Mayor Daley found another $500m hole in the city's budget this year, so he's proposing...nothing new:
Mayor Richard Daley unveils his new budget this morning, and he's going to call for spending more money from the controversial parking meter lease, slashing the tourism promotion budget and ending Chicago's longest-running public party, Venetian Night.
A key labor union that bankrolled challengers to Daley's council allies in the last election praised the mayor's decision to raid reserves from the $1.15 billion parking meter deal. The 75-year lease, which aldermen quickly approved last year, ushered in sharp rate increases at more than 36,000 public parking spots.
More than $400 million was used to balance this year's budget, records show. And the city already has announced plans to spend at least $146.3 million in privatization proceeds next year.
Remember that, even at a conservative discount rate, the $1.15bn parking meter deal was about $3bn too cheap. So we've given up 75 years of parking meter revenues worth $3bn in exchange for, what, about 6 years of partial operating revenue?
We also got some bad news from recent arrival Boeing, which lost $1.6bn last quarter:
Boeing, the world's second-largest commercial plane maker after Europe's Airbus, has struggled with a series of setbacks: Production problems have delayed its eagerly awaited 787 passenger aircraft and a bigger version of its 747 jumbo jet, resulting in charges from write-downs and penalties.
Those charges, which were expected, led the company to cut its 2009 profit forecast to $1.35 to $1.55 per share, down from $4.70 to $5 per share. Analysts had predicted $1.53.
On the other hand, today is probably the warmest day we've had in a month, and probably the warmest we'll have until next spring. So Parker and I will now go for a long walk.