I got very excited when I saw the image below in an email I received from the Chicago Treasurer. I thought the mayor and aldermen were finally going to learn how to budget. In the past Chicago mayors and aldermen have done budgeting in a way that has allowed them to claim “balance” while incurring billions of dollars of debt. Their budget tricks include as:
- Refinancing debt and claiming all of the interest savings in one year.
- Deferring compensation costs by promising employees pensions, but not setting money aside to pay for those promises.
Unfortunately, this workshop is not for the mayor or aldermen. It is for the public. I just hope that the Treasurer doesn’t teach the public the city’s budgeting tricks.