Monday, December 31, 2012

2013- The Year of Living Fiscally?

By Dale Bowling

Unless something happens today we're headed over the Fiscal Cliff, so we can only hope that 2013 will be the year that Republicans and Democrats can reach some compromises on America's fiscal future.

The Fiscal Cliff is merely a ploy that politicians created to force both sides to table to negotiate about deficit reduction. It doesn't mean that the US is about to default on debts or the deficit will soar as a result. Quite the opposite actually. The automatic spending cuts and tax increases associated with the Fiscal Cliff will cause the deficit to shrink drastically.

This sounds great, doesn't it? Why would we want to avert the first serious attempt at deficit reduction in years?

Because a fragile economic recovery is not the time for a sharp increase in taxes on people already struggling and is certainly not the time to gut a badly-needed social safety net.

Congress can always renew tax cuts for the Middle Class after the first of the year and make that renewal retroactive to Jan.1, 2013. So even going over the Cliff, it's possible to avoid the worst of it. They can prevent the worst effects of cutting the social safety net too after the first of the year. They just have to want to do it badly enough.

Republicans for their part have tried very hard to make the narrative of the Fiscal Cliff one of runaway government spending - that we reached this sorry state because of spending on programs like Social Security and Medicare.

Of course, this is utter malarkey. Social Security doesn't add to the deficit and cuts to Social Security don't help the deficit. Period. It's kept in a separate trust fund and has been for years. Republicans know this, but like to pretend to forget it when it's politically expedient.

Medicare is a deficit issue since the cost of medical care continues to grow faster than the rest of the economy, but increased Medicare spending was not a primary cause of the deficit.

As you may remember, when President Bill Clinton left office the government had a projected budget surplus. It wasn't increased Medicare spending that did away with that.

The Bush Administration did away with that surplus. As far as the deficit goes, Republicans finally found something they built without the rest of us.

The Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were the first wars in American history not to be accompanied by increased taxes to pay for them. In fact, enormous tax cuts were given at the same time. And you have to remember that Republicans held both Congress and the White House for the first six years of Bush's presidency and in that time President Bush never vetoed a spending bill. Want a bridge to nowhere? Done. So much for Republican fiscal discipline.

In the Golden Age of Republican-Democratic cooperation between WWII and the Reagan Revolution, deficit hawks on both sides of the aisle were concerned about having the money to pay for the things that government did. That meant there were a lot of Republicans that supported tax increases from time to time. And there were Democrats who supported spending cuts when they made sense.

But Republican politicians see the Fiscal Cliff, not as a discussion about fiscal policy or how to deal with deficits, but as an opportunity to strike a blow to Big Government. And that is why the Fiscal Cliff talks have gone no where and 2013 will not be any better if we can't return to productive cooperation on the real issues at hand.

Happy 2013 Everyone!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Why the Far Right is Wrong on Gun Laws

By Dale Bowling

As I read the Far Right's reaction to the idea of tightening some firearms laws in the wake of the
Newtown shooting, I encounter the same objections over and over. And not surprisingly, they are all
full of malarkey. Let's go through some of them.

I saw this meme today yet again- Stalin took all the guns, Hitler took all the guns, Ataturk took all the
guns and that led to genocide.

Gun control in the US would not mean taking all the guns away. It would most likely mean closing
loopholes in existing laws (like the one that lets people buy guns at gun shows without a background
check). Private sales between individuals are not subject to the same laws as gun dealer sales and
one study showed guns from private sales are used in up to 80% of gun crimes. Why? Because the assailant wouldn't pass the background check to get a gun through a dealer.

US gun control would probably mean the Federal Government would keep track of how much
ammunition you're buying- like they do when you buy certain over the counter medications that can be also used to cook meth. No one ever says their right to fight cold symptoms has been infringed upon by those laws.

The Assault Rifle Ban would likely be reinstituted. This prevents non-military personnel from buying
military type weapons. It would not "take guns away" from anyone who owned one already. We had this ban during the Clinton Administration without transforming into a Police State so I think we might risk it again.

Likewise, high capacity magazines would likely be banned. Did the Founding Fathers think you had a
constitutional right to fire dozens of rounds per second? I don't presume to know what they intended,
but high capacity magazines are one of the things that make mass shootings easier. Losing the right to
own them would be a very small price to pay for having fewer Newtowns.

I hear frequently that no matter what you do, there will always be gun violence because criminals will
still get guns. The Far Right is saying that there shouldn't be a law because criminals would break that law. Is there any law that has totally eradicated the crime that it forbids? If so, I am unaware of it. Does that mean we shouldn't have laws of any kind because they are not effective? Probably not.

I also hear about how many drunk driving deaths there are and how "we haven't banned cars or
alcohol". But the Far Right misses its own point here. Cars and alcohol are both heavily regulated.
There are strong penalties for violating drunk driving laws and underage drinking laws. Have we totally elminated alcohol-related traffic deaths? No. Have these laws reduced drunk driving deaths
significantly?- yes.

And that is the point, isn't it?

Lastly is the Rights issue. The 2nd Amendment is in the Constitution and gives Americans the right to bear arms. But all arms? Really? One doubts that Wayne LaPierre for example, would uphold his next door neighbor's right to collect biological weapons. Or even large amounts of explosives.

And Constitutional Rights are not absolute in any case - there is a long history in American
jurisprudence that limits the rights of the individual when they begin to infringe on the rights of others. One has the right to whatever religion one wants, but not to practice human sacrifice as part of that religion. One has the right to free speech, but can't yell "fire" in a crowded movie theater if there's no fire.  My kid's right to not be trampled to death at a theater, trumps someone else's right to be an idiot in this case.

Ultimately the question is how do we balance the rights of lawful gun owners with the rights of
society? Would any of the above proposed measures seriously impede most gun owners from
exercising their constitutional right? Not significantly. Would these laws likely reduce the number of
gun-related deaths? Yes.

And that's what we want.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Senator, come out, come out, wherever you are

By Walt Zlotow

Sen. Dillard, how long must your patient, wait for you to respond to a simple constituent request: How will you vote when the historic marriage equality measure is called in Illinois?

You need to come out of the closet....not that you're gay of course, and not that there's anything wrong with that. Its the closet of fear you are hiding in from all the homophobes in your district and your party who you possibly feel might jeopardize your chances of being governor if you "come out" for marriage equality.

Gov. Quinn says he'll sign the measure if you pass it because, as a Democrat, he is for granting marriage equality and Ist class citizenship to all Illinoisans. You see, there are no homophobes left in the Democratic Party. They all reside in your party, Senator.

I look forward to your appearance....and your decision.


Walt Zlotow
24th IL Senate District

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Video: Why I Am A Democrat In DuPage County 001

Congratulations Mr. President

By Dale Bowling

President Barack Obama was named Time's Person of the Year for 2012. It is the second time he has
had this honor.

Obama's approval rating is the highest its been in ages at 57%.

Like "Just got bin Laden" big.

It's not hard to see why really. Obama has led America through some of the hardest years in recent
memory. He set the agenda that picked up the pieces and built a steady recovery from the Bush

President Obama's policy of economic stimulus was gutsy. If it blew up in his face, there wasn't anyone else to hang the blame on. President Obama and Congressional Democrats did it because it was the best way to shore up our failing economy and protect Main Street. And it created millions of jobs and kept America from plunging into a Second Great Depression.

