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Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017 12:19 am

Letters to the Editor 1/12/17



The Department of Agriculture claims the cost of raising a child from birth through age 17 is $233,610, or almost $14,000 annually. As the father of seven children, let me say that this is nonsense.

Moreover, the Department of Agriculture fails to identify the multiple benefits of raising children, such as the physical, spiritual, intellectual and emotional advantages. These benefits are not just unquantifiable, but inestimable. The value of raising, nurturing and training children far surpasses the outlandish financial estimates of Washington D.C. bureaucrats.

With this seemingly exaggerated cost estimate, how do we expect to encourage married couples to return to the healthy birth rate of more than 2.1 in the United States?  We’re shortsighted if we fail to see that the current U.S. trend is unsustainable and portends economic trouble, including lower living standards for most citizens. We simply have to look at Japan, Greece or Italy for a lesson in the detriment of low birth rates.

Federal officials are simply out of touch with Middle America. Most of us don’t spend hundreds of dollars on a hammer and we spend far less than they estimate to raise a child each year. The government can learn something from working families.

David E. Smith
Executive Director
Illinois Family Institute


In Rich Miller’s Jan. 5 column (“Illinois is in danger of becoming a failed state”), Mr. Miller stated, “Throw a couple of victories at the guy and let’s move the heck on to our other problems...”

Who would Mr. Miller suggest that we throw to the wolf? The children, the state employees, home care providers, local school districts, local health departments, local community-based organizations that serve the community, senior services agencies? Pick one, Mr. Miller.

Karen Pendergrass


I always look forward to reading about the great citizens of our community and their lasting impressions on family/friends/colleagues; however, this issue was different (“Remembering the lives they lived,” Dec. 29). There was one remembrance article that really struck a chord with me. I was reading the article on Carol Ann Merrill. This is a lady I had never met, but due to the size of the article I thought, “Wow she must be a special lady.”

I believe she is; however, the impression I got from this article was that it was a total publicity stunt for the Illinois Department of Revenue and was not in any way a true remembrance article. I feel that delving into very personal details that were in no way necessary to the article truly felt more like a take-down of a deceased person that anything else. If you wanted to go over all of the things the Illinois Department of Revenue has adjusted since her retirement/passing that’s one thing, but to put it in the guise of your tribute issue is really terrible.

I am sure that she has family and friends that care for her and miss her deeply and to publish something this heinous was probably extremely hurtful to them.

Cassandra Graun


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