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Forum: Revising recent history

Updated: November 26, 2012 7:25AM



Let’s get the blame game straight on both sides of the aisle. As far back as 2003, at the behest of U.S. Reps. Barney Frank and John Conyers, both liberal Democrats, President George W. Bush supported loosening the underwriting standards for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

The idea was that everybody deserves to achieve the American Dream, a home of their own. Wall Street made it possible by devising creative credit instruments that everybody was in favor of, including current Treasury Secretary William Geithner, then a top aide to Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.

It was a colossally bad idea. No one thought about what should have been obvious — people who could not otherwise afford to buy a home could not afford to pay for it. Spin it whatever way your politics dictate, but facts are facts.

However, all of the aforementioned are almost daily denying the truth and attempting to recreate history by blaming the other guy or party. All except George W. Bush, who lets the record speak for itself so far.

Tom and Joan Booth

Orland Park

More wasted on third airport

Here we go again. More wasted time and money by Gov. Pat Quinn and the Chicago Machine. After reading Phil Kadner’s Sept. 30 column (“Quinn’s secret third airport reports”), here’s my opinion on how crooked this airport project is.

First, the state is buying 5,800 acres for the airport, which would affect hundreds of property owners. Airport supporters contend that it will ease congestion at O’Hare and Midway airports, would mean thousands of new jobs and a huge inflow of money and economic growth for Illinois.

Then, after spending millions promoting the airport and acquiring land, the state decides to downsize it to one runway and one terminal. What a crock.

Hey, Quinn, I’ll save you millions. I get a bunch of my friends and we use our weed-whackers and clear out a path for a runway. We then could get the Army to put up some Quonset huts for a terminal. Presto. We’d have your airport.

If a one-runway, one-terminal airport is going to do all the things Quinn and others claim, I’m the pope.

Bob Schaack

Oak Forest

Better off today?

Four years ago, I spent about $50 a week on groceries, now I spend $80. Butter was less than a dollar a pound, today it’s $2.29 on sale. Ice cream was about $2 a half gallon. Now the same ice cream in a 48-ounce container is $4. A case of 20 cans of Coke exceeds what a case of 24 cans used to cost.

Gasoline was $1.80 a gallon, and now it’s double that or higher.

Every year my property tax bill goes up and yet the value of my house decreases. My income has not increased, and the interest on my savings has gone down to almost the point where the bank will charge me for keeping my meager savings there. I and others like me are not better off today than we were four years ago.

John Culloton

Chicago

Amendment 49 not right approach

Illinois voters will be asked to vote on a constitutional amendment during the Nov. 6 election. Most voters will be surprised and not prepared to cast an educated vote. The League of Women Voters of Illinois is concerned about the lack of information and publicity that this important issue has received.

Amendment 49 would amend the Illinois Constitution to require a three-fifths majority vote of both chambers of the General Assembly or of a governing body of any unit of local government or a pension or retirement system to increase a benefit under any public pension or retirement system.

All registered voters should receive by mail before the election a booklet from the Illinois secretary of state’s office explaining the referendum proposal and providing its exact wording. This amendment relates to a pension-related issue but does not address nor remedy the major pension funding problems facing the state.

The League of Women Voters of Illinois opposes Amendment 49 because of its three-fifths majority vote requirement. We support open government that is representative, accountable and responsive. The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure states that “whenever a vote of more than a majority is required to take action, control is taken from the majority and given to a minority.”

We also believe the Illinois Constitution is not the place for a provision this specific to a single issue and to one remedy for a larger problem. If legislators determine that this needs to be a law, the General Assembly can pass a bill. A law can be modified more easily than a constitutional amendment if further changes are needed to adequately solve the issue. This would be the appropriate course to take.

We urge you to read the proposed Amendment 49 and give this information serious consideration before casting your vote.

Erin Roeper

President, Homewood-Flossmoor Area League of Women Voters



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