An alternative to the Fair Tax

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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Now that voters have rejected the class-warfare constitutional amendment, let's consider a more adult approach where everybody shares the pain of past fiscal mismanagement but the underlying problems are addressed and hopefully the pain is manageable. Here is an outline for a program to address the state's financial woes on a more permanent basis instead of kicking the can down the road and making it the next governor's problem:

1. No pensions for new state hires; they get a 403(b) plan.

2. To the extent possible, eliminate or reduce the 3% per year guaranteed minimum COLA for state retirees.

3. Amend the Constitution to allow non-flat tax rates, with the limitations that (a) the highest rate on individuals cannot exceed the lowest rate by more than a ratio of 8 to 5, (b) regressive rates (i.e. lower tax rates on higher incomes) are prohibited, and (c) retirement income cannot be taxed at more than one-half the taxpayer's normal tax rate. So for example if the rate on a person's other income was 5%, retirement income could be taxed at no more than 2.5%.

I respectfully suggest to retirees that sooner or later retirement payments are going to be taxed by Illinois because it is the only way to generate enough revenue to dig out of the state's hole, so they would be well-advised to jump at the chance to get whatever constitutional protections they can.

Bob Stigger

Oak Park

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Reader Comments

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Jeffrey Smith  

Posted: November 14th, 2020 8:51 AM

The Socialist Plague is here! Tax breaks for the rich (that's like wigs for the non-bald)! Tac breaks for corporate farms! Tax breaks for corporations who offshore billions to avoid paying taxes and so feed off the hard work of the middle class and poor! Streets and Sewers maintained with our money! If you want streets and sewers, build your own! Public schools! The military! All socialist horrors! There is no common need, only individuals, every man and woman for themselves! Abolish police and fire departments - defend your own property and buy a fire extinguisher, you lazy louts! Jesus was an idiot who favored the meek! Worship the Strong! And most of all, be monomaniacal, have no sense of humor, think everyone is out to get you and vote for fascism! That's the American way! And while we're on the subject, we fought for the wrong side in World War II! Hitler knew what he was doing - there was a man for you, and real capitalist, too, who have no patience with commies and socialists! Goosestep into America's welfare free future where only the strong survive! Actung, Baby! *** "Otis B. Driftwood: That woman? Do you know why I sat with her? Because she reminded me of you. Mrs. Claypool: Really? Otis B. Driftwood: Of course, that's why I'm sitting here with you. Because you remind me of you. Your eyes, your throat, your lips! Everything about you reminds me of you. Except you. How do you account for that? If she figures that one out, she's good."

Bruce Kline  

Posted: November 13th, 2020 10:50 PM

Well Mr. Smith, for once I agree with you. In that sense I am also a Marxist ... particularly if Groucho is the Marx in question. And let us not forget his able Ministers of Absurdity: Chico and Harpo.

Ramona Lopez  

Posted: November 13th, 2020 8:55 PM

Mr. Dwyer, it will happen in my lifetime. It's slowly creeping into our society and you will wake up one day and wonder what happened. It has a stronghold in our universities. They jump at the chance to hire radicals like Bill Ayers and Kathy Boudin. Once centers of liberal arts and critical thinking are now nothing more than indoctrination camps. As we speak, the UN is investigating human rights offenses of the U.S. and none other than Syria, North Korea, China, Venezuela, Cuba and Russia sit on that commission. The World Economic Forum states "wealth needs to be more broadly distributed". Have you read "The Great Reset" by Klaus Schwab? Every social media platform and mainstream media is heavily leftist and has no qualms about censoring someone who disagrees with their platform. Communism is gaining steam throughout the world and its all about power. Please don't be so naive Mr. Dwyer.

Jeffrey Smith  

Posted: November 13th, 2020 8:27 PM

And who could forget... "Mrs. Teasdale: As chairman of the reception committee, I welcome you with open arms. Rufus T. Firefly: Is that so? How late do you stay open?"

Jeffrey Smith  

Posted: November 13th, 2020 8:24 PM

And more Marxism: "Rufus T. Firefly: Remember, you're fighting for this woman's honor, which is probably more than she ever did."

Jeffrey Smith  

Posted: November 13th, 2020 8:23 PM

I would like to share a few quotes from my treasured Marxist manifesto. "Ambassador Trentino: I didn't come here to be insulted! Rufus T. Firefly: That's what you think!"

William Dwyer Jr.  

Posted: November 13th, 2020 8:07 PM

For someone who purports to be so well versed on the history of socialism and communist practices, Ms. Lopez seems unaware that in any genuine communist state, the police would have already come through her door in the middle of the night. Or just swept her up off the street. Clearly, they haven't, because, her ridiculous posts asides, this isn't the People's Republic of Oak Park. That is, apparently, the outer limits of her imagination. One silver lining of the tripe she posts here is, from my perspective as a centrist Democrat, is it acts as a warning, for those willing to take note, that Democrats use the term "socialism" at their own peril. It's nearly as stupid a term of art as "defund the police."

Ramona Lopez  

Posted: November 13th, 2020 7:21 PM

For those of you familiar with "The Communist Manifesto". Please read towards the end of chapter 2. Rule #2: A heavy or progressive income tax. Of course the People's Republic of Oak Park voted heavily in favor of the "Fair Tax". Wouldn't expect anything less.

Mary Jo Erickson from Oak Park   

Posted: November 12th, 2020 4:44 PM

" respectfully suggest to they would be well-advised to jump at the chance to get whatever constitutional protections they can." They would be well advised to call North American Van Lines.

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