Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Something Scary for Halloween...

By Dale Bowling

Now here's something really spooky for Halloween.... If Mitt Romney gets elected, his budget and tax plan will kill millions of jobs over the next two years.

The Economic Policy Institute ran the numbers (such as they are) and found that if Romney fulfills his promises on the budget and tax plan, millions of jobs are at stake.

The main reason is that the Romney plan would cap government spending at 20% of GDP. This would represent a massive cut in government spending at a time when it is most needed.

Republicans like to say that government is always the problem and never the solution, but we know from plenty of experience in actual reality that government can help solve problems.

If there is going to be economic growth, somebody has to spend money. If the private sector is busy paying down debts or waiting to see what the economy brings, the public sector (Government) has to step up and be the grown-up. Once the economy is back on track, the government can ease off and pay down the debt it incurred in tight times.

You know, like America has done countless times since WWII.

But somehow Republicans have totally forgotten all of American history in the last 75 years and have decided that Herbert Hoover was on to something.

Republicans think that Government should just let the Invisible Hand of the Market push folks into unemployment, loss of health care benefits, and abject poverty- eventually it will sort itself out! That's the GOP take on all this.

You know why? Because that is going to cost rich folks the least.

If you commit the time to read the EPI's analysis, you'll find that President Obama's plan will create millions of jobs over the next two years. Instead of two millions jobs lost, that's two million jobs gained. So that's a 4 million job swing.

Why? Mostly because President Obama wants to rebuild America's crumbling infrastructure. This would provide lots of Americans with jobs and fuel economic growth. Good roads, bridges and railways lower the cost of travel for both commuters and businesses.

Capping government spending at 20% of GDP can't build that.

It's worth noting that the American Jobs Act which encapsulates most of these job gains could have been implemented a year ago. The reason- Republicans in Congress wanted Obama to be a one-term President so they wouldn't vote for it.

Republicans choose Party over Country. Democrats choose America!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Learning from Sandy

By Dale Bowling

Remember that political ad during the last election where the call comes in at 3am stating America is under siege and the question is who has the policies and skills to lead us out of that crisis?

Hurricane Sandy is that call. So who has the policies and the skills to protect America?

Two separate issues loom: disaster prevention and disaster relief.

Environmental scientists have said for years that natural disasters, especially hurricanes, droughts and floods will increase in number and severity due to climate change. 2012 will stand as the poster child for the effects of climate change on America for years to come.

Fix climate change and we can reduce the frequency and intensity of these disasters.

Democrats for their part have championed comprehensive climate change legislation (remember Cap and Trade?), have passed into law greater fuel efficiency standards for cars, pushed for tighter emission standards on cars and power plants and have supported clean energy projects to keep greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere.

Republicans have stuffed their fingers in their ears and sang the Star-Spangled Banner really loudly.

As far as disaster relief, Democrats have had to fight repeatedly just to keep the level of preparedness the Nation has now.

Republicans have argued that disaster relief should be turned over to the states as much as possible, or even better yet privatized. They have used the threat of cutting federal disaster relief funding to attempt to eliminate some green manufacturing programs and have actually cut some disaster relief in order to preserve military spending levels.

Federal funding for disaster relief is a lot like funding for embassy security (another victim of the Republican chopping block): you don't need it - until you need it.

When Republicans make disaster relief a pawn in its game to checkmate Big Government, America is the one who loses.

Democrats will protect federal funding for disaster relief and prmote environmental legislation to prevent these problems from getting that 3am call in the first place.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Bracing for the Storm

By Dale Bowling

No matter how little candidates want to talk about climate change, it always comes back with a vengeance into people's attention - especially when 50 million people are endangered.

That's a sixth of the country's population who are directed effected by Hurricane Sandy.

The potential loss of life is terrible to contemplate and even if there are no fatalities, the economic cost of Sandy will be devastating.

The economy will grind to a stop for a huge percentage of Americans. For days businesses all over the eastern United States will be closed. Public transportation will be shut down in a half dozen major metropolitan areas. All flights in the affected areas will be cancelled. Destruction of property will likely be in the hundreds of billions of dollars. There will be shortages of gasoline and food. A large number of people are likely to be left homeless.

Climatologists have been saying for years that the impact of climate change will increase the number and severity of environmental disasters, but their warnings have merely been cries in the wilderness.

Republicans have made quite a sport out of climate change denial. They argue that scientists aren't certain that climate change is happening (they are sure) and that if it is happening that human activity is to blame.

Scientists are sure of that too actually.

Climate Change Deniers also assert that regulation of carbon emissions will cost American business too much money now to head off something that may never happen anyway.

But think about the combined cost of Hurricane Sandy and last summer's record-breaking drought - both linked to climate change.

These are happening now and we have no reason to believe that the next few years will be better since we're not doing anything about the problem.

This past year was the hottest on record and all of the ten hottest years happened in the last fifteen years. In that time we've seen Hurricanes Hugo, Andrew, Katrina, Rita and now Sandy do enormous damage that cost hundreds of billions to clean up and are still being cleaned up. We've seen both devastating droughts and floods. Wildfires out west have increased in intensity. All of these have cost hundreds of billions of dollars in clean-up, rebuilding, lost productivity. They have and will drive up the price of food, price at the pump, the cost of living.

And this does not even mention the lives lost or ruined, not just here, but everywhere.

Frankly, the cost of not doing anything outweighs the cost of fixing the problem now.

When he was pandering campaigning recently, Mitt Romney said to a crowd that "President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. My promise ... is to help you and your family."

Since Americans live on Earth, one suspects that it would help Americans not to have frankenstorms endanger and disrupt the lives of one-sixth of America.

America- on the issue of climate change your head, your heart and your pocketbook are all in agreement.

