Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is looking for ways to close the city’s $260 million budget gap– and cutting spending evidently isn’t an option in the liberal city. One possibility to increase revenue suggested by a local politician would involve hiring a crew of special cops whose primary job is to harass and fine residents for as many petty quality-of-life violations as possible.
I found this gem of a report via the Chicago Sun Times this week:
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has once again invited aldermen to share their ideas for generating new revenue to bridge a budget gap approaching $260 million because of his promise to assume $80 million in security costs for the Chicago Public Schools.
On Wednesday, rookie Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th) answered the call, but in a way that will require the city to spend $4.5 million upfront to get millions more in return.
Lopez wants to hire enough new employees to give every one of the city’s 50 wards its own officer to enforce quality-of-life violations that routinely go unpunished.
Chicago has a ton of laws on the books that cover everything from home-sharing, illegal parking and panhandling to noise violations, street peddling, failing to shovel snow from the sidewalk in front of your home and operating a business without the proper license.
But the problem is that most of the laws that aldermen pass are unenforced or seldom enforced.
If each ward had one employee assigned to do nothing but write tickets, Chicago neighborhoods would be cleaner and safer and the city could potentially generate many more millions than it costs to hire the new super ticket-writers, Lopez said.
Now, I don’t live in Chicago… but if I were so unfortunate, my response would be, “F*ck you, Lopez.”
The government can’t afford to pay for all its big government, so the best you can do is making government bigger and more of a hassle for residents?
Almost everyone realizes how stupid this kind of stuff is. Remember the UC Berkeley hot dog vendor, Beto Matias, who was robbed by a cop because he didn’t have the proper permits? (I say robbed because a man with a gun took $60 from the vendor. Absent the badge, that’s textbook robbery.)
Well, folks on the internet raised $87,000 for the bootstrapping wiener peddler. As Huntington Post reported:
When Beto Matias headed onto the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, earlier this month with a cart full of hot dogs and fixings, he just hoped to make a little money off hungry college football fans. Instead, his day ended in a now viral confrontation with university police, in which he received a ticket for operating without a license. The officer took $60 from Matias’ wallet and said a judge would decide whether he got the money back.
In the two weeks since the Sept. 9 incident, strangers on the internet have helped to turn Matias’ loss into an opportunity, donating more than $87,000 to a GoFundMe campaignlaunched by Martin Flores, the bystander who recorded the incident.
The fundraiser page originally said that the money would be used to cover Matias’ legal fees and personal losses and that additional funds would go to support any other vendors “robbed of their hard earned living through citations and removal of their carts.”
But while other unlicensed vendors were detained on Sept. 9, authorities have acknowledged that only Matias got a ticket. The GoFundMe campaign was later modified to say the money raised would go to help Matias buy a “fully permitted” food truck.
On Saturday, Flores presented Matias with a check for $87,921 at an event outside the UC Berkeley Center for Latino Policy Research. The check was purely symbolic ― the fundraising campaign is still accepting donations, Flores told HuffPost on Monday ― but the show of support for Matias and other street vendors has been very real.
Government, and the leeches who love being a part of it, know what it means when they say, “we’re from the government and we’re here to help”… OURSELVES.
And average Americans overwhelmingly realize this is the case. The only question is: when are we going to start doing something about it?
Maybe it could start in Chicago, where residents need to tell the city where to stick its “super ticket writers” and cut the budget by ridding itself of the kind of useless bureaucrats Lopez no doubt has already had a hand in hiring.