Updated: November 12, 2013 6:26AM
“Oprah’s long goodbye” on Oct. 3 by Neil Steinberg described the experience of Oprah’s protracted leaving of Chicago. It reminded me of the old joke: Are you British or are you Yiddish? The British leave without saying goodbye, and the Yiddish say goodbye without leaving.
Most of us probably have a bit of both in us. Saying goodbye is seldom comfortable, and we all have our tactics to deal with that discomfort. That’s why I found it difficult to end this letter with the previous sentence.
Leon J. Hoffman, Lake View
Property tax reform needed
Chicago area homeowners are relieved that Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel have taken property tax increases off the table for 2014. The State of Illinois has highly regressive revenue systems, most notably its residential property taxes, which are based on assessed values of homes producing no “real time” revenue for the owners, only yielding tangible value upon sale, and fail to consider owners’ current financial situations and consequential ability to pay.
A much needed remedy would be residential property tax reform, indexing county and municipal property taxes to the adjusted gross incomes of homeowners, derived from most recently filed tax returns. It would not be difficult to alter the present billing system, since the state already has its citizens’ income tax information. The only factor missing is the political will necessary to make our property taxation more equitable and reflective of present personal financial circumstances. Losing one’s home because the loss of a job or a life partner has diminished his or her ability to pay the taxes on it should never become even a remote possibility.
Richard A. Kosinski, Edison Park
GOP a disgrace to nation
What a disgrace to our nation. What are the Republicans thinking? Is winning more important than our nation’s policies?
Americans everywhere, please remember this on voting day. I know I will.
Lorraine Ruffolo, O’Hare
No health care, but carry guns!
So Ted Cruz and his gang of bullies have shut down the government because they want to deny people access to affordable health care, but were silent when stricter gun laws were being debated and defeated.
Margaret Wendt, Grayslake
Was shutdown planned?
A question that should be asked is whether this current government shutdown was planned months ago.
The Senate Democrats were trying to go into budget conference a number of his times. Sen. Ted. Cruz and his cohorts prevented that. The House Democrats likewise tried to go into a budget conference a number of times. Again, the Republicans prevented that.
Now, at the last hour of a shutdown, the Republicans demand a budget conference. Why? From Day One, the Republicans hated the idea of the Affordable Care Act. They tried to kill it by taking it to the Supreme Court. That didn’t work. Then they tried by getting Mitt Romney elected. That, too, didn’t work.
They feel if they wait until the 2016 election, it will be too late. So the program became: Shut down the government. If they wind up destroying the country in the process, they just don’t care.
Leonard Michalik, Old Town
All violence should be reported
I have been reading multiple stories in the Chicago Sun-Times about some of the unfortunate events that have been happening in the South Side, such as shootings, assaults and robberies. I noticed that a lot of other publications in Chicago choose to ignore these issues and tend to only report on shootings or other types of violence if they are happening on the North Side. I feel that casualties are becoming so common in the South Side that many publications just brush it off and do not bring any attention to it.
People should be aware of the happenings in their city, especially if they are common occurrences. Incidents such as shootings or assaults are always significant and should be taken seriously, even if such incidents occur daily and impact everyday life.
Taylor Friedle, River North
Priority No. 1: End shutdown
It is foolish for Republican leadership to demand a curbing of President Barack Obama’s health care law in order to end the shutdown. I agree with the president’s sentiment that ending the shutdown must be our nation’s No. 1 priority, and that there can be no strings attached to such an agreement. I am not the biggest fan of President Obama’s health care plan, but it should not be at the forefront of our minds right now. We need to lift the debt ceiling, preferably for the long term. Speaker of the House John Boehner’s plan to extend it for six weeks is not the fix that this country needs. Many economists seem to agree that the federal default could result in damage to the economy (not just America’s, but the world economy) that would be difficult to manage, and I cannot see how it is reasonable to take that risk, especially not while we do not know the extent of the damage for sure.
Curtis Schuelke, Edgewater
President is lying
President Barack Obama is blatantly lying when he accuses the Republicans of wanting to shut down the government. The spending bill passed by the Republicans in Congress funds all government spending except for Obamacare, so the government has the monetary resources to function as usual. The shutdown of the government can be blamed only on President Obama.
Donald Froelich, Mount Prospect