LETTERS: Tax-cut bill would make it harder to afford college

SHARE LETTERS: Tax-cut bill would make it harder to afford college
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( Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

In thanking his supporters following the Nevada caucuses, candidate Donald Trump announced, “I love the poorly educated.” And now it’s starting to look like increasing the size of that constituency has become one of the goals of tax reform.

Lawmakers assert that the code’s various tax benefits related to education are too complex and need to be streamlined. But instead of providing the same amount of education incentives, or increasing them, their streamlined version would make major cuts.

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The result is an estimated tax revenue increase of about $65 billion over 10 years, representing a big tax hike for many working families. The bill would make it harder for many families to afford college. For example, it would reduce the choice of credits and tax-favored savings options, tax most employer-provided education benefits, end the deduction for student loan interest, and reduce the incentive for employers to provide educational benefits.

Republicans claim that this tax bill is about creating jobs. But today’s good jobs and the jobs of the future are likely to require more education, not less. And by adding an estimated $1.5 trillion of deficits over 10 years, this bill would make future cuts in federal funding for education more likely. Moreover, by disallowing the federal tax deduction for most state and local taxes, it would make it harder for state and local governments to raise taxes to pay for better education.

David J. Roberts, associate professor of accountancy, DePaul University

Veterans Day

This Saturday is Veterans Day. Many of us will enjoy an extra holiday day on Friday and spend it on a trip or shopping. Few of us will remember to honor our veterans.

Veterans Day started after World War I as Armistice Day to honor the veterans of that war. The armistice was signed on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. Today it is in honor all veterans.

When I was in grade school we would stand at 11:00 A.M.and face east for a moment of silence. East was the battlefield of World War I.

Today some VFWs hold ceremonies and a few parades are held. I doubt if any of our younger generation are aware of the sacrifices these vets made for their country, especially those that lost their lives or limbs. Nothing we do can replace what they did for us and what their families lost.

Currently we have professional football players exercising their constitutional rights to support social justice three days a week. Is it too much to ask all Americans to observe one minute of silence at 11 a.m. this Saturday? Let us never forget.

Robert W. Kuechenberg, Palatine

Gun massacres

Sunday we were once again assured that these horrific gun massacres will continue while the Republican cowards hide behind the skirts of the NRA. The Barack Obama executive order strengthening back ground checks for mentally disturbed individuals was recently rescinded by President Donald Trump, and his NRA fellow travelers could not have cheered more loudly. As a result, they have become complicit in the deaths of 26 innocent men, women, and children in a church in Texas.

Silvio Anichini, Edgewater

Killing machines

Assault weapons are perfect killing machines that were designed exclusively for the military to dispatch the enemy on the battlefield. They were never intended for the amusement of civilians. For anyone to suggest otherwise is to perpetuate a falsehood.

And yet these weapons seem to be as easily acquired as squirt guns. The resulting carnage is proof enough that their efficiency in destroying lives is not to be denied, though their accessibility should be.

With the mass shooting of a congregation in Texas this past weekend we are once again faced with the absurd notion that Americans need their guns and the tragedies that follow are simply unfortunate consequences of our right to bear arms.

Do I really need to remind anyone that the Second Amendment was written on parchment over 250 years ago — in a time of uncertainty that this republic would ever survive forces both inside and outside our borders? The very concept of assault weapons was as farfetched as flying machines, telecommunications or a leader as divisive as Donald J Trump.

It’s so easy today to forget that assault weapons were once banned. The fact that they are now so readily available is something the people of this nation should find reprehensible. How many more tragedies must we all endure before something is done to rid our bloodstained land of these killing machines?

Bob Ory, Elgin

Thumping taxpayers

Ald. Ameya Pawar is right to call out Ald. Edward Burke for representing Trump on his property tax appeal. This is a stark example of the thumping Illinois taxpayers take from the lawyer/legislator class who make millions on property tax appeals and union shop workers compensation claims while collecting campaign contributions from the same property owners and unions. Taxpayers bear the burden of the quid pro quo which arrives in the form of skyrocketing taxes and unfathomable pension obligations. If the law governing lawyers does not deem this conduct to rise to the level of unethical behavior that warrants the stripping of law licenses, the law needs to be changed. Then again, perched on the pinnacle of what’s what in lawyer ethics in Illinois is the wife of Ald. Burke, so don’t hold your breadth.

Tim Nolan, Palos Park

Violence is thuggish

In regard to the Bobby Portis/Nikola Mirotic fight: If your co-worker sucker punched you in the face during a heated argument, breaking bones and giving you a concussion, would a simple text saying “I’m sorry” allow you to move on? Could you be in the same office and work with that person ever again? People argue all the time. Only thugs resort to violence to settle their beefs.

Scot Sinclair Third Lake

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