Friday, September 28, 2012

Re-Elect President John McCain?

By: Dale Bowling

If McCain had been elected instead of Obama, today’s news might look something like this…


“September 28, 2012

It’s been a tough week for President John McCain as polls show him trailing his Democratic challenger by a substantial margin.

The McCain campaign has suffered from a long series of bad news on the job front. Last month’s figures show unemployment at 10.8%- virtually unchanged since late last year. Critics say two rounds of stimulus in the form of business tax amnesties failed to create jobs due to depressed consumer spending. One business owner in the Chicago suburb of Wheaton said, “It’s great not to pay taxes, but nobody’s buying anything. Everyone’s holding onto their money and waiting to see what happens. Why hire someone when no business comes through your door?”

McCain ran on his national security credentials, but lack of success in the hunt for Osama bin Laden has also hampered the McCain campaign’s attempt to gain traction. “We are working with our allies in Pakistan and elsewhere to find and bring bin Laden to justice.” said President McCain.

Democrats have hammered President McCain for failure to pass meaningful health care reform. The Great Recession has accelerated the trend of employers refusing to offer health care to workers and the unemployed have greatly reduced access to routine medical care. Critics say that health care costs continue to rise as a result of emergency care taking the place of primary care and this can only be addressed by comprehensive medical reform. “I have spoken to the heads of the six largest insurance companies in the country and they have assured me they are doing everything they can do to expand access to and bring down the costs of medical care.” said McCain.

Former Vice-President Sarah Palin, who is on location for her FOX reality show, “When Mama Grizzlies Attack”, could not be reached for comment.”



Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Way We Were: Four Years Ago

By Dale Bowling

As voters decided between McCain and Obama four years ago, America was sinking into a deep economic crisis. In 2008, the US economy shed 2.6 million jobs. In the last quarter of the Bush administration, 500,000 jobs disappeared every month. Economists went into a tizzy because the US hadn't seen such a swift and severe downward spiral since the Great Depression and there seemed to be nothing to slow its descent. Here are some of the headlines from September 2008:

Depression Coming? Boil Some Beans; Ladies Who Quilt Give Tips On Surviving Tough Times [Albuquerque Journal, September 21, 2008]

One day on the brink On Wednesday, it seemed U.S. economy might collapse [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 21, 2008]

‘Great Depression’ closer than U.S. admits, report finds [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 27, 2008]

Is It Really the Next ‘Great Depression’? [NPR, September 19, 2008]

Will Bush become the new Hoover? [Politico, September 19, 2008]

Depression seen possible [Florida News-Press, September 27, 2008]


The US economy was teetering on the brink four years ago. What prevented America from falling into another Great Depression?

Democrats passed a $787 billion stimulus program (over strenuous GOP objections) that raised GDP, lowered unemployment, and began the slow, but steady improvement we’ve seen over the last three years. It hasn’t been an easy climb. It’s always easier to wreck than build.

No one ever gets credit for preventing things from happening. Our President and Congressional Democrats saved the economy from a Second Great Depression in early 2009 despite the fact that the Stimulus was expensive, sometimes unpopular and they knew the buck stopped with them. Thankfully their love of their country and their desire to do good proved stronger than political considerations. They always should.



Wednesday, September 26, 2012

If we build it, jobs will come

By Dale Bowling

As I mentioned a few days ago in my post on the American Jobs Act, one of the best ways to create jobs is to create and improve infrastructure. 

This is true for three reasons:

1) Workers take their wages and buy things from other people who in turn cycle the money through the economy.

2) The project requires raw materials which benefit other local firms (and their employees) which supply them.

3) In the end, taxpayers get something valuable that helps move goods and services more easily and cheaply - fueling further economic growth.

The Obama Stimulus created millions of jobs in this way. Joliet’s new transportation center for which Gov. Pat Quinn broke ground this past Friday provides a further example.

A combination of state, local and private capital will fund renovations on this important stop on the new high-speed line from Chicago to St. Louis. Already a key transportation center, the Joliet station will be able to handle more passengers and cargo comfortably and the project will create 400 construction jobs now and countless jobs as a result of increased traffic over the decades to come.

America’s infrastructure has fallen on hard times lately. It was been decades since the last major investment in highways, railways and bridges.

Comprehensive development of America’s aging infrastructure would create an enormous number of jobs in the short term, which would quickly stimulate other sectors of the economy as workers spent their money at the grocery store, the mall, and elsewhere.

And let’s not forget the long term effects of improved infrastructure. If a business can cheaply offer its goods and services further afield, it will and this fuels economic growth.

Democrats, like President Obama and Gov. Quinn are committed to getting Americans back to work and improving the economy over the long haul. Vote Democrat on November 6th.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Shared Sacrifice for our Country used to be called Patriotism. Now it’s called Class Warfare.

