Mish: Chicago Headed For Insolvency, Get The Hell Out Now!

By Tyler Durden – 11/04/2019

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk,

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Teachers Union reached agreement on a deal sure to send Chicago over the cliff.

The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board blasts Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot for her deal with the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU). The deal will further wreak havoc on the already insolvent school system.

Who will be hurt most?

The WSJ answers the question this way: Union Routs Students in Chicago.

Contract Details

  1. 16% raise over five years (not including raises based on longevity)
  2. Three-year freeze on health insurance premiums
  3. Lower insurance copays
  4. Caps on class sizes
  5. More than 450 new social workers and nurses.
  6. New job protections for substitute teachers who going forward may only be removed after conferring with the union about “performance deficiencies.”
  7. Chicago Public Schools will become a “sanctuary district,” meaning school officials won’t be allowed to cooperate with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement without a court order.
  8. Employees will be allowed 10 unpaid days for personal immigration matters.
  9. Under the new contract, a joint union-school board committee will be convened to “mitigate or eliminate any disproportionate impacts of observations or student growth measures” on teacher evaluations.
  10. Instead of student performance, teachers will probably be rated on more subjective measures, perhaps congeniality in the lunchroom.
  11. The new union contract caps the number of charter-school seats, so no new schools will be able to open without others closing.

Get the Hell Out

The WSJ commented “Michelle Obama the other day complained that white people were leaving the city to escape minorities who are moving in. No, they’re fleeing Chicago’s high taxes and lousy schools—and so are minorities.”

Chicago Public School Bond Ratings

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You can kiss those positive and stable outlooks goodbye. The system is insolvent and this contract will further weaken the outlook.

Bond Rating Comparison

 

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S&P already has CPS bonds in the “highly” speculative area, five steps into its junk ratings.

Pension Spiking

Chicago Teacher’s Pension is based on your years of service and a pension percentage (up to 75%), multiplied by your final average salary. Their union notes “There are ways to increase these factors to enhance your pension or meet eligibility requirements.”

Let’s Discuss Pensions

Wirepoints asks Chicago Teachers Strike: Why is No One Talking About Pensions?

The average retired CPS teacher already receives a pension of nearly $55,000 a year, according to a 2019 FOIA request to the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund.

However, looking at the pension of an average teacher far understates the true size of CPS pensions. The “average” benefit includes teachers who only worked a few years for CPS, which brings down the average.

To get a more accurate picture of what pensions are really worth, look at career teachers. Over half of all currently retired CPS teachers worked 30 years or more. On average, they receive a $72,000 annual pension and began drawing benefits at age 61.

In comparison, the average annual Social Security payment in Chicago is just $16,000 and the maximum benefit for someone retiring at age 62 is $26,500.

C-O-L-A Cola, la la la Payola

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The average career CPS pension will grow by 3 percent, compounded annually, due to the COLA benefits teachers get. That will double a teacher’s annual benefit to over $140,000 in 25 years.

Teacher Contributions

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Those projections were based on the proposed contract. The CTU held out for even more benefits and got them.

Pension Funding Level

The Chicago Tribune notes that the end of 2018, City Hall’s pension funds had only 23% of what they should have.

By 2023, Lightfoot must find an additional $989 million a year for pensions, according to the Tribune’s Hal Dardick and Juan Perez Jr. Thank you, former mayors and aldermen, for promising more pension benefits than Chicagoans could afford.

Who Will Pay?

That one is easy.

  • The kids will suffer because charter schools are reined in, grading standards lowered, and incompetents were given further projections.
  • Taxpayers will face higher property taxes, higher gas taxes, and higher sales taxes with every penny going to pensions.

Get the Hell Out

On October 5, I commented Escape Illinois: Get The Hell Out Now, We Are

Goodbye Illinois. Hello Utah. See my reasons for Utah above.

If you can’t get out of Illinois, do the second best thing, Get the Hell Out of Chicago.

By the way, Chicago is not “headed” for insolvency, it’s already there, but it is just not recognized yet.

Ilhan Omar at Bernie Sanders Rally: “I Am Beyond Honored and Excited for a President Who Will Fight Against Western Imperialism”

by Kristinn Taylor

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) decried U.S. “genocide” and “western imperialism” in a speech at a Bernie Sanders rally in Minneapolis Sunday night at the University of Minnesota’s Williams Arena. In her speech, Omar, who endorsed Sanders two weeks ago, accused the United States of “genocide” against Native Americans and said of Sanders, “I am beyond honored and excited for a President who will fight against western imperialism and fight for a just world. I am excited, I am excited for President Bernie Sanders!”

Sanders and Omar embraced on stage and then held hands aloft in solidarity before the cheering crowd.

Short excerpt from Omar’s speech:

The Sanders-Omar rally was moved to UM’s larger (14,625 seats) Williams Arena from the 2,700 seat Northrop Auditorium to meet demand. Sanders does not appear to have come any where close to a capacity crowd as the photo below shows the upper bowl completely empty.

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LONG TIME CLINTON ADVISOR: ‘HILLARY IS RUNNING; FEELS SHE WAS PUT ON EARTH TO BE PRESIDENT’

Long Time Clinton Advisor: 'Hillary Is Running; Feels She Was Put On Earth To Be President'

“Make no mistake. She wants it,” he added.”She’s planning on it. She’ll do everything she can to achieve it.”

Steve Watson  – OCTOBER 29, 2019

Rumors that Hillary Clinton will once again run for President continue to abound. The latest comes in the form of long time Clinton advisor Dick Morris insisting that Hillary will become the Democratic nominee because she believes ‘she was put on Earth to be President’.

Morris served as an advisor to Bill Clinton while he was in the White House, and has ties to both Clintons going back decades.

