Letter Policy

Letters Policy

 

taylorvilledailynews.com welcomes letters to the editor, as a way we can let our readers and listeners sound off on the issues most important to them. If you wish to submit a letter, please note the following guidelines:

 

  • All letters should be no more than 500 words in length, and should include the writer's name, address and phone number. We will not publish street address, e-mail address or phone number; rather, we reserve the right to contact writers to determine their validity.
  • Letters must be submitted electronically in Word doc or text format; no hand-written letters are accepted.
  • If the editor comments about a letter, the reader may respond with at least as many words as were used by the editor. We would like to stimulate a sincere dialogue.
  • All letters become property of Miller Communications, Inc., and are subject to editing for length, content, grammar, punctuation at the editor's discretion.
  • Material that may libel or slander an individual or group will neither be accepted nor posted.
  • All letters must be e-mail'ed to editorial@randyradio.com to ensure your message is received, please include "Letter to the Editor" in the subject line.


                                                                   We look forward to hearing from you.

Letters Archives for 2023-09

Letter to the Editor Responding to Station Editorial

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted September 27, 2023

 

Dear Editor:

 

This letter is in response to Randy Miller’s editorial “Spending Our Way to Oblivion”. I agree that spending is out of control; however, I would like to point out some important facts he omitted.


First, Randy referred to a lack of self-control by government bodies at the state and federal levels. He left out the city, township, and county bodies we as taxpayers should be able to hold accountable to a greater degree. For example, Taylorville doubled water rates over 4 years to build a new water plant, gave the water superintendent a $15,000 salary (a 23% increase) in 2020 and 2021 (which assuredly increased his annual pension), and for some reason allows take-home vehicles for employees who live as little as 2 miles from the water plant. I have seen at least one fire dept. employee using his TFD SUV for personal use.

 

As for the county, the sheriff is paid $155,000/year despite the fact he receives an ISP pension of $101,724.36/year, $12,000 more than his salary before retiring due to 3% annual increases. He has already collected $1,000,000+ in pension benefits and will receive a county pension when he is no longer sheriff.


As for the state, you refer to the public pension debt ($4.4 billion per the Illinois Policy Institute) due to legislators purposely underfunding pensions. Yet, the Illinois Policy Institute also reports that teachers in 2/3 of the school districts in the state do not contribute the full “employee share” (9.4 % of their salaries) towards their pensions. The taxpayers in those districts are responsible for the difference. https://www.illinoispolicy.org/reports/teachers-pensions-whos-really-paying/


The big issue with pensions is the fact they are defined benefit plans. Whereas the Average Joe sticks his money in a 401K and prays he doesn’t lose his principal, a government worker gets a guaranteed amount no matter what happens in the stock market. State employees who contributed under $400,000 to their pensions are collecting over $5,000,000 in benefits over their lifetime. https://www.illinoispolicy.org/illinois-pension-bonanza-invest-166k-take-home-5-5m/


If the state were to actually fully fund pensions, could you imagine our taxes? Since fiscal year 2000, there has been almost an 600% increase in pension spending which has been accompanied by a 20% cut in spending on core services like higher education, public safety, public health programs, and what many consider vital services for the poor and vulnerable.

 

The only true answer to the Illinois pension crisis is passing a constitutional amendment which would allow the state to modify future benefits while protecting benefits that pension recipients have already earned. Keep in mind, I am using the terminology from the Illinois Policy Institute as I do not see how anyone can say they earned a $5,000,000 pension on an investment of $400,000 when one considers even an average annual rate of return of 15%.


Lastly, I acknowledge Covid spending may have gotten out of hand; nevertheless, when you lost loved ones to Covid prior to the availability of a vaccine, it changes one’s mind on the need to spend that money.

 

Sincerely,

Evan Mahan

Taylorville, IL

 

Station Editorial: Spending Our Way to Oblivion

STATION EDITORIAL

Posted September 4, 2023

 

This is a station editorial, I'm Randal J. Miller, station president.  Myself and many others have long lamented about the lack of self-control in government spending on both the state and federal levels, no matter what party is in power.   

Seems like those running Illinois' checkbook just keep taxing us to fund what they think the priorities are but many times they aren't what Joe and Nancy Lunchbucket want.  What looms in Springfield is the public pension debt which according to the illinoispolicy.org web site, is now 4-point-4 billion because legislators are supposedly underfunding that pension fund on purpose.

And, on the federal level, politicians think they have an open-ended credit card and as a result the country now has a debt the legislators claim is only 32-trillion, but according to the web site "truthinaccounting.org" where the national debt tally shows by the second, the true U-S debt is closer to 159-trillion dollars.   That's just short of one MILLION for each U-S taxpayer.

The sad part about all this, is that spending both in Illinois and in Washington is in the "runaway" category with no signs of ending.

The U-S government is the biggest borrower in the country.   Can you imagine what the true interest rate you and I pay to borrow, would be, if our country didn't have to make principal and interest payments on that 159-trillion dollar debt?

This issue doesn't make the headlines because frankly politicians want to ignore it.  Passing out money, whether it's COVID funding or pork projects, get them re-elected.   It's like being on an addictive drug.  Once you've tasted the candy, you don't want to stop.

With an election year looming next year, it's time you and I start asking the question to whoever runs for any office:   What are you going to do about the out of control government spending, whether in Springfield or Washington?   If they give you a gobbly-gook answer, you know they're either not going to answer the question, or do nothing about it.
And, that unfunded state pension obligation, and the national debt clock, both continue to roll on.   That's our opinion, we welcome yours.   Our e-mail address is editorial@randyradio.com.

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