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No need for tax loopholes

Gov. PQuinn

Gov. Pat Quinn

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Updated: April 8, 2013 7:42AM

The article “Quinn targets $100 million tax loophole” Wednesday boils my blood. Why does the state have a loophole for any corporation that produces goods outside the state allowing them to shield any portion of their income from taxation under the Illinois tax code?

We have people out of work, we have bills that need to be paid and underfunded pensions ­— and we are giving away tax loopholes.

George Sterba, Burbank

Higgins misinforms on climate

Jack Higgins’ cartoons continue to misinform. Here he goes again commenting on something he knows little about. He is confusing weather with climate. Weather is what’s happening outside the door right now. Climate, on the other hand is a pattern of weather measured over decades. Research centers around the world track the global average temperatures and all conclude that the earth is warming. Hotter air around the globe causes more moisture to be held in the air and when storms occur this added moisture fuels heavier precipitation in the form of more intense rain or snow. At the same time because less of a regions precipitation is falling in light storms and more of it in heavy storms the risks of drought (as we had last summer) and wildfires are also greater. Where was the cartoon about global warming when we were suffering the greatest drought in years last summer?

Teri Tolczyk, Des Plaines

Misleading cartoon

In reference to Jack Higgins’ commentary on “global warming” on Wednesday: Can he really be that obtuse?

Anthony Moscatello, Edgewater

Why does Wall Street dislike Obama?

On March 5 Wall Street posted its highest closing numbers ever. No doubt, people who are in the stock market must be celebrating. Yet certain groups within the United States are blasting President Barack Obama for not being friendly enough to business. These same groups are even saying the president is leading the country towards socialism.The stock market is soaring, yet those in the market are strangely silent in support of the president.

If this was a socialist country it is doubtful there would even be a stock market. So many of those in the stock market are doing great. Still, there are so many in this country who can’t afford to be in the stock market.As many have said, if businesses are doing so well , where are the jobs? Where is prosperity for all?

Bernard Biernacki, Aurora

Do more for working families

Family is fundamental to rectifying the salient public health issues afflicting our country today. Our politicians routinely preach the importance of family values; yet, the United States is decades behind 178 other countries in ensuring the well-being of working families. A mother should be able to take the time to nurture a newborn without the constant fear of losing her job or ending up on food stamps. It is time for Illinois workers to advocate for their rights and follow the progressive lead of California and New Jersey by providing paid maternity leave for new working mothers.

Currently, the U.S. policy for maternity leave as set by The Family and Medical Leave Act guarantees 12 weeks of unpaid leave after giving birth and protects mothers’ jobs. The policy does not include any antenatal care, thus keeping women working until their due date. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 11 percent of private-sector workers and 17 percent of public-sector workers have access to paid family leave through their employer.

Maternity leave in the U.S. is simply too short to prove effective. Furthermore, our policy is unhelpful, is limited to large companies, poorly protects women’s jobs, places undue stress on women to return to work early, and grossly ignores many of the documented benefits of paid maternity leave. Enforcing paid maternity leave would stop women from returning to work prematurely. It would make time off a right for women rather than a luxury. Most importantly, it would reduce the number of caesarean sections, improve early infant health, and reduce the postpartum maternal mental health problems. It is an injustice to millions of American families to force parents to choose between caring for a new child and staying financially afloat. Now, more than ever, U.S. workers need workplace and public policies that will promote healthy careers as well as healthy families. It is time for workers to make some noise on the issue of paid maternity leave and for our politicians to listen up.

Elise N. Lauer,

Master of Public Health candidate,

University of Illinois at Chicago

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