VOTE DEMOCRAT on Nov. 6th!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Democrats Have The Plan, The Means And The Will

By Dale Bowling

The third quarter GDP numbers are out and they show the economic recovery is gathering steam. When added to the improving housing sector numbers and the lowest unemployment since Obama inherited the Bush Recession, this is good news for America.

America still has plenty of work ahead of it and Democrats have real plans for American growth that don't involve impossible math or magical intervention to make them work.

Democrats want to invest in America and Americans. We know that America's people is its greatest resource and that we are stronger as a nation when we have a better educated workforce. Democrats have already increased the number of Pell Grants available and established tax credits for families paying for college. Further, Democrats will build close relationships between community colleges and businesses to fuel an American resurgence.

Republicans think they might have money leftover to invest in America once they've cut taxes for millionaires and bought those fleets of ships the navy didn't want.

Now that the wars are ending, Democrats will to take some of the money that we've been spending abroad and use it to rebuild America. Construction of schools, highways, bridges, railways and runways will create a huge number of jobs in the short term and will continue to create jobs for years to come as businesses are able to take advantage of improvements to move goods and services more cheaply. This is good news for everybody. A straighter, better route to work means less time and less gas spent for commuters. There's no such thing as a Democrat highway or a Republican Bridge. Rebuilding infrastructure would help rebuild America.

Republicans on Infrastructure Plan? You can spend their tax cut on new tires.

Since our economy is so technologically driven, Democrats would invest in research and development of the new technologies that will establish American dominance in the 21st century. Republicans are famous for saying that government doesn't create jobs, but research and development does create private sector jobs. Has the internet created jobs? Government-funded R & D built that when the private sector lacked the motivation and ability to do so. Research and Development of new clean, renewable energy will help create jobs for Americans and energy independence for America.

Republicans on R & D? Not so much.

Ultimately it comes down to who do you really trust to rebuild America?

Republicans have proven over and over again, they'll run America over a cliff (think debt ceiling) it it gets them the White House again or tax cuts for wealthy campaign contributors. Their economic plan is mathematically impossible. They brought us to the brink of destruction, they'll do it again.

Democrats have produced steady growth for America and will continue to do so. Democrats have the plan, the will, the means. They just need the votes and that's where you come in.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Legislating Women: Body and Soul

By Dale Bowling

Democrats have a well-deserved reputation for fighting for the civil rights of all Americans. It doesn't matter whether you're thinking of the fight for racial equality in the 50s and 60s or the Women's Rights movement in the 70s or Marriage Equality today, Democrats have been in the vanguard in the struggle for justice and equality before the law.

Republicans? They took more of a rearguard position on civil rights. Some might call it backwards even.

In the last few years especially, Republicans have taken a number of very distressing positions on what are commonly called "Women's Issues", but as Democrats like to say these are also family issues, rights issues, economic issues and above all American issues.

Governor Romney has said he would have vetoed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act which forces businesses to pay their female employees the same as male employees if they're doing the same job. Romney says government shouldn't prevent businesses to make their own decisions. Lily Ledbetter was the first bill signed into law by President Obama.

Part of the Affordable Care Act is that women can't be charged more for their health care than men. Governor Romney has said he'd repeal that Act on his first day in office.

A few months ago a Republican candidate for Senate, Todd Akin said that women can't get pregnant if it's "legitimate rape" so abortion shouldn't be allowed even if the victim was raped. Not only is this mind-numbingly stupid, but demonstrates so little compassion that it's mind boggling. He's still running for Senate as a Republican in Missouri.

The other day the Republican Candidate for Senate in Indiana, Richard Mourdock said that if a woman gets pregnant during rape, it's God's Will, meaning that again abortion should be illegal in all circumstances, even if the woman is raped.

If that is his religious view, he's allowed to have that, but Republicans are not allowed to use the government to force their religious beliefs on the rest of us. If your daughter or granddaughter was raped and impregnated, would you want Senate Republicans deciding what your options are?

I didn't think so.

Also, Governor Romney as the standard bearer of the GOP has not taken back his endorsement of Mourdock and continues to allow him to use footage of him campaigning with Romney.

America deserves better than what Republicans have to offer women.

Democrats fight for women, not against them. Democrats empower women, not limit them. Democrats strengthen women's position in society by protecting their rights to make choices and to be treated fairly.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

End One Party Rule in DuPage

By Dale Bowling

We all know what kind of shenanigans happen in places with one-party rule: Lack of Transparency, Lack of Accountability, Incompetence, Corruption and Fraud.

County government of DuPage County, Illinois has been Republican-dominated for six decades - in essence, we've experienced one-party rule.

This has created a series of problems for DuPage County over the years.

Most recently the Forest Preserve Board has been accused of a lack of transparency, lack of accountibility, incompetence, corruption and fraud.

Sound familiar? It should. These are the artifacts of one-party rule.

The Forest Preserve Commissioners have salaries of $56,000 per year and full benefits for a 10 hour/week job. Surrounding counties (Cook, Lake, Kane Will) have larger forest preserves to manage, but their commissioners make between $0-$3000 per year. Some get a $30/stipend per meeting.

Recently, two employees of the Forest Preserve were arrested for having defrauded DuPage County out of $150,000 over six years. Six years! They were approving invoices for goods and services that were not delivered and splitting the money with a private contractor.

The Forest Preserve has created a several hundred million dollar operating reserve with no apparent purpose when the budget for the Forest Preserve is something like $40 million/yr. The reserve, like the Forest Preserve Department is funded by DuPage County taxpayers.

This reminds one of the case a few years ago where the Water Commission built up a huge reserve and then lost track of it and ended up with a deficit that was passed on to DuPage taxpayers.

Institutions create clubbiness by their very nature. When one political party, which also protects its own, controls an institution members rubber stamp each other's actions to the detriment of us all. This results in a lack of accountability, promotes corruption and rewards incompetence.

DuPage County deserves better.

