Let Springfield fix real problems first

Opinion: Letters to the editor

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After reading Jan Goldberg's letter in the Nov. 11 Landmark ("Voters blew it on Fair Tax question"), I just had to respond. She stated that the taxpayers blew it by not passing the "Fair Tax "amendment. 

In polling my golf buddies, friends and family, not a one of them voted for the amendment. None of the reasons were based on the incredibly false advertising put out by the well-funded amendment opposition groups. 

Rather there were two main reasons this group, and I suspect many others, voted against the amendment. First is that rich people have mobility. They can escape the Illinois tax with ease – just buy a shack in Indiana and change your residency – poof, gone! 

On the other hand, the small business owners and middle-class family who have income enough to be taxed do not have such financially supported mobility. How do you replicate your small business out of state with ease? 

How do you sell your home, the only one you have, take your kids out of school and find a job elsewhere with ease? You are stuck here holding the ever-increasing bag of taxes. The middle class does not have mobility, but we have the income so we are the "stuckee."

The second reason for the "no" vote and the most predominant one ties into what Jan said. Jan listed the many problems Springfield has. To quote her, it's the "lack of pension reform, 7,000 plus units of redundant local government, a gerrymandered map that allows many representatives to have no competition and the massive debt." 

Fixing all these problems would put the Springfield gang at risk for re-election. They might have some competition in the next election. They would certainly lose all the support from the public employees and pensioners and their friends and families and that could cost them their Springfield "job."

Remembering that the primary objective of most politicians is to get re-elected, these massive and perpetual problems will just keep getting kicked down the road until the politician can safely join the ranks of the state pensioners. 

So, the "no" vote was a referendum on telling Springfield to start fixing the real problems. Get an amendment on the ballot to eliminate gerrymandering, get an amendment on the ballot to allow pensions to be reduced. 

Then, after these pass, get an amendment on the ballot for a graduated state income tax and, as Jan said, "get us into the 20th century"

Ed Mantel


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