By Dale Bowling


Any school kid can tell you that patriotism is the love of your country.

Patriots do what is best for their country. They perform the duties their country asks of them.

Our country only asks two things from most of us 1) Pay our taxes 2) Show up for jury duty when called. These used to be called civic duties and patriots used to do them without complaint.

Patriots want a nation where America’s children can be safe, healthy and well-educated, where they can have opportunities to better themselves and pursue their dreams.

We can't have safe communities without firefighters and police officers.

America can't flourish if Americans don't have access to routine health care.

Our children can't achieve the promise of America without teachers, libraries and schools to help them realize their potential.

We can't create opportunities if our roads and bridges fall into ruin. Or if college education remains out of reach for most young Americans.

And we can’t leave a healthy America when environmental degradation threatens future generations of Americans.

All these things require Americans to sacrifice for America. Taxes are a sacrifice we all make, but are also an investment in the dream we share for America.

The richest 10% of Americans control 2/3 of the country’s wealth. Americans favor raising taxes on top earners by a margin of 2-to-1.

Top earners in America can literally afford more patriotism than the rest of us, which is why it is so distressing for most Americans to see a presidential candidate who earned $13.6 million pay a smaller percentage in taxes than most middle-class taxpayers. He also wants to lower his and other top earners' taxes further.

Democrats will see that all Americans contribute their fair share so that America can fulfill its promise to future generations. Vote Democrat on November 6.






Monday, September 24, 2012

How Democrats can create jobs today

By Dale Bowling

 The American Jobs Act has been waiting in Congress for a year to become law- hoping and praying it will, but today it is still, just a bill.

 The AJA, which is fully paid for, has been at the mercy of Congressional Republicans who have stated that the "single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president". Not creating jobs, not building a better America, but making sure Obama loses his job. If unemployed Americans had jobs now, the GOP knows who would get the credit and that doesn’t match its priorities. Not even breaking the AJA into smaller, more agreeable pieces could help that forlorn bill, sitting there on Capitol Hill.

What radical things lurk in the American Jobs Act which keep it from its legislative aspirations?

-Targeted tax cuts for small businesses- especially those hiring on new employees.

-Tax breaks for businesses which hire returning veterans.

-A payroll tax cut for 98% of small businesses and practically all workers.

-Job training for the unemployed so they can get skills that allow them to contribute to the changing economy.

-Badly needed improvements to America’s aging infrastructure.

-Modernizing schools and preventing the lay-offs of more teachers, firefighters and police officers.

Did I mention that all of this is already paid for?

The American Jobs Act which has been languishing on the steps of the Capitol for a year could have already been implemented by now. It could be producing jobs as we speak. Why isn’t it?

In a two-party system, we have to find common ground and truly be interested in working toward the common good for all Americans. Not 53% of them. Not just those who can afford a $50,000 a plate dinner. 100% of Americans. Democrats have a bill ready to go to help. With a real majority, we could really help all Americans.

Friday, September 21, 2012

For Republicans, "Truthiness" Matters

By Dale Bowling

 “Truthiness” refers to something that is not actually true, but feels like it should be true. 

Here’s an example: It seems like it should be true that if top earners pay less in taxes, they invest in businesses which create jobs.  That would be “truthiness”.

Of course, we had the biggest tax cuts in American history under George W. Bush and we’re still waiting on those jobs - which would be an example of “truth”. 

Notice the difference?  “Truthiness” feels like it should have happened, “truth” actually did.  

Republicans say they will cut spending, lower taxes, tackle the deficit and create millions of jobs. But lower taxes mean either government downsizing (which fuels unemployment ) or borrowing money (which would further add to the deficit).

Tough situation, right?

Here’s where Republican truthiness comes to the rescue - reduced taxes on top earners feels like it should produce increased investment in businesses and this feels like it should create jobs (the Rich will momentarily forget Demand drives both investment and job growth).  Employed people probably won’t need big budgets anymore, which seems like it should reduce the deficit. 

So truthiness dictates that firing more government workers and cutting taxes on rich people will solve it all. Somewhere, Ayn Rand is smiling.

The truth?  GOP 2013 looks remarkably like Bush era economics. Republicans feel like it should work this time.



Thursday, September 20, 2012

Obama beat Bush at Job Creation

By Dale Bowling

The Republicans are saying that Obama hasn’t created any jobs and as usual they’re wrong. In fact, as CNN reported, Obama has created more jobs in 4 years than Bush did in 8 years.

“Stimulus” has become a bad word and so the Obama campaign isn’t talking about it, but a majority of economists agree that millions of jobs were created by the Stimulus and it reversed the economy’s slide into a second Great Depression. No Republican in Congress voted for the Stimulus. Zero.  It passed because before 2010 enough Democrats were in Congress to get good legislation through without GOP obstruction.