VOTE DEMOCRAT for DuPage County offices on Nov. 6!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mr. President, You Sank Mitt's Battleship.

By Dale Bowling

As everyone knows this morning, Governor Romney criticized the Obama administration's handling of the military by pointing out that there were fewer ships in the U.S. Navy now than in 1916. President Obama replied that there were fewer "horses and bayonets" now too.

A good one, right?

The point that the President made was that the military adapts to the wars they're likely to be called to fight. Large scale naval battles are so twentieth century. This is why the Pentagon hasn't asked for fleets of battleships and this is why the President hasn't asked Congress to pay for their construction.

None of this matters much to Romney. He'll build weapons the military doesn't want, doesn't need and can't use. This will show everyone in the world that he's the Real Deal.

And you'll pay for it. Literally.

At another point in the Debate, President Obama slammed Governor Romney for having said last March that Russia was our greatest geopolitical foe - the President saying that the 1980s called and wanted their foreign policy back.

Yes, it was another good one.

But more than that, it makes the point that Romney seems quite oblivious to the end of the Cold War and what that means to our position in the world and potential dangers to US interests.

Foreign policy needs to reflect the real situation in the world as we encounter it. Not decades old understandings of what the situation was. A Hot War with the Evil Empire is no longer a plausible outcome for the US military and pretending otherwise (either from ignorance or political expediency) just wastes US power, weakens US influence and diverts us from the real challenges that America faces.

The Navy has a tradition. When they have antiquated battleships the Navy torpedoes them and allow them to settle to the ocean floor. That's what President Obama did to Mitt Romney's geopolitical vision last night and Davy Jone's Locker is where it belongs.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Who do you trust with YOUR America?

By Dale Bowling

Who do you trust with YOUR America?

It's a simple question. It deserves a honest answer.

Do you believe that the Folks who wrecked the financial system, gave enormous tax breaks to the wealthy, turned the Clinton surplus into George W. Bush's massive deficits and helped bring on the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression should get another shot at it because Democrats couldn't clean up their mess fast enough?

YOUR job could depend on that vote.

Do you think that the people who never really liked Social Security and Medicare should be the ones to fix it? Do you think the standard of living you'll enjoy in old age means as much to them as it does you?

YOUR retirement may depend on that vote.

Do you trust the people who had both houses of Congress and the White House for six years and never once mentioned health care reform to do a better job than the ones who worked hard to actually make health care reform for America? Especially since we're all an intersection or a doctor's visit away from being uninsurable for life under their system.

YOUR life and health might depend on that vote.

Do you think that personal decisions about who you can marry or what you do with your body should be decided by politicians in Washington?

YOUR rights might depend on your vote.

Do you trust the people who deny that climate change exists to prevent the worst from happening to our Nation and our Planet?

YOUR children's children could depend on your vote.

Or should you trust the people who brought you health care reform, saved the economy from collapse, have defended your rights at every turn, protected the elderly, the poor and the sick against all calamities and would prevent the worst abuses to America's environmental health?

It's YOUR America, and YOUR future.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Smoke and Mirrors on the Deficit

By Dale Bowling

Everyone will agree that the Deficit is an enduring problem. Republicans have pushed the story that Obama and the Democrats has raised the Deficit to epic proportions. According to them, entitlement spending, the stimulus, etc. have raised the Deficit $4 trillion over the last four years. They've repeated this so many times in so many places that people have almost begun to take it at face value.

This is malarkey.

As this blog has shown before, Social Security is not on the verge of bankruptcy. It's fully funded for the next twenty-five years and can't add to the deficit. Medicare needs some tweaking, but is not rushing to its impending doom by any stretch of the imagination. We has also shown that the Stimulus created millions of jobs and helped the economy avoid falling into a second Great Depression. It cost roughly $800 billion. Not a small amount of money, but not $4 trillion dollars either. And since 2010 when the Stimulus ran out, government spending has fallen to the lowest it's been in sixty years. Where do you suppose the Deficit came from?

If you guessed the same people who are blaming Democrats for this mess, you would be correct.

A few years ago, a Congressional Budget Office study identified four main causes of the deficit.

1) The Bush tax cuts which gave away and continue to give away trillions of dollars that could have gone to keeping things off the National Charge Card. And since Bush never met a spending bill he didn't like (remember that the Congress was Republican and kept churning out Bridges to Nowhere) costs were piled on the Deficit.

2) The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which were the first wars in American history not to accompany a raise in taxes to pay for them. Americans got a tax cut! Guess where the trillions of dollars for the wars went? The Deficit.

3) Bush's prescription drug plan under Medicare. This benefit for seniors cost way more than it should have. It was structured as a big giveaway of taxpayer dollars to pharmaceutical companies since none of the ways of lowering costs (Bulk discounts from drug companies, purchasing cheaper generic drugs, importing cheaper drugs from Canada) were allowed. Would it surprise you to know that Big Pharma had contributed a lot of money to the Republicans and the Bush campaign in particular? If it would, you haven't been paying attention.

4) Lastly, the Bush Recession has hurt revenue in a big way that would normally pay for things, because people don't pay as much taxes if they don't make as much money. How did we get to the Bush Recession? Tax Cuts and Deregulation of the Financial Industry, primarily.

Yes, these are the same ideas that Mitt Romney just advanced as the ones which would save the US economy from the slow, but steady economic recovery we've been struggling to maintain and extend.

Since Republicans are primarily responsible for running up the Deficit, does it make sense to allow them to be the ones to clean it up?

The Republican stance on the Deficit reminds me of a quote by then President Bush, "Fool me once, shame Fool me twice, you don't get fooled again." 


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Protect America!

By Dale Bowling

Governor Romney has said that he wants to have a system where regulators make it easier to do
business, not less.

Democrats want to help businesses flourish and protect the interests of the American people. Most of
the times those two things go together. When they don't, Regulators step in to restore the balance.

