and riots is continuing. Citizens of Chicago are literally starting to pour out of the city, citing safety and the Mayor’s ineptitude as their key reasons for leaving.
Hilariously, in liberal politicians’ attempt to show the world they don’t need Federal assistance and that they don’t need to rely on President Trump’s help, they are inadvertently likely creating more Trump voters, as residents who seek law and order may find no other choice than to vote Republican come November.
And even though residents understand the looting and riots in some cases, they are not waiting around for it to get better on its own, nor are they waiting around for it to make its way to their house, their families or their neighborhoods.
One 30 year old nurse that lives in River North told the Chicago Tribune: “Not to make it all about us; the whole world is suffering. This is a minute factor in all of that, and we totally realize that. We are very lucky to have what we do have. But I do think that I’ve never had to think about my own safety in this way before.”
It appears an important BLM civic-minded activity is riots, generally dawn to the fawning applause of media and politicians. From Mark Glennon at wirepoints.org:
You have to hand it to Black Lives Matter Chicago. Friday evening played out beautifully, as they must see things. From inception through execution, they got exactly the results they seek, including violent confrontation with the police, more chaos, more division, yet a mostly sympathetic or indifferent response from officeholders and the media.
BLM needed help to pull that off. That help has been coming from countless individual supporters, proud to show their allegiance with signs in their manicured yards. Dozens of major corporations have followed the herd sending money to BLM.
Blame those supporters, not just BLM rioters themselves, for the violence. Standing up for racial equality under the BLM banner may have earlier been an excusable error, but not anymore.
What happened in Chicago’s Grant Park on Friday is the best illustration yet, as we will explain.
What are BLM supporters thinking? Maybe some have missed how thoroughly the evidence has been compiled that BLM is violent, Marxist, antisemitic, anti-family and just plain nuts with demands like entirely abolishing the police, prisons and the entire Illinois Department of Corrections.**
But it’s far more likely that most would say – and you often hear this – that it’s not the organization but the “movement” they support. Black Lives Matter is also just a phrase in the movement for racial justice, they say.
CHICAGO, IL—Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called this past Fourth of July weekend where 79 were shot in the city a “mostly peaceful” weekend at a press conference today.
“It was mostly peaceful, very calm, lots of people enjoying themselves, very fun,” she said. “Yes, there were a few run-of-the-mill murders and shootings, but hey. We just call that a Saturday here.”
“Other than the people getting shot on basically every block, it was largely calm and peaceful.”
Lightfoot also pointed out that most people who committed murders were practicing social distancing and wearing masks. “Encouraging” surveillance footage showed that Chicago’s murderers are using hand sanitizer and wiping their weapons down after each murder. “So, by that metric, I think it was definitely a success. We’re making a lot of progress on that front.”
She further stated that she suspects the murderers are actually paid Trump supporters trying to make her city look bad.
What we are witnessing all over the country right now is incredibly sad. In the aftermath of the tragic death of George Floyd, it would have been wonderful to see the entire nation unite behind an effort to make our society less violent, more just and more peaceful. But instead, we have seen a tremendous explosion of violence and lawlessness that doesn’t seem likely to end any time soon. Violent crime rates are surging in major city after major city, and the 4th of July weekend was particularly bad. At least 41 people were hit by gunfire in New York City during the holiday weekend, and this continues a trend that we have seen throughout the first half of 2020. Just check out these numbers…
According to figures released by the New York Police Department, for the first six months of this year, there were 176 murders, an increase of 23 percent on the 143 killed during the same period last year.
The number of shooting victims has gone up 51 percent to 616 this year. In June alone, there were 250 shootings compared to 97 in the same month last year. Month-on-month, burglaries are up 119 percent and car thefts up 48 percent.
I don’t know which one of those numbers is the worst, because they are all quite horrific.
A tremendous amount of money has been shifted away from the NYPD budget, and that certainly isn’t going to help matters. For years, the hard work of the NYPD had helped to make New York safer than many of our other major cities, but now that is changing at a pace that is absolutely breathtaking. In fact, one British news source is now referring to the city as “lawless New York”…
Two bullet-ridden bodies lay sprawled on bloodstained concrete steps. Alongside, relatives of the victims are wailing and collapse to the ground. In another part of the city, a gang of youths use spray paint to disable security cameras before robbing a corner store. Later, video footage captures police officers sitting helplessly in their patrol car as a baying crowd hurls glass bottles at them.
This is lawless New York – a city that was once America’s glittering crown jewel but which risks descending into mob rule.
Black lives do matter, and so obviously does the murder of blacks, whether they’re murdered by a Minneapolis policeman or a Chicago gang member. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
The group of University of Chicago researchers have confirmed numbers from Sunday, May 31, which the Crime Lab now says is the single most violent day on historical record: 18 dead and 85 wounded by gunfire. The record was previously at 13 people murdered on a single day on Aug. 4, 1991.
