July 22 2012
Chicago Mayor Says the Private Sector Creates Jobs—He Doesn’t
Vicki E. Alger
Chicago Mayor and former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told attendees at a Center for American Progress conference, “I don’t create jobs—the private sector does.” He also said:
“Once you give business certainty, once you give them the ability to move goods and services efficiently—all things they care about—and also a workforce that’s trained and ready to go, they will then go create the jobs and you’ll lead the country.”
Earlier this month, the Reason Foundation’s Leonard Gilroy and Harris Kenny detailed Emanuel’s track record of embracing privatization in the Wall Street Journal:
We often hear that America's infrastructure is crumbling, but did you know that tens and possibly hundreds of billions of dollars in private infrastructure funds are waiting to be spent? It's money that Chicago Mayor—and Democratic Party powerhouse—Rahm Emanuel has spotted, rightly calling it "a tool here that takes some of the pressure off taxpayers."
In April, the Chicago City Council overwhelmingly approved Mr. Emanuel's $7 billion program to "rebuild Chicago" by constructing two new runways at O'Hare Airport; replacing 900 miles of water pipes and 750 miles of the sewer system; creating special routes for rapid bus transit; modernizing schools, transit stations and city buildings; and building 12 new parks and 20 playgrounds.
To pay for these projects, Mr. Emanuel is turning in part to private firms including Citibank and Citi Infrastructure Investors, Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets Inc., J.P. Morgan Asset Management Infrastructure Investment Group, and union-held Ullico. These firms say they are ready to provide at least $1.7 billion to help build the "new Chicago." …
"This model of private financing for public infrastructure is happening all over the world, but not here in America," said Mr. Emanuel, who served from 2009-10 as President Obama's chief of staff. "I can't get from here to there on the old model—it's broken."
Hopefully President Obama’s advisors are taking notes.