When American businesses are doing right by their employees, their communities and the environment government regulation doesn't hinder them much. However Regulation is a major hindrance to a business screwing the environment, its employees, its community and its country to shore up the bottom line.

Bank lobbyists used to argue that financial deregulation would create greater competition and this
would bring down prices and increase interest earned on deposits. What it did was encourage risk that
was passed on to the American people and ignited a crisis that nearly brought down our economy.

Energy companies, timber, mining, etc. often argue that they are so hampered by environmental
regulation that they can't do business. In spite of this, America is in the midst of an energy boom
largely fueled by natural gas drilled right here in the US. Regulation exists to make sure our
communities are not left to clean up the mess after the resources have dried up and the companies
move on.

The Republicans have a vision of what would lead to economic growth. In this vision, Government
doesn't tell you that you can't dump whatever you want wherever you want.  Government doesn't tell
you how treat your employees- you can pay them as little as the market allows and strip their benefits. Government doesn't stop you from taking on too much risk. 

It's a time honored tradition. Robber Barons made huge amounts of money that way. China is
experiencing tremendous growth right now playing by those rules.

America deserves better.

Democrats want to see America prosper, to see the dignity and health of Americans safeguarded, and
our environment protected. We can have all three. VOTE DEMOCRAT on Nov. 6


Personal Emails!

District 1

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Republicans Want You To Believe In Magic

By Dale Bowling

The Debate last night laid out the two candidates' and two parties' positions more clearly than ever
before. The difference between them lies in their respective beliefs about what will create a thriving

Democrats believe in hard work, incremental progress and wise allocation and protection of our
country's resources - especially America's most precious resource, the ingenuity and sweat capital of
the American people. Democrats believe these things will build a better America.

Republicans believe in Magic. 

Yes. Magic. This was obvious throughout the entire debate.

Science teaches us that if we do the same thing over and over, we'll get the same result each time.

Romney in particular and Republicans in general believe that they can do the exact same thing today
that they did under President Bush and create a properous America when last time it created an
economic disaster.

This is magical thinking. 

And what is this witches' brew, this recipe for disaster? Same as before - low taxes for millionaires and removing regulation on businesses.

And this magical elixir will work its miracles and solve all of America's problems. Want equality in the work place? Strong employment (brought on by low taxes and low regulation) will fix that. Now we've had strong employment before, you might protest, and the free market has never solved that problem. Why would it now?


And the math that doesn't add up on the Romney/Ryan budget? How can Republicans cut taxes $5
trillion, keep the Bush tax cuts and still have plenty of money left over to invest in education, the
military, etc. and not have it hurt the middle class or have it go on the National Credit Card?

Only a powerful spell could turn this hunk of garbage into electoral gold.

And if Republicans repeat the incantation that "Government cannot create jobs" enough times it might make people forget that Government creates huge numbers of jobs, either directly as in the case of the military, teachers, police officers, firefighters, librarians, etc. or indirectly through investments in infrastructure, research and development, etc.

Takes a mighty magician to pull that out of his ... hat.

If you believe that Republicans can turn the policies that brought on the Bush Recession into winning
policies today then you believe in magic. Vote Voldemort 2012!

If you think that America has a lot of hard work ahead of it to consolidate and extend the gains we've
made and we all need to be in that struggle because it benefits us all, then you should vote Democrat on Nov. 6!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Interview with Mike Quigley, 5th Congressional District Candidate

By Dale Bowling

Mike Quigley is the incumbent Congressman and Democratic candidate in Illinois' 5th Congressional District which comprises parts of Cook and DuPage Counties. I had the privilege and interviewing him yesterday.

DD: Which DuPage communities are served by the 5th Congressional District?

MQ: Bits and pieces of Elmhurst, Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace, Bensenville, Wood Dale, Villa Park and Addison Township. I grew up in Carol Stream. I went to Glenbard North HS, my first job was at the Wheaton bowling alley, I attended the College of DuPage for a couple of years, so I've been a part of DuPage County from the beginning.

DD: You're the incumbent in the 5th District. How long have you served in Congress?

MQ: Almost 4 years. I was sworn in in April 2009 by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

DD: What motivated you to run for Congress originally?

MQ: All the things I was working on at the county level -  Reform, Equality, Choice - as a member of Congress I have the opportunity to promote these on a much larger scale.

DD: If you had to come up with a one sentence ad for your campaign, what would that one sentence be?

MQ: "Representing the entire district." 

To me, this means more than just geography. This means representing minority views, bipartisanship, fairness, accessibility. Everyone has the right to be represented fairly and equally.

DD:  What issues do you think are the most important for Congress in this election?

MQ: Economy, Economy, Economy. It's so important that we continue this positive economic growth we've seen recently. Whatever we do, it's really important that we have transparency. I remember when I came in, it was on the heels of the Blagojevich scandal. The cost of corruption is the loss of the public's faith. If we bring back transparency and accountibility we can improve the public's view of what we're doing in Congress.

DD: As you know, DuPage Co. is a very middle-class county. What specifically would you do to help the struggling middle class?

MQ: The best thing to do for the middle class is to create jobs and one of the best ways to do this is to improve our nation's infrastructure. Only 7% of the Stimulus money went to infrastructure, but infrastructure improvements produced the majority of the jobs that the Stimulus created. So a big infrastructure bill would create jobs for the middle class and give the Country something it needs. There's no such thing as a Republican bridge or a Democratic highway. We need to pass a meaningful Bill that rebuilds our country, creates jobs and reduces our dependence on foreign oil.
DD: How does one get involved in your campaign- either to donate to your reelection fund or to volunteer for the campaign?

MQ: The easiest way is to go to All the instructions are there. We are encouraging everyone to get involved with the other Democratic races that affect them as well- Local, State and National.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Dying for Insurance?

