Ken Griffin’s sage retirement advice ignored – Chicago Tribune


I read with great interest Ken Griffin’s interview about his secret retirement meeting with Governor JB Pritzker (“Ken Griffin Talks Pension Crisis, Once Secret Meeting with Pritzker”, August 10) . It is incredible that time and time again elected officials in Illinois have completely ignored the positive, just, creative, and valuable solutions to the albatross that hangs around the necks of most Illinoisans: the public sector workers.

I have lived in Illinois most of my life and was once very proud to say I was from Chicago. I recently left behind many friends, family, and wonderful culinary options as I grew disenchanted with rhetoric, high taxes, corruption, one-sided rule, and crime. We all know how the clearly rigged retirement system is hampering Illinois’ progress and its ability to pay for many more meaningful programs that help everything Illinois residents. These pensions help some, and the system has been abused.

Griffin is clearly a very smart and insightful person who offered Pritzker some great advice. The only thing Griffin missed in his recommendation was to tax these pensions like other pension plans.

Until Illinois changes that, it will continually struggle to retain residents.

– Robert Gorman, formerly of Glen Ellyn, St. Louis

Dan Schuchardt, in his letter of August 9 (“Tax cuts would be more helpful”), believes that tax cuts would be beneficial because they would stimulate demand and stimulate the economy. He further claims that the Inflation Reduction Act would increase inflation. I believe none of his points are correct.

Tax cuts enacted in 2017 have done next to nothing to stimulate the economy. Boosting demand isn’t necessarily a good thing right now if you’re worried about inflation. A growth in demand will only increase inflationary increases by distorting the relationship between demand and supply, thus prolonging inflation further into the future. More demand, with static supply, will only increase and prolong inflation.

The US economy surprises with its resilience. Didn’t Schuchardt look at the jobs report, for example, which shows momentum for hiring workers and historic lows in unemployment? The Inflation Reduction Act was determined as budget cut and non-inflationary legislation – both of which will be achieved within the next 10 years, not next month.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office concluded that this would have “negligible effect on inflation.”

—Bill O’Connor, Chicago

How can Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer declare the President’s economic bill a major victory for the American people?

When senators, who are elected to represent the American people, are evenly divided on whether a bill will pass, there is no victory. The only reason, in this case, the bill passed is that the vice president voted to break the deadlock. If the situation were such that a decision must be made at this point, then the deciding vote would have to come from someone who has no vested interest on one side over the other.

A tie is a great opportunity to force both sides to compromise. Unfortunately, when a system allows a bill to be crafted that contains a myriad of proposals, the potential for compromise is effectively undermined.

—Jeffrey Stipes, Huntley

I read William Lambers’ August 7 op-ed on the mission to eliminate nuclear weapons (“Our Hiroshima Anniversary Mission, Nagasaki”). Lambers calls on the United States to engage in nuclear disarmament talks with Russia. I suggest it includes China, India, Pakistan and Iran along with Russia. There will be no denuclearization unless everything the possessors agree, and that cannot happen with individual interviews.

I hope Lambers understands that this is an impossible task, and that he should remember President Ronald Reagan’s astute observation about “peace through strength” for the United States.

—Jim Thompson, Lake Barrington

There have been several stories recently regarding the right of pharmacists to refuse to fill birth control prescriptions because of their religious beliefs. If pharmacists don’t believe in birth control, that’s their right. But their religious belief should not allow them to impose it on others, especially when it is done so arbitrarily. I have yet to read of a man being refused a prescription for Viagra, although using this drug may violate the religious belief that there is no sex before marriage.

This alleged tolerance of religious practices by pharmacists has more to do with the control of women than with the practice of one’s religion.

—Peter Felitti, Chicago

In the past, I’ve voted for candidates who share most, but not all, of my views on the issues we face.

But that all changed with the increase in shootings, many of which were carried out with legally purchased weapons. There is no reason for anyone to have assault weapons and extended magazines.

Obviously, the process used to authorize the possession of firearms must change. It should be really hard to get a gun. Whatever information is collected to authorize the possession of firearms is not effective in keeping the guns away from those who should not have access to them.

I will be contacting the campaigns to ask the candidate’s opinion on assault weapons and I will vote only for those who not only oppose assault weapons, but will also work to ban these weapons in our country.

—Lin Galloway, Mundelein

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