Richard M. Daley failed to make the required contributions to the city's pension funds for his last decade in office, leaving them underfunded by more than $27 billion. (This includes the teacher's fund, which comes from a separate budget.) The current mayor, Rahm Emmanual claims that this is an unpayable burden and want to default on the city's debt to these funds. (The workers and their unions strongly object to this plan and will fight any default in court.)Ouch! Dean Baker may have just written Mayor Daley's legacy.
Regardless of the outcome of this dispute, allowing pensions to become as underfunded as Chicago's was remarkably irresponsible, especially in a city such as Chicago with a relatively healthy economy. There are few big city mayors who have been more reckless with public finances in recent decades.
It is probably also worth noting that Emanual has claimed that the city's schools were a disaster when he came into office. The schools had been under Daley's direct control for most of his 22 years in office.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Dean Baker, one of the most respected progressive economists in America today, slams the legacy of Mayor Daley:
Posted by Steve Bartin at 8:09 PM