By Dale Bowling

A few days ago, Governor Mitt Romney said that people don't die in America because they don't have medical insurance.

Actually they do. Fifty thousand Americans every year.  That's like eighteen 9/11s, year in and year out.

It's really not that hard to figure how that could happen. Here's how:

John and Bob both develop stomach pain and both of them react that way you'd expect. They buy antacids. The antacids help a little but a week or two later both men still have the same problem.

John (who has insurance) goes to his doctor, who runs a bunch of tests. It turns out John has Stage 1 stomach cancer. He goes on chemo. His chances are good since they caught it early.

Bob doesn't have insurance and can't afford to go see the doctor. So he buys another bottle of antacids. And another. And another. And so on. Meanwhile, his undiagnosed Stage 1 stomach cancer is approaching Stage 4.  He's on his way to becoming a statistic which proves Governor Romney is full of malarkey.

What's the number one reason that people don't go the doctor? Cost.

There's a reason why Europeans live longer and spend less on health care. They go to the doctor regularly and routine care saves lives and money by heading off major health problems before they occur.  The reason this works there and not here is that Europeans are insured. Cost is not a reason to skip doctor's visits in London or Paris or Berlin.

The Affordable Care Act is going to prevent a lot of folks like Bob from becoming statistics. By allowing Americans to get insurance if they don't have it and afford it if they don't have the money for it, Democrats have given those fifty thousand Americans a shot at life and health.

Oh- Governor Romney has vowed to repeal this shot at life and health on his first day in office, if he's elected President.

Democrats won't allow the Bobs of the world to remain free market collateral damage. America deserves better than that.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

The "Tell" on Social Security

By Dale Bowling

Poker players say there is such a thing as a "Tell", something a person does or says that unconsciously shows that he's lying. Everyone has a Tell according to poker players. You just have to pay close attention.

Something I have noticed from paying close attention is that Republicans will always say something is "indisputably true" when in fact, it is a lie.

Paul Ryan said in the Vice Presidential debate that it was an indisputable fact that Social Security was going bankrupt.

There's the Tell. Actually Social Security is in good shape. As is, Social Security is solvent for the next 25 years and after that only shows a slight shortfall. And that's if nothing happens at all in the next quarter century to fix that small drop in benefits.

So don't let Republicans "tell" you things about Social Security. It's not on the verge of imminent collapse. It will be there for you and your children. Unless we let Republicans privatize it.

You see, Paul Ryan supporting President Bush made a big effort to privatize Social Security a few years ago. Undoubtedly if Mitt Romney is elected President, we'll see this come up again as the solution to a problem we don't actually have.

Imagine if America's elderly had entrusted their Social Security to Wall Street over the last 5 years. Would you like to see Grandma lose half her benefits because Financial Deregulation allowed Wall Street firms to increase risk exposure above what was historically considered prudent? 

I didn't think so.

Republicans have faith the Market can do things that Government can't. This actually is an indisputable fact. The Bush Recession proved the Market can lose half your money overnight.

The guaranteed benefit through this existing government program that has worked super well for seventy years is called Social Security for a reason. It's secure.

Democrats will absolutely protect Social Security from privatizers. But only if they get elected. VOTE DEMOCRAT on Nov. 6!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Romney/Ryan is Malarkey for the Middle Class

By Dale Bowling

The Biden/Ryan debate last night demonstrated once again, how full of malarkey the Romney/Ryan budget and tax plan are.

At least to the extent we know about them, which admittedly isn't much.

We know that Romney/Ryan have endorsed a 20% tax cut for everyone, and huge cut in the corporate tax rate (as well as eliminating the estate tax and capital gains taxes) which by 2015 would reduce revenue by $480 billion. Take that out a decade and we're talking $5 trillion dollars over ten years that the government won't have.

Makes the Bush Tax Cuts look tame, doesn't it?

Now I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that, "hey, everyone gets the tax cut so how is this an example of me being screwed over by Republicans, again."

Glad you thought that, because here's how they say they're going to finance that tax cut. They're going to eliminate most deductions or at least limit them to certain number (we don't know yet).

Economists have already weighed in that there aren't enough deductions to eliminate that would amount to $5 trillion over 10 years- even if Republicans got rid of all of them.

Now the highest earners would come out ahead on a deal that allowed them a 20% tax break in exchange for losing their ability to make deductions.

Mitt Romney would pay almost no taxes under this plan.

But imagine you're middle class and you own your home. A lot of you probably fit this description.

If you were deducting your home mortgage interest and your property taxes and now you're not able to do that because that was the price you had to pay to get your 20% tax cut, are you ahead? Especially once you eliminate the other deductions like child tax credits and medical expenses, etc.?

Not likely.

And ironically you probably bought your house in part because you could offset some of the cost on your taxes. You would be paying more for a house you already own. Does eliminating deductions help build a housing resurgence? What would that do to the asking price of your home when you go to sell it?

And what does the Romney/Ryan push to eliminate deductions do to private charity giving? Non-profits are going to lose a lot of revenue if people can't also deduct their charitable giving. I see a lot of bake sales in their future.

And once you combine this mess with the $5 Trillion cut in spending Romney/Ryan want - which means laying off millions of government employees and weakening businesses and the industries that get federal funding -  are the job numbers going to be robust or just bust?

Is there enough taxpayer money left to invest in Education as Romney said he would in the last debate? Or build all those ships, plans and missiles the Pentagon didn't even want? Or continue to protect our Nation's elderly and poor? Where do you reckon they're going to find that money?

They can add it to the deficit. Or they can increase taxes on the middle class. Or they can simply not invest in America. No infrastructure improvement, no education investment, no social safety net.

