Monday, January 14, 2008

Chicago media and politicians silent on tax but loud on free Senior CTA services

It's amazing that the debate in the "Chicago" newspapers is about criticism that Gov. Rod Blagojevich wants to give senior citizens a free ride on the corrupt and inefficient CTA system, and the unreliable and sparse service of METRA.

It should be on the fact that Chicago's powerful politicians have once again bullied the six-county region into raising the sales tax .25 percent to bailout the CTA, rather than forcing the CTA to cut its waste, fire those loser bureaucrats and question the excessive benefits that CTA and all government workers get from taxpayer funded government service.

The state and city revenues from the sales tax already go up, when prices go up. But the revenue isn't increasing fast enough for Mayor Daley or Mike Madigan, who is battling Gov. Blagojevich over who is and who isn't the governor of Illinois. Madigan wants to be the governor without running for office.

Here are soime facts:

-- While residents of the suburbs are paying to bailout the bloated, corrupt and inefficient CTA, residents of Chicago pay nothing to help the suburban public bus system. Yet, about 20 percent of the riders are Chicagoans, off-setting the claim that suburbanites "burden" the CTA and therefore suburbanotes should share in bailing it out.

-- Half of the revenue from the increase in the sales tax, proposed by Julie Hamos who is a suburbanite whose district includes the only part of the CTA that goes into the suburbs. The The remaining revenue would be given to the collar counties for "transportation needs or public safety." Yea, right. More money for roads that should have come from the state but Chicago legislators won't approve increases for the suburbs. In reality, the suburbs will end up paying more to use METRA.

-- Oh yea. Metra will be raising its rates 10 percent. The 10 percent hike takes affect Feb. 1.

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