Obama brought America the first meaningful health care reform since the Great Society of the 60s. And again, it didn't always earn him a lot of fans. He did it because it was the right thing to do.

Our President took out Osama bin Laden and broke up Al Qaeda networks everywhere.

Barack Obama has helped build a coalition of voters who will bring Democratic victories for years to

President Obama has proved to be a leader when America most needed one.

Congratulations Mr. President on being named Time's Person of the Year for 2012!

Monday, December 17, 2012

"These Tragedies Must End"

By Dale Bowling

The President's speech last night concerning the school shootings in Newtown, CT gave voice to the
Nation's grief, its desire to comfort the victims and their loved ones and America's responsibility to
protect its most precious resource - its children.

Newtown, Connecticut is a normal American town. Nothing about it or Sandybrook Elementary would make a person think something so horrible might happen there. As the President said, this could have been any school, any town in America.

And in this normal American town, 20 children and 6 adults were murdered at a school.

As the President said last night, "These tragedies must end."

But things don't just change by themselves. "To end this, we must change."

There have been 31 school shootings since Columbine in perfectly normal schools and normal towns
all across the Nation.

And every time it happens, we express our National anguish that such Evil could exist and we pound
our chests and weep. And then we go back to our own lives and we wait for the next terrible tragedy
that we've done nothing to prevent to pop up so we can start the entire process of National Anguish
followed quickly by National Thumb Twittling over again.

The President has said it rightly, these tragedies have to end. We must do something about that.

The very first thing is to begin the conversation. But as the Daily Show pointed out a recently in a
bitterly funny talking head montage, there never seems to be a good time to talk about what we can do because it's always too soon. And as soon as it's not too soon, there's a new tragedy that makes it too soon again.

The horrifically ironic thing is that Jon Stewart was talking about the shooting in Portland, Ore and that has already fallen out of the news cycle because of the shooting at Sandybrook Elementary.

So let's throw out the "too soon" thing and start talking now. What can be done? Lots of things.

We most often hear about legislative action and that is certainly one road to explore. We could pass
new laws or enforce existing laws to make it harder for guns to fall into the wrong hands. We could
close loopholes in existing laws. We could pass harder sentences for gun crimes. Renew the assault
weapons ban.

Another thing is that we can really work to get help for those who need it. Public health officials and
educational authorities can work harder to identify people with mental disorders and get them
treatment, as the President mentioned in his speech.

There are certainly many other things we can do that will come to light if we can just have this

But let us be honest for a moment. All this costs money. Law enforcement, educational institutions and public health officials need to be given the resources to do their jobs properly and this funding can't be subject to taxpayer kvetching or political blackmail a year or two down the road.

President Obama said, "this job of keeping our children safe and teaching them well is something
we can only do together." 

We all have to sacrifice for America's children. And again, the President said it best, "if we don't get
that right, we don't get anything right. "

Friday, December 14, 2012

What will Concealed Carry Mean for Illinois?

By Dale Bowling

A few days ago a Federal Appeals Court declared Illinois' ban on Carrying a Concealed Weapon (CCW) unconstitutional. Illinois is the last state in the Union to not have a CCW law on the books. The Court gave Illinois 180 days to pass their own version of a Concealed Carry Law. Opponents have vowed to fight the decision.

Proponents of CCW say that the 2nd Amendment gives them the right to bear arms. They say that self-defense is a right of Americans and as the Court specifically stated that right does not end when a person leaves the home. Lastly, they say that violent crime on average is down since similar laws were passed in other states.

Opponents say that more guns is inevitably going to lead to more gun violence. They also question whether oversight on CCW is effective given the numerous cases where violent offenders and the mentally ill were found to possess CCW permits.

There is a problem with the conversation though. There are two separate questions that tend to get jammed together. The rights question and the efficacy question.

In other words, 1) Do you have the right to a firearm? and 2) Is it a good idea to have a firearm?

Gun Control advocates tend to say no to both questions and Gun Rights Advocates say yes to both questions.

Leaving aside the first question, let's just ask the second. Does owning a gun make you safer?

There haven't been really good studies on the effects of concealed carry on violent crime. Period.

The pro-CCW studies that do exist state that violent crime has gone down on average since these laws have been on the books. The problem here is that violent crime was already going down before CCW was on the books and despite public perception that crime is getting worse and worse, violent crime has been going down steadily on average since the 60s. So it's not clear that CCW had anything to do with that.

Lacking good studies on CCW, it makes sense to look at studies of the classic case of "someone broke into my house and he/she had a gun" to see if being armed makes you safer when confronted by an armed assailant.

The most relevant study, cited in the American Journal of Public Health showed that when a homeowner had a gun and the home invader also had a gun, the homeowner was between 4.46x and 5.45x more likely to be shot than if the homeowner was unarmed. The study concluded that the combination of an intruder who felt his safety was in jeopardy (and was therefore more jittery) and a homeowner who felt more confident (and was therefore more likely to seek confrontation), accounted for the increased incidences of injury among homeowners with guns.

Does this tell us anything about CCW? Well, probably. As the Federal Appeals Judge said, the issues involving self-defense don't change just because you're not in your house. CCW will lead to more people feeling confident in confronting assailants and more criminals who feel they are losing control of the situation.

Bad things are likely to happen as a result, but only time will tell.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Right To Work For Less

By: Dale Bowling

Michigan just became the 24th state to enact a "Right To Work" Law. In the state legislature there, Republicans just lost seats and when the new State Government meets Republicans would lack the votes to enact Right to Work, so they're ramming it through at the 11th hour.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Right To Work Laws, they allow workers at union companies to opt out of paying dues to the union that go to pay for collective bargaining. So if you don't like your union or are really cheap or whatever, you can just not pay your dues.

Advocates of Right To Work say this gives workers more rights to make decisions and creates a work-friendly business environment. They say this creates more companies wanting to locate in those states and therefore brings more jobs to the state.

The fact of the matter is that meticulous study has shown that Right To Work states do not see improved job opportunities or employment after passing Right to Work legislation.

What they do see is the power of organized labor decrease, which is what Republicans wanted all along.

Of the 10 states with the highest poverty rates, 8 of them are Right To Work States.

The President has called this the "Right To Work For Less".

It's not a coincidence that the time in American history when income inequality was the lowest and economic growth reached record highs was also the time when Union membership was at its height.

When workers could bargain with management on more or less equal footing, then workers could see income gains from higher productivity.

To put it simply when workers had a stake in how their company did and the company had a stake in its workers, everyone treated each other fairly and everyone did well.

But if workers can opt out of paying union dues then the union sees its budget fall, which makes protecting its members interests that much harder (a lot of union dues go to paying labor attorneys which negotiate contracts). When members see that their interests aren't being defended, they're more likely to stop paying their dues which furthers the union's downward spiral.

The ultimate result is that the income of both union and non-union employees stagnate even as corporate profits rise ever higher. Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich remarked recently that, "The ratio of corporate profits to wages is now higher than at any time since just before the Great Depression."

The reason both union and non-union suffer is because in the Golden Age of American Labor one of the things that drove non-union shops to deal fairly with its employees was the fear they might unionize.

The fewer rights that American Labor has and the less it is able to defend them leads to what we see today- enormous abuse in the system.

We have Walmart which has been accused of sustained discrimination, worker intimidation, manipulating work schedule to circumvent labor protections, etc.

