Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Evanston says she supports a proposal unveiled Wednesday by Senate Democrats for a new surtax on millionaires to pay for President Obama’s jobs bill.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Evanston says she supports a proposal unveiled Wednesday by Senate Democrats for a new surtax on millionaires to pay for President Obama’s jobs bill.

“This proposal is a logical and fair mechanism to have ‘job creators’ actually help to create jobs in this economy,” Schakowsky said.

“President Ronald Reagan once criticized the wealthy for not paying their fair share,” she added. “Twenty five years later, there is no reason why our current tax code should allow some rich to pay lower tax rates than average Americans.”

“The middle class and those who aspire to it in this country are under siege after decades of tax policies that favor wealthy individuals and corporations, growing disparity in income, and Wall Street recklessness that caused massive job loss,” the Evanston Democrat added.

Schakowsky introduced her own proposal earlier this year to impose higher tax rates on millionaires and billionaires.

She says a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll showed 80 percent of Americans believe the best way to reduce the deficit is by raising taxes on those who make more than a million dollars.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. People in Glass Houses…

    Shocking !  She wants more taxes—just as long as she, lawyers or unions are not affected.

    I wonder where she stands on check-kiting, not paying withholding taxes, bank fraud and signing with spouse tax forms for fraudulent income ?

    1. Re; Glass houses

      WOW!!!! Very well said …. Here is a bit more info for the "Jan fans"

      According to Berrios:

      "In 2007, Jan Schakowsky appealed to Joe Berrios for a tax break on her $726,450 house in Evanston.  Joe Berrios said no!  So Jan gave her coveted endorsement to Forrest Claypool's campaign for Cook County Assessor."

      This revelation begs many questions of the 12 year Congresswoman:

      Does Jan Schakowsky think taxes are too high? Does Schakowsky think taxes on the rich are too high? Why does Jan Schakowsky need a tax cut?  Why doesn't Jan Schakowsky want to pay her "fair share"?  Why isn't Jan Schakowsky patriotic – since the Vice President claims it's patriotic to pay higher taxes? Why is Jan Schakowsky so greedy?  Why does Jan Schakowsky want the poor, underserved children of Evanston to receive less tax dollars to fund their education?  Why does Jan Schakowsky think she should be allowed to keep more of her own income instead of sending it to the government?  Does Jan Schakowsky think she is more capable of making decisions affecting her own family than government?

      On April 15, 2009, Rep. Jan Schakowsky called the thousands of concerned Americans who attended the first Chicago Tax Day Tea Party, including hundreds of her own constituents, "shameful" and "despicable".  Apparently, it is shameful and despicable for taxpayers to demonstrate against high taxes and runaway spending, but it's appropriate for elected officials to ask for their own personal tax cut.

  2. Where to Start

    Maybe Congress and the Executive branch could set an example by cutting their salaries in half, banning all outside income including speaking fees, stop campaign fund raising with the rich and famous [the very people they rail against but take their money] at $38,000 a person, make campaign fund pools ‘blind’ so no candidate [or people managing the funds] knows who gave the money, refusing all gifts, recuse themselves from voting on any bill that would affect them, their [wide definition] family or friends, etc..

  3. Right on, Jan!

    For too long, the rich have been getting richer and the poor, poorer in this country. It's past time to redress the imbalance. Sure, taxing the rich may hinder job creation- in China! The Federal government may not be the most efficient job creator, but at least they'll be American jobs.

    1. Off left, John


      Your comment that the "rich have been getting richer and the poor, poorer in this country" is very misleading and sadly perpetuates a lack of understanding of the fundamental issues in our country and global economy. While it is true that wealth is more concentrated and income distribution is more skewed there are several factors that need to be considered. Your comment perpetuates the myth that the wealthy stay wealthy and become more so, while the poor stay poor and remain so. That's not how our country works. People with ideas, motivation, risk takers and entrepreneurs dynamically changed the world's and our country's list of the most wealthy. Just do an analysis of the Forbes 400 over the last 5 decades. Many people of humble origins have become financially successful in our country, and hopefully our government will enable and facilitate that environment to continue to provide opportunities for future generations. Yes, our tax policy needs to be updated and revised to become more fair. Tax changes under the Bush Administration were poorly designed and had negative secondary implications that are now understood. But the biggest factor driving the wealth disparity and income concentration is the changing nature of our global economy. Technology and globalization have enabled service based industries to prosper given a larger addressable market. Educated and highly educated people are best positioned to capitalize on this trend. In contrast, undereducated people have very limited opportunities today, and sadly in the future. With 6.6 Billion people in the world of which 2 Billion live on $2 or less a day, there is ample supply of low cost labor. Our undereducated population is competing with an ambitious, hard working group of people. Those are the facts. This is a significant change to our country and to the world. For those people who don't agree, I'd encourage you to read Tom Friedman's most recent book. So instead of talking in sound bites, please do some thoughtful analysis and think before you write.

