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Forum: Jackson re-election disappointing

Updated: December 19, 2012 1:45PM



I would like to thank all the voters of the 2nd Congressional District for overwhelmingly re-electing Jesse Jackson Jr., thus continuing a long and proud tradition of political corruption in the Land of Lincoln.

Now, when Congressman Jackson steps down or, more likely, is indicted, you’ve essentially enabled Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan and Gov. Pat Quinn to name his successor. Job well done.

Bill Finnegan

Crete

Why Christian conservatives mourn politically

Christian conservatives are struggling like many other good people with reality. Changing culture, science and sometimes even logical reality conflicts with much of Christian fundamentalism.

One needs to recognize how difficult it must be for conservative Christians to accept gay marriage, marijuana legalization, abortion or immigration reform. We need to comprehend their anguish to have a true perspective vs. a shallow resentment.

After all, we all have had enough of the political gridlock and divisiveness that led up to this election.

Historically, we see culture and values continuously evolving, and consequently there will always be some who refuse to accept that reality. People who attempt to linger in the past will always resent change.

The presidential election’s outcome was determined again by a new dominating culture in our nation. No one knows how long it will last or when dramatic change will occur again.

Ben Baran

Oak Lawn

TRS boss misleads

In his response to Scott Reeder’s Nov. 1 column on the Teachers’ Retirement System’s pathetically low 2012 investment returns, TRS Executive Director Dick Ingram does exactly what his letter accuses others of doing — mislead.

Ingram states that it is misleading to say that taxpayers must ultimately make up for TRS’ low investment returns. But that’s exactly what taxpayers will be forced to do during the next 30 years.

When investment returns come in below expectations, the missing income is added to the unfunded pension liability.

On top of this, low investment returns alone have created a $7.7 billion shortfall in the pension fund since 1996. State taxpayers will also be forced to make up this difference through higher contributions during the next three decades.

Taxpayers are tapped out, and TRS is broke. Only major pension reforms, such as those heavily centered on defined-contribution plans and those tackling the automatic cost-of-living adjustment, can get the problem under control.

Is Dick Ingram prepared to get behind such comprehensive reforms?

Jonathan Ingram

Director of health policy and pension reform

Illinois Policy Institute

Springfield



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