Now that the debates are over, and putting aside the insults, apologies, and attacks, Illinois voters still have questions about the candidates for governor.
With regard to J.B. Pritzker and his graduated income tax, the question is: What would the tax brackets be? Pritzker seemingly gave a relatively reasonable answer, saying that the brackets would be discussed with the legislature, the ultimate decision-maker. The Founding Fathers, and the Congress that imposed the national income tax, both used the “ability-to-pay” theory of taxation, much like the graduated tax proposed here. In an ideal world, the concept would work like this: Those who can afford to pay more would do so. The problem, of course, is that often the wealthiest people control the lawmaking process, and loopholes and other legal provisions to evade taxes let those with the greatest ability to pay avoid doing so.
With regard to Gov. Rauner, again we have a candidate who advocates no new taxes, reductions in property taxes and more money to education. These are idealistic goals, but unfortunately the governor gives no indication of how to reach them, or if they even can be reached. Illinois has tremendous financial issues, yet he never mentions or even hints at how and where the money will come from to address them. And unfortunately for Rauner, his record of failing to meet with legislative leaders, and his unwillingness to negotiate and compromise, works against him.
In a few weeks, Illinois voters must make a difficult choice. The well-being of our state and our individual well-being hangs in the balance.
Daniel Pupo, Orland Park
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I have been a homeowner and resident in the Woodlawn community for nearly forty years.
I welcome the Obama Presidential Center with open arms. I cannot fathom, for the life of me, the rationale of preventing the center from being built in Jackson Park. There are buildings all over the city in Chicago’s parks. There is the Garfield Park Conservatory, as well as the Golden Dome in Garfield Park. There is the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture in Humboldt Park. There is the DuSable Museum in Washington Park and the Art Institute in Grant Park. Chicago even has a zoo, in Lincoln Park.
The argument against the $10, 99-year lease agreement between the Obama Foundation and the Chicago Park District has no merit either. The center will generate revenue for Chicago for years to come.
The benefits of having the Obama Presidential Center built in Jackson Park far outweigh any argument against it.
Ralph Vallot, Woodlawn
Isn’t amazing that Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle can produce a balanced budget with no new taxes in an election year? So, what happens next year?
Janet Lumm, Schaumburg
Wrong immigration policy
No one should ever have to choose between feeding their family and staying in this country. But that is exactly the situation many people will find themselves in if proposed changes to U.S. immigration policy are permitted to proceed.
According to the new changes, a person would be denied permanent residency if they have been a recipient of SNAP (formerly known as food stamps), Medicaid, federal housing assistance, or other anti-poverty programs. This is just plain wrong.
The administration must change course. And members of Congress and people across the country should stand up against this or any change that cuts families off from food and medical care.
Sandra Franz, Lake View