MEDIA AVAILABILITY: Chicago budget experts available for analysis, reaction to Mayor Lightfoot’s budget address

CHICAGO (August 29, 2019) — Experts on Chicago’s budget challenges are available for interviews to discuss Mayor Lightfoot’s first budget address. Wirepoints President Ted Dabrowski and Wirepoints Founder Mark Glennon are available for in-person or phone interviews on the Mayor’s budget address.

The Mayor is expected to give an accounting of the city’s serious budget challenges and propose potential new taxes and cost reductions. Dabrowski and Glennon are available for data and analysis on the city’s budget, Chicago’s pension crisis, and how the ongoing CTU negotiations will impact Chicago’s finances.

Dabrowski and Glennon can discuss data from Wirepoints’ new report: Why Chicago’s Lightfoot should push for a pension amendment, not tax hikes

The reasons why Lightfoot should push for a pension amendment include:

  • Chicagoans are on the hook for more debts than they can ever repay. Every Chicago household is already on the hook for $145,000 in overlapping retirement debts.
  • Chicago is an extreme outlier fiscally. The city has the nation’s worst finances under almost every measure.
  • Government-worker benefits are out of line with what Chicagoans can afford. A private sector worker would need at least $1.5 to $1.8 million saved at retirement to lock in the same pension benefits Chicago city workers receive.
  • Chicago is already shrinking. The city’s population loss has created negative consequences for the residents who remain, from growing tax burdens to falling property values.

Reforms the Mayor should be discussing include:

  • A state constitutional amendment to reform pensions.
  • A phase out of TIF districts.
  • Holding the line on contract negotiations.
  • Ending pension “pick ups” and other pension-boosting benefits.

Data and analysis on Chicago’s pension crisis, the city budget, and proposed reforms are available in Wirepoints’ new report, released today, titled: Why Chicago’s Lightfoot should push for a pension amendment, not tax hikes

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The budget is $9 Billion. The shortfall is $838 Million.

Simple solution: 10% across the board budget cuts. No property tax increase will be necessary. None.

Yes, this will mean some layoffs but CPD (among others) is so top-heavy with useless, do-nothing command staff that this should in no way impair operational effectiveness.

Remember also that Taxwinkle claimed the sky would fall if she was forced to repeal the soda pop tax. Well, she did. Anybody notice any difference, other than the tax is no longer there? Not me.

Tom Paine's Ghost

Fixing Chicago and Illinois finances requires Democrat politicians to end their 80 year criminal votes-and-campaign-“contributions”-bribery-in-exchange-for-no-work-jobs-obscene-above-market-wages-and gold-plated-pensions collusion with public sector unions. That organized crime gravy train is the lifeblood of the Democrat party. Democrat politicians will not end this racketeering scam until forced to do so by the inevitable forces of arithmetic. A collapse of the municipal bond market cutting off their credit card and failing to meet payroll is the likely trigger. Until then the chumbolone taxpayers can go pound sand.


Data are well presented. Since there is no political will for an amendment, does that mean that Chicago has to reach insolvency like Detroit where Detroit couldn’t meet its payroll before action could be taken? Does the City still have 5 years if a recession hits the investment portfolios? Do you thing that the City leaders want to lock in as high of a tax structure as possible and delay the day-of-reckoning? The City leaders don’t view their personal financial survival as being endangered, do they?


What about all the money in TIF’s? How much more in tax’s would be there if there were no TIF’s? The Willis Tower was sold for approx $1.1 billion (Total property tax’s over $20 M) but tax’s for services stop at around $400mil the rest goes to the Tif. Does anyone know the total value of properties which are in TIF’s and who gets what ? The TIF money should go to closing the budget deficit before raising more tax’s.


All i heard was more $ to low income communities and zero cuts for city workers-40% who are maken $100gs+, above everything else?? The middle class bozo home owners not even on the radar. The progressive left ultimately has no use for folks like me


Saw a map a few months ago – the only two areas of the city considered middle income – far nw side, far sw side, are also the only two areas of the city that voted majority trump. The middle class i.e. conservative voters … have mostly left the city altogether, and there’s only a handful of middle class voters even left in Cook County. I met a guy the other day who left a bad area of Chicago for Gary, IN of all places, and he says while it’s not ‘nice’ at least it’s nowhere as violent and seedy… Read more »


Lots of middle income & upper income areas in city. And im no fan of trump


In retrospect,,listen on drive home,,the biggest applause she got was when she promised not to cut the pensions no matter what. And after all the phoney pc/ sjw stuff, i think that was the main message–zero cuts to the city sacred union deals.