Saturday, November 04, 2017

Roskam dishes up Whopper on tax cut bill

The latest internet political ad from my congressman Peter Roskam (IL -6), which jarringly interrupted my research, reminds me of Burger sure is a Whopper. Up popped a nice, middle class women extolling the congressman's tax bill as the number $1,223 in middle class tax savings crawled across her face. And the Whopper? According to the Institute On Taxation and Economic Policy, the average middle class savings is closer to $400. Worse, one in seven of those middle income taxpayers will see a tax increase due to reductions in deductible expenses. Roskam will never tell the truth to his constituents that 78% of the tax savings go to the upper 5% of earners, giving each one percenter an average reduction of $90,600, likely more than the nice middle class lady in the ad makes all year. Nor will Roskam offer one word of truth regarding the $1.5 trillion over the next decade added to the deficit that represents a financial time bomb on our economy that can only be partially ameliorated by slashing the social safety net. I don't know if my congressman consumes them at Burger King, but to his constituents he's only serving up Whoppers.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Ives brings 'disordered' to whole new level

State Rep Jeanne Ives (R -Wheaton) is a self proclaimed expert on folks being disordered. Couple of years back she told a christian radio station that gays are 'disordered' for seeking the sanctity of marriage; going further to say they're 'trying to weasel their way into acceptability so that they can then start to push their agenda down into the schools, because this gives them some sort of legitimacy... and we can't allow that to happen.' This year she doubled down on 'disordered', posting an incendiary commentary from the ultra conservative Illinois Family Institute, likening school officials supporting transgender rights to 'dirty old men in trench coats lying in wait to expose children to sordid things.' Ives has yet to recognize the hideousness of those statements or apologize for them.
But yesterday she brought disordered to a new level, lambasting colleague Laura Fine (D-Glenview) for proposing a resolution calling on Congress to “move our tax dollars in exactly the opposite direction proposed by the President, from militarism to human and environmental needs.” Fine argued that many social safety nets could be funded with just a fraction of what the nation spends on its armed forces. Trump proposed a 10% increase on defense spending, ballooning our gargantuan expenditures funding failed wars in seven Middle East and African countries, getting untold thousands of innocents killed for nothing, to over $700 billion. Ives is just fine with that yelling at Fine across the House floor “Maybe someone who sits and legislates in the worst-run state in the Union should not opine on federal military spending...especially, when people they care about are not at risk.” The audacity to denigrate a decent legislator seeking to help millions of Illinoisans in need simply because they're not fighting in senseless wars is incalculable.
Now Ives is running to legislate not for just the 110,000 citizens in her District 42. She's seeking to govern all 13,000,000 of us because Governor Rauner is spending too much money on the peoples' needs including, Ives' God forbid, full reproductive and LGBT rights. Disordered? Thy name is Jeanne Ives.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

'Blowback' key word missing from NY attack coverage

If you spent a hundred hours following 24/7 coverage of the New York City massacre that killed 8 and injured 11, you wouldn't hear the word 'blowback'. That is a shame as blowback is the likely cause that inspired young Uzbekistan native Sayfullo Saipov to rent a truck and mow down pedestrians just 5 block from the World Trade Center. Since he survived the shooting that ended his crime, we may learn more about his motivations. But hollering 'Allahu akbar' (God is great) surely points to revenge for American bombings all over the Middle East and now Africa killing untold thousands of innocents by our deranged war party. And one consequence of our needles slaughter of folks as innocent as the 8 snuffed out in New York, is that some individuals connected with peoples we're defiling will risk death to get a measure of vengeance, which is precisely what blowback entails. Since the 911 attacks, the most deadly form of blowback for our Middle East meddling, we've expanded our intelligence operations to 17 agencies costing $75 billion a year. Maybe they're preventing large scale attacks; maybe not. But they surely can't stop one man with a truck who is not acting out of our the media's operative word 'cowardice', but acting from resolute determination to die trying to inflict blowback on the US.

We would all become safer from such attacks if we'd end our senseless, futile wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Niger for starters. We should stop selling countries hundreds of billions in weaponry which often end up in the hands of folks trying to kill us. We should focus on negotiating and peacemaking among countries and the dozens, even hundreds of disparate groups and sects willing to die for their imagined God or cause. We should stop promoting utterly self defeating 'preventative' war with North Korea, Iran or any other country we fear and hate. We must wrest control of our country from the Masters of War who are soulless in their zeal to control the world through war and violence. If you think that is beyond your meager powers as a solitary citizen consider this: you may end up lying under the next truck rampaging down a pedestrian safeway.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

DuPage Forest Preserve sure isn't preserving DuPage finances

When I ran for Glen Ellyn Park District commissioner in 2015, it sure wasn't for the money. Salary $0; Health Insurance $0; Pension $0. It's the same with school boards. It's called public service and the folks who run are motivated by that single goal. Why then do the six  DuPage Forest Preserve members get an annual salary of $50,000, over a thousand dollars for each of the roughly 45 meetings that last an average of one hour. There's more: health insurance and a pension (for those whose service started before this year...which is all of them). Oh yes, the Forest Preserve president receives $75,000 plus the health insurance and pension. That's $538,000 for little part time work when other counties pay a fraction of that for the same dedicated service.  No neighboring county forest preserve commissioner comes close to the windfall goodies the DuPage Forest Preserve Board doles out to its president and commissioners. Most pay little or nothing. Lake County comes closest at a paltry $3,000 per commissioner. Their president is paid just a third of the DuPage Forest Preserve president. 

Daniel Hebreard is running for the Democratic nomination for Forest Preserve president. His reform platform calls for an 82% reduction in salaries and benefits for himself and the six commissioners. That is $441,000 each year for better facilities like new modern washrooms at the busiest preserves, bridges to connect trails and communities, and improved technology. You won't hear about cutting salaries and benefits from the president and three commissioners up for re-election next year. They and the other three Forest Preserve members, all Republicans, have a limit on promoting fiscal responsibility for the public. It begins after they take care of themselves. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Roskam's Weekly Roundup for October 21-27 an insult

My congressman Peter Roskam's constituent email 'Roskam's Weekly Roundup for October 21-27' sure is designed for the low information voter. It touts his vote for the GOP tax plan pitched as tax reform to help small business owners and states like Illinois. But Roskam leaves out that 80% of proposed tax cuts go to the richest 1%; just 12% to the folks in the 20 to 80% of earners. Worse, some of those meager earners will get a tax increase due to elimination of deductions they depend on such as for state income taxes. Worse yet, the trillions cut over 10 years must be revenue neutral, so IRA contributions may be cut from $24,000 per year ($18,000 for workers under 50) to just $2,400. Even worser, Medicaid and Medicare will be slashed to give Roskam's GOP a twofer: paying for tax cuts for the rich on the backs of the folks Roskam and his colleagues don't see, don't hear...don't care about.
On to healthcare where Roskam's trumpeted constituent information is truly bizarre as in these 18 words:
Healthcare, Insurance and Childcare:
Kindercare Learning Centers
American Heart Association
Aflac Insurance
Travelers Insurance
Antimicrobial Working Group meeting
We're paying Roskam a quarter million a year in salary and benefits to insult us with these meaningless words on a matter of life and death. We'd be better served with the truth; he's proudly spent the last 9 years trying to keep 20 million off the health insurance roles, allowing 200,000 unnecessary deaths over a decade.
It cost virtually nothing to send us these pixels. But come election season, Roskam will spend much of his $2,000,000 war chest to bury 6th District voters with full color glossies with these and much, much more of his blizzard of meaningless pap.