The US Economy had lost 2.6 million jobs since December 2007 under Bush’s watch. Over the last three months of the Bush Administration the US averaged a half million jobs lost/month. The economy seemed to be in freefall.

The US continued to shed jobs for the first few months of the Obama administration before any of new initiatives could take effect. By this time, the US Economy was well over 5 million jobs in the hole.

In 2004 John Kerry continued to hit Bush over the fact the US still had fewer jobs than when he took office in 2000. At that point, he hadn’t created a single job and things got worse for him with the Great Recession.

This is from CNN: “There are 261,000 fewer employees on payrolls today than when Obama took office. But at the same point of the Bush administration, the jobs deficit stood at 856,000 jobs...”  Bush had had 4 years to fix this and hadn’t.

Yes, there are fewer jobs now than when Obama took office. Obama came in with a huge hole, left for him to fill. It’s easier to wreck an economy than fix it.

Like President Clinton said of Republican philosophy, “We left him [Obama] a total mess, he hasn’t finished cleaning it up yet, so fire him and put us back in.’” America deserves better.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Supply-Side Utopia: Republican Econ 101

By Dale Bowling

You may have noticed two things in the news in the last few days.

One is widely publicized; a prominent Republican suggested that 47% of Americans weren’t taking responsibility for their lives because they don’t pay income taxes.

People like Grandma who paid into the system for decades so she could collect Social Security and Medicare.  

Or people who make so little money that they aren’t required to pay federal income tax, i.e. the working poor.

Remember every time they ask you if you want fries with that, the GOP says they’re not taking responsibility!

The second more poorly reported news item is a study conducted by the Congressional Research Service showing that tax cuts for the wealthy actually don’t create economic growth.

There have been a lot of these studies over the years showing that Supply-Side Economics (tax cuts for rich people fuel economic growth) doesn’t work, but we don’t need them when any examination of American history shows the same thing.

Taxes were really high in the 50s (top income tax rates were 90%, capital gains was 35%) yet economic growth was substantially higher than today.

Real GDP growth averaged 4.2% per year under Eisenhower. Under Bush after the biggest tax cuts in American history it was 1.7%

Sweden whose taxes are way higher than ours showed more growth in the 2000s than the US. From 2000-2010, Sweden grew 2.31% per year compared with the US at 1.85%.

Lower taxes for the Wealthy, benefit the Wealthy. It just doesn’t “trickle down” to the rest of America. Studies show that.

Democrats support everyone contributing to America given their ability to do so. If you’re barely keeping your head above water, then you ought to be paying less than someone with five houses. That's common sense. Vote Democrat in November for a fairer, better America.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Lost Middle Class

By Dale Bowling

Middle-class Americans have often felt they were losing ground and for the better part of three decades they have been. America’s middle class has shrunk in size, in wealth, and in political influence since the mid-eighties. The Great Recession of 2007-8 made things even worse.

In 2010 the top 1% received 93% of all income gains. In 2011, all groups but the top 20% of earners saw their incomes drop on average.

Per capita the top 1% has income 288 times that of the median income.  It was 125-1 in 1962.

Corporate profits are higher than in the height of the Bush administration, but they show no sign of trickling down to middle-class Americans. Productivity continues to rise, but employees are not being compensated accordingly.   

There has been a polarization of the workforce, where jobs of moderate level of skill, i.e manufacturing jobs, disappear leaving only very highly skilled and no skilled jobs behind, which squeezes the middle class even further.

So, what are the effects of the lost middle class on American Democracy? Money talks and that is never more true now that outside groups can pour as much money as they want into political campaigns. When a billionaire can say he’ll spend $100 million to elect Candidate A, what chance has the middle class of being heard and respected?

Luckily in America, candidates need our votes and I think we all know that it’s the Democrats who will stand up for middle class Americans. Join us in fighting for the American Middle Class. Vote Democratic on November 6!