We see Hostess ask their workers to take a pay cut for the companies sake, give executives a hefty raise with it, further mismanage the company, raid their workers' pensions to pay operating costs and then ask the workers to take a second pay cut and when they refuse, blame the company's demise on the union.

We see Papa John and the rest complaining that their operating costs from giving their employees insurance (which translates to like a nickel a meal) is going to drive the company under.

And these are just the prominent examples that have been in the news this week.

Union busting is just another example of Republicans taking something that works pretty well overall, breaking it, and then claiming it doesn't work and should be replaced or further weakened.

I have a prediction. If someday Republicans gain control of the Illinois legislature, we'll start to hear how Right To Work laws would promote employment and economic growth in the Land of Lincoln.

When that day comes, all we'll have to do is look across the Lake to see if there is an economic miracle in Michigan since the law was passed. Maybe the 24th time is a charm?

Monday, December 10, 2012

When You're In A Hole, Stop Digging.

By Dale Bowling

In a conversation about Mitt Romney's most recent asinine assertion, a prominent Republican Senator
expressed his disapproval by saying that "when you're in a hole, you stop digging." Always good

The Bush Recession wrecked the economy. Democrats have built a steady recovery, but we fell so far
down the rabbit hole because of Republican excess, that America has had a long, hard road to travel
and many Americans still struggle.

This means that we need to stop digging.

And what would put us further down the hole than saying to the Elderly, the Poor, the Sick (often the
same folks) that, "hey, we know you're having a hard time, but the Deficit is high and though you've
played by the rules your whole working life, paid for your benefits and earned them, we're going to
slash your income drastically because Republicans won't give on keeping tax cuts for rich people"?

Is this how we builder a better, fairer, stronger America? Is that the America that any of us want to live in?

Besides being utterly without decency, the idea of cuts in Earned Benefits, like Social Security and
Medicare or Need-Based Benefits like Welfare or Medicaid, don't even make fiscal sense -  they harm the economy more than they help it.

Both the elderly and the poor spend nearly all the money that they receive. They spend it on food,
health care, rent, keeping the lights and gas on, clothing, etc. Besides greatly improving the quality of
their own lives, this money is cycled back into the economy and represents the earnings of a whole lot of businesses, great and small who pay employees. Maybe like you.

Study after study shows that tax cuts for the rich don't make as much impact on the economy. Rich
people can only consume so much and therefore, less gets put back into the economy. Even their
investments don't produce the job growth that consumption does.

So as a way to reduce the Deficit, tax rate increases on the wealthiest and luckiest of Americans
provide more bang for the buck than decreases in spending for everyone else. The richest Americans represent the place where there is enough excess that can be profitably applied to reduce the Deficit (which their own tax cuts ran up anyway).

This is a matter of fairness. Pure and simple. Don't let anybody tell you otherwise.

Let your representatives know that Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Welfare cuts should take a backseat to increases in tax rates on those who make more than $250,000/year. Their information is

Do it now. 

Congresswoman Judy Biggert- Illinois 13th Congressional District

Judy Biggert
United States House of Representatives
2113 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515-1313

Phone: 202-225-3515




Congressman Peter Roskam- Illinois 6th Congressional District

Peter Roskam
United States House of Representatives
227 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-1306

Ph: 202-225-4561



Twitter: @PeterRoskam

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin

Sen. Dick Durbin
United States Senate
711 Hart Senate Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510
Ph: (202) 224-2152




Illinois Senator Mark Kirk

Senator Mark Kirk
524 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC, 20510

Phone: 202-224-2854



Friday, December 7, 2012

Video: Dianne McGuire And C.O.D. Board Candidate Ed Agustin Address The 2012 DPDC Holiday Bash

All the best,


Video: DPDC Executive Director Amy Rohrer Explains Why She Is A Democrat At DPDC 2012 Holiday Bash

All the best,


Video: U.S. Congressman Bill Foster Addresses DPDC Holiday Bash

All the best,


Video: Chairman Bob Peikert Addresses DPDC Holiday Bash

All the best,


Why We Won And Why We Will Continue To Win

By Dale Bowling

Democrats won big time in November. America re-elected President Obama, we expanded our majority in the U.S.Senate and received a million more votes for our candidates in the U.S. House of Representatives than the GOP. Just as importantly, we seriously improved our numbers in local and county government. Historically DuPage has been a tough nut to crack for Democrats, so this is quite an accomplishment on our part. The momentum is ours.

Why did we do so well? Democrats had a lot of advantages and Republicans had a lot of disadvantages true, but there is one reason above all others that explains this victory.

America trusts the Democrats. It's really not a lot more complicated than that.

You see, Democrats have proven over and over again that we have America's back.

Who picked up the pieces from the Bush Recession and built a steady recovery? Democrats.

Who said they were going to push through Health Care Reform and actually did it? Democrats.

Who ended the war in Iraq and is winding down the war in Afghanistan, just like they said they would? Democrats.

Who has supported your rights over and over again, be they the right to marry who you want, or the right to earn as much as someone else doing the same work or the right to decide what to do with your own body? Democrats.

Who reformed Wall Street so the worst abuses in the last administration don't come back to haunt us? Again, the Democrats.

If you were the poll-reading type during the election when they asked the "trust" question, respondents said over and over again they trusted Democrats to reform the economy, protect and invest in America, and make America a stronger, better, fairer place for our children and their children.

For their part, Republicans always got high marks at protecting the interests of the wealthy.

And Democrats have shown in the current debate on the Fiscal Cliff that they are the grown-ups, that Democrats favor balanced approaches to fix America's problems and not just doubling down on failed polices America has firmly rejected- as their Republican colleagues continue to do.

Democrats will continue to win because Americans know that Democrats will fight for them.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Congressman Roskam must rescind false tax issue job loss claim

By Walt Zlotow
We expect our Congressmen to engage in a certain amount of hyperbole in their self serving communications with their constituents. However, my Congressman Peter Roskam's latest email to constituents titled "This is small business America" is beyond the pale and must be rescinded. His charge that the President's proposed tax increase "could cost as many as 700,000 jobs" is unsubstantiated hype that has no basis in fact. It is a blatant scare tactic designed to deceive low information voters and placate his wealthy base which has made very clear that continued support depends on keeping the trillions in tax cuts they received since 2001. Besides that scurrilous claim, Roskam omits the fact that the President's tax proposal contains tax cuts for 100% of taxpayers including 100% of all businesses, large and small. For 98% of taxpayers, including 97% of small business owners, his tax plan covers 100% of their income. For the remaining 2% of taxpayers, including 3% of small business owners, they enjoy current tax rates on the first $250,000 of income. Over that very generous amount they will pay a modest higher tax rate to bring long overdue fairness to our tax system that has been skewed to the wealthiest Americans for eleven years now. During that time, massive income disparity between that favored upper 2% and the remaining Americans has widened to the biggest disparity since the period before and leading up to the Great Depression.

