Daley demands Obama take a pay cut

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WASHINGTON–The White House declined to comment on the demand from Chicago Mayor Richard Daley for President Obama–and every federal employee–to take a 15-day pay cut.

Daley–who has often rallied against Washington, no matter who is the president–has been presiding over a cash-stapped city and has said he will cut his paycheck by 15 days.

“I hope every federal employee from the president all the way down takes 15 days without pay to turn that money back to taxpayers’ use, because they’re getting laid off, they’re getting cut back, there are no jobs out there,” Daley said Friday.

BY LISA DONOVAN

Chicago Sun-Times Staff Reporter

CHICAGO–President Obama — and every federal employee — should take 15 unpaid furlough days for the sake of the country, Mayor Daley suggested Friday.

They need to suck it up and feel the pain Americans have endured in the economic downtown that has seen jobs and wages slashed, he said.

“I hope every federal employee from the president all the way down takes 15 days without pay to turn that money back to taxpayers’ use, because they’re getting laid off, they’re getting cut back, there are no jobs out there,” Daley said Friday.

An animated Daley offered the advice during a press conference on the Northwest Side to announce $1.7 billion in projects around the city. The projects use money that comes from bonds and federal and city coffers, including tax increment financing districts.

Daley said road, library and sewer construction projects are necessary to keep a city running and, at these times, people employed.

But as he spoke about the projects, he reflected on what’s happening in city government: layoffs and furlough days. The mayor says he’s taking 15 unpaid days this year and believes every level of government — all the way up to the president might do the same to save taxpayer dollars.

“I believe that would have an enormous impact upon America,” Daley said. “In other words you’re telling the taxpayers that everybody’s suffering and you’re suffering. And government has to start squeezing and tightening in.”

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