Monday, September 17, 2012

America- Land of Opportunity

As Democrats, we strive to make America a fairer, better place for us and our children.  We want our kids to have what we had growing up: a Land of Opportunity.  Fairness is paramount in a Land of Opportunity. We as Democrats believe that if a person works hard, they should be able to get a piece of the pie.  The problem today is that the deck is stacked against some people and in favor of others. Middle class values of thrift and hard work count for less than they did when we were growing up. Income (adjusted for inflation) has been flat since the 80s for the middle class. Given that health care and college education costs have grown faster than inflation, middle class earners have seen themselves fall behind over the years and the economic crisis of 2007-2008 only made it worse.  In 2010, 93% of all income gains went to the top 1% of earners. Social Mobility is lower in the United States than it is in Europe now.  This trend which has been ongoing since the Reagan administration shows no sign of ending soon. Imagine the world your grandchildren or great-grandchildren will live in 2052? Do we want our grandchildren to live in a world divided between haves and have-nots? Is that the promise of America? No.  How can we change it? Democrats will prevent corporate interests from stacking the deck and help struggling middle class families succeed. We need people to stand up for fairness and vote Democrat in November. With a clear Democratic majority, we can pass legislation that will foster American greatness, release American creativity and restore the middle class to where it belongs.  We can’t allow corporate interests to dictate what Americans can and cannot do. This is America.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Jimmy Fallon stars in this hilarious James Taylor parody, ''Romney & Bain''

Hello! Here are the three hottest progressive videos and graphics that we found on the web today, September 12, 2012.
He also has an idea for a dream team in 2016.

Jimmy Fallon Stars In This Hilarious James Taylor Parody, ''Romney & Bain''

If you'll excuse us, it will take a minute to recover from the message of this graphic.

Our Children Are The Reason We'll Fight To Make Sure Obama Stays In The White House

After Wall Street ruined the global economy, it makes perfect, obvious, complete sense to ask our public-school teachers to be the ones to sacrifice. Not those poor, poor bankers.

Jon Stewart Calls Out Big-Shot Teachers With Their Fancy No. 2 Pencils

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Democrat And Laborer's Guide To Gratitude And Accomplishment

By Daniel A. Stafford © 2012


There are a lot of things for Democrats and Labor to be thankful for in this country. There are many achievements to celebrate that have been accomplished by both, and there is the system of government in the United States of America that made this history possible.

In these times, where Democratic and Labor achievements have been attacked and eroded by the Billionerati and large corporations, one could easily wonder why or even if being grateful for these things really matters at all. Shouldn't the focus be on the next battle? I firmly believe that keeping your eye on the goal is very important – but so is remembering the goals we have already achieved, and how we did so. Why? There is a very good answer to that question.

When we remember and give thanks for our past achievements and the things that made them possible – publicly – it serves to remind us and educate the public of the worth of these accomplishments, how we achieved them, what the nature of our character and motives, and sheds light on what we're likely to do going forward if we're given the chance. Many young people today – a key voting demographic – are unaware of much of this history. Many more recent immigrants to this country – another key voting demographic – are also unaware of the history of Labor and the Democratic party. Celebrating past achievements and their effects on our lives publicly helps everyone remember what those beneficial changes were, and how they came to be.

Giving thanks for past achievements also reminds us of what the spirit and vision of those early efforts were, and helps bring a similar vision, spirit, and tone into our modern efforts to improve life for all people, even the very wealthy. Clearly, the wealthy have also forgotten the benefits that they derived from a better life for the people around them.

We need to bring back the vision of promise and a better life to our efforts. We need to give people concrete hope that their future and their children's future will be better. Only when we can give people a solid reason to believe that we will work to make life better will people be able entertain the idea that the goals we set for the future might be worth listening to and that achieving those goals might actually be good for their own futures.

Spending the time to be grateful for past accomplishments while proposing new goals also lends depth to the spirit of working for positive change, and takes the emphasis off of the combative current nature of political discussion, moving the whole effort closer to a spirit of constructive endeavor. Until people have a reason to believe that working with us will be constructive, how can the political tone in our country ever move to anything cooperative?

With that in mind, I am going to begin a weekly series of articles celebrating one or two past accomplishments of the Democratic Party and Labor Movement, with a reference to source material and what those changes meant in ordinary people's lives. This preface is part one.

Thank you for reading,

Dan Stafford
Democratic Precinct Committeeman
York Township precinct 112
DuPage county, IL

The one where Jon Stewart does a better job reporting the truth about 9/11 than the news does

Hello! Here are the three hottest progressive videos and graphics that we found on the web today, September 11, 2012.
Yes, it's 8 years old, and yes, it's worth seeing again.

The One Where Jon Stewart Does A Better Job Reporting The Truth About 9/11 Than The News Does

There are many, many more like him. Any questions?

If You Still Oppose Obamacare After Watching This Clip, Then May God Help You

Imagine . . .

A Simple Image, A Quote From John Lennon, And A Small Step Toward Healing

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Minimum wage raise is the least we can do to civilize America

by Mark Weisbrot

Mark Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington, D.C. He is also president of Just Foreign Policy

The federal minimum wage is just $7.25 an hour and hasn't been raised in three years. But a raise is much more overdue than that. If we look at the minimum wage 44 years ago, and simply adjust it for inflation, it would be more than $10 today.

Read the rest of Weisbrot's compelling case for raising the minimum wage here