Except for a stint in the Army, I’ve spent my whole life in Illinois. I always figured I’d raise my family, grow old and watch them raise theirs here, too.

The current state of Illinois finances is not only crushing business opportunities, it’s also fueling a mass exodus of Illinois residents. In 2017, one Illinoisan left every 4.6 minutes, according to the Illinois Policy Institute. I cannot see my daughters having any opportunities when they are grown. It saddens me to think that there will be no future for them in this state. Our current governor-elect campaigned on a progressive income tax. When will we learn this will only exacerbate our fiscal woes?

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If Illinois enacts a progressive tax, we will lose $5.5 billion and 34,500 jobs in the first year alone. We already pay the second highest property taxes in the nation, and more taxes on Illinois residents will only continue our downward spiral. We just endured a record-setting $5 billion permanent income tax hike a year ago, so before any talk of new taxes, we should be trying to find ways to lower Illinoisans’ tax burden — not increase it. Without reforms and government consolidation, this proposed progressive tax will fail us all just like the last one did. If not for our generation, our governor-elect needs to consider reforms for the future of our children.

Eric Cedergren, Worth

Amazing attitude

I was a teacher in the Chicago Public Schools for 35 years and am still amazed at the attitude school administers take to teachers and their concerns for their working conditions.

The first thing mentioned is pay. It seems that people think teacher strikes are always about pay raises. Yes, pay raises are almost always going to be an issue, but it seems to be overlooked that teachers constantly dip into their pockets to buy things used in their classrooms that the administration won’t provide. In this case, the offer of a 6 percent raise over four years still leaves teachers behind the rate of inflation, which currently is 2.5 percent.

The administration blames teachers for doing a disservice to their students by striking, yet it fails to accept responsibility to improve working conditions. Aren’t they doing a disservice to students?

We spend billions of dollars in this country on pay for CEOs to run companies (even those that lose money), yet the states refuse to properly fund education and, instead, turn children into political footballs. If the education of our children and their futures are not our first priorities, then the future for our nation is bleak.

Daniel Pupo, Orland Park