As Mayor Rahm Emanuel prepares to present his first budget next month, Chicago Inspector General Joseph Ferguson is tossing out dozens of ways to raise more money and cut the size of city government.More efficient is good. Cutting layers of management is good. Making city employees earn their salaries is good.
Many of them are politically poisonous: a city income tax, tolls on Lake Shore Drive, higher ambulance fees. Others could conceivably gain traction: making garbage pickup more efficient, cutting layers of management and making all city employees work 40 hours a week.
Each of the 63 ideas, Ferguson says, is pointed toward highlighting the desperate plight of city finances in the coming years and the need for action to head off a financial meltdown.
More taxes and tolls are bad. They'll only make things worse and they won't raise the amount of money promised. They never do.
Oh, and you might want to reconsider letting Wal-Mart build in Chicago. They'll bring in a ton of sales tax revenue, not to mention the jobs they'll provide.