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Illinois facilitating the rich getting richer

Updated: March 15, 2013 1:10PM

State of Illinois is facilitating the process of the rich getting richer

Illinois is not broke!

Illinois legislators continue to enable corporations to consider handouts, which are tax incentives and tax loopholes, as their “entitlements” at taxpayer expense. In the first six months of 2012, legislators gave $168 million in tax incentives to CME, AT&T, Museum of Broadcast History, Boeing and United Airlines — all at a time when corporations have been making record-breaking profits.

If this wasn’t enough, then there’s the $98 million that was given in 2010 to build a chain of charter schools in Chicago (UNO) with an understanding of an additional $35 million for more charter schools in the near future! Charter schools are run like a business, with a CEO reaping millions with your tax dollar.

Legislators have been trying to strip educators of their earned benefits for over three years. They want to make teachers work until age 67; pay an additional 2 percent into their pension (TRS), which will become 11.4 percent from every paycheck; and take away access to health care (teachers pay their own health care premiums) and cost-of-living adjustments. All of these cuts are just short of calling Illinois a “right to work” state — meaning, EVERY WORKER works for peanuts, no health care, no benefits and working somewhere from age 67 to 70!

Why is any of this relevant to any worker in Illinois? After our legislators have stripped educators of anything worth working for, make no doubt about it — they will come for YOUR Social Security, then Medicaid and Medicare.

This is called trickle-up economics. The rich get richer, and the middle class pays for all the local services (safety, programs for disabled, poor) that the rich and corporations do not have to pay.

Joni Lindgren


Postal system isn’t dying — it is being killed by law of Congress

When the Sun-Times editorialized Sunday that Congress needed to do whatever it takes to make the Postal Service solvent, they missed the obvious: In 2006, Congress passed a law forcing USPS to fund its employees’ pensions 75 years in advance — before most are even born.

It was a deliberate sabotage by Republicans, designed to gut the nation’s biggest remaining unionized work force.

It’s working: Over a quarter of those workers are already gone.

But it’s hurting America, especially hard-hit rural areas. It’s important to note that without this law, the postal system would still be turning a profit.

The remedy now isn’t to cut delivery — it’s to stop the bleeding by repealing this poison-pill law.

Tony Sterbenc


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