We do not know the income of the family owned Gorski Engineering Roskam says will see their taxes increase, but if they fall within the 97% of small businesses making under $250,000, they will pay not an extra penny in tax. If they are in that golden 3% making over $250,000, they will not pay a penny of extra tax on the first $250,000 of income. Roskam also states that their 17 employees will also pay more tax. Are we to believe that each of those 17 employees makes over $250,000 yearly? If so, why do they need Roskam to shill for their extravagant life style at the expense of the middle class being sunk by the tax and wealth disparity Roskam champions to retain his wealthy base. Those of us who truly care about the entire society instead of just the wealthy, will continue to scrutinize Roskam's communications and hold up a mirror to his misstatements. The Congressman is in denial if he ignores the roughly two thirds of the electorate who favor increased tax rates for those most able to pay but who have engorged on unneeded tax cuts for over a decade. Congressman Roskam should resend this email without the false charges but including the facts that he so feverishly works to hide. It will make Congressman Roskam's work on our behalf a lot easier. He won't have to remember what he said.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Why Raising the Age of Medicare Eligibility Doesn't Fix The Deficit

By Dale Bowling

Republicans made it clear that if the US is going to avert the Fiscal Cliff, it's going to be primarily through government spending cuts.

They wouldn't list what they wanted to cut because they knew taxpayers would be up in arms -the things Republicans want to cut the most are the most popular programs that benefit the most Americans. Go figure.

Now we finally have an explicit policy idea from Republicans: raise the age of Medicare eligibility.

This sounds like a common sense idea. Medicare is expensive. It will be less expensive if fewer people are on it.

Well, that actually is true. Raising the age that seniors qualify for Medicare would save taxpayers $113 Billion over the next decade.

That sounds like a lot, but actually this $11.3 billion a year savings is less than NASA's budget.

The Bush Tax Cuts and the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan added trillions to the Deficit. Trillions with a "T". Republicans think that $11.3 billion a year savings from raising the age Seniors can get Medicare is going to dent that? This is the party of fiscal discipline? Really?

By contrast, President Obama's plan of returning to the Clinton era tax rates for the top 2% of earners would produce $1.6 Trillion over the next decade. This is over ten times more than the savings to be had from raising the age of Medicare eligibility to 67.

To understand why raising the age of eligibility for Medicare doesn't save more money, you have to think for a second about how insurance works. Money comes from all policyholders and money goes to those who are sick right now. Healthier people help pay for the folks who are sicker in the pool of policyholders.

On average the healthiest are the youngest people in a given pool of policyholders. If you take the youngest out of the pool of Medicare patients, then the cost for the rest has just increased per person. The risk is spread over fewer, sicker people and this is going to mean higher costs to patients on Medicare.

Also, since most people retire before 67 nowadays there is going to be a few years where you're not covered by your current insurance, but aren't yet eligible for Medicare. Is it going to be cheap (remember- you're retired) to get coverage at age 65 from a private insurer? You're typically the least healthy of that pool and insurers charge accordingly.

Raising the age of Medicare eligibility is such a terribly bad idea when the benefits are weighed against the disadvantages that you have to wonder about it. It will hardly touch the Deficit, but it will cost Seniors big time. Shouldn't Republicans have thought of all that?

This could be another attempt by Republicans to Break Big Government, so that it doesn't work and then complain loudly about how Big Government doesn't work. Then maybe people will start to believe the Private Sector is always the way to go.

Or it could be that Republicans haven't really thought out all the consequences of their policy changes. As I have said before, not what you want from the people who are making huge decisions about your life and well-being.

Or it could be that they've come to believe their own propaganda. Government is always the problem, never the solution and basic mathematics and polls showing how satisfied Medicare patients are can't pierce the veil that Republicans have wound around themselves.

So there again are your choices with Republicans on the Fiscal Cliff: Dishonest, Clueless, Crazy.

An alternative put forth by President Obama is that Medicare should be able to use its buying power to get bulk discounts on prescription drugs. Medicare's prescription drug benefit created by Republicans didn't allow that or the purchasing of generics because it was largely a taxpayer-funded giveaway to Big Pharma. By eliminating that restriction, Taxpayers could get the same savings from Medicare age changes, but patients on Medicare wouldn't see their costs go up. If anything, they'd go down.

America needs to tell its Representatives what it thinks. Contact your Senators and Congressional Representatives and tell them what a terrible idea raising the age of eligibility for Medicare would be for America's Seniors.

Congresswoman Judy Biggert- Illinois 13th Congressional District

Judy Biggert
United States House of Representatives
2113 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515-1313

Phone: 202-225-3515




Congressman Peter Roskam- Illinois 6th Congressional District

Peter Roskam
United States House of Representatives
227 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-1306

Ph: 202-225-4561



Twitter: @PeterRoskam

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin

Sen. Dick Durbin
United States Senate
711 Hart Senate Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510
Ph: (202) 224-2152




Illinois Senator Mark Kirk

Senator Mark Kirk
524 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC, 20510

Phone: 202-224-2854



Friday, November 30, 2012

What You Need To Know About Taxes and Fiscal Cliffs

By: Dale Bowling

The "Fiscal Cliff" has dominated the news lately and justly so. To put it the Biden way, it's a big f-ing deal.

The Fiscal Cliff is totally manmade. If you thought that reckless spending was what brought us here, you've been watching Fox News. Stop doing that.

The Fiscal Cliff is a bunch of tax increases and spending cuts that kick in automatically if an agreement is not reached by December 31 to prevent them from happening. This was what the compromise over the Debt Ceiling last year wrought. It was basically a ploy to get both parties to the table to talk about long-term deficit strategies.

Bad thing is that if across the board tax increases and spending cuts take place, this is likely to weaken America's hard-fought economic growth which is beginning to really pick up steam now.

What you need to know about this is that Democrats want to extend the Bush Tax Cuts for everyone who makes less than $250,000 a year. That's like 98% of America. The Uber-Rich will (Heaven Offend!) go back to the rates they had under President Bill Clinton.

You know, when we had a roaring economy and a projected budget surplus.

Republicans want everyone to get the Bush Tax Cuts including the Super Rich. They say, they're open to more taxes through limiting deductions. Hmmm...sounds familiar.

Oh- that was the Romney policy that America firmly rejected on Nov. 6. That's why it seems so familiar.

Problem is that reform of the tax code on deductions doesn't yield as much revenue as rate changes and these same "reforms" are likely to hurt middle-class Americans as well.

Since President Obama campaigned on the idea of slight rate increases for the wealthiest of Americans and he was re-elected by a wide margin combined with a recent poll which showed that 60% of Americans supported a rate increase for the richest Americans, one would think that this mandate would put Congressional Republicans in the position where they would heed what America has said.

Not so much, actually.

They're planning on holding tax cuts for 98% of Americans hostage in favor of the 2% who will have to go back to top tax rate under Bill Clinton.

Afterall, that's a 4% tax increase for the wealthiest Americans. How can Billionarie Republican Donors cope with that? They may have to... OK, they wouldn't have to change their lifestyle in any tangible way. But it's the principle of the thing, right? It's the principle that the Super Rich (who are the most fortunate of the fortunate in American society) would be called upon to make a tiny sacrifice for their Country.

I believe that may have been what 60% of Americans are supporting.

Our President has called on all of America, to contact our representatives in Congress to let them know how we feel about the tax changes that come with the "Fiscal Cliff" negotiations. Addresses, phone numbers, facebook pages and twitter accounts are below. Write, Call, Type, Tweet.

Congresswoman Judy Biggert- Illinois 13th Congressional District

Judy Biggert
United States House of Representatives
2113 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515-1313

Phone: 202-225-3515




Congressman Peter Roskam- Illinois 6th Congressional District

Peter Roskam
United States House of Representatives
227 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-1306

Ph: 202-225-4561





Illinois Senator Dick Durbin

Sen. Dick Durbin
United States Senate
711 Hart Senate Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510

Ph: (202) 224-2152




Illinois Senator Mark Kirk

Senator Mark Kirk
524 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC, 20510

Phone: 202-224-2854



Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Social Security Cuts Would Have Literally No Effect on the Deficit

By Dale Bowling

Republicans have been pressing Democrats to cut government spending to avoid the fiscal cliff and one of the places the GOP would like to see cut is Social Security. Republicans would like America to believe that spending on Social Security is one of the reasons why the Deficit is so big.

