by ELISSA SALAMY, The National Desk
WASHINGTON (SBG) - Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is proposing paying out $30 million to about 5,000 households, in what some are calling a universal income. Mayor Lightfoot’s proposal would give $500 monthly payments for 12 months.
But Open The Books’ Adam Andrzejewski says the payments wouldn’t address the two things that Chicago residents care about most: education and safety.
“This $30 million proposal does nothing on both of those prime objectives for the people of Chicago,” said Andrzejewski to The National Desk’s Jan Jeffcoat. “This year, the mayor has proposed a $16 billion budget. They're not using the COVID bailout funds to shore up their budget. They're putting forth silly proposals like what we're talking about here today.”
As many Chicago businesses continue to struggle through a labor shortage, could the $500 payments keep people out of the workforce?
“This is not a welfare-to-work proposal,” said Andrzejewski. “We don't need to be incentivizing people to be paid to stay home like Mayor Lori Lightfoot is doing. We need to incentivize people to go out and get one of those 10 million jobs that are available across the country.”
The Met faced controversy this year when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wore a dress that said “Tax the Rich” to their annual gala, which raised $16.75 million. The iconic New York arts institution also has a $3.6 billion endowment, which Open the Books says could have been used to help much smaller museums.
“There is not one single reason of justification why the Met, one of the richest cultural institutions in the country, needs taxpayer help,” said Andrzejewski. “We found that the Met at the height of the pandemic, out of the March 2020 CARES Act, received $4 million of taxpayer ‘bailout’ for their payroll - and then what we learned is they turned around and laid-off workers at the Met.”
Andrzejewski claims that the Met’s trustees have a combined net worth of a half-trillion dollars.
“There's no argument that the Met needs taxpayer support,” said Andrzejewski.