|Concerned About Illinois Teacher Retirement Pension System|
|Commentary/Politics - Letters to the Editor|
|Tuesday, 19 September 2006 22:41|
I am writing this letter on behalf of the many retired teachers in Illinois and those who plan to retire. We have an election in November for governor, as well as some representatives and senators. It is imperative that we know where these candidates stand in regard to the recent under-funding and diversions of funds for the teacher retirement pension systems.
What has happened in recent years is appalling to those of us who have made our contributions to this pension system and rely on it in our retirement years. Budgets have been passed diverting $1.2 billion owed to the pension systems for Fiscal Year 2006 and an additional $1.1 billion for Fiscal Year 2007. We need to know the candidates' positions on the 90-percent funding ration by the year 2045. We hope that the candidates will keep premium increases equivalent to other retired state employees with 20 years of service. These are some of the concerns that we need to have the candidates address before we make our choices in November. The livelihood of many dedicated individuals is at stake.
Constance J. Meyer, President
Blackhawk Unit 21
Illinois Retired Teachers Association
Democrats Have Weapons Against Bush
How Democrats can counter the Republicans' propaganda of "cut and run Democrats":
(1) State that Bush illegally invaded Iraq without sufficient force to secure the peace.
(2) Remove Rumsfeld and General Staff.
(3) Engage our allies in diplomacy. The world community has an interest and should be consulted.
(4) Divide Iraq into three distinct ethnic areas, not unlike Bosnia.
(5) Divide oil revenues equally between the three new states.
(6) Re-evaluate troop strength. Adjust accordingly with international troops.
(7) Establish an all-inclusive draft, providing high manpower and a deterrent to war. Societies are less prone to risk military personnel drawn from all social strata.
Since an unstable Middle East would be devastating to our national security, we will remain in Iraq.
In conclusion, to just "stay the course" is neither a policy nor a solution. To not secure the peace is criminal. The status quo of three American GIs and 300 Iraqi killed daily is unacceptable.
James N. Wells
Demand Answers on Health-Care Crisis
Americans are paying more for health care than ever before. Recent reports say our health-care system wastes $500 billion annually in substandard and inappropriate care. Despite medical discoveries and advances, only about 55 percent of us get health-care treatment that meets the best standards for a given condition. Clearly we're not getting the maximum bang for our buck.
This year the number of uninsured Americans is expected to top 50 million. When an uninsured person is forced to seek emergency care, we all pay. That's because insurance rates are padded to pay for uncompensated care. We can't afford to wait any longer. We must use all of our skills and recourses to help achieve real health-care reform. Everyone should have affordable health-care coverage, or one of these days, none of us will.
Any successful reform effort must include access to affordable insurance coverage for all people. Reforms emphasizing quality will improve treatment outcomes and decrease costs by reducing medical errors. And because everyone benefits from a good health-care system, everyone must share in its financing.
With crisis looming for our health-care system, Americans should seek bold solutions from our elected leaders. Each one of us should get involved in the upcoming elections.
Go and listen to the candidates, ask the tough questions, support those who promise to take the lead on health-care reform, and hold them to their promises.
Nussle's Position Like a Yo-Yo
Changing one's opinion does not necessarily denote a lack of honor or courage. However, there can be no doubt of the cynical nature if a person utilizes the yo-yo technique, such as Jim Nussle.
Now that he is a candidate for governor of Iowa, he states that abortions should be legal during the first trimester of pregnancy. In 2004, as U.S. representative, he said it should be illegal. In 2002, during a television appearance, he stated he was opposed to abortion in all cases.
Presently, he also states that he would sign a law banning abortions in the second and third trimester if he is elected governor. What about exceptions, would-be governor? Nussle appears to be a practitioner of the motto "Whatever it takes to get me elected."
Shirley M. Neiman
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