Joel Pollak, the Republican candidate for the 9th Congressional District seat that includes Evanston, says the federal government needs to cut spending over the long term to encourage economic growth.

In an interview with Evanston Now, Pollak also said Chicago is lagging behind much of the rest of the nation economically.

Here are some excerpts from the conversation.

Joel Pollak, the Republican candidate for the 9th Congressional District seat that includes Evanston, says the federal government needs to cut spending over the long term to encourage economic growth.

In an interview with Evanston Now, Pollak also said Chicago is lagging behind much of the rest of the nation economically.

Here are some excerpts from the conversation.

Joel PollakJoel Pollak: 290,000 jobs were created last month according to the bureau of labor statistics … but Chicago is lagging very far behind. We’re still the dead last metropolitan area in terms of job creation. We’ve actually lost 112,000 jobs year-on-year March 2009 to March 2010.

So, what is it about Chicago that can’t get it right? And I think it’s because we face in a microcosm here in our city and our state what the nation is facing as a whole, which is a climate that is unfriendly to business, that spends on a lot of things that don’t provide returns to taxpayers and that’s looking at higher taxes.

Evanston Now:  What would you do about it?

Joel Pollak: There are some immediate things we could do right now. One is a temporary investment tax credit. That was actually introduced by President Kennedy and worked. It was then phased out in the 1980s, partly because they wanted to close it as a tax loophole, which it had become. But if you have it on a temporary basis, what it can do is get small businesses over the hump of uncertainty.

If we were giving small businesses something back for every dollar they invested in new capital and new investment that will sustain jobs in the medium term, I think that will get a lot of businesses over the hump and encourage people to borrow more and invest more and that will boost economic growth.

In the longer term what we need to do is get serious about cutting spending. Obviously in a recession you want government spending to play some role in sustaining aggregate demand. But what we’ve got now is way beyond what our economy needs and what our economy can sustain. We’ve just got out of control spending with no end in sight and no political will to rein in it.

Evanston Now:  What chances do you think you have of getting that accomplished given that when the Republicans were in control they ran up the deficit dramatically, and that Democrats, at least as long as the economy is in the tank, are not likely to do much to try to trim deficits?

Joel Pollak: I look at this moment as a moment very much like the early 1990s. Our employment crisis right now is worse, but in the early ’90s in the middle of a recession people were also worried about government’s inability to control spending and worried about tax increases and things like that. They were disappointed in both parties, so much so that we had a third party, Ross Perot’s party, coming out. But his big issue was the deficit, that if the federal government were a business, you would have fired the CEO and liquidated the assets.

And even though that wasn’t a major plank for Clinton or Bush in the beginning, Clinton made it an agenda item. And so when he got elected, one of the things he did was make sure that we were cutting spending, getting our revenues right, and I think that restored some confidence in the economy.

The crisis of that time focused minds on both sides of the aisle and what this election is about is getting leaders into Congress who place that at the top of their agenda, who are going to do it.

So I think there is going to be bipartisan support for measures that bring us back to the fiscal center. Unfortunately, I think that there are some folks who don’t see that as a problem and don’t see any urgency about it at all. I think [incumbent U.S.] Rep. [Jan] Schakowsky was quoted in the New York Times last week as saying that she doesn’t think that balancing the budget is a goal, in-and-of itself. And I think that’s just out of touch with the needs of our economy and our district today.

Evanston Now:  Given the political composition of the district, what do you think your chances of winning are?

Joel Pollak: I always tell people better than average. (Laughs) Which means I think we can do it. Look, a Republican is leading in Hawaii in the congressional race there for the first time in two generations. We saw Scott Brown in Massachusetts. Maybe these are special cases because they are special elections. But we are seeing a moment when Americans are saying “What do we really care about? And why do we keep sending the same people back to Washington to do the same things?”

I think there’s a hunger for new leadership and I think that’s shared in this district as well.

We have areas of the district where there are significantly more registered Democrats than Republicans where there are Republicans representing those areas in the state legislature.

There are also many independent and unaffiliated voters who I think are very independent and that’s one of the great things about our district, and it’s been true for a long time, that this district has an open mind. And I think this year there are a lot of other factors at the state level and the county level that are helping out in terms of people really understanding the need for change.

A map showing the boundaries of the 9th Congressional District.

Much of the western part of the district has a strong conservative and Republican history. Part of it used to be Henry Hyde’s district, before the redistricting.

Evanston Now:  She won with 75 percent of the vote last time. Looking from the Evanston corner of the world, you wouldn’t think much chance of a Republican winning this district.

Joel Pollak: Well, 40 years ago you wouldn’t have said there was much chance of a Democrat winning in Evanston, but I think that the district is diverse.