Malarkey, indeed.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Save the date! October 16 Debate Watch Party

from Bob Peickert

Join us at the October 16 Presidential Debate Party at the Ramada Inn in Glendale Heights. The Debate starts at 8:00 PM. Registration starts at 7:30. Tickets are only $20 for food, coffee and dessert. Cash bar is available.
Obama signs will be available for only $8. Surprise guests and more.

Let's cheer on President Obama and network with other DuPage Democrats. Go to our website - and reserve your seat now.


The Stakes, Part II

By Dale Bowling

Yesterday I wrote about what are the stakes in this election, but one post couldn't even give a short
summary of all that's at risk on Nov. 6. So this is Part II of that discussion.

Energy Independence:

By relying on "Drill Baby Drill" as an energy policy, Republicans surrender both America's chance for energy independence and the leadership in developing technologies for renewable, clean energies of the future. 

In the short term, fossil fuels should and will remain part of American good energy policy, but fossil
fuels can't make America energy independent in the long run.

Firstly when fossil fuel companies lease land on which to drill, the companies own any oil, gas or coal they extract, not the US. Energy companies sell on the world market and if there's a disturbance in the Middle East for example, that still affects the price of oil drilled here because it reduces the world supply.

Fossil fuels are world commodities, subject to world economic pressures and therefore don't yield
energy independence for America.

Secondly even if the US did get the oil, there wouldn't be enough to power the US for very long. The US uses 20% of the world's oil, but only 2% of the world's reserves.

Fossil fuels are a non-renewable source of energy. Once we use them, they're gone. And they're going fast.

Democrats support the exploration and extraction of fossil fuels in the short run, but know that the way to true energy independence is in renewable sources of energy.

For this reason, Democrats have invested in clean, renewable energy such as solar, wind, biofuels.

The pioneer of today will be the leader of tomorrow. America will dominate the field of renewable
energy, creating clean sources of power for our economy and the jobs of the future- but only if we
invest in those technologies on the ground floor.

Democrats are here to make that happen.

You can pick up the Republican vision for energy policy on reruns of "Dallas".

That's all the space we have for today, we'll pick this discussion up tomorrow.
Remember if we want a fairer, stronger America - it's up to all of us. VOTE DEMOCRAT on Nov. 6!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

What are the Stakes of this Election? Part 1

By Dale Bowling

I've heard said that it doesn't matter who wins Congress or the White House because the end result is
always the same - gridlock and broken promises.

Democrats are not so cynical about Government. We feel that Government "of the People, by the
People, for the People" can achieve a lot of good for America and Americans. We're optimistic about
America's prospects because we know what Americans can do when Government and the American People work together.

So here are a few of the things that are at stake in this election.

A Fragile Economic Recovery:

After the Bush Recession destroyed literally millions of jobs, the White House and the Democrats in
Congress have picked up the pieces and built a slow, but steady recovery. Do we want to reverse
course back to the same policies that brought us to the brink to start with?

Democrats believe in investing directly in America.

Republicans would deregulate everything, cut taxes mostly for millionaires and then hope market
forces influence people to invest in America without upending the system for the benefit of a few.

You know, like the last time Republicans were in charge.

Weakened Safety Net:

Do we want to continue to protect seniors by providing them with affordable health care? That's the
Democrat's plan. Republicans want to give seniors private insurance vouchers and trust the market to
make sure the voucher keeps pace with medical costs.

And where would our Nation's seniors be if Democrats had not prevented Bush and Co. from privatizing Social Security? The stock market lost half its value at the end of Bush's term. Republicans trust the Invisible Hand of the Market, but that Hand would have shoved a lot of seniors into poverty without the Democrats there to stop it.

And of course, Democrats reformed health care so that no American need worry about whether he'll be covered if he gets sick. Since pracically every single American is a doctor's visit or an intersection
away from being uninsurable for life under the Republican plan, this is a big deal. Do Americans really want that worry back?

Tomorrow we'll pick up this discussion again. Just a reminder, we can make the change we want in
the world. VOTE DEMOCRAT on Nov. 6.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Everything Republicans Learned About Foreign Policy, They Learned In Middle School

 By Dale Bowling

Republicans believe that intimidation is all you need to have a successful foreign policy. They got their foreign policy credentials on the playground in Middle School. You just have to be the biggest and strongest geo-political bully and you'll get your way every time. 

How could anyone forget when Team Bush believed that only military power (and the subsequent sacrifice of thousands of American lives and trillions of taxpayer dollars) could fix the problem of WMDs in Iraq?

This Bully Mentality was glaringly apparent in Governor Romney's speech yesterday where he
disparaged Obama's foreign policy as being too passive, naively equating strategy and subtlety with passivity.

In fact, Romney's entire speech showed he had no new ideas at all.  He actually seemed to go along with Obama's policy except that he would throw the US's weight around a lot more.

You know, make friends.

Obama has been working to keep Iran from gaining nuclear capability while preventing yet another
Middle Eastern war. Romney says he would also do that - except he would also make a lot of random threats that might start another Middle Eastern War.

Democrats have encouraged the Libyans and the Egyptians to create a stable, representative
government. Republicans say that when they're in charge they will do exactly the same thing. Just that Team Mitt would issue a lot more ultimatums.

Republicans know that foreign leaders, like everybody, really love and respond to ultimatums.

Secretary Clinton and the Obama Administration have worked to build a long term solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Romney camp have already written off the Palestinians as not really wanting peace.  So Republicans believe that Israel would have to dictate and implement peace between the Palestinians and Israelis.

Peace dictated by one side? What could go wrong there?

This is not to say that Democrats wouldn't or shouldn't resort to the stick, if necessary. Stronger
sanctions on Iran, limits on foreign aid if countries don't work toward democracy or peace, and even
military intervention represent the last resort in diplomacy.

Negotiation means trying to find a solution that both sides can stick to and not upend at the first
available moment. This is the most successful and cost-effective way for America to achieve its goals
and work as a force for good in the world. That approach involves hard work, give-and-take, and listening on both sides - not unilateral intimidation.

