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posted: 6/9/2012 4:40 AM

Stop blaming GOP for high taxes in state

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It is extremely difficult to understand the logic behind the statement that Republicans are responsible for high taxes in Illinois. There has been a Democratic governor and Democratic controlled House and Senate in Illinois since 2003. So, how could Republicans be responsible for the sorry state of affairs in Illinois?

The real reason for our deplorable financial state is the out-of-control spending that is promoted by the Democratic Party. And, one of the biggest areas for this spending is the Democrats' strong support of unions. The generous benefits received by unionized public employees are paid by taxpayers; however, the majority of these taxpayers do not receive and never will receive benefits equal to these union employees.

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I am not speaking about the firefighters and police who put their lives on the line every day, but the employees who receive guaranteed salary and benefits and do not perform adequately. On my current tax bill, 68.3 percent was for school and college districts. Among 34 countries, the USA ranks 14th in reading, 17th in science and 25th in math. Where is the accountability when unions guarantee the teachers' job security, generous salary and benefits and extremely generous retirement benefits?

Sick days can be saved up and used to retire early at full benefits. Retirement health insurance, including dental and prescription, is given at extremely generous rates.

If the USA ranked at least in the top three, I would be more inclined to agree with teachers' generous pay and benefits, but how do you justify rewarding mediocrity. And, with guaranteed jobs and benefits, there is no incentive for improvement. There are some excellent teachers, but unfortunately they are not the majority; their excellence is ultimately undermined by inferior teachers' skills and methods.

The Democrats need to stop the blame game and get real about fixing our state's economy. After all, it's totally in their hands.

Gail Rose

Huntley

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