Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the aldermen who voted to approve his 2012 budget plan—that is, all of them—keep telling us that a new day has dawned at City Hall.

“This was a vote for change, and represents a break from the past,” Emanuel said this afternoon.

The mayor is right. In the past, the council’s overwhelming votes for mayoral budgets were cast to keep Chicago moving forward. In this new era, though, we have to get our priorities straight: we can’t move forward until we break from the past.