When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Despite having a large tool box at their
disposal, Republicans really only respect the hammer. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Reminder: When It Comes to Health Care Reform, Democrats Did Build That!

By Dale Bowling

Democrats believe fundamentally in the role of government to improve the lives of Americans.
The Private Sector does a lot of things really well, but not everything and that's where government
comes in.

In the 1930s Democrats created Social Security to protect our America's seniors from falling into

In the 1960s Democrats developed Medicare so that our Nation's seniors could have
affordable health care.

You see, Democrats figured the Private Sector had had thousands of years to solve these problems and there was no use waiting any longer.

Most recently, Democrats created the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) to make sure that all Americans would have access to health care.

It's worth noting perhaps that Republicans had the White House for 8 years and Congress for 12 years
and the words "health care reform" were not on their radar. Their priorities were tax cuts for the
wealthy, deregulating Wall Street and invading countries without WMDs, but not helping Americans get the health care they need.

Once Democrats had the White House and the votes to make real health care reform in America that's
what they did and these are some of its provisions.

  • If you have a pre-existing condition, no insurance company can ever turn you down. Since we are all doctor's visit or an intersection away from having a pre-existing condition, this is good news for everyone. Republicans want to kill that, of course.  
  • Children can stay on their parents' health insurance until age 26. Private Sector- you didn't build that!
  • Lifetime coverage caps have been removed, so if you have an ongoing illness you need never worry about reaching the limits of your coverage. Republicans say this is too expensive.  
  • Insurance companies can't discriminate against women by making them pay more for their reproductive health care. I'm sure you can guess what Republicans say about this.  
  • The Affordable Care Act strengthens Medicare because it eliminates waste and overpayment to insurance companies and hospitals, lengthening Medicare's solvency. Normally Republicans like cutting government waste, but surprisingly not so much this time.
  • Oh- and by the end of the first ten years the Affordable Care Act will actually have reduced the deficit. Republicans have more experience running up huge deficits than reducing them, so this doesn't impress them much either.

The point of all this is that when the Private Sector fails to do what's best for people, the Democrats
have America's back. And it's a good thing someone does.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

America Deserves Better Than Etch-A-Sketch Politics

By Dale Bowling

Well, as prophesized by the Romney Campaign earlier this year, Mitt Romney has had his Etch-A-Sketch Moment.

You may remember that Romney spent much of the year trying to outconservative his rivals in order to get the Republican nomination. He had to be more pro-life than Santorum, more hawkish than Gingrich, more slash-and-burn than Ron Paul.

The brouhaha developed when a senior staffer said that after the primaries, Romney could change his views like you shake an etch-a-sketch.

The last week and especially Wednesday night's debate represent the Etch-A-Sketch moment we've been waiting for.

Massive tax cuts for the wealthy? Never heard of it!- Mr Romney would have us believe. Spending cuts across the board?, oh no no, My Good Man. Republicans are going to invest in education among many other noble government endeavors. 47% of Americans as irresponsible parasites?- who could say such a thing about hard-working Americans?

We've had eighteen months of Republicans calling for the same policies that got us into this mess to begin with. America deserves better.

To find this moderate Mitt Romney believeable, you must either have never encountered him before this week or willfully forget everything you knew about him leading up to the debate.

Or have been clunked it the head of an Etch-A-Sketch.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Republicans: These Jobs Numbers Are Too Good To Be True, Except That They're Lousy.

By Dale Bowling

An Election Season Miracle happened yesterday.

The famously professional and reliable Bureau of Labor Statistics put out the monthly jobs report for September and guess what?

Unemployment dipped below 8% for the first time in 44 months as 114,000 jobs were created in September. Good news, right?

Not so fast.

According to Republicans these numbers were so astonishingly good they must represent an attempt by the Democrats to steal the election while simultaneously being so lackluster that Obama should lose his job.

An Election Miracle Folks. The latest job numbers are too good to be true and they're not good enough. Simultaneously!

Can you guess the Republican antidote to these wonderful/horrible job numbers?

If you guessed the exact same policies that made a recovery necessary in the first place, you would be correct.

Your prize?: The realization that you must vote Democrat on Nov. 6. to preserve and extend our hard-fought economic recovery.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Latest Jobs Report is Good News for America.

By Dale Bowling

The latest jobs report shows good news for America.

The Report showed that over 114,000 jobs were created in September and that 86,000 more jobs were
created in July and August than previously reported. This brings unemployment down to 7.8%. 

This marks the first time in 44 months the unemployment rate is below 8%.

The job market has improved steadily ever since the Democratic Stimulus helped America find the
bottom of the economic crisis in 2009-10 and begin the recovery from the Bush Recession.

The US has seen 29 straight months of employment gains, but has especially picked up steam this year. These gains come from jobs created rather than people ceasing to look for work.

In four years President Obama has already exceeded the number of jobs created by George W. Bush in 8 years.

With a hard-won economic recovery for the American people still so fragile, is now the time to return to the same Republican policies of tax cuts for millionaires and deregulation of businesses that wrecked the economy in the first place? NO!

Vote Democrat on November 6 for a Stronger, Healthier America!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

What Obama Should Have Said Last Night

By: Dale Bowling

Since the general consensus among pundits and instapolls is that President Obama did a bad job during last night's debate, it begs the question of what should the President have said.

Here are some suggestions:

1) He should have reminded the viewers that over a half million jobs were being lost every month when he became President and that we've had 29 months of consecutive job growth under his leadership.

2) Obama should have owned the Stimulus, like he owned Obamacare and told Americans the truth about it: the American Recovery and Investment Act created at least 3.5 million jobs by the end of 2010 when the US economy needed them most, is still producing jobs as its effects ripple through the economy and kept us from sliding into a second Great Depression.

