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Nobody says he's dumb, but everyone says he's an asshole.

"this sector is under total control"

He can't even hold a job parking cars!

Posted by teasel 01/03/2016 at 07:48AM

I’m glad at last that we’re all on board. Somebody fire him already.

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"this sector is under total control"

making a big deal out of rahmbo's inconsequential tax proposals

Posted by teasel 02/21/2011 at 08:55AM

Two proposals Rahm has made that received some of the widest press during this campaign have been his policies to phase out the city’s $48 a year head tax on employers and shifting a fraction of city and county sales taxes from goods to services. We don’t understand how these trivial adjustments came to dominate so much campaign coverage, considering combined they add up to shuffling around $40 million in a city budget that has a $600 million deficit. But there it is, and here we are, so let’s take a look.

The folks at FactCheck have a pretty good explanation of how Rahm has been misleading voters about his sales tax proposal, and how Chico followed that up by misleading them some more. In a nutshell: Rahm is going to try to reduce sales taxes on goods by 2 cents for every $10 you purchase, and pay for that minor adjustment by creating a bunch of new, bureaucratically cumbersome itemized tax rates for different services, which will force the service sector to lobby the city to get favorable rates for their businesses, increasing the sector’s political costs while giving the Mayor’s office yet another policy weapon to punish some businesses while patronizing others. That sounds clever and ruthless, but it doesn’t sound at all like good tax policy. One year you’ve got separate tax schedules for limousine and pet grooming services, the next you have a sliced bagel tax. Implementing a progressive sales tax, like Rahm says he wants to do by taxing “luxury” goods, doesn’t take rocket science, and doesn’t involve a complicated, politically tangled tax code with line items for certain types of business and exclusions for others, but that’s what he’s proposing.

The head tax, meanwhile, raises some $20 million a year for a city that provides essential services and infrastructure to the businesses that operate here, and the question for business is really whether this city provides what they need and how much they have to pay for it, not how they pay for it. To the extent that the head tax affects hiring patterns at all in Chicago, the flat rate per employee arguably encourages businesses to create fewer low wage, part time positions in favor of better paid full time positions. Some share of the tax is probably shouldered by employees, and one could complain that it’s regressive, but even if the entire tax burden fell on wages if wouldn’t amount to more than a fraction of a percent of the lowest incomes.

The argument from Rahm has been that ”Chicago stands at a competitive disadvantage and will lose new business investment and jobs to other cities” because of the head tax, but this is total nonsense. Chicago’s head tax amounts to a 0.01% tax on median wage salaries, which is a tiny fraction of the employment taxes of other major cities: in New York City there is a 2.5% municipal payroll tax; in Baltimore it’s 3.05%; in Philadelphia employers pay nearly 4% of their payroll to the city. Even in California, where the state bans municipal income taxes, businesses end up paying much higher rates than Chicago’s head tax via business licensing fees that are based on payrolls: in San Francisco employers have to pay a 1.5% payroll tax to get a business license, 150 times larger than Chicago’s head tax. Nationwide 170 cities, including 21 cities with population of at least 100,000 individuals pay municipal income taxes that are absolutely astronomical compared to Chicago’s $4/month head tax.

Chicago has one of the lowest municipal taxes on employment in the nation. If we really are losing business to other cities it’s probably because they’re able to provide the services and infrastructure those businesses need but we can’t afford, because compared to other cities we’re not taxing employment at all. Instead of bragging about our favorable tax environment for hiring, Rahm is going on television and lying to businesses about how we have the highest employment taxes in the country and using his $12 million war chest to scare away investment. Thanks a lot, Rahm.

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"this sector is under total control"

right to free association? what right to free association?

Posted by teasel 02/19/2011 at 06:40PM

Leaping ahead of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s threat to call out the national guard on teachers who hadn’t so much as threatened a strike over a bill that would strip them of their bargaining rights, Rahmbo tells the Sun-Times that he would strip Chicago’s teachers of their right to strike to begin with.

