Chicago Mayor Daley is one sane Democrat

Just when it seemed the Democrats have lost their collective mind, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley steps up and does something sensible. From the Chicago Sun—Times:

Infuriating organized labor and delighting business leaders, Mayor Daley today vetoed an ordinance that would have required Wal—Mart and other 'big—box' retailers to pay employees a 'living wage' of at least $13—an—hour in wages and benefits by 2010.

'I return herewith, without my approval, an ordinance passed by the City Council on July 26, 2006,' Daley said in his first—ever veto message. 'I understand and share a desire to ensure that everyone who works in the City of Chicago earns a decent wage. But I do not believe that this ordinance, well—intentioned as it may be, would achieve that end. Rather, I believe it would drive jobs and businesses from our city, penalizing neighborhoods that need additional economic activity the most. In light of this, I believe it is my duty to veto this ordinance.'

Chicago already has lost one Wal—Mart to suburb across the street. Mayor Daley can see that his constituents need the jobs, and, though he doesn't mention it, the lower prices Wal—Mart brings to low income consumers. Good for him.

Thomas Lifson   9 11 06

Rosslyn Smith adds:

Daley knows this ordinance would have hurt his ability to balance his budget as much as it would hurt cost conscious Chicagoans.  Those urging him to veto this bill noted that in 2004, Crain's Chicago Business reported Chicago residents may be spending as much as $6.4 billion outside the city limits. This cost Chicago tens of millions in city sales tax revenue. It takes a lot of wealthy tourists splurging in glitzy shops on Michigan Avenue and Oak Street to balance out this large of a drain. Note that the sales tax rate is even higher today, currently 1.25%. Then there is the city head tax of $4 per month per employee for businesses with over 50 employees.  With high city taxes already putting Chicago at a disadvantage as a home for the low margin, high volume retailers many in the American middle class favor, misguided ordinances like these just add to Daley's financial headache.

Just when it seemed the Democrats have lost their collective mind, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley steps up and does something sensible. From the Chicago Sun—Times:

Infuriating organized labor and delighting business leaders, Mayor Daley today vetoed an ordinance that would have required Wal—Mart and other 'big—box' retailers to pay employees a 'living wage' of at least $13—an—hour in wages and benefits by 2010.

'I return herewith, without my approval, an ordinance passed by the City Council on July 26, 2006,' Daley said in his first—ever veto message. 'I understand and share a desire to ensure that everyone who works in the City of Chicago earns a decent wage. But I do not believe that this ordinance, well—intentioned as it may be, would achieve that end. Rather, I believe it would drive jobs and businesses from our city, penalizing neighborhoods that need additional economic activity the most. In light of this, I believe it is my duty to veto this ordinance.'

Chicago already has lost one Wal—Mart to suburb across the street. Mayor Daley can see that his constituents need the jobs, and, though he doesn't mention it, the lower prices Wal—Mart brings to low income consumers. Good for him.

Thomas Lifson   9 11 06

Rosslyn Smith adds:

Daley knows this ordinance would have hurt his ability to balance his budget as much as it would hurt cost conscious Chicagoans.  Those urging him to veto this bill noted that in 2004, Crain's Chicago Business reported Chicago residents may be spending as much as $6.4 billion outside the city limits. This cost Chicago tens of millions in city sales tax revenue. It takes a lot of wealthy tourists splurging in glitzy shops on Michigan Avenue and Oak Street to balance out this large of a drain. Note that the sales tax rate is even higher today, currently 1.25%. Then there is the city head tax of $4 per month per employee for businesses with over 50 employees.  With high city taxes already putting Chicago at a disadvantage as a home for the low margin, high volume retailers many in the American middle class favor, misguided ordinances like these just add to Daley's financial headache.