3) The President should have reminded viewers that the American Jobs Act which economists have projected would produce around 2 million jobs has been languishing on Capitol Hill for a year because of Republican obstruction. The AJA is fully funded and could be immediately implemented.

4) He could have asked Governor Romney if he really does think that 47% of Americans will never take responsibility for their lives and if so, how would that affect Romney's role as President.

5) President Obama could have called out Romney more forcefully on what his plan entails. How are enormous tax cuts not going to add to the deficit? How can Romney close enough loopholes to offset a 20% tax cut across the board and a 10% reduction of the corporate tax rate? How can Republicans invest in all these things like education, the military, etc., with decreased revenue?

6) Lastly, Obama should have condemned Romney's plan (just cuting taxes and regulations on businesses) as exactly the same set of policies that got us into this mess in the first place.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Second Gilded Age?

By: Dale Bowling

You may remember from US History something called the Gilded Age. It was a period of American history in the late nineteenth century when Robber Barons built huge fortunes at the expense of everyone else.

Railroads, Mining Interests, Steel, Oil flourished in great part because of Government largesse. Beneficial legislation and/or lack of regulation, land grants, low or no taxation, monopolies - politicians in the pay of Monied Interests one way or another, stacked the deck in favor of BIG BUSINESS against everyone else. At no point in American history had the Rich been richer and the Poor been poorer.

What changed? The Progressive Era. Government turned from helping the Robber Barons to protecting the working person.

The Progressives curbed abuses. They kept workers safe and healthy. They took the kids out the mines and the factories and put them in schools. And guess what? The Nation flourished as a result of having generations of educated, healthy workers.

It's been a hundred years since the Progressive Era and as we've failed to remember the worst abuses of the past, we're condemned to repeat them. There is an ancient saying, "Be careful or else you may end up where you're headed." Well, we're headed for a second Gilded Age unless we do something.

The last thirty years, we've seen an attempt to erase the America of the Progressives, but this has mostly been at the behest of the latest generation of Robber Barons.

The folks who say, "there are 47% of Americans who don't matter" are really saying that "These Americans represent a responsibility we just can't be bothered with. They interfere with us making as much money as humanly possible despite the fact we made it with their help. We've used them up and now they're on their own."

Democrats are the heirs of the Progressive movement. Democrats still recognize that America's greatness lies in Americans- whether or not they are momentarily useful to the Robber Barons of the coming Gilded Age.

Democrats don't punish the unlucky. Democrats help them make their own luck.

The new Robber Barons give unlucky Americans the back of their hands, Democrats give them the hand up.

That's who we are. We're DEMOCRATS. VOTE DEMOCRAT on November 6.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Math is Hard!

By: Dale Bowling

When asked to explain the math in the Romney/Ryan economic plan, Paul Ryan responded that there wasn’t time in the interview.
It sounds like an excuse and it is. The real reason why Republicans haven’t fleshed out their plan is that they know that if they explained the details, the American public would realize that the economic plan makes no sense.
Let's do the math.
Here are the parts to their equation:
1. Tax Cuts
It starts with a huge tax cut. A 20% tax cut for everyone and a reduction of the top corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%. This will reduce tax revenue by about $5 trillion over ten years. Yes, trillion with a “t”.
2. Spending Cuts
It requires a huge spending cut- between $5.3 trillion and $7 trillion. Yes, with a “t” again. What would they be cutting? Everything you like (unless it’s the military).
3. Ending Tax Loopholes and Deductions
At first glance, this sounds good, but which loopholes and deductions? Is your mortgage deduction in peril? Child tax credits? They’ve already cut $10-12 trillion dollars from the federal budget (adding tax cuts and spending cuts.) Can they make up enough revenue to keep us from blowing up the deficit?
Your guess is as good as anyone’s. Republicans haven’t condescended to tell us which loopholes and deductions they’ll be cutting.

Republicans know how Americans love a good surprise come tax season!
4. Balanced Budget
 Lastly, it depends on a balanced budget amendment. Balanced budget? Sounds fiscally responsible. But without raising taxes, it is impossible. Can ending tax loopholes and deductions really add up to the huge tax cuts and spending cuts that they advocate? Of course not.
Do the math. Huge Tax Cuts + Huge Spending Cuts - Some Tax Loopholes = A Lower Deficit and A Balanced Budget?? It just doesn't add up.
Democrats have a jobs plan before Congress called the American Jobs Act. It’s been there for a year, fully paid for and is already to go. What’s (or who’s) holding it up? You do the math.



Monday, October 1, 2012

What Kind of America Do We Want?

By: Dale Bowling

As we listen to what candidates have to say and offer this election season, it makes sense to ask ourselves: What kind of America do we want?

Former President Bill Clinton said in his convention speech that “If you want a winner-take- all, you’re-on-your-own society, you should support the Republican ticket. But if you want a country of shared opportunities and shared responsibility, a we’re-all-in-this-together society, you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.”

This is the difference between Republicans and Democrats. Republicans believe, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that they really did build that without the rest of us.

Democrats know we all contribute to the common good and that’s the way it should be.

The fact is that in America today, you can be a hard-working, thrifty person and still be at the mercy of interest rates, economic bubbles, corporate greed, stock prices, inflation and off-shoring of American jobs.

Do we want an America where if you’re the unlucky fellow who has been punched in the face by the Invisible Hand of the Market, you’re left to pick yourself up?

Republicans say that if you’re not making enough to pay federal taxes, you’re not deserving of the same consideration as other Americans. Mitt Romney said as much, and you know he speaks for Republicans on this.

Democrats say “We’ve got your back, Brother and Sister” because that’s the right thing to do and the American thing to do.

Hard-working folks built this Great Country and hard-working folks are going to take it back, whether they fit the GOP’s criteria for consideration or not.

Vote Democrat on Nov. 6!