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Thursday, March 18, 2010 11:30 am

Letters to the Editor 03/18/2010


A video slot machine called “Jade Elephant.”

The question has been asked, “Is the time right for gaming expansion?” Wealthy track owners want to legalize video gambling and slot machines to transform racetracks into land-based casinos. The last thing Illinois needs is 6,600 more gambling machines.

Electronic gambling machines were legalized at Pennsylvania racetracks a few years ago. Now the slot revenue comes from local low rollers — people who live within 20 miles of the facility and gamble several times a week.

Gambling is an unstable source of revenue that has never solved any of the state’s funding problems. “There is growing evidence that state-sponsored gambling is both inequitable and inadequate as a long-term revenue source — and that the associated social costs of encouraging destructive gambling behavior may offset much of the revenue gains enjoyed by states in the short run,” according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

Last year the legislature passed the largest expansion of gambling in the history of Illinois. Now is not the time for more gambling.

Anita Bedell, Executive Director
Illinois Church Action on Alcohol & Addiction Problems

The issue of health care reform concerns all Americans. Americans do not like the health care bills in their current form. Polls suggest many are sick of the debate and the gridlock afflicting government and our citizens.

Polls suggest Americans don’t approve of the Democratic Congress, the Republican Congress and over half would not vote to re-elect President Obama. Does that tell us anything? However, polls suggest Americans like parts of the health care bill. I humbly suggest this provides the parties common ground upon which to work for the good of the American people. Why not establish state-based insurance exchanges, high-risk insurance pools, expanded health care accounts, the allowance of children to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26, malpractice reform and the reduction of pharmacy costs? Completing these tasks might allow for a more comprehensive reform later.

The political parties should work together towards our benefit. I may be confused but isn’t that why they’re in Washington? A Democratic move towards reconciliation might be seen as forcing everyone to accept what they don’t want. Medicare would be cut, services cut at 1/5 of nursing homes and 1/4 of hospitals, forcing people to buy insurance or be penalized and increase the federal debt substantially over the next decade. In addition, the current plan may result in rationing. These are consequences most Americans say they don’t want!

Philip W. Chapman

Journalists, pundits and credulous voters nurture the meretricious activities of career politicians, and all of it is best described as absolute inanity. How do we eliminate the folly of partisan madness and the consequent waste it creates? Politicians must “serve” for one term, then return to the private sector to earn a living, i.e., live under the same conditions as the rest of us.

Career politicians will never let the people vote on an amendment to the Constitution that limits their terms. It’s up to the people. We must cast aside party labels and never vote for an incumbent politician; it’s the only way to preserve, protect and defend the fundamentals that made this country the envy of the world.

Bob Ruble

I, along with a great many of my fellow citizens, am among those “too small to be rescued.” I protest the treatment we are receiving, and I am amazed to learn that some of those “too big to let fail” are reaping big profits and obscene salaries.

Apparently we are an amoral society by consensus and guilty of unethical activities concerning our fellow citizens.

I think Obama should be concerned about us “too small to be rescued.” Corporations are inhuman.

Fred J. Dietz, Sr.