Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Comments like this make me want to back the Stroger Plan even more.
"Layoffs and budget cuts will only diminish the quality of county services," said Dennis Gannon, president of the Chicago Federation of Labor. "And we will turn into a Third World country."

Cook County has its problems just like every other major urban center. We have lots of crime. We have lots of poor and lots of homeless. But this is no where near Third World conditions and the budget cuts won't bring it any closer. It's an overused turn of phrase. One that I even employ when describing MIA. But it is not in the least bit responsible to use it as a scare tactic in a budget battle in a world class city like Chicago.

I'm sure some of these cuts will be painful and some people are going to lose their jobs. Underpaid lawyers are going to have heavier case loads and that bothers me. Uninsured residents will have longer waits to medical services and that also bothers me. But medical insurance coverage is not a county issue to my way of thinking. It requires a bigger solution. A single payer solution at the national level.

Ulimately, these doomsayers at the Cook County board meetings are trying to protect their bank accounts. I can't fault them for that. But the board needs to do the right thing and that is make cuts in the extremely bloated county budget. As I said, Stroger's plan may not be perfect but he IS making cuts. Something that hasn't been done in far, far too long.



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