Thursday, October 22, 2015
CAROL BAY had this letter published in the October 22 Dispatch/Argus. ..... marks paragraph breaks. "The lead story in an Oct. 16 Davenport newspaper is "No Social Security bump in '16", saying that with inflation so low seniors will not get a cost-of-living increase in Social Security benefits. ..... The lead story in the Oct. 16 Dispatch/Argus is "RICo needs cash now" and calls for a 16.8 percent increase in Rock Island County property taxes. ..... Many municipalities, school and library boards, and other local taxing bodies routinely increase their property tax levy by 5 percent every year, the largest increase possible without a referendum giving taxpayers a voice in the process. ...... Five percent every year doubles your property taxes every 14 years. Why are property taxes going up far higher than the rate of inflation? Could it be that our municipalities, schools, libraries and other taxing bodies are not wise stewards of the taxpayer dollar? ..... Perhaps we need to elect new stewards who will defend the taxpayer dollar. ...... Rock Island County taxes are too high compared to Scott County where property taxes actually declined. It is difficult to sell homes here, there are few new homes built, and there are many abandoned buildings. Raising taxes borders on insanity. ..... Many seniors would leave Illinois in a minute if we could sell our homes for our purchase price but local home values have declined. Few newcomers to the area would even consider buying in Illinois. ..... Rock Island County and the state of Illinois are on a downward spiral. ..... Raising taxes hastens our decline."
JON NOLAND had this letter published in the October 22 Dispatch/Argus. "Mr. Ross, I was and am an ardent supporter of hiring a professional to salvage RICO. I applauded your hire, trusting things would be different now and we could return to financial normalcy. ..... Now, however, I am wondering if you were the right selection for the job. You propose a 16.8 percent property tax increase. You don't want to lay off or fire anyone. That is what your predecessors would have done and said! Where is the original thought and ideas you were asked to bring to RICO? Look at the headlines. What are companies doing when in trouble financially? They lay off people! What does government do? Raise taxes! ..... There are many bold steps you could have suggested. Sell Hope Creek. Eliminate township government and function like our much more successful neighbors across the river. Even reducing the number of board members -- while not a big savings -- would at least demonstrate the board and yourself are serious about change. There are a multitude of other things you could do as well. ..... Mr. Ross, our purses are not bottomless, as all politicians seem to think they are. Let's get some real. original thoughts out of you. After all, that is why we hired you."
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
LAWRENCE BAY had this letter in the October 21 Dispatch/Argus AND Quad-City Times. ..... marks paragraph breaks. "The recent presidential debates help define the fundamental difference between Republicans and Democrats. Democrats imply that Americans are helpless souls unable to survive without government aid and guidance. Republicans believe Americans can achieve wealth and greatness through their own efforts. Democrats attack millionaires and billionaires. Most Americans don't resent wealth. Most Americans want to become millionaires and billionaires. Republican policies help more Americans fulfill those dreams. ..... It is so easy to become self-sufficient. All that is needed is to spend less than your income and invest in a deferred compensation plan. Everyone should be able to retire as a millionaire by simply living below their means. ..... The Democrats try to scare Americans from investing in the stock market calling it a risky gamble. Let's set the record straight. No one has ever lost money in the stock market using periodic dollar-cost averaging in a diversified stock portfolio using a buy-and-hold strategy over a working career. The stock market has out-performed almost every other investment vehicle. ..... Compound interest has been called the most powerful force in the universe. It can work to increase your wealth, or your debt. Americans should be free to max out on their deferred compensation or their credit cards. Americans should also live with their choices. ..... Democrats claim that for some to win others must lose. Republicans believe that almost everyone can be a winner and that we have the ability to control our own destiny. The choice is yours."
MIKE BRUGGER had this letter in the October 21 Dispatch/Argus. "Rock Island County administrator Dave Ross thinks that we need to property taxes by 16.8 percent next year. He says there is "no more to cut". ......Nonsense. The county could sell Hopeless Creek as the voters have asked them to do. It could reduce the size of the board as the voters have asked them to do. It could stop getting sued by former employees that were improperly terminated. It could get behind the governor's "Turn Illinois Around" plan. ..... We're being taxed enough. ..... The county needs to move away from sweetheart union contracts with municipal employees and start serving the taxpayer for a change."
JIM BROOKS wrote this in the October 21 Dispatch/Argus. "We just had a tragedy to this country; people were killed or wounded because of their religion. The gunman asked each victim if they were Christian. If they answered yes he told them "be prepared to meet your God in one second" and shot them in the head. ...... If they answered some other religion, he shot them in the leg. Why would a person commit an atrocity like this? First, we know this person was mentally unstable. Second is the news media, they paint Christians as mean-spirited hateful people. We are portrayed as bigoted and hating everyone who doesn't believe as we do. ..... The news media doesn't treat Christians the same way as other religions. If you think this is not true ask yourself how this story would be treated if it had been Muslims that were executed. The story would still be in the news and it would have been the major story at the time. It would have been front page maybe even taking up the whole page. The broadcast media would have used half their time on this one story. ..... Some people say the answer is to take away all guns. If that happens only criminals will have guns because organized crime will start manufacturing guns. The real answer is to do away with all the laws that punish law-abiding people. Enforce reasonable background checks and do away with gun-free zones. If you want to stop killings turn this country back to God."
Sunday, October 18, 2015
T.L. DASSO speaks for many is this October 15 letter to the Dispatch/Argus. "Your headline, "No Social Security Increase", is a fine way to start my Monday morning, NOT! ...... This follows the announcement that Rock Island County is going to raise property taxes. Moline needs more money for parks, etc. ..... You can bet our leaders in D.C. will vote themselves an increase in wages again this year. Has anyone noticed the drop in food prices at the grocery stores? OO, gasoline prices have come down after many years of going up and up? How about prescription medication costs? How many people are receiving food stamps now? That doesn't cost the taxpayer anything? ..... Everyone wants clean air. The stench that spreads across the air from Washington, D.C. fouls the air more and more every day! The leadership of this country, from top to bottom has the "meme disease". Their main concern is "me, me, me". ..... Throw the bums out!"
