Chicago gas card giveaway nothing but a costly gimmick

If gas cards and bikes were essential, they would be given away to all who qualify, not just lottery winners.

SHARE Chicago gas card giveaway nothing but a costly gimmick

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has announced the giveaway of gas cards and bicycles, and like the monthly $500 basic income giveaway, they will be doled out through a lottery.

It is commendable when a person or company makes donations. But when it comes to government, the politicians are giving away taxpayer funds. If these things were essential, they would be given to all who qualify and not just to lottery winners. 

Of course, when a politician gives something away, good will is generated — and when it comes to election time, everybody loves Santa Claus. Instead of giveaways, taxpaying voters should put the focus on high taxes.

Larry E. Nazimek, Belmont Gardens

High-earners are not needy

Regarding Chicago’s plan to distribute free gas and transit cards, it seems to me that a single person with an income of $91,000 or a family with income of $140,000 does not need these freebies. I would suggest lowering the income level and giving the cards to a greater number of actual needy people. I wonder who makes these decisions?

Mario Caruso, Lincoln Square

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No enemy wants to take on a united America

Since 1972, my first-year voting for president, there have been three elections between candidates considered polar opposites: Nixon/McGovern 1972, Reagan/Mondale 1984, and Bush (Sr.)/Dukakis 1988. In each case, I could have lived with the candidate I didn’t vote for. I never took an “If-my-guy-doesn’t-win-I’m-leaving-the-country” stand.

It’s hard to imagine anyone guiding America through the first Gulf War better than George H.W. Bush did, but I believe Michael Dukakis would have provided steady leadership too. I never feared apocalyptic consequences if my man lost. Back then, by most accounts, both parties proffered reasonably decent human beings.

I miss those days. President Ronald Reagan and the late House Speaker Thomas “Tip” O. Neill, despite their vastly differing views, worked together to pass the Tax Reform Act of 1986. O’Neill was arguably as liberal as Reagan was conservative. How did they accomplish anything? What, in their often contentious relationship, enabled them to succeed where our current leaders fail?

Pragmatism? Compromise? How about playing well with others?

Office holders, particularly the loyal opposition, are more determined to sabotage the other party’s agenda than achieve bi-partisan progress. Worse, it’s an effective strategy.

Thanks to Russia, America has a chance to demonstrate unity at home and exercise leadership abroad. Nations who thought we had lost our way are helping us neutralize Russia in Ukraine. Even today, no enemy wants to confront a united America.

President Biden and Congress, this is your moment. Don’t blow it.

Jim Newton, Itasca

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