If you have been following Republicans over the years it will not surprise you to learn that they are either lying or woefully ignorant about how their government actually works or not in touch with objective reality.

The reason for this bold assertion is that Social Security doesn't actually add to the budget deficit and cutting it won't help the budget deficit.

The President said some time ago, and was most recently quoted by Senator Bernie Sanders from VT that,

Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit, Social Security is totally funded by the payroll tax levied on employer and employee. If you reduce the outgo of Social Security that money would not go into the general fund to reduce the deficit. It would go into the Social Security trust fund. So, Social Security has nothing to do with balancing a budget or erasing or lowering the deficit.”

We all know how little Republicans respect this kind of thing- specialized knowledge about how things actually work that might interfere with preconceived notions of how things ought to work.

And we all know how little they respect Presidents who have this sort of depth of knowledge- except that the President who Bernie Sanders was quoting was President Ronald Reagan in the Presidential Debate in Louisville on Oct. 7, 1984.

As it is, Social Security has a $2.7 trillion surplus. That's enough to keep it solvent for decades.

So why the big push to cut Social Security?

Could this be yet another attempt to kneecap Big Government? After all, Social Security is one of the most popular Government programs and one of the most successful. It's tough to argue that "government is always the problem" when the example of Social Security stands in obvious contradiction.

So the strategy might be - paint Social Security as a big problem, force cuts down the throats of vulnerable seniors until they finally say, "hey- we think the private sector might do a better job."

Or it could be that the Republican leadership doesn't really understand how Social Security works. (Who better then, to make major decisions about it?)

Or it could be that Objective Reality isn't as important to Congressional Republicans as what goes on in their own minds?

There are your choices- dishonest, clueless or crazy.

The important thing in all of this is that America not fall for this claptrap. Congressional Republicans are going to make a major push to convince America, it's imperative we revamp Social Security for the fiscal health of the Nation.

Dishonest, Clueless, Crazy.

Let your representatives know that the promise to America's Seniors is one we won't abandon. Keep Social Security away from Fiscal Cliff negotiations.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Show Your Support for Christopher Phillips on Dec. 20th!

Please see the following email from the DuPage County NAACP branch of which, I am a member. Until members of our branch and others concerned with justice being served in this case appeared in court to support Christopher Phillips, the states attorney did not put forth an effort to bring a conviction to the three defendants who attacked Mr. Phillips. Being among those attending the proceedings, I can tell you our presence has made a significant impact on the outcome of the prosecution’s efforts.

If you are in the Chicago-land area, please consider appearing in the courtroom on December 20th to show support for Christopher Phillips. If you are not in the area but have contacts who are, please forward this invitation to them. We are not protesting or marching, we are simply appearing in the courtroom as a diverse group of attendees, witnessing the judicial process. If you have inhibitions concerning attending, consider how you would feel if this type of thing happened to you or to one of your loved ones. I think we would all welcome the efforts of the NAACP to change the outcome of the prosecution’s efforts. Please see the email below for the details.

You can also visit for the story by ABC News back in August 2011 when the incident took place. Thanx for your help.

Michael Childress

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Things To Be Thankful For This Year!

By Dale Bowling

There are a lot of things for which DuPage Democrats should be thankful this year. Here is a list in no particular order.

We are thankful:

That our President Barack Obama was re-elected and we will have a president for the next four years who doesn't represent just 53% of Americans, but all Americans.

That the Senate remains in the hands of Grown-ups who are going to keep all kinds of Tea Party nonsense from becoming law.

That because of the aforementioned items America doesn't have to go back to the same policies that nearly brought us to the brink of economic ruin.

That America's hard-earned job growth over the last four years is protected from sabotage from those who would like to see America fail, so they can get their own guys back in.

That in America today access to Health Care is no longer a privilege of the Wealthy or the Lucky, but a right that all Americans enjoy.

That Republicans lacked the votes to prevent the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 from becoming law, since that law prevented America from sliding into a Second Great Depression. (OK- this wasn't this year, but we can still be thankful for it.)

That a broad coalition of voters (the Young, Women, Hispanics, African-Americans, and the Highly-Educated, among many others) have embraced the Democratic Party as the Party of Common Sense and Common Decency and with their help, the Democrats will be able to build a stronger, better, fairer America.

That America supports the right of Women to earn as much as Men for the same work and that Women have the right to decide what they do with their own bodies.

That the Tide seems to have turned and America has embraced Marriage Equality as a basic Human Right.

That intelligent and fair policies regarding Immigration Reform will be implemented, instead of knee-jerk xenophobia. 

That America has committed itself to lift up those that have struggled in this economy, instead of leaving them to fend for themselves.

That America has made it clear that every American is free to hold his or her own religious beliefs, but no one is allowed to limit other people's freedom because of them.

That we don't have to worry about having another Supreme Court Justice appointed in the next four years who is going to undermine reproductive rights or support corporate personhood. 

That Climate Change is back on the table as a subject of debate and maybe, just maybe America will heed the evidence that this is something we need to deal with now while we still can.

That in the last election, Fairness, Freedom and Equality won out over Servitude to Corporate Interests and Middle-Class Sacrifice in favor of the Wealthiest among us.

That we've seen an 850% growth in Democratic representatives in DuPage County since March, 2008.

That we have a tremendously dedicated and talented group of candidates, voters and volunteers who will propel us to electoral victories for years to come so we can fulfill the promise of America for all Americans.

It's been a good year! Let us be thankful for it.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Exactly What's in that Big GOP Tent

By Walt Zlotow
The GOP has spent the last few years trying to convince voters that the GOP has a big tent, meaning that every racial, ethnic and interest group is welcome and well represented.

Let's see how that worked out in the 2012 presidential election.

President Obama won 55% of the women's vote
President Obama won 60% of the youth vote
President Obama won 73% of the Latino vote
President Obama won 77% of the gay vote
President Obama won 85% of the Asian vote
President Obama won 93% of the black vote

Mitt Romney did win 60% of the white vote. Interestingly, that was the same percentage of the white vote George H.W. Bush won in 1988. With his 60% of the white vote, Bush Sr. won 426 electoral votes while Romney's 60% of the white vote got him a measly 206. Do we detect a declining demographic here?

Moral of the election: To paraphrase the most famous quote from the movie Jaws: "You're gonna need a smaller tent".

Friday, November 16, 2012

Interview With Newly-Elected Forest Preserve Commisioner, Shannon Burns

We interviewed newly-elected DuPage County Forest Preserve Commissioner, Shannon Burns about her candidacy, election and vision for Forest Preserve Department.

DPDC: So what made you want to run for Forest Preserve Commissioner?

SB:  Interestingly, I never really thought about politics but I had been a community organizer right out of college, so I was familiar with community issues. When I got married we bought property that borders one of the Forest Preserves. At one point the Forest Preserve Dept. decided to put up a 26,000 sq. ft. maintenance facility right up against our property. You don't buy property next to the Forest Preserve to look at an enormous garage. The community protested and the Forest Preserve Commissioners wouldn't talk to us at all. They didn't have any official unbiased environmental impact study. We had people who were qualified to do them and offered to do one for free and we got no response at all. I thought, "this is not how elected officials are supposed to act." So I decided to run.

