Updated: September 27, 2012 11:34AM
While driving through Homewood lately, I’ve noticed bicycle signs multiplying throughout the village. Like most medium-size communities, Homewood does not exactly have a positive cash flow. So I thought to myself, “I wonder how much this project cost and who’s paying for it?”
It turns out the signs are being funded by a $112,000 federal grant with the intention of encouraging residents to use their bicycles. Was this really a good use of our federal tax dollars?
First, those who enjoy riding their bikes will continue to do so whether or not there are signs in the roads. Secondly, I’ve been riding bikes through Homewood for almost 50 years without the aid of these costly signs. (I had enough common sense to get out of the way of the huge trucks rumbling down Ridge Road with their payloads from the Thornton Quarry). Alas, I fear common sense is increasingly going the way of the dinosaurs.
I realize $112,000 is chump change to the politically connected. But I can’t help wonder whether this type of project is what the Founding Fathers had in mind as a function of the federal government. Stop spending money we don’t have!
Gold-plated health care
U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-2nd) is receiving the best medical care in the world from one of the most prestigious hospitals, the Mayo Clinic, which is a world way from the South Side of Chicago and Jackson’s district.
The great majority of his constituents can’t afford to go to the Mayo Clinic. Because of a recent lack of funding, his constituents can no longer visit the recently closed community mental health center that has served the South Side for 37 years. Had Jackson sought care from this center, it might still be open.
U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) has received care for his stroke from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and Northwestern Memorial Hospital, including special experimental care.
Most citizens can’t get this kind of gold-plated health care. Many have no health care or must depend on substandard, limited care.
If you’re a prominent politician, it pays to get sick.
Flat income tax needed
Barack Obama and his campaign people are claiming that Mitt Romney pays a lower income tax rate than the average wage earner. That’s probably true. So what?
That’s the way our tax laws are set up. That’s exactly why we need to completely redo them.
I’ll bet that Romney didn’t do anything illegal or the IRS would be all over him.
Anyone who thinks rich people aren’t paying their “fair share” in income tax has that belief because of jealousy and envy. Don’t forget that only 50 percent of people who file a return pay any tax because of all the exemptions and loopholes.
We need a flat tax where all wage earners have to pay tax, whether you make $1,000 a year or several million.