Updated: October 27, 2012 6:16AM
One unavoidable problem with the city’s school situation is lack of money. So we have what has been described in the press as an anti-union SuperPAC that is financing for who-knows-how-much the daily flood of commercials that allow Mayor Rahm Emanuel to look good espousing his contributions to the settlement. The public schools, especially those in the more disadvantaged neighborhoods, would be much better off if all that money went directly to the needs of the kids and teachers.
Ed Stone, Northbrook
Check GOP talking points
In describing what he clearly hopes is an emerging foreign policy scandal about the administration’s handling of the attack on our embassy (“Stand up for U.S. values at the U.N.”), Steve Huntley says “claims by officials, led by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, that it was all about the video were absurd from the get go.” That’s not how I remembered it, so I revisited the ambassador’s “Meet the Press” interview on the Internet. What she actually said was that it seems to have started with a small demonstration similar to the one in Cairo the day before, and that it was hijacked by heavily armed men, an entirely reasonable description of what happened, even as more facts have become known. Huntley makes no secret of his political preferences, but he really should check out the GOP talking point of the day before he inserts it in his column.
Thomas W. Evans, Mundelein
As a Bears fan, I’m happy that the Seahawks won the Monday night game against Packers. I’m tired of the players whining endlessly about the scab referees. If they’re so upset, why don’t the players strike in support of the referees? If the sports journalists are so upset about the scabs, why don’t they clarify the issues in the dispute? If the fans are so upset with the NFL, why don’t they boycott the games? Stop whining and take action.
Dan Dinello, Oak Park
According to news reports, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposed budget may include an increase in Chicago’s tobacco tax. Not only does the American Heart Association hope he does just that, but we also urge him to make it a hefty increase.
With a large city budget gap looming, a cigarette tax increase can play a significant part in closing that hole. Besides bringing in badly-needed revenue to help fund critical city services, such an increase will deter Chicagoans, particularly young people, from starting the habit and will prod some current smokers to think about quitting. And it will help all taxpayers by reducing rising healthcare expenses by spurring a decrease in smoking-related health problems such as heart disease, cancer, and others.
Because increasing the tobacco tax would do so much good, it is likely to be the mayor’s best, most politically palatable source of revenue. The public health community is ready to enthusiastically support such a proposal.
Kathleen L. Grady,
Chair, American Heart Association Illinois Advocacy Committee