I ran in 2010 and I stuck to issues and didn't go negative and though I lost, I learned a lot from the experience. Then in 2011 I was accepted into the Illinois Women's Institute for Leadership which is an intensive program for Democratic women to learn political leadership skills. It lasted nine months and I learned a bunch more and ran again in 2012. This time I won. In the meantime I got certified as a Woodland Steward from the Morton Arboretum which means that I am the only member of the Board with formal land management training.

DPDC: What is the current political composition of the Forest Preserve Dept? Are you the only Democrat?

SB: The Forest Preserve Department became independent from the County Board in 2002 and since then I am the first Democrat. The County Board was entirely Republican from the Kennedy era until very recently.

DPDC: What do you bring to the table and what specific issues will you focus on now that you're Forest Preserve Commissioner?

SB:   I have training and experience in helping people reach consensus. I have an MBA. I managed a large hospital. I have a doctorate in adult education, so I understand how to bring people in. And I'm a generally cheerful person. I believe that the members of the Forest Preserve leadership should be well-rounded.

As far as issues, there are budget issues that will need to be addressed in the next few years. At almost every turn, there are people trying to get their hands on little chunks of the Forest Preserve. I can speak to why it's important to keep the land in the Forest Preserve. We're going to have to decide on historic preservation of  buildings on Forest Preserve property in the near future. There's a bridge that is in the works over County Farm Rd that once complete will form a bicycle trail from the northern part of the county all the way south of Naperville. These are some of the specific issues.

DPDC: What does your election mean for the residents of DuPage Co.?

SB: I think it means that DuPage County is increasingly unwilling to just vote for Republicans because that's just what you do in this county. Residents of DuPage are sending a big message that we want someone who will do the job, not just a party label. What I hope it will mean is that I will get the job done, avoid party lines and bring money into the county to preserve the land. The best thing we can do is forget party labels and just get down to business.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Public Investment Pays Big Dividends

By Dale Bowling

Once Republicans work their way through the seven stages of grief (I think they might still be stuck in denial), the work of governing America can resume. But this leads us to the question, what should
America's priorities be going forward?

Rightly, the first and foremost thing that Congress and the President need to do is avoid the fiscal cliff. This will involve some sacrifices on both sides -  Republicans are going to have to accept higher taxes on millionaires and Democrats will likely have to accept some unpalatable spending cuts, but as long as both sides are willing to make some sacrifices disaster can be avoided in this entirely self-created crisis.

Second, economic growth must be reinforced through government action. One of the main things that would greatly benefit America is spending on infrastructure. The American Jobs Act would create several million jobs by improving America's roads, bridges, highways, sewer and water systems, etc. The AJA would get the process moving on shovel-ready projects and create jobs in the process.

It wasn't so long ago that America's infrastructure was the envy of the world. A mere decade ago, we
were ranked fifth in the world in overall infrastructure, but over the last 10 years we have dropped to
25th. There is currently a $2 Trillion backlog of repairs and this is only going to get worse with time if we don't do something now.

Clearly the American Jobs Act would just be the beginning.

Spending on infrastructure stimulates the economy in numerous ways so taxpayers get a lot of bang
for the buck. It's a taxpayer-funded investment that pays big dividends back to taxpayers.

Construction is labor intensive, so it employs a lot of people directly. They take their hard-earned
money and buy stuff from other people who add on employees to meet the rising demand. So a large
infrastructure bill would ripple through the economy and create jobs at the grocery store, the mall, the
car dealership, the restaurant, etc. 

Also, local companies benefit from supplying raw materials to construction projects. So infrastructure
spending helps buoy the local manufacturing industries near where the money is spent. Then they take their money and buy stuff which creates more jobs.

And ironically all this spending saves money for taxpayers and private citizens in the long run. Old
pipes leak waste water that towns spent good money to treat and make usable. Old roads cost drivers
more in gas and repairs and time commuting.

Conversely, good roads bring down the cost of products and services by making them cheaper to move.

And of course, if we're going to be on the receiving end of a SuperStorm Sandy or a Katrina every few years, it would be nice to have infrastructure which can withstand them.

At the end of it, the Nation will have a brand new system of highways, bridges, etc. which can fuel
economic growth for decades.

What is needed is for Americans to stop thinking of government spending as wasting money and start
thinking of it as an opportunity and for members of both parties to put politics aside and seize this
opportunity for America.

Without government action, the US will soon have a Third World system of infrastructure. And can a Third World economy be far behind?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Don't Play Politics with America's Veterans!

By: Dale Bowling

Today is the day that we honor our Veterans- those who have sacrificed so much for America. This usually involves Americans gathering together and saying exactly how much we appreciate their service.

But every Veterans' Day I feel this to be terribly inadequate. There are two expressions that always
come back to me.

The first is "Actions speak louder than words".

The second is  "Put your money where your mouth is".

You see, Veterans have given up a lot to serve their country and yet when they come back they sometimes find that beyond a few backslaps and handshakes, they're not getting much in return.

Newly-discharged Veterans are often at a disadvantage when it comes to finding employment. If you've spent the last several years hunting down the Taliban, then your recent work experience doesn't necessarily translate well into a civilian job.

While the total veteran unemployment rate is 6.3% (well below the national average of 7.9%), the
unemployment rate for post-9/11 Veterans is 10%. Not exactly the way we want to welcome our returning Veterans home.

I assume that rather than just keeping our appreciation at the level of backslaps and high-fives, we as
Americans would want to do something about this.

There are a couple of things we can do. One is to support job training programs for returning Veterans that build on their experience to create marketable civilian employment skills.

This should be a no-brainer, but job training programs fall under the heading of GOVERNMENT
SPENDING and are organized by BIG GOVERNMENT which according to a substantial portion of the country can never do anything right and is wrong to take money from one group (say Civilians) and give it to others (like say, Veterans).

As part of GOVERNMENT SPENDING, veterans' programs are easy prey for across the board spending cuts- like the ones we might have if Republicans won't work with our President to prevent America from sliding over the fiscal cliff.

The second major thing we can do, is to reward employers who hire Veterans with additional tax cuts. Actually if you thought this would have universal support as a common sense, patriotic, inexpensive measure to help solve the problem, you would be deeply mistaken.

This tax cut for employers who hire Veterans is already in some pending legislation before Congress.

The American Jobs Act (which is fully-funded so wouldn't cost taxpayers anything to implement) would give this tax incentive to employers who hire returning veterans. It would also create millions of jobs and improve America's crumbling infrastructure in the process, but Republicans have been holding it hostage for a year hoping to deny Democrats another chance at fixing the country's ills.

Veterans' Day ceremonies and hearty handshakes are excellent, but as a Nation we need to put up or
shut up for our Veterans.

America needs to let Lawmakers know in no uncertain terms to not play politics with our Nation's
Veterans. Pass the American Jobs Act and find a compromise to keep Veterans' job training programs
from the chopping block.

Happy Veterans' Day!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Trip Down Memory Lane Leads To Fiscal Cliff

By Dale Bowling

Now that the election is over and we've all caught our breath, it's time to start thinking about America's future.

By now, everyone has heard of the 'fiscal cliff" that America is headed for and there is talk about a deal between Democrats and Republicans that would avoid this self-engineered crisis.