“She feels entitled to do it. She feels compelled to do it. She feels that God put her on the Earth to do it.” Morris said during a recent interview.

“She’s hesitant because she realizes the timing is bad. In the old issue of sexual harassment, the focus has shifted from the perpetrator to the victims…when your focus is on the predator, that’s Bill Clinton’s problem, but when you look at the victim’s…that’s her.” Morris added, arguing that Hillary’s efforts to ignore her husband’s sexual indiscretions are taking a toll.

Morris claimed that Hillary is waiting for Joe Biden to inevitably drop out.

“She’s got to wait until Biden drops out because he’s obviously next in line for it, and if he goes away, there’s an opening for her,” Morris said.

“Make no mistake. She wants it,” he added.”She’s planning on it. She’ll do everything she can to achieve it.” he added.

In the past few weeks, Hillary has made several comments indicating she is at least considering another run.

During an appearance on PBS Newshour, Clinton teased a 2020 run against Donald Trump by bizarrely asserting, “Obviously I can beat him again.”

Clinton then fanned the flames of speculation about a third run for president again when she tweeted at Trump, “Don’t tempt me.”

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Media and politicians didn’t care about chaos the US caused in Syria for years, but now that Trump can be blamed, they’re outraged

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By Danielle Ryan

Mainstream US media has been the biggest cheerleader for Washington’s chaos production in Syria for years, but now, as President Donald Trump pulls troops out of the northeast, they’re suddenly outraged. Spare us the crocodile tears.

“Plenty of reason here for the US possibly to become involved,” pleaded a horrified MSNBC correspondent this week, chastising Trump for ignoring “war crimes” and “human rights abuses” by Turkish forces.

Yet, while he and others cloak their demands for continued US military action in humanitarian concern for the Kurds in the face of Ankara’s onslaught, there is a more selfish reason for the media outrage. They are profoundly addicted to the bogus narrative of the US as the world’s savior, and worse, they crave the kind of dramatic TV footage and tales of military heroism that US forever wars offer. If that sounds a bit too cynical, recall MSNBC anchor Brian Williams close to weeping as he shared the “beautiful pictures” of American missiles raining down on Syria two years ago.

The pleas for fresh US intervention also reveal a hyper-focus on Washington’s “image” in the eyes of the world. The media has been bleating for days about how Trump’s actions will be perceived by its allies and enemies, but who is going to break it to them that their “image” is not quite what they think it is?

Successive US administrations have pursued policies of chaos and disarray in Syria for years; first covertly attempting to sow social discontent to spur and exploit a popular uprising, then by funding, training, and backing jihadist militias (Al Qaeda, included) against Bashar Assad’s army, and prioritizing the fall of his secular government over peace for the better part of a decade.

Couple that with Washington’s continued facilitation of slaughter in Yemen, its penchant for economically choking uncooperative nations with punitive and deadly sanctions and its psychological warfare of constant threats of violence against Iran, and one wonders exactly what kind of benevolent do-gooder image there is left to salvage.

This uniquely American obsession with image on the world stage was on display during CNN’s Tuesday night Democratic presidential debate, too. The perpetually grandstanding Cory Booker claimed Trump had turned America’s “moral leadership” into a “dumpster fire,” while Pete Buttigieg lamented the president’s betrayal of American “values” that left the country’s reputation and credibility “in tatters.” 

Joe Biden, who as Obama’s former VP, shares plenty of the blame for the state of Syria today, called Trump’s pullout from northern Syria “the most shameful thing that any president has done in modern history” in terms of foreign policy. Iraqis might disagree with that statement, but remember, all pre-Trump foreign policy disasters have been conveniently flushed down the memory hole and their perpetrators rehabilitated for the purposes of comparison with the evil Orange Man.

The hand-wringing over America’s image betrays a deeply delusional but long-ingrained belief that the world at large sees the US military as a force for good. In reality, worldwide polls have shown that the US is actually regarded as the greatest threat to world peace, not — as news anchors and Washington politicians would have you believe — a facilitator of world peace.

Tulsi Gabbard was the only candidate on the Ohio debate stage willing to call a spade a spade, describing the chaos in northeast Syria as “another negative consequence” of US involvement in the region.

“Donald Trump has the blood of the Kurds on his hands, but so do many of the politicians in our country, from both parties, who have supported this ongoing regime change war in Syria, along with many in the mainstream media, who have been championing and cheerleading” it, she continued.

She slammed the US’s “draconian sanctions” on Syria, describing them as “a modern-day siege the likes of which we are seeing Saudi Arabia wage against Yemen” and promised that if she was the president, she would end support for Al Qaeda in Syria, which she said had been the US’s “groundforce” in the war.

Cue the gasps all around.

Gabbard’s insistence on forcing a reckoning with the reality of US policy in Syria makes her presence on the debate stage so necessary, but predictably her input, while entirely truthful, was met with spineless attacks in the same vein as those she has been subjected to from mainstream media for months, culminating recently with a McCarthyist hit-piece published by the New York Times implying that she is a Russian asset.

Reaction to Gabbard from journalists watching on social media was just as fierce. MSNBC’s Clint Watts called the notion of US support for Al Qaeda a “falsehood” that needed challenging. Watts, it turns out, part-authored a 2014 piece for Foreign Affairs about Ahrar al-Sham, an Al Qaeda-linked group “worth befriending.” Another reporter called Gabbard’s claims about the US arming Al Qaeda a “Russian talking point.” Investigative journalist Max Blumenthal quickly responded with a photograph of Al Qaeda firing a US-supplied TOW missile in Aleppo.

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But to the regime change fanatics and war cheerleaders, these facts don’t seem to carry much weight. Narrative has always been more important.

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