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posted: 5/8/2013 5:00 AM

Debate is about living within budget

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I watched the recent panel discussion on pension reform hoping beyond all hope that some small step could be made to get us closer to a solution of this pension mess. I give the Daily Herald & Reboot Illinois an A-plus for effort. But as the saying goes, "You can lead a horse to water but cannot make it drink."

There were three panelists with three different views. Views that I have heard before. Nothing new.

Rep. Tom Morrison came the closest to being willing to compromise. IEA President Cinda Klickna could not understand why this was an option for the Illinois Education Association.

I'm on Social Security and know that it has to change in order to have any chance of survival. When it was enacted, workers were not living 20-30 years after retirement.

Teachers complain of being made scapegoats. Own up to the fact that there are some teachers/administrators that are gaming the system and change it. I wish I could get an annual 3 percent increase in benefits. But that amount is not sustainable for anyone.

Again, I wish I could have gotten a 6 percent raise in my last three to four years of work. And there are school districts that are paying fines because they exceed that amount. Illinois doesn't tax retirement income, and for that I'm thankful.

But my real estate taxes are at the point that I cannot afford to live in this state and may be forced to relocate elsewhere. I have to live within my budget. Why can't Illinois?

Larry Zak

Lake Villa

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