First a trip down memory lane.

The fiscal cliff is basically short hand for a combination of spending cuts and tax increases that will
automatically kick in the first of next year if some agreement on longterm deficit reduction is not
reached. Together they represent around $800 billion dollars a year that will be taken out of the
economy and put into deficit reduction.

I think everyone wants deficit reduction, but the problem is that the one-two punch of higher taxes and spending cuts in this fragile recovery will likely throw America back into Recession and diminish or reverse the jobs gains that Democrats have won since the Bush Recession took hold.

Both parties should be keen to avoid this for love of Country, if for no other reason.

But any agreement must be reached through true bipartisanship. After the election in 2008,
Republicans refused to help shape any of the Democratic initiatives that might have helped the country (Stimulus, Affordable Care Act, etc.). The GOP drug their feet whenever possible, hinting that if a given proposal was just watered down a little more they might vote for it, causing a further revision of the bill in question, wasting time and ultimately only three Republicans in all of Congress voted for the much-needed Stimulus and a single Republican voted for the Affordable Care Act. Both passed only because of Democratic majorities in the House and Senate.

In essence, Republicans ran out the clock until the mid-term elections and then blamed Democrats for
so little having been accomplished.

This time around, House Republicans are talking in more measured tones, but are saying the same
thing they always have said. They're OK with increasing tax revenue- but they don't want rate hikes on rich people. They're OK with eliminating deductions and loopholes.

If this sounds familiar, it should. This was Mitt Romney's tax plan without the rate cut. That is the GOP idea of compromise for raising taxes - Mitt Romney's tax plan.

So we need to learn from history. In 2008, America entrusted Democrats with the government, but love of country and desire to do good made Democrats too willing to give Republicans what they asked for in order to get bills passed. Republicans didn't vote for them anyway.

This time around Dems need to drive a harder bargain for America's sake.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Great Days

By Dale Bowling

America has spoken and it's clear that the Democratic message of shared sacrifice and shared
benefits has won out over "you're on your own".

Thanks and congratulations to all who made this possible. Candidates, volunteers, campaign workers,
voters! I could start singling out people, but I fear I would never stop if I did. This is America's victory and we all deserve to share some of its credit and to bask in its glow.

As we move forward Democrats must and will continue the struggle to restore America to its full
potential, to bring the blessings of liberty and prosperity to all Americans and to make America a
better, stronger, fairer Nation.

Yesterday was a great day for America. Democrats, now we work to make sure they're all great days.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Reasons Why The Democrats Deserve Your Vote TOMORROW!

By Dale Bowling

Democrats are asking for your vote tomorrow and what's more they've worked hard to deserve it.
Here is a list of some of the reasons why Democrats have earned your vote:

Democrats, having inherited the Bush Recession which was in the process of shedding millions of
American jobs, stepped up to the plate and passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of
2009. This helped America find the bottom of the crisis, created millions of jobs and prevented America from sliding into a Second Great Depression. Only three Republicans voted for this.

Democrats saved the auto industry in America, thereby keeping millions more Americans employed. Some Republicans thought Detroit should go bankrupt and take a lot of hard-working Americans with it. Democrats said No.

Democrats brought you the Affordable Care Act, the first meaningful health care reform in years. This will lower the cost of health care, increase access and actually lower the deficit. Before this, every American was an intersection or doctor's visit from being uninsurable for life. Only one Republican in Congress voted for this, but the Republicans in the House have voted to repeal it over 30 times.

Democrats got Bin Laden, ended the Iraq War and are winding down the war in Afghanistan.

Democrats reformed Wall Street with the Dodd-Frank Bill limiting the risk that Wall Street firms can take on in order to stop the financial industry from wrecking the economy. Again.

Democrats prevented Republicans from privatizing Social Security and will do it again if the need arises. The other guys want to put the same people who lost half your 401(k) in charge of your Social Security benefits. Democrats put their foot down and said No.

Democrats increased the number of Pell Grants, created tax credits for families with children in
college, kept student loan interest rates low and are working to improve education at all levels.

Democrats have a job plan that is ready to pass and can be implemented immediately. Economists
have argued that The American Jobs Act (which is fully-paid for) will create more than two million jobs through targeted tax cuts and badly-needed investment in infrastructure.

Democrats cut taxes for 95% of Americans.

Democrats learned the lessons of Katrina and rebuilt FEMA which saved lives and helped Americans
struggling with last week's storm.

Democrats have passed policies that have primed the economy to create 12 million jobs over the next
four years. Republicans are hoping they can claim credit for those jobs, if they're elected.

Democrats have restored American power and respect around the world.

Democrats have voted to protect the rights of all citizens in our democracy. From the right to marry
who you want to the right to decide what to do with your own body to the right to be paid the same for the same work, Democrats have championed your rights over and over again. Republicans like to talk about liberty, but primarily it's your freedom to be screwed over by Republicans they are most
interested in protecting.

Democrats have worked hard for America and will continue the struggle to create a better, stronger,
fairer America. This healthier America can only be created with the help of all of us.

VOTE DEMOCRAT tomorrow, Nov. 6!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Republicans Are Mathematically Impossible!

By Dale Bowling

Good news Democrats! We don't have to worry because Republicans are mathematically impossible!
They must be a hoax.

I'm been thinking about this and I've concluded that if math really exists and humans are rational
beings, then Republicans can't possibly really exist.

They might be a fraternity prank.

You see Republican ideas about economics are so laughably absurd that it's impossible that they really could exist. I'm waiting for the folks who engineered all this to jump out and say, "Just kidding!"

Let's take the Romney tax plan that says they can cut everyone's taxes by 20%, eliminate capital gains
tax and the estate tax altogether, and not add to the Deficit or touch middle-class deductions for
mortgage interest, medical expenses or the child tax credit.

They really had me going there because I totally thought they were serious for awhile.

They had me. But then I realized that no sane adult could believe that, so is it must be a joke.

Also, there's no way they could think that the ideas that got us into the financial crisis are preferable to ones that are getting America out of this mess. Because joke's on you- their ideas are the same now as they were then - low taxes for millionaires and billionaires and minimal regulation for businesses.

We've seen a steady climb out of the hole following the premise that if you want a different result from the Bush Recession, try something different. But "Republicans" (I've figured out the joke, you might as well stop) want us to believe that an unsupervised private sector will clear this whole thing up. HA! Like it did in 2008!

Stop, my spleen might burst!

OK- you Guys (and you are mostly guys) can stop now. We've figured it out. You don't have to continue.

Continuing this cruel joke will only hurt America further. If Americans take you seriously and vote for your candidates, we could go back to the same policies that brought us into this mess. We could
damage the social safety net so that if you're unlucky or old, you're in real danger of falling into
poverty. We could have a volatile economy that benefits the Wealthy and hurts everyone else. Lives
will be wrecked from such a ruthless set of policies based on phony math.

Please stop! 

Since this isn't funny anymore, we need to vote Democrat this Tuesday.

Do your patriotic duty and find where your polling place is right now. Then plan your day on Tuesday and figure out a time where you can go and vote for the Democrats. You won't regret it.

We don't want the joke to be on America come Nov. 7.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

What Kind Of Change Can You Believe In?

By Dale Bowling

Lately Republicans have seized on the message of "Change".

They must have seen how well it has worked for Democrats and having no appealing ideas of their
own, Republicans figured that they might borrow it for a little while.

