Letters to the Editor

Rauner’s just another self-serving Republican

Illinois (State) Sens. Kyle McCarter and Dan McConchie’s editorial article of April 21 once again blames Illinois’ fiscal problems on Democrats. Governors Thompson, Edgar and Ryan contributed immensely with their retirement giveaways. Tax cuts and spending cuts are not the answer.

Illinois had five years of surpluses before the 2001 Bush tax cut. Some conservatives are too dumb to know that Illinois taxes are calculated from your Federal AGI. In 2002, one year after Bush’s tax cut, Illinois revenue went from a $302 million surplus to a $1.2 billion deficit. We’ve lost many billions in revenue since then.

Illinois needs an entire new tax structure. Our taxes in Illinois are the 5th most unfair in the country in terms of low-income people paying the highest proportion of their income in taxes vs. the wealthy. The wealthy pay higher taxes in 38 other states than they do in Illinois.

We need to repeal the 1970 constitution clause that protects outrageous government pensions from reform. Illinois’ highest pensioner is Dr. Leslie Hefffez, whose 2015 pension was $480,381. All pensions should be capped at $100,000 per year. Taxes should be paid on all amounts over $50,000 per year. Currently we are among 12 states that do not tax pensions. That’s irresponsible and insane.

Illinois’ lack of budgets began when Rauner began as governor. When he cut Illinois’ taxes, he gave himself a hefty $750,000 annual tax cut. He’s just another self-serving Republican.

Gene Robke, Carlyle

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