Mayor Emanuel’s disregard for the best interests of taxpayers

Mayor Emanuel’s disregard for the best interests of taxpayers
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Mayor Emanuel’s disregard for the best interests of taxpayers

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, one of the worst mayors to ever sit in the Chicago mayor’s office, is making one last effort to slam taxpayers in suburban Chicagoland to pay for the financial shortfalls and deficits caused by his poor leadership. He wants to jack up the gasoline tax by a whopping 20 percent to pay for the mounting bills and expenses he caused in Chicago.

By Ray Hanania

I don’t think that there has been one day when Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel hasn’t thought about a way to screw the taxpayers. Not just the taxpayers in Chicago but the taxpayers in the County and in the state.

I am so glad Emanuel is leaving Chicago City Hall. He is distinguished as being one of the worst mayors Chicago has ever had. And I know because I have covered all of them since 1976 starting with Richard J. Daley. When you are the worst mayor a city has ever had, you leave a wake of destruction in your path.

But for Mayor Emanuel, a wake of destruction during his two terms as one of Chicago’s least effective chief executive officers is not enough. He has to wreak havoc on the taxpayers one last time as a parting gift to reinforce his failure as a public servant.

Mayor Emanuel wants the state to increase the Gasoline Tax by 20 cents per gallon, mainly to fund improvements in transportation for the City of Chicago.



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That has always been Emanuel’s shortcoming. He has no creative vision, only crass political selfishness. Emanuel has never understood how to manage government or control government waste. His entire administration has been one of imposing new taxes to patch up holes in Chicago’s financial train-wreck. Emanuel’s solution to Chicago’s problems has always been to make himself look good by mugging the suburbanites and stealing money from them.

Lowest gasoline prices in years. Photo by Ray Hanania

Lowest gasoline prices in years. Photo by Ray Hanania

Chicago is a disaster and a large part of that falls on Emanuel’s shoulders. Look at the spiraling crime. He can manipulate the data all he wants but the truth is many parts of Chicago are among the most dangerous in the country. Emanuel has failed to develop a strategy to confront the rising violence and gun-related murder rate turning to political rhetoric instead of solutions to confront the violence.

Now, he wants to slam taxpayers one last time, forcing the hardworking taxpayers to carry the water for those who survive on the lamb with handouts from the federal and state government. Instead of creating an economic base to create more jobs, Emanuel has looked for quick fixes to make himself look good and push the problems further down the road so they fall on the backs of his successors and on the already overburdened taxpayers.

Gasoline prices are at the lowest they have ever been. In Illinois, one of the worst states in the nation not just because of the state’s excessive and bloated politically driven pension system, but because Chicago is a drag on the rest of the state. Chicago not only has the worst crime, it survives only because suburbanites take their lives in their hands every day and go to work there at jobs that should have left the city long ago.

Chicago is a disaster. Maybe one of the dozen or so of the people hoping to become Chicago mayor can turn things around and restore Chicago to its greatness that it once was. Candidates like Bill Daley, Garry McCarthy, Willie Wilson, Paul Vallas and Gery Chico seem to have what it could take to turn things around. Or, we can go the old politics route and put someone in like Toni Preckwinkle who has proven she can’t keep a campaign promise and isn’t afraid to lie, promising not to raise taxes and then when taking office raises taxes higher than any county predecessor.

There are 21 people running for Chicago mayor, but the media is only showcasing 11, the ones with political clout. We may never get other from the other 10 lesser known candidates because the mainstream news media in Chicago is controlled by big business. And big business has played a big role in enabling the failed leadership of Mayor Emanuel, demanding tax breaks while supporting the mayor’s tax hikes for the taxpayers. Sure big business has been squeezing their employees paying the lowest wages while increasing costs for services and products with Mayor Emanuel’s help.

Although Chicago constantly whines about its troubles — with Mayor Emanuel always blaming everyone else except himself — it turns out Chicago isn’t the worst off city in America, even if Chicago has driven the state down the tubes over the years. The latest study from WalletHubshows that Chicago ranks 60th among the neediest cities in the nation. Chicago has propped itself up by stealing funds from the rest of the state, taking more money from taxes paid by taxpayers outside of Chicago (in Cook County and the state) than were paid by taxpayers living in Chicago. In other words, Chicago is on the dole always looking for a handout to cover its excessive spending. Chicagoans make far less than they spend but they make up for that deficit by stealing from Suburban Chicagoland.

That needs to stop.

Voters need to monitor the gasoline tax issues. Voters need to remember the lies of the politicians — like when Toni Preckwinkle said she opposed her opponents sales tax hike plan and then turned around and raised taxes herself, mainly on the suburbs not on her Chicago base. Voters need to punish those politicians like Preckwinkle who lie to win more benefits and higher office for themselves. They complain about the pension problem but look at the pensions that Preckwinkle and Emanuel have racked up for themselves. They feed on the pension problem and use it as an excuse to hammer taxpayers with higher taxes.

You have the power to make it stop. You don’t have to be herded into stupidity by the mainstream Chicago news media.

Chicago needs someone who is willing to honestly recognize the city’s real problems and be courageous enough to tackle them not by stealing money from the wallets of taxpayers outside of Chicago but by making the people of Chicago live for the first time int heir lives within their own means and budgets.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and political columnist. He currently writes op-eds for the Southwest News newspaper chain of eight newspapers and is a lead columnist for Suburban Chicagoland. His personal website is Email him at

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, and at, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

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