Martha Coakley, when she ran for attorney general in Massachusetts, got 73 percent of the vote, and suddenly when the issues were different and the race was different and the opponent was different, she was defeated (in this year’s special election for the U.S. Senate).

And I think that tells us that it’s really about the contest, and the choice voters face. Nothing is inevitable in a democracy, that’s one of the great things about us, about our system.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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4 Comments

  1. Hooray for Independents

    Let’s hope Evanston voters think independently this time.  Jan Schakowsky was one of seven Illinois Democrats who voted for the $700 billion bank bail-out.

    The longer a politician is in office, the more likely they are to vote for things we can’t afford.  

  2. Amen

    Totally agree – vote them out, especially Democrats (Jan, Dickie, et al) and anyone who supports this radical, leftist socialist Obama agenda.  

    People are pissed.  The administration does not know how to manage, only campaign.

    Obama is not in line with mainstream thinking.  He creates divissiveness.  He is seperating us rather than uniting us.  He is weakening our country in every way imaginable.

    He is a failure and a disgrace. 

  3. Pollak wouldn’t be independent.

    Joy Schwabach’s  heading, "Hooray for Independents", is misleading.  Pollak is running as a Republican, not an independent.  If elected, he will follow the orders of John Boehner and Eric Cantor.  We’re more likely to get independence from a Democrat – the Democratic party has never been able to maintain party unity.

    As for Pollak, I am amused by his claim:

    <cite>" Clinton made it an agenda item. And so when he got elected, one of the things he did was make sure that we were cutting spending, getting our revenues right, and I think that restored some confidence in the economy."</cite>

    Joel…do you remember the Clinton years at all?  In 1993, Clinton’s budget was opposed by every single Republican.  It passed the Senate only because Al Gore broke the tie.  (Unlike VP Dawes, Gore knew how to fulfill this one simple duty of the VP).   The Republicans claimed that it would cause economic calamity, like Jimmy Carter.  They claimed that it was socialist or whatever, because it raised marginal income tax rates a tiny bit for wealthy people.

    Sound familiar?  Just like they are now doing with President Obama, the Republicans were obstructionist, and used fear and deception to scare the voters and prevent progress.

    I am also amused by Pollak saying:

    <cite>" Obviously in a recession you want government spending to play some role in sustaining aggregate demand. "</cite>

    Yes, that is what just about every real economist would say.  Unfortunately, your tea-party friends seem to believe that cutting taxes and spending is the only cure for everything.  Considering that Obama inherited the worst economic crisis in 70 years,  government spending to end the recession makes sense.  ( And even though the tea-partiers won’t admit it, Obama has cut taxes too.) When the economy stabilizes, then we can consider spending cuts or raising taxes.

    What I really want to know is what Pollak thinks of fellow tea-partier Rand Paul.  

    Paul opposes US adventures in foreign lands, and Paul recongizes that Iran is not a threat to the US or its interests.   Does Pollak agree? 

    Also, since Pollak has suggested that the Health Care Reform act may be unconstitutional, I previously asked him to explain why he thinks so.  Specifically, I would like to know what Pollak – with his Harvard Law degree- thinks of the Commerce Clause.  This issue came up last night on the Rachel Maddow Show, where Rand Paul suggested that the Civil Rights Act and Americans with Disabilities Act are unconstitutional.

    As explained in Salon,

    <cite>"The commerce clause is what allows the federal government to do much of its policymaking, because it authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce. It’s the constitutional bedrock of the New Deal state. And there’s a movement on the right — with which Paul seems to reveal himself as a sympathizer — that holds that this interpretation of the Constitution is incorrect. Tea Party media favorite Andrew Napolitano uses the favored phrase for the title of his book: "The Constitution in Exile." These are the guys who wouldn’t go crying "activist judges" if the Supreme Court struck down, say, Medicare. They’d say that democracy had finally been restored."</cite>

    (The Salon article is here).

    Mr. Pollak, please tell us how you interpret the Commerce Clause.  Does it allow the Federal Government to regulate health insurance?  What about drug laws?  What about civil rights?

    Enquiring Minds want to know.

  4. Hillarycare, ObamaDemcare – history is about to repeat itself

    To anonymous who thinks Pollack would be an independent, (Is that you, Mr. Who Knows?)

    There is no evidence that Pollack would follow orders from Boehnor and Cantor. This is simply liberal Democrat talking points. In fact, the Democrat Connecticut Congressmen Critz who just  won a special election OPPOSES Obamacare and the Democrat’s stimulus bill – he’s one of the few Democrats that don’t tow the party line. He actually won because of this. There are politicians on the both sides of the aisle like this.

