LETTERS: Roskam’s tax bill in Congress would hurt the middle class
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U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., is one of the men behind the House tax bill. As has been the case lately, he gets it wrong again. Roskam has refused to hold town halls for over a decade, and has shown he is completely out of touch with his constituents.
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This tax bill harms the middle class and takes away many deductions upon which we rely. Not only that, but he also penalizes graduate students by making their tuition and health insurance waivers taxable income; he takes away the Alternative Minimum Tax, which was put in place so the ultra-wealthy at least pay some taxes; and takes away crucial deductions like the state and local tax deduction and student loan interest deductions. These moves will make it even harder for young generations to either stay or move into the middle class, and further drives income inequality.
Peter, your constituents want our tax dollars to go toward improving society for all, not in the pockets of the ultra-wealthy and corporations.
Leslie Sadowski-Fugitt, Downers Grove
Not the whole story
In a letter to the editor, the writer indicated that the Sun-Times failed in its editorial to tell the real and positive story about the charter schools. And they proceeded to tell that part of the report but again failed to tell the whole story.
The writer kept using the word “selective” in referring to the colleges charter school graduates could select from. They failed to mention though that selective could also be employed with regard to their enrollments. Just as was true of private schools years ago when comparing them to the public system, when you can pick and choose your students, turn them away when they fail to meet criteria or rules, it is much easier to achieve these results.
Public schools do not have this option; they must accept and work with every student. In 35 years of teaching in the city, I have had students attend Ivy League schools and one even received the opportunity to study in Oxford, England. When you propose to tell the story, please tell the whole story.
Daniel Pupo, Orland Park
Focus on crime prevention
Proactive law enforcement does not mean effective strategies to catch criminals; it means the prevention of crime in the first place.
Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson is pleased that the Englewood killing rate has fallen to 63 per 100,000 people this year compared with the national U.S.. average of just under five per 100,000.
University of Chicago Crime Lab staffing at the new, high-tech Strategy Decision Support Center in the Englewood District, that shows a killing decline over last year’s killing rate, and the police superintendent’s applause for the alacrity of police dispatch by ShotSpotter devices are both, primarily, after-the-fact crime tools and not crime prevention tools.
Successful Chicago crime prevention policing strategies require a change in policing mission and prohibition system. Currently, the strategy is to target gangs and catch drug dealers and users to stop drugs and violence. That prohibition system is the illicit drug business foundation in Chicago and everywhere. It is that system that feeds the gangs, buys the guns and corrupts police. It is that system that causes addict crime to obtain the money to buy drugs at artificially, vastly-inflated prices and that causes gang violence largely waged over drug turf.
Legalized marijuana in Illinois will soon remove the best-selling illicit drug from gangbanger control and inventory, but harder drugs will remain in the exclusive control of Chicago street gangs until addicts have access to legal, regulated drug outlets to obtain the drug of their addiction. The hard-drug problem, and inherent drug prohibition violence that accompanies it, will take a second big hit once Illinois adopts hard-drug decriminalization policies and legalized-drugs-for-addicts-only programs, offering addicts free drugs or free drug-treatment, addict’s choice.
Drug policy reform is what proactive law enforcement and crime prevention looks like. Chicago shouldn’t wait.
Jim Gierach, former Cook County “Homicide Court” Branch 66 assistant state’s attorney
Can’t hide forever
Many thanks to the Sun-Times for its front-page editorial (“House GOP doesn’t care about your taxes, your kids or you” — Nov. 16). Yes, it is true, they don’t care about you, no, no they don’t. The 1 percent is on their mind and its mega tax breaks.
The Senate GOP’s tax plan puts corporations way, way at the top, with families a very distant second. It will raise taxes on the majority of low- and middle-income families, repeal the individual mandate, and pretty much send millions of American families on the road to ruin.
Tax policies that make sure the wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share-that’s what we need. Stop working to destroy the ACA, Medicaid and Medicare.
The voters will remember this. You can run, but you can’t hide forever.
Emily Hayden, Wilmette
Completely ignoring the facts that the Democrats in the Illinois Legislature passed the largest state income tax in history, and that the Democrats on the Cook County Board and in the Chicago City Council cannot find enough new things to tax, your editorial and front page story claims that the Republicans in Washington don’t care about our taxes, our kids or us. What unmitigated gall. You don’t even have the decency to be ashamed.
David Will, Oak Park