ABOUT THAT TAXING WORK
I completely support the main theme of James Krohe’s “Taxing work” article (July 11) urging the state of Illinois to consider moving away from the current flat rate tax toward a graduated income tax. As someone who spent most of his state career advocating for low-income working families (welfare employment incentives, state Earned Income Credit, financial literacy education, etc.), I am well aware that the current system is regressive and actually discourages work and self-sufficiency. I also believe, as a retired state employee, that all pension income over $50,000 should be taxed, with all proceeds mandated by statute to go directly to support the pension system to prevent benefit cuts.
I must take issue with Mr. Krohe, however, at some of the smarmy shots he takes at people and their attitudes on taxes and government. Except for the extreme right wing, most people do not mind paying taxes as long as they feel their money is being well spent, something that liberals usually do not care about as long as the expenditures are “in the right places” and go to the “right people.”
Finally, no taxes should be raised on anyone until the state cleans up all of the wasteful spending that still exists. Much of this occurs in the Illinois Medicaid program which is, no matter how much we are told to the contrary, still rife with fraud, abuse and hundred of thousands of ineligible recipients from the Blago era when the clear message from the governor’s office was: “put anyone and everyone on the program so I can claim that I expanded health care to millions without raising taxes.”
TOWARD TEEN WELL-BEING
We are disappointed by the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995. While we believe the Illinois PNAA puts the health and safety of teens at unnecessary risk, Planned Parenthood of Illinois is committed to doing everything we can to make this new process as easy as possible for teens if the law goes into effect.
Planned Parenthood agrees that in an ideal world, parents would be involved in their teens’ health care and engaged in healthy dialogue around responsible decision making. Most teens seek their parents’ advice and counsel when making decisions about their health care. But in some cases, safe and open communication is not possible. In those cases, research shows mandatory parental notice laws do not enhance parent-teen communication. Rather, they can be harmful to teens’ health and well-being. The focus should be on giving teens the information they need to make responsible decisions and continue to encourage healthy family communication, not erecting barriers to critical health care services.
Planned Parenthood of Illinois President and CEO
EVERYONE HAS AN OPINION
After reading Sheila Stocks-Smith’s opinion piece on the Sangamon County Citizen Survey (“The citizen survey beneath the surface,” July 11) her points were stretched in trying to tie her “opinions” to “facts” found in the survey. It would have been nice to know 524 phone surveys were used, but, I digress.
The most incredible point was Stocks-Smith trying to connect the recent elimination of the Capital College Preparatory Academy due to budget cuts to “only 57 percent” thinking a college degree was “important.” Elimination of CCPA, replacing it with programs already in place in District 186, was not mentioned. But let’s not let facts get in the way when trying to make a point.
And it must have hurt making this stretch: “sadly, thousands of Sangamon County schoolchildren experience poor ... outcomes at best. The continued denial of this reality helps explain why nationally recognized school improvements and reforms struggle to take root here and we cling to outdated methods of instruction ....” Outdated methods? Surely she did not mean the last six years under superintendent Walter Milton? This was only an opinion piece and, like noses, everyone has one.