Friday, June 17, 2011


June 17, 2011

Dear Congressman Roskam:

As a former history teacher (All Saints H.S., St. Thomas US Virgin Islands, 1985-1986), you know that history is not entertainment; but absolutely crucial to understanding our past so we can make informed decisions about our future. It is dismaying, therefore, that your latest email blast to IL Sixth District constituents, "Job Creation", either erases recent US economic history or distorts it wildly to promote failed policies that serve your narrow political base.

Your opening line is a doozy: "House Republicans sent a clear message to the White House...Washington must stop spending money it doesn't have".

Did you forget, Congressman, that the last Administration with a balanced budget and colossal job growth was the Democratic Clinton Administration?

Did you forget that the George W. Bush Administration, exploded the debt from 5.7 trillion to 10.7 trillion?

Did you forget that Republican Bush borrowed over a trillion dollars to wage two senseless wars that have killed hundreds of thousands, including over 6,000 GI's?

Did you forget that President Bush provided 2.5 trillion dollars (over 10 years) in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans which were totally unnecessary except for an avalanche of campaign contributions they stimulated?

Did you forget that President Bush passed an unpaid for, trillion dollar (over 10 years) prescription drug benefit for the elderly that prohibited the government from negotiating reasonable drug prices with Big Pharma?

Did you forget that Bush Administration's obsession with deregulation allowed the Wall Street Bankers to bring our country to the brink of economic collapse in 2008?

Did you forget that some of the debt incurred under the Obama Administration was to provide economic stimulus which prevented unemployment from hitting 12% (currenlty 9.1%)

Did you forget that some of that debt was to bailout the auto industry which is recovering nicely, paying back the government, and has saved several hundred thousand good American jobs?

Then there is: "The continued borrowed-and-spend madness hasn't helped create jobs either".

Did you forget that the Republican Bush II administration had the worst job creation record since the Republican Hoover administration between 1929 and 1933?

Did you forget the 2 million private sector jobs the Obama administration has created in the last 15 months in spite of concerted Republican intransigence to any economic stimulus?

Your prescription to end "borrow and spend madness" not only doesn't include reducing military spending and making sure the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, it increases both military spending and tax cuts for the wealthiest citizens and corporations. So where do you cut?


Health care for the needy

Infrastructure improvement

Funding for financial regulatory reform

Funding for environmental protection

Wow! These programs not only keep thousands of Americans working; they actually benefit those most in need and provide the framework and infrastructure for a thriving economy.

But the most radical program you support is Representative Paul Ryan's (Rep. WI) plan to privatize Medicare. This is the cornerstone of the Republican Party blueprint to funnel more money to the private health care industry at the expense of the elderly, and it will do nothing to create jobs.

Being certain you would not intentionally erase or distort recent economic history, maybe you should go back to school to re-learn that history. While in class, it will be OK to also bone up on the 3 R's, but please don't focus on the 5 R's: Roskam's radical Republican roadmap to ruin.

Respectfully yours,

Walt Zlotow
IL Sixth District resident


Congressman Anthony Weiner should not resign.

He has been one of the most passionate and articulate defenders of the tens of millions of the needy and the unemployed and the uninsured and the forgotten people being hurt by the Republican agenda to funnel endless wealth to the already wealthy at the expense of those legions of the less fortunate.

It turns out he was a bit over passionate in one aspect of his private life as well, but as far as we know he broke no laws and did not hurt anyone directly other than himself and those closest too him - injuries that will no doubt haunt him the rest of his life.

Contrast the Democratic leadership and even the President trying mightily to force him out for consensual, albeit tawdry and bizarre behavior, with the Republican leaders who gave a pass to Republican Senator Larry Craig, arrested for soliciting sex in an airport men's room, and Republican Senator David Vitter, who name turned up as a client on the DC Madam's little black business book. We're talking criminal conduct here; but with no salacious photos being endlessly paraded on TV and the internet, Senator Craig got to serve out his term and Senator Vitter got re-elected by his Louisiana constituents.

Weiner deserves even more of a chance than the aforementioned Senators to finish out his term to do the important business he has championed since 1999. Letting him get his head straightened out mentally so he can return from his leave of absence, is not only humane to him and his family, it is fair to his constituents who have hired him seven times now to represent them, and have just sixteen months till they can can vote to fire or rehire based on his performance as their Congressman. They are the only boss he has, and if his current district polls hold up, he will handily be re-elected.

Hang wiff 'em, Weiner.

Originally published at, June 16, 2011