Given he recently helped broker the contract that will eventually destroy the UAW, Rahm’s record on labor rights is looking positively medieval.

I can’t blame people for not having much sympathy for existing unions, but if this is the way our leaders are going to treat them, how are they going to treat the new unions that most people do want?

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"this sector is under total control"

patronage all the way up, corruption all the way down

Posted by teasel 02/19/2011 at 12:28PM

After Rahm Emanuel left his patronage gig ignoring corruption on Freddie Mac’s board, he came back to Chicago to run for congress. As Rahm was instrumental in getting Mayor Daley elected in the first place, the Mayor returned the favor by sending his chain gang of city workers to illegally campaign for Rahmbo in every one of his congressional campaigns.

Rahm says he didn’t know anything about it. I guess he could be lying, in which case he’s a liar and we can share a weak laugh at some sad joke about politicians. But if he’s not lying that makes me even more worried, because it tells us a lot about how successful he’s going to be at tackling corruption as Mayor when he couldn’t see that his own campaign was riddled with it for over half a decade:

Emanuel’s first bid for public office — his 2002 congressional run — and his re-election bids in 2004 and 2006 were boosted by city workers who were part of a political machine loyal to Mayor Richard Daley that was targeted by federal prosecutors for rigging city hiring and promotions to reward allies. Several top Daley administration officials were convicted in the probe, and the last of them — former Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Al Sanchez — was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison on Thursday.

According to court testimony, public records and interviews, members of pro-Daley street armies gathered petition signatures, knocked on doors and got out the vote for Emanuel.

Ever since he was first identified as a beneficiary of illegal patronage, Emanuel has maintained he was not aware of anything improper.

But the Tribune interviewed more than half a dozen current or former city workers who said they did volunteer work on the Emanuel campaign at the direction of their Democratic bosses.

James Sprandel, a retired Streets and Sanitation Department worker, said he circulated petitions for Emanuel at the urging of his now-convicted former boss, Daniel Katalinic, then a deputy commissioner in the department. Emanuel shared a beer with Sprandel and other campaign volunteers to thank them during his first campaign, the retired worker said.

“He knew we were working for him,” said Sprandel, who said he supports Emanuel for mayor. “I told him I was part of the Katalinic crew. He thanked me for the help. He knew we were helping him. Of course he knew.”

Emanuel declined to be interviewed for this story.

More than three dozen Emanuel campaign volunteers during his 2006 re-election bid also showed up on a secret “clout list” that surfaced in the 2006 trial of Robert Sorich, Daley’s patronage chief.

According to court testimony, Katalinic and Sorich met at Emanuel’s campaign headquarters in 2002.

Katalinic also testified that he took election-season orders from Greg Goldner, who managed Daley’s 2003 re-election bid as well as Emanuel’s first bid for Congress. Goldner — who was never charged in the hiring scandal — said he never had any knowledge of illegal patronage.

Street-level city workers said they understood what was happening.

“Daley made him a personal project,” Sprandel said of Emanuel. “Up until that time, I had never heard of Rahm Emanuel, but the Daley forces at City Hall said, ‘We are going to support him,’ so we did.

“That is just the way it was,” he said. “To get overtime or coveted assignments, you had to volunteer your time for politics.”

Jesus Navarro, a laborer in the city Water Department whose name appeared on the clout list, talks of the difference between then and now.

Back then, Navarro collected signatures for Emanuel at the request of then-Ald. William Banks, 36th.

“That was a long time ago, wasn’t he running for Senate or something?” Navarro said. “I don’t remember. I just did the politics to protect my job.

“I don’t know Rahm Emanuel. I just wanted to feel safe in my job, so I joined the 36th Ward organization,” Navarro added. “Then the inspector general came out with all the patronage stuff and there was nothing they could do for us anymore.”

That’s the kind of government background Chicago is used to, if not exactly the kind of good government it needs.

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