      Thomas Paine

      1. Agree with you Thomas Paine – see Ponzi Cartoon

        I agree with your statement see the Ponzi cartoon – Reshaping the economic pie – go to the tool bar under views and hit cartoons.    Even Jan's in the cartoon.     Jan is looking for votes – the reality is the world has changed and it will continue to change – even John should understand this as a MIT educated economist.

      2. Right on

        As I was reading 'Off Left John' I was thinking of Friedman's "They Used to Be Us" [as the author then referenced].  He points out that what had made America successful were people who went beyond the 'average' or 'just get through life" and strove for excellence.  Other countries are now trying to copy us, or rather what we used to be, and he says we need to get back to that standard.   Yes the Gates, Jobs, Buffetts and others got rich and yes it is good they are doing something good with their money—including hiring people and creating things that spawn new industries. Those who want class warfare like Jan, and worship the 'noble savage' who just gets through life being [below] 'average', will not create new jobs.

        If Jan wants more revenue from the rich, what about limiting 'charity' to real charity, like food and education for the poor, that which goes through churches and similar and 'real medical' research for really helping society.   An eliminate the deduction for things like the Kennedy Center, arts, music, and even 'named' hospital wings, and university buildings,etc. which are not what most think of as 'charity' and many times are just ways for people to brag, show how 'wonderful' they are—and maybe get votes.  As the New Testament says 'don't let your right hand know what your left hand is doing or you will already have your [only] reward.'

      3. Time for “thoughtful analysis” is past

        I have read plenty of studies, engaged in much thoughtful analysis and debate and realize it is now time to speak out.

        That tinny sound you hear is the world's smallest violin playing sympathy for the rich. Regardless of whatever tax laws are written, they have the resources to protect (and they do) themselves.

        For the most part, capitalism/competition works well as an economic system. But the ol' supply-demand curves are always being undermined by people trying to bend the rules. Adam Smith wrote, "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices."

        I respect Steve Jobs and the others who made the Forbes 400 from humble origins. But the 400 contains a bunch of Waltons and Pritzkers as well.

        I'm tired of arguing with Tea Fascists- I'll end with a quote from Elizabeth Warren.

        "There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there — good for you!

            But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea — God bless. Keep a big hunk of it.

            But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along."

        1. Villify Success?

          John – you may want to re-read Animal Farm. Recall that supposedly "All animals are created equal" or that was the premise. Else, revisit the history of the former Soviet Union and see how well ALL people fared in that society.

          You cite the Walton and Pritzker families. Have you read their family histories? Do you know that Sam Walton lived on a farm, became Missouri's youngest eagle scout, served in the Army during World War II, and BORROWED a significant amount of money in addition to his prudent savings to start what eventually became Wal-Mart? I think he has many qualities that our youth and adults of today should emulate : Hard work, extra effort, perseverance, risk taking, entrepreneurial spirit etc.

          Yes, the Walton children are very fortunate. Should we blame them? Is it their fault? I know that the Walton family has paid substantial tax dollars to the US Federal, State and Local governments. Do you want them to pay more? How much is "fair" ? How much is "enough"? The Walton family has also donated a substantial amount of their money philanthropically which has benefited our society. But it's their choice, not the government's choice. HUGE difference in approach. Our government (especially in Illinois) over the last couple of decades has asked for more, and more and more. And for what ? What does our state have to show for it, except for poorly maintained infrastructure, deteriorating public schools and massive debt.

          I don't know the Pritzker family so will not comment on their situation.

          Please re-read Animal Farm.


          1. Those pesky facts

            How dare you confuse the issue with facts!!! If you start citing facts like this, the will be a run on Kool Aid … Don't you know that those pesky facts only cloud the liberal stand on issues? Just because some people actually work for what they get is no reason others shouldn't be able to live off the hard work of others! As Prime Minister Thatcher said, "…and Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They [socialists] always run out of other people's money. It's quite a characteristic of them."

        2. Tea Fascists?


          Geez, so much anger. For a guy as well educated as you, I'm surprised. I would think a man who proudly espouses "liberal" in his moniker, I would ask you what happened to the American notion that your fellow Americans are free to believe what they want. Can't people who characterize themselves as "Tea Party" proponents be allowed to exist without being labeled "fascists?" Does the idea of lower tax rates and less government intervention run counter to all that you hold dear?  In your business, I would say you're pretty fortunate to have people who actually have investable assets, (some rich people?) otherwise, you'd be bagging groceries at your local Jewel store. The world doesn't need CFA's if no one has money to invest.


        3. The New York millionaires tax was a failure

          Did you call me a Tea Fascist, Mr. Zbesko? Where's the civility in that? Perhaps I should report you to Obama's new website,

          And you were once the president of the Evanston Democrat Party? Tsk, tsk.

