Are we willing to do what it takes?

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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Wednesday Journal congratulates state Senator Kimberley Lightford on her promotion to Senate Majority Leader and state Senator Don Harmon on his continuing role as head of the Senate Executive Committee. The Journal says they have the "progressive values … and political skills to make genuine change happen." [Our Views, Jan. 16]

Actually, the solution to Illinois' problems is quite simple. For too many years (many more than just four), Illinois has spent more money and promised more money to its employees in pensions than it was willing to collect in taxes. The solution to this problem is simple: Illinois now has to tax more than it spends until it catches up.

While the solution is simple, the politics is hard. Are senators Lightford and Harmon willing to do what is necessary, i.e. tax more than we spend, by increasing taxes and/or cutting spending, until we pay our bills and fund our pensions? And are they willing to explain to people that cutting spending will hurt and that increased taxes can't just come from somebody else — that increased taxes have to come from all of us?

More importantly, are we, the citizens of Illinois, willing to support politicians who are willing to tell us the truth and do what is necessary to make Illinois something other than a national joke for financial mismanagement?

Patrick Allen

River Forest

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