That sort of raises the question: What kind of "Change" do you get with the Republicans vs. the
Democrats? Since this was a Democratic slogan first, let's start with them.


Democrats wanted change from the Bush Era policies that led to the greatest economic crisis since
World War II.

The Great Depression and the Bush Recession bear a lot of similarities. Both began in a deregulated
financial environment where investment banks were free to take on more risk than was good for them
or the economy in the pursuit of as much profit as possible at the expense of everyday Americans.
When this situation blew up the economy began to hemorrhage jobs. In last few months of Bush's
presidency, the economy was shedding over 500,000 jobs/month.

Democrats wanted to "Change" this dreadful jobs picture.

Since the Private Sector was MIA on job creation, Democrats stepped up and brought us the Stimulus which helped America find the bottom of the crisis, created millions of jobs and prevented America from sliding into a second Great Depression. Only three Republicans in all of Congress voted for the Stimulus.

When Democrats tried again to get the economy moving with the American Jobs Act which through a series of tax breaks and badly-needed infrastructure spending would have created millions more jobs, Republicans voted it down. Using the powers of government to get America working wasn't change they believed in.

Democrats wanted "Change" that would reform Wall Street in order to protect Main Street.

Democrats reformed Wall Street with the Dodd-Frank Bill which puts new, more stringent limits on what the financial industry can do and how much risk it can take. Republicans didn't want this change, tried to water it down and voted against it anyway.

Democrats wanted "Change" that would address the rising cost of health care and make sure that all
Americans could have access to health care.

So Democrats passed the Affordable Care Act. Before that every American (you, me, your kids, your
neighbors) was only a doctor's visit or an intersection away from being uninsurable for life. Democrats changed that. Only one Republican voted for the Affordable Care Act. Republicans didn't care to make that change. 


Republicans want the "Change" that looks backwards. The return to Bush Era policies.

Republicans want to repeal Wall Street reforms that protect America's economy from predatory financial maneuvers.

They want to repeal the Affordable Care Act and make it so you have to live in fear of losing your existing insurance or make it so you might never get insurance again.

For Republicans, "Change" means to cut taxes by 20% across the board, eliminate taxes that mostly affect the wealthy and have no real plan to pay for that that's not going to cost the middle class one way or another.

They want to turn Medicare into a "defined benefits" aka voucher program that might save taxpayers money, but only by making the elderly pay more for their health care.

Ultimately they'll try to privatize Social Security (you know this one will come back) and let the same people who ruined your 401(k) under Bush, gamble with your Social Security benefits.

Republicans want to spend billions on military hardware the Pentagon hasn't asked for, doesn't want and can't use.  

So the real question is: Do you want "Change" that will primarily benefit the wealthy and "hope" that
trickles down to you and me? If so, vote for the other guys.

But if you want change that truly benefits America across the board,  then VOTE DEMOCRAT on Nov. 6!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Can You Handle The Truth?

By Dale Bowling

The last job report before the general election is in and the numbers show more evidence that
economic growth is gathering steam. The economy added 171,000 jobs last month - the private sector creating 184,000 jobs with cuts in government spending leading to 13,000 lost public sector jobs.
Unemployment remains under 8%.

Along with last month's job report that showed increased hiring as well as signs in the housing sector that things are picking up, this signals good news for the economy.

Unless you listen to Republicans.

According Republicans this is terrible and if we just put them back in charge, the economy would be
back to what it was under George W. Bush in no time.

Just so you know this is not a good thing, but Republicans think it is.

Most of us, most of the time look at the results of something to decide whether or not it's a good thing.

Not Republicans. They look to whether the results help or hurt their case and decide on their truth that way.

This explains why Congressional Republicans successfully silenced a report by the non-partisan,
Congressional Research Service that showed that tax cuts for top earners fuel income inequality, but
not economic growth. Despite the fact, that these are professional number crunchers in a non-partisan
office, the results didn't match Republican Articles of Faith about tax cuts for the wealthy and it was
suppressed by Republicans.

Respect for the truth wherever it takes you is not the Republican way of doing things. The laundry list
of deceptions that they represent as true, even in the presence of ample evidence to the contrary, is

I am reminded of the Romney staffer who said they were not going to be dominated by fact-checkers.
This is one position that Romney hasn't switched sides on.

The Romney campaign continues to insist that Obama weakened welfare to work requirements. That
was a lie. Some states had requested flexibility on some of the welfare requirements and this was
granted by the White House. Usually Republicans like it when federal regulations are flexible. Not this time.

They say that part of the Obama auto bailout shipped some Jeep jobs to China. Not true says the Auto
Industry. There were already Jeep plants in China and those have increased production to meet
demand in China. The Jeep plants near Toledo didn't lose any jobs as a result of that. This has been
proven over and over again and the Romney campaign just keeps repeating this lie as if no fact
checkers have spoken.

Truth about climate change? Do you even have to ask?

What about the truth about which loopholes and deductions are going to make the Romney budget and tax plan work? No matter how many times we ask for the math, we go home empty-handed.

Above all, what Americans deserve from public officials is to hear the entire story about what's
happening in their country and detailed plans to fix any problems so they can make informed choices.
Republicans say you can't handle the truth.

Truth is, America is clawing its way out of the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression with very little help from Republican lawmakers. They're big on creating financial crises, but not so good at cleaning them up.

We need responsible Grown-ups in charge of Government. The ones who say that this is going to be
tough, sometimes expensive and never universally popular, but we can do it because when the
American people work together nothing is beyond its ability.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Republican to English Translations

By Dale Bowling

With all the rhetoric these days, it strikes me that a translation of Republican into plain English would be useful. These are in no particular order.

Republican: "There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. ... My job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives." -Mitt Romney, in leaked comments from a fundraiser in May 2012

Translation: "Poor people deserve what they got and I have no obligation to them."

Republican: "Corporations are people, my friend..." Mitt Romney

Translation: "Corporations have more rights than you do, my friend"

Republican: "We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers," - Romney pollster Neil Newhouse.

Translation: "We're going to lie a lot and there's nothing anyone can do about it."

Republican: "I hope he fails." - Rush Limbaugh when asked for his hope for the Obama Presidency just before Obama's inauguration.

Translation: "I would prefer to see the lives of innocent Americans ruined than have my political opponents succeed."

Republican: "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" - Mitt Romney arguing against a government bailout of the Auto industry.

Translation"Let Detroit Go Bankrupt"

Republican: "“Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch-A-Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all of over again.” - Romney advisor Eric Fehrnstrom on his campaign.

Translation: "We don't actually stand for anything."

Republican: "I should tell my story. I'm also unemployed" - Mitt Romney

Translation: "I have no idea what you're going through."

Republican: "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." - Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader.

Translation: "See above,"I hope he fails".

Republican: "My view is that we don't know what's causing climate change on this planet. And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us." - Mitt Romney

Translation: "Superstorm Sandy, You're on!"

Republican: "The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians." - Pat Robertson

Translation: "I'm not taking my medication."

And an oldie, but a goodie...

Republican: "I'm not worried about the Deficit. It's big enough to take care of itself"- Ronald Reagan who btw tripled the Deficit.

Translation: "I poke fun at the fact I'm leaving America with a terrible problem that will haunt your children's children."

Me: These people are mean-spirited lunatics who happily run our country off a cliff for short-term personal or political gain.

Translation: VOTE DEMOCRAT on NOV. 6

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!