Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Tribune: Mass-transit crisis could complicate city's Olympic prospects

Here we have yet another shoe in the works, alongside the Republicans' road bill and the casino bill. All kinds of tools that the "powers that be" throw out as bargaining chips.

Translation from bureaucrat-speak: We definitely need more money for transit. We need lots of it to come from the U.S. government, more from the wealthy than from the poor; some to come from taxpayers of Illinois, more from the wealthy than from the poor; and, much more than we do now, we need it to come from the city's sources, as we all know that city money is currently spent on foolish playthings for the mayor and his aldermen. The Olympics may be a good thing here, but only if the money it brings helps restore our most precious resource, transit. If there is a way to use the Olympics to force federal and state (and city?) money to be spent on our transit system, then so be it.

What would we want from this? I would say that it may be a good thing, because it may force more federal dollars into the system as well as force the legislature to pass the bill. The pro-SB572 people may even use this as a lever to evict the casino and road arguments from the discussion, forcing Springfield to sign SB572 as a contingency to federal help for the Olympics. My feeling is that we still need to push SB572 to be far more progressive. Currently, the media is propping up the pro-business (Lawrence Msall et al.) argument that progressive proposals, such as parking-lot taxes, are no good. Any other thoughts?

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