    <cite>In 1993, Clinton’s budget was opposed by every single Republican.  It passed the Senate only because Al Gore broke the tie.  (Unlike VP Dawes, Gore knew how to fulfill this one simple duty of the VP).   The Republicans claimed that it would cause economic calamity, like Jimmy Carter.  They claimed that it was socialist or whatever, because it raised marginal income tax rates a tiny bit for wealthy people.

    Sound familiar?  Just like they are now doing with President Obama, the Republicans were obstructionist, and used fear and deception to scare the voters and prevent progress. <cite>

    Clinton’s Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1993 that you reference raised taxes on corporations, transportation fuel, Social Security benefits, earned income and repealed the Medicare Tax cap among other things. And many Democrats opposed the bill. That year and the following year, budget deficits were billions in the hole.

    Because of these tax increases and Hillarycare, Newt Gringrich led a massive sweep in 1994 with Republicans gaining the majority in the House and Senate.  

    It was the Republicans through Contract With America that created a plan for the goal of balancing the budget in seven years. Never once did the Democrats at the time propose to balance the budget. The Republican controlled House and Senate made appropriations that declined deficits for the following four years until the budget was balanced in 1998.

    <cite>"Unfortunately, your tea-party friends seem to believe that cutting taxes and spending is the only cure for everything.  Considering that Obama inherited the worst economic crisis in 70 years,  government spending to end the recession makes sense."<cite>

    No, the Tea Partiers formed in opposition to the $787 stimulus bill  – the most expensive legislation in world history – that was passed without debate on the floor less than 24 hours after the final written version was released. NO ONE READ THE FINAL BILL!

    The Tea Party gained momentum last summer when the Democrats with a SUPERMAJORITY wanted to ram through a healthcare bill with a government single payer option, and many Democrat politicians refused to attend townhall meetings to talk about it. Instead, Pelosi and other Democrats called these concerned citizens terrorists and liars, astroturf racists. 

    Then of course, Obamacare, which already will cost another $115 BILLION more than expected, was rammed through a seldom-used reconciliation process and buying off votes.

    Obama did NOT inherit the worst economic  crisis since the Great Depression. Reagan did in the early 1980s when the national unemployment rate was over 10 percent and interest rates and inflation were sky high.

    <cite>"What I really want to know is what Pollack thinks of fellow tea-partier Rand Paul. <cite>"

    Now, you’re drinking the Kool-Aid. What does Rand Paul have to do with Pollack’s campaign in the 9th Congressional seat in Illinois?

    Answer- NOTHING, NADA, ZILCH!

    <cite>"Mr. Pollack, please tell us how you interpret the Commerce Clause.  Does it allow the Federal Government to regulate health insurance?  What about drug laws?  What about civil rights?"<cite>

    I can’t speak for Pollack, but so far governors of 20 states have filed a lawsuit against the feds because ObamaDemcare  MANDATES that EVERYONE PURCHASE healthcare insurance. Never before has government legislated a requirement that citizens MUST purchase a product or service WITH NO EXCEPTIONS. Yes, if you drive a car, state law requires you to have insurance. What if you don’t drive a car?

    Also, another 30 million people will go onto Medicaid, flooding states with more healthcare welfare expenses, including the near bankrupt Illinois, which very soon will be faced with hundreds of millions of dollars more in Medicaid expenditures

    Here’s some food for thought – there are some eery comparisons between HillaryCare and ObamaDemcare

    -both ceaselessly attacked the private healthcare industry, claiming it was price gouging and profiteering.

    -both claimed the healthcare system was broken

    -both wanted ALL businesses to provide healthcare insurance to their employees

    -both hinted of a VAT tax to pay for it

    -both tried to shove the bill through as fast as possible – in 1993, the Dems wanted it done before mid-term elections

    The end result for Hillarycare was a massive protest of big government Democrat liberalism running wild, leading the Republicans control of the House and Senate after the midterm elections. Not one Republican running for reelection lost. In fact, some Democrats switched parties after that. Others retired.

    History is about to repeat itself but I predict this time the Democrat bloodletting will be much more severe and for a longer period of time.

    BTW-from 1993 to 2010 – 17 years – private healthcare functioned. It wasn’t broken. But now with Obamacare, our healthcare system has been turned upside down, taxing businesses right now to pay for the service that begins in 2014, and providing easy scams to exploit the ObamaDemcare system that will no doubt lead to higher costs to taxpayers.

    In the end, healthcare costs won’t decline for anyone except the very low-income folks, who typically pay little into the system in the first place.

    ObamaDemcare is simply redistributive socialized healthcare with a smiley face.

     

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