The Sun-Times’ front-page headline on Thursday, “No tax break..except for me,” about Valerie Jarrett, is highly misleading. The two-page story that followed points out that she fully complied with the law and completely disclosed the facts to the ethics department about an investment she had before entering the government. Did she do something wrong? No. Did she fail to properly disclose the facts? No.
The wrong here is the Sun-Times’ failure to adhere to its own high standards of fairness and accuracy. This lapse into sloppy journalism is an example of why honest men and women do not want to enter public service.
Newton N. Minow, Chicago
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Face it, Governor: You blinked
Can someone tell me why Gov. Rauner’s signing a school funding bill that was proposed by Mike Madigan, sponsored by Mike Madigan, shepherded through the Illinois General Assembly by Mike Madigan and has Mike Madigan’s name at the top is a big victory for Rauner over Madigan? It looks to me like Madigan dared the governor not to sign it and the governor blinked.
Ed Dziedzic, Rogers Park
Sales tax hikes hit poor people hardest
With a budget deficit ready to swallow up Cook County and a Republican governor bent on even more cuts, what does Tony Preckwinkle, president of the Cook County Board, come up with? An increase in the sales tax! The sales tax is the most regressive tax possible. It hits lower income people harder than it does the wealthy.
Why don’t we have a graduated income tax with the wealthier paying more, and an electronic transaction tax on Chicago’s financial exchanges? Both these taxes would raise money from those who have the most to give and who are benefiting most from our economy.
Karen Wagner, Rolling Meadows
Threatened state cuts devastating to social services
Illinois State Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger has said that if the legislators and Gov. Bruce Rauner do not pass a fiscal year 2016 budget by June 30, state payments to non-profits with contracts to provide vital human services will stop. This means no state income to developmental disabilities, domestic violence and sexual assault, mental health, daycare, child welfare, jobs, addictions treatment and youth serving programs, to name just several.
If this situation persists for more than a few weeks, these already cash starved organizations will be forced to take drastic measures, like cutting core services. Any prolonged payment stoppage will devastate this human service sector that has seen state support dwindle in recent years. Some organizations may close forever.
The effects of service reductions and agency closings will be that people needing care will no longer have access to services for shelter, domestic violence, sexual assault, child and adult mental health and developmental disabilities, daycare, substance abuse prevention and counseling. Their needs will not disappear if the services they need stop. Some of these individuals and families will turn to hospitals, public safety services and public schools for more costly and less effective forms of care. None of these organizations are prepared or equipped to meet the needs of people who were receiving the human services previously described. Studies have shown that costs of care do not diminish when services are not available, they just shift to other sectors.
Please urge your legislators and especially Gov. Rauner to come to an agreement on a fiscal year 2016 budget immediately.
This letter represents the views of the following groups:
Ecker Center for Mental Health
Family Service Association of Greater Elgin
Food for Greater Elgin
The Association for Individual Development
Community Crisis Center
Renz Addiction Counseling Center
Senior Service Associates
Another bad lesson for Little League kids
These lawyers and other representatives of Jackie Robinson Little League make me sick. The league blatantly cheated, fielding many players from miles out of district, and still they are trying to have ill-gotten titles reinstated. You would think some of the parents of these children would say “Our kids have been used as political pawns long enough, stop the madness.” But no, the pathetic charade continues. The lesson to the children? “Cheat if you need to, and if you get caught, lawyer up.”
Gary Bjorklumd, Justice
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