DIANA "DEEDEE" GRAHAM makes these points about the Illinois budget in this October 18 letter to the Dispatch/Argus. ..... marks paragraph breaks. "Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is engaged in contract negotiations with Illinois state workers mainly represented by AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees). ..... Unions are demanding substantial undisclosed raises, news sources report as high as 13 percent. Illinois is broke and can't afford such raises. Contracts have expired and a strike is possible. ..... The Democrats in the Legislature tried to remove the governor from contract negotiations in hopes that an unelected "impartial" mediator would give the unions a substantial raise while bringing Illinois closer to bankruptcy. Signs appear in many yards reading, "We Support State Workers", while many cynics say "don't we all, and far too generously I might add". Pay increases for state workers will add to the pension crisis. ..... Are Illinois state workers underpaid? These figures from www.americansforprosperity.com/illinois provide some information. The average state worker receives $56,719 in salary while workers in the private sector receive a salary of $61,017. However, state workers receive fringe benefits of health insurance, pensions, vacations and holidays costing Illinois taxpayers $55,791 while workers in the private sector receive $19,725 in benefits. Thus, total compensation for Illinois state workers averages $112,710 per year compared to $80,742 for a worker in the private sector. State workers receive 39.6 percent more total compensation than workers in the private sector. ..... Illinois is facing bankruptcy. People and businesses are fleeing Illinois. ..... Yet the unions and the Democrats continue to party on with the few remaining taxpayer's money and want to spend more. ..... Stop this insanity!"
RICHARD RODGERS makes these points in an October 11 letter to the Dispatch/Argus. "Those of us that have a job would get fired for sitting around and doing nothing except collecting a paycheck. Yet we have no budget for the state and the elected officials in Springfield continue to collect a paycheck for doing nothing except collecting a paycheck. ..... The finger-pointing and rhetoric from Springfield is exactly like little boys playing baseball and one owns the ball and another the bat and when things don't go their way they take the ball or bat and go home, ruining the game for everyone else. ..... This is the game Michael Madigan and Bruce Rauner are playing: Collect money from you, the taxpayer; for doing nothing. Unless, of course, the way to have a balanced budget is simply not to have one at all, and spend more taxpayer dollars to have the courts rule that things have to get paid. State employee/retiree health insurance is in jeopardy, bills are accumulating interest by not getting paid -- all will cost the taxpayer even more. ..... Next election, ignore party lines and simply vote for everyone who is NOT an incumbent. See how many we, the taxpayer, can fire for not doing their jobs, spread the word, vote out the incumbents. ..... And don't forget, when there is a special session, they will get extra pay for continuing to do nothing."
JIM BROWER mad these excellent points in the October 13 Dispatch/Argus. "Several letters have appeared calling for the usual ideas in an attempt to stop mass shootings. My thoughts are based on an ideation that few have mentioned. ..... Most, if not all, of these shootings have occurred in what is called Gun-Free Zones. Wouldn't logic dictate that if Congress out-lawed Gun-Free Zones, such as college campuses, that these shootings would go down? All students with a license to carry a concealed weapon shall be allowed to carry on campus. ..... One of the heroes in the Oregon shooting was a former military man. Had he been armed, and legally allowed to carry a pistol, which he had already been highly trained to use, the number of dead would have been far less. ..... All K-12 teachers and principals should be trained to the highest military standards and required to carry a pistol, to be concealed from the sight of the students at all times, while on school grounds. ...... If this is not to your liking then how about having a TSA type security, with highly trained, armed guards at the entrances to all the school buildings and other "Gun-Free Zones". I'm sure that would be affordable."
MARY CHAPMAN raises these points about gun control in an October 11 letter in the Dispatch/Argus."I wish to comment about our president's remarks about controlling guns. ...... First, the man who murdered the college students was not a person enrolled there. Second, the college had no one on campus security who was armed with a gun. So the only person with a gun was the murderer. How is a law going to control a person who doesn't follow the law? ..... In Chicago there were more murders and people injured over last weekend than at that college. When will Chicago (which has very tough gun control laws) stop the murders in that city? ..... How do you control people who refuse to obey the law?
Thursday, October 1, 2015
CHARLES FISHER made these points in this September 4 letter in the Dispatch/Argus."A petition requesting the resignation of Rock Island School District 41 sitting board member Jim Bishop is circulating after he elected to send his child to a Pleasant Valley school. The petition decries "the perception that our district is in some way inferior". ..... If this perception extends to test scores, then Rock Island schools are demonstrably inferior. The latest 2013 data for Rock Island High School indicate that only 37.9 percent of students can pass the state English test, and only 28.8 percent achieve proficiency in math. Pleasant Valley respectively placed 91.3 percent and 89.3 percent in 2011, top marks for the region. The RIHS scores are the worst in the Quad-Cities, and come with the highest monetary costs -- a failure by any measure. ..... Rather than take steps to correct a failed bureaucracy, this petition seeks to punish a single individual for exercising a legal freedom of choice. Were the RIHS scores equal to Pleasant Valley, there would be no complaint. This is sadly not the case, and envy is hardly disguised. ..... RIHS joins Rock Island Academy, Edison Jr. High, and Washington Jr. High as schools that are so profoundly inferior that they should be immediately closed, as their state academic watch status strongly suggests. Their continued operation severely damages our community, and this petition's aim to "kill the messenger" does nothing but entrench an inferiority that is obvious to all."