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Chicago OKs private investment for infrastructure (Right out of the DLC playbook)

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-25-12 04:04 AM
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Chicago OKs private investment for infrastructure (Right out of the DLC playbook)
Chicago OKs private investment for infrastructure

CHICAGO | Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:45pm EDT

(Reuters) - A controversial plan to tap private investment to rebuild Chicago's infrastructure, part of a larger spending plan for $7.2 billion, won approval from the city council in a 41-7 vote on Tuesday.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel pushed the Chicago Infrastructure Trust as a way to pay for projects without the tax increases that would be required if the city pursued traditional financing methods such as the issuance of general obligation bonds.


Each project financed through the trust will have a customized financing structure using taxable or tax-exempt debt, equity investments and other forms of support, according to the mayor's office.

An initial project identified by Emanuel costing up to $225 million would be aimed at reducing energy consumption at municipal facilities, with the energy savings used to pay off private investors.

The mayor in March identified five investors that have agreed to consider projects: Citibank NA, Citi Infrastructure Investors, Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets Inc, J.P. Morgan Asset Management Infrastructure Investment Corp, and Ullico.


The council dismissed two attempts by aldermen to amend the mayor's plan to give the council more oversight over the trust, which will operate as a nonprofit organization, and subject it to more public scrutiny. Chicago, the nation's third-largest city, has a reputation for public corruption and for handing out no-bid contracts to friends of the powerful.

Go to and google "infrastructure." And the concept of a national infrastructure bank made its appearance in an address by President obama to a special session of Congress. Before that, Politico published an article by DLC co-founder, Al From, saying the national infrastructure bank was one of three things the DLC had counseled Obama to adopt.

Of course, I rather suspect that the DLC suggested a hell of a lot more than three things, but we have seen Obama recommmend, in one form or another, all three things Al From mentioned in that Politico article.

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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-25-12 09:33 AM
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1. I've seen some of this being promoted on financial sites...
Edited on Wed Apr-25-12 09:34 AM by KoKo
It sounds good in theory. What I've seen as an explanation is that "since we bailed out the banks, it's only fair that they should invest in our infrastructure, because state tax revenues are down because of the housing crash and unemployed. Therefore, private companies, (banks, Hedge Funds, REITS,etc) would be willing to invest in building or refitting and reap the profits, without the taxpayers having to have the burden." (this is just a synopsis of what I've seen around the financial sites)

Problem is... As your article points out... Who will be supervising this construction, refitting for energy efficiency, etc.? Who will oversee if it's a boondoggle and these investment companies, banks, etc. do shoddy work, default on the projects or funnel money into favorite politician's back accounts?

Can we trust some of the same people who ruined our economy and got bailed out to not do the same thing once again? None of them have ever been held accountable. Why should we expect them to do this "out of the goodness of their greedy little hearts?" :shrug:

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-26-12 05:16 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. You KNOW the banks will not be made to participate and they will not participate
voluntarily unless they are making a nice profit.

How much profit does a government take when it repairs a road?

So, bottom line, the public will get shafted, as usual.
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dtexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-25-12 02:13 PM
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2. The correct way to get private investment in infrastructure: tax the corporations.
Tried an true method.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-26-12 05:30 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Yes, but increasing taxes might jeopardize Rahm's re=election.
Moreover, it would reinforce the stereotype that Democrats tax and spend, which apparently is worse than the Republican borrow and spend. And, apparently, Democrats are helpless to fight the stereotypes Republicans pin on them, except by themselves acting like Republicans.

So, tax increases, except perhaps for some purely symbolic ones, are off the table. At least they are in good company, with things like impeaching Bush and Cheney and prosecuting war criminals--or even removing one from the federal bench he rose to after writing ass covering legal opinions about torture as Gonzo's shill.

Bybee (graduate of Brigham Young University, both undergrad and law school): Hey, Alberto! Remember me? I'd love me a federal judgeship.

Gonzo: Gee, I can't think of one right now that you would be suited for. Why don't you come to work for the administration for a while? Then we can discuss a judgeship.'

Bybee: In my formal legal opinion, nothing Bushco has done amounts to torture.

Gonzo. Gee, even though you have never been a state court judge or a federal district court judge, even an administrative law judge, you sound uniquely suited for the highly prestigious and respected bench of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (which circuit includes California).

That, of course, has nothing to do with this thread, besides being one of the many things Democrats took off the table since 2006 that will never stop bothering me.
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