Taxes cannot be raised high enough to pay the total state and local government debt and promised pension and medical benefits in Illinois—the tax donkeys will flee. From Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner at wirepoints.org:
Illinois’ combined state and local pensioner debts have reached absurd levels. When divvied up between Illinois’ households, the “shadow mortgage” each one is on the hook for now totals hundreds of thousands of dollars per household, if not more, depending on who politicians target to repay those debts.
As Gov. J.B. Pritzker and other lawmakers try to extract that kind of money from Illinoisans, they’ll fail, for the simple reason that the amounts have become overwhelming. Too many households don’t have the means, while others won’t stick around to pay for it. They’ll just leave.
And as Illinoisans leave, the shadow mortgage on those who remain will jump. The crisis will only deepen.
The new Chicago mayor wants the rest of the state to pay for Chicago’s profligacy. From Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner at wirepoints.org
It didn’t take long for new Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to propose a plan that would wash her hands of Chicago’s pension crisis altogether. According to a recent report in Crain’s, Lightfoot wants the state to take over Chicago’s pension debts and merge them with the other pension plans throughout the state. The move would make all state taxpayers responsible for paying down the city’s debts.
The plan to shift city debts to the state would bail out the mayor from having to raise about $1 billion in additional taxes to pay for increasing pension costs by 2023. A massive tax hike is something she’s desperate to avoid.
But while Lightfoot may think the cost-shift is a solution, it will only make things worse for Illinois. She should expect significant pushback from many sides.
Start with downstate and suburban residents. Sure, their public safety pension funds would get consolidated under the state, too, but it’s the Chicago funds that are some of the biggest and worst-funded in the state. The four city-run funds are collectively funded at just 27 percent and face an official shortfall of $28 billion.
In contrast, the 650 downstate pension plans are 55 percent funded and have a shortfall of nearly $10 billion. The end result of any statewide pooling of pension funds will be a net bailout for Chicago.
Non-Chicagoans aren’t going to just accept yet another bailout of the city. Downstaters’ most recent bailout of Chicago came when the state’s new education funding formula locked in special subsidies for Chicago Public Schools. That included hundreds of millions in hold-harmless funding as well as $200 million-plus annually to pay for the district’s pension costs.
When you make promises you can’t keep, it has consequences other than the broken promise. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
As a result of high taxes and government debt, combined with a nightmarish looming pension liability, Chicago’s housing market continues to collapse, according to a new write-up in the City Journal.
Average home prices in Chicago have still not recovered from the downturn that started in 2009, despite the fact that property taxes continue to climb. This is part of the reason Illinois ranks highest among states losing people to other areas of the country. Chicago homeowners are also taking big losses when they sell their homes.
Ball State economist Michael Hicks said last month:
“Taxes are high, the services [that taxes] pay for are terrible, and the debt load is so high, so palpably unsustainable that people have no belief that the resources can be found to turn it all around.”
“You won’t recruit a business, you won’t recruit a family to live here,” Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel said in 2012, warning about the city’s pension problems. And that looks to be the case: Realtor.com predicted that Chicago would have the weakest housing activity this year among the nation’s top 100 markets.
Soon Chicago’s pensions funds will have more beneficiaries than working contributors, which will be their absolute death knell. From Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner at wirepoints.org:
You can’t help but call it a Ponzi scheme. Not if you look at Chicago’s collapsing demographics and consider how they’re threatening the solvency of the city’s government-run pensions. Chicago households are on the hook for more than $145 billion in state and local retirement debts and there are fewer and fewer people left to pay them.
Consider first Chicago’s falling population. The city’s metropolitan population has fallen four years in a row. It’s the only top-ten city to shrink like that. In all, the Chicago MSA lost 66,000 people between 2014 and 2018.
A falling population means the city’s massive pension debts are falling on a smaller base of taxpayers. That’s bad news enough.
But another key demographic – the ratio of active government workers to pensioners – is even more concerning.
That ratio, which equaled 1.4 actives for every pensioner in 2005, has collapsed to nearly 1.05. And if the trend continues, in just a year or two there will be more pensioners draining money from the pension funds than active workers putting money in.
All that’s left for Chicago is the bankruptcy filing. From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:
While the federal government is slowly careening toward permanent, fiscal disaster, many state governments (which don’t have the power of the printing press) are already staring into the abyss…
Take Illinois, for example. It’s the most broke state in the US with nearly $250 billion in debt. And it only brings in enough in taxes each year to cover 92% of its expenses… so the problem is getting worse.
Good thing Rahm “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste” Emmanuel is the current Mayor of Chicago. You may remember, the above quote was from Rahm’s days as Obama’s Chief of Staff, as told to the Wall Street Journalduring the depths of the Great Financial Crisis…
What followed was the greatest monetary experiment known to man.
Now Rahm has another crisis on his hands – Chicago’s woefully underfunded pensions. And he’s reaching into his old bag of tricks.
Governments can only kick the can down the road for so long. Eventually, they’ve got to make some tough decisions – like who they’re going to default on. Despite the promises made by certain political representatives, it’s impossible for everyone to have everything…
And today, Rahm must choose…
Either Chicago defaults on the pension promises it’s made to city workers or it defaults on its massive debt. It’s simple arithmetic.
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