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Sleight of hand

Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

A Chicago news outlet reported on the Illinois Legislature “sweeping” money from one designated fund into the general fund to pay bills. An example: A part of the licensing fee that doctors pay goes toward a state program to help pay for medical assistants’ training ... $33,000 was swept into state bill payments. This no interest “loan” will be repaid by the doubling of the licensing fees for doctors.

Much of the pension problem that few legislators will acknowledge is the no-interest loans swept from the teachers pension fund more than 20 years ago. There were few teachers retiring, so the fund looked fat. All it was doing was earning interest for the funds’ future payouts. There is little evidence that that money has ever been repaid by the people who approved that sweep.

It has been the representatives who condone this sleight of hand, not the different groups whose names are on the title of the funds who should be doing the payback. Both political parties are at fault and are capable of escaping political ideology. The choices are to let your leaders tell you what to do, do what your voters want/need, or do what you feel/know is the best answer.

Marty Sobczak

Wonder Lake 

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