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Schakowsky's Jobs Bill Faces Uphill Battle

The 9th District lawmaker's call for a $227 billion plan is sure to draw GOP fire.

With the economy struggling, the markets extremely volatile and the debt limit debate still stinging, U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) was aiming to put a focus back on job creation last Wednesday. But her $227 billion proposal will face stiff opposition even her most ardent of supporters concede.

At a North Side school in Chicago, Schakowsky said she will be introducing a plan when Congress returns from its recess in September that she estimates will create as many 2.2 million jobs in this era of above 9 percent unemployment rates.

“Because the American people, 2 to 1 [ratio], believe the real issue is jobs, I am relying on the voice of the American people to make the difference and to make this legislation a reality,” Schakowsky said to a cheering throng of supporters.

Specifically, her legislation calls the creation of “emergency” jobs by putting people to work in schools, parks, a student job corps, health care as well as new teachers, policemen and firefighters.

Schakowsky does not have a funding component for the proposal, but said the $227 billion legislation could be fully paid for over two years by creating higher tax brackets for millionaire and billionaires and eliminating certain tax loopholes and subsidies.

“The job creators are not the big companies sitting on $2 trillion and not creating any jobs right now because there is no demand,” Schakowsky said. “What this bill does--and it is not the total answer-- is to put 2 million people to work.”

Ina Allen, a music teacher at the Chute School in Evanston, represented the Illinois Education Association at the rally. “This legislation will help steer our economy back to fiscal strength and restore the American Dream for struggling working families,” she said.

“The United States needs vision and a pathway to assure us that we will reach full employment and prosperity,” said Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen. “This bill helps us accomplish that goal.”

Not surprisingly, the GOP did not take well to the proposal.

“It shows to me how complete tone deaf Jan Schakowsky is,” said Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady. “It also makes me think she does not know about basic economics. Government does not create jobs.

"This is just one of her many redistribution schemes," he added. "It didn’t work when they spent $862 billion on the stimulus. It is amazing to me with what everything that has occurred in the past year, she would come out with something like this. It makes no sense on a variety of different levels.”

No one doubts Schakowsky is going to have a very difficult time getting such a proposal through the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, especially after the passionate and partisan weekslong debate over increasing of the debt ceiling pass its $14 trillion level.

But Schakowsky, who has served the 9th District since 1999, remained hopeful.

“I believe some [of my colleagues] would like to do the right thing and are being held hostage by a minority of people called the Tea Partyers in the Congress,” she said.

Van Dusen, who served as a top aide to Schakowsky’s predecessor Sidney Yates, realized that passage of the jobs legislation will be difficult in today’s political climate.

“It’s going to be a tough road,” he said. “But we have to make sure that jobs are part of the conversation.”

The lack of specifics regarding funding concerned Skokie resident Roy Chavadiyil, the chief steward of Local 73 of the Service Employees International Union.

“Where is the funding going to come from?  She didn’t give a definitive answer,” Chavadiyil said. “That might be a problem if we don’t show the right funding source.

"We have to create jobs, there is no question. If we don’t create jobs, we are going to fall into debt even more," the union leader said. "Where the funding is going to come from is going to be a problem for passing it in Congress.”

Richard Schulte August 25, 2011 at 11:41 AM
Ms. Williams, you would like to deny that you are a socialist, however, your support for Obamacare, higher taxes (70 percent) on the "wealthy" and the take over of GM by the government would indicate otherwise. Socialized medicine is pure socialism. In order for capitalism to work, capital formation is necessary. If the government confiscates private sector capital with high taxes, capitalism can't function properly. Democrats know that the American people would never support their goal of socialism, so they cover it up with claims that they believe in capitalism. President Obama's campaign is the perfect example. President Obama would never have been elected if he had ran on his actual agenda. Instead he covered up his agenda up with slogans, "Hope and Change" and "Yes we can". President Obama says one thing and then does another-the classic socialist. President Obama's economic programs have failed to revive the economy. Of course, that was a given. Government interference in the private sector doesn't work. The government can't create real jobs-the government can only create "make work" jobs. Government interference in the private sector has prolonged this recession. Unfortunately, it appears that the recession will continue until at least election day in 2012. If President Obama is re-elected, it will be the end of America as we know it.
Richard Schulte August 25, 2011 at 12:34 PM
“The debt was $10.626 trillion on the day Mr. Obama took office. The latest calculation from Treasury shows the debt has now hit $14.639 trillion,” wrote Knoller in a recent CBS News Political Hotsheet report. “The national debt increased $4.9 trillion during the eight-year presidency of George W. Bush. The debt now is rising at a pace to surpass that amount during Mr. Obama’s four-year term.” http://www.personalliberty.com/news/obama-oversees-the-most-rapid-increase-of-debt-under-any-u-s-president-39766/?eiid=&rmid=2011_08_25_PLA_[P11882444]&rrid=395116425
Richard Schulte August 25, 2011 at 03:53 PM
"At the start of the Great Society, in 1965, revenues and expenditures were nearly equal, with expenditures only slightly higher, leaving a manageable deficit of $1.4 billion. By 2009, however, annual expenditures ($3.5 trillion) had far outpaced annual revenues ($2.1 trillion), leaving a record deficit of $1.4 trillion." "At the OMB link is Table 1.1, titled, “Summary of Receipts, Outlays, and Surpluses or Deficits: 1789-2016.” That is an official scorecard of spending by the federal government since the founding of the republic. Looking closely at the chart is an eye-opening experience. As the first two columns show, receipts (i.e., revenues) and outlays (i.e., expenditures) moved up and down throughout our history. In 1965, however, something historically unusual, something literally deviant, began: Spending increased every single year, non-stop, consistently, without exception, into the Obama presidency, from 1965-2009." http://townhall.com/columnists/paulkengor/2011/08/24/its_the_spending,_stupid_a_crucial_historical_look_at_federal-government_spending
Ava Williams August 26, 2011 at 07:58 AM
Mr. Schulte: I see that if you base your opinions on your own contrived definitions rather than reality. This makes it difficult to take you seriously and impacts your credibility.
Richard Schulte August 26, 2011 at 12:25 PM
Socialists never admit to what they are actually doing. They can't, because if they did, the American people would reject it. So they proceed stealthfully step by step. Despite the misery, President Obama is a blessing in at least one way. The President has exposed what is going on with the socialist agenda for all to see. Single-handedly, the President has invigorated the American people, the silent majority. He has woken up a sleeping giant.

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