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Not going off fiscal cliff

Updated: January 3, 2013 6:25AM



Going off the “fiscal cliff”? It won’t happen. It would be political suicide for any member of the House, up for re-election in two years, to not reach an agreement on taxes and spending. When the agreement is reached, it will be just days before the deadline and both political parties will take credit.

Jim Klipper,

Highland, Ind.

Another politician in hot water

This is getting old. Yet another Chicago politician is charged with assuming he is above the law. State Rep. La Shawn K. Ford has been indicted on 17 counts of bank fraud. Will the crime and corruption emanating from Chicago-style politics never end? And this comes on top of Crook County Commissioner William Beavers thinking that it’s OK if he files an amended tax return after being caught red-handed not reporting using campaign money for personal use.

Just about every indictment we read about is a federal one. Are we to believe that Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan have never found a Crook County or Illinois law that a Chicago Machine politician has broken? Boggles the mind.

Louis J. Berardi,

Downers Grove

Welfare is out of control

Public employees are the new hated people. We paid into our pensions and worked and sacrificed throughout our career. We were responsible. Before our pensions are touched, we need to end the reckless entitlement programs for the irresponsible.

The generations of welfare recipients who are rewarded for their irresponsible behavior need to be cut off. Sorry, but the trough is closed. How much do Link, Snap, WIC and Section 8 subsidized housing cost us? Public assistance programs were intended to be a temporary fix until you got back on your feet. Instead, generations of people are on public assistance. And how about we stop this insane talk of giving driver’s licenses to “undocumented workers”? Call them what they are — illegal aliens. We are in such a financial mess and we can’t handle this burden any longer. If I were to go to their country, I’m sure I would not be given the same consideration they get here.

Alan G. Marks,

Gurnee

Diet a key part of heart health

An article in the Nov. 9 Sun-Times — “Achieving better heart health has its obstacles” — covered some prevention strategies for serious heart disease, but failed to mention diet.

Pills such as dalcetrapib and fish oil supplements are not meeting expectations to improve heart health, so the article suggests that exercise is the most reliable prevention strategy. But diet and exercise should go hand-in-hand. Vegetarian diets, for example, have been shown to lower blood pressure within the first two weeks.

Ariane Monaco, Champaign

Give illegal immigrants licenses

As a resident of Waukegan, I would feel safer knowing that all of its residents were driving with a license and insurance.

Illinois is home to about 250,000 immigrant motorists who are unable to get a driver’s license and insurance. Unlicensed and uninsured immigrant drivers cost us all $64 million in damage claims. Last year, 42 percent of all fatal crashes in Illinois involved unlicensed drivers, and nationwide, unlicensed motorists are five times likelier to be in a fatal crash than licensed drivers. Washington and New Mexico already require all motorists, including undocumented immigrants, to get driver’s license. Both states also use strong procedures to verify documents regarding identity and residence and guard against fraud and abuse. The much-needed bill promotes public safety by protecting our communities from uninsured drivers to free up police to tend to important matters. Offering driving documents to all immigrants would produce many other benefits:

Police will be able to use licenses to identify motorists during stops and check their traffic records. Licensing all drivers will help first responders and health-care providers to identify patients under their care, verify patient medical history, facilitate patient billing and will be instrumental in the implementation of the electronic medical record system under the Affordable Health Care Act

Drivers will be more likely to stay at the scene of an accident to aid police and emergency workers and to exchange insurance information with affected motorists. Limited court time and jail space will be less burdened with cases of drivers who are there solely for driving without a license or insurance

As more drivers get insured, the numbers of accidents involving uninsured motorists will decline, the costs of such accidents will decline, and insurance rates will fall for everyone. It will increase the pool of urgently needed organ donors.

I urge members of the Illinois General Assembly and Secretary of State Jesse White to demonstrate leadership and courage and support Highway Safety and Mandatory Insurance for all in Illinois. This bill is supported by law enforcement, businesses and hospitals and is a sensible and common sense solution for everyone who drives in Illinois.

Francisco Rosaly, Waukegan



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