          What Elizabeth Warren failed to mention is that those who built factories and businesses paid taxes and employed people who paid taxes to build the roads, pay for police and fire services and so on.

          Without the factory builders and the business innovators who would pay to build the roads and pay for all the public services Warren mentioned? Public unions? China?

          Democrats in New York state last year enacted a millionaire's tax. Remember that, Mr. Zbesko? How did that turn out?

          I will happily tell you. It was such a disaster that even Governor Patterson admitted it was a mistake. Democrat Gov. Cuomo did not renew the millionaire's tax. So why do Democrats and Schakowsky think a national tax on millionaires would work?

          I hope Republicans put in quality candidates against Schakowsky and Gabel next year. With their tax raising rhetoric those seats will be primed for the taking. Gabel even voted for a state income tax increase, done in a lame duck session. Remember last year when we got our property tax bills after the Nov. 1 elections? It didn't help, did it Mr. Zbesko? Republicans still won in the largest landslide in 80 years. 🙁

          Anyone who just got their property tax bill this year and saw another tax increase should give Democrats Schakowsky and Gabel a buzz and tell them YOU'RE NOT RICH!

          Everyone except maybe Mr. Zbesko. Tea Fascist. Now that's rich.



    2. Zbesko is an example of middle class getting wealthier

      If the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer, what about the middle class, Mr. Zbesko?  

      They're not impoverished nor are they millionaires. What is rich to you, Mr. Zbesko? Where's the imbalance?

      I ask only because I understand you have owned your home for at least two decades and according to epraisal, Zillow and tax records your home is worth over $628,000. Whatever it's worth I am sure you have acquired a good deal of equity as have many Americans who have purchased homes decades ago. Most Americans have their wealth tied up in their property.

      Congratulations on a good property investment, Mr. Zbesko. I would argue that you are the prime example of how the middle class got richer.

      As for what caused this economic crisis, you can start with the Clinton Administration which pushed for less stringent credit and downpayment requirements for working- and middle-class families. Just about anyone with a pulse could get a home loan and the sub-prime market blossomed. Yes, there's plenty of blame to go around but if home loan standards where not loosened as much as they were I doubt we would be in this big of a mess.

      Taxing the rich won't balance our budget and it won't improve the housing market. It would only create more economic problems. Entrepreneurs with money in all kinds of industry simply make more pie.  Steve Jobs used his wealth to create more wealth. As a former Evanston alderman candidate, you should know this. 

      There will always be winners and losers. The first ones now could later be last. There are no guarantees. 

      As Herman Cain said: "Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself! […] It is not someone’s fault if they succeeded, it is someone’s fault if they failed."


  4. Confused

    Will someone please explain to me how folks with incomes over a million "don't pay their fare share?" Doesn't our tax system allow for rates to go up as incomes go up? We have a progressive system don't we? Don't people in those income levels already pay the highest rates out there?

    Is the complaint that, like Warren Buffett, income that is derived from "long term capital gains" gets taxed at more favorable rates, like 15%?  Isn't it then true that a person who earns $40,000 would also have any income he/she had from "capital gains" also taxed at the same 15% level?

    Or is the complaint that too many rich people have too much income coming from capital gains? Perhaps they invested wisely or inherited wisely and have the majority of their incomes coming from capital gains? So its unfair that less fortunate don't have as much coming from investment income?

    Jan S. is once again babbling about supporting Obama's plan to tax the rich. Why don't we just eliminate some of the tax deductions that tend to bring down taxable incomes?

    Simply "taxing the rich" won't sell, no one believes that that is the way out of our fiscal mess. Come on Jan, you can do better than this. Witness what is happening in Illinois, Quinn raised the State income tax, now every business with a tax department is "studying" either moving out of Illinois or moving their HQ's out of Illinois. The bottom line is, smart, successful business people will for sure find ways to beat Jan and Barack's proposed "higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans who don't pay their fare share."

    1. Inherited Wisely???!!!



      I'm generally a libertarian type, but come on.  The 15% capital gains rates and qualified dividend rates are tax policies that generally only benefit the rich because the rich are the only people with enough capital to invest substantial sums of money in securities outside of their qualified retirement plans.  Someone who makes $40,000 per year would not have any investable capital on which he could earn long term capital gains that qualify for the 15% tax treatment.  That theoretical person needs every dollar that they earn to pay for their shelter, food and transportation. 

      Generally, substantially all of the investments held by 90% of the population are 1) Their principal residence and 2) their 401K plan.  The only people who benefit from the 15% capital gains rates in a meaningful way are the wealthiest 10% or perhaps even 5% of the population.  To make any argument to the contrary is intellectually dishonest at best.

      If you taxed long term capital gains or qualified dividends at ordinary income rates and eliminated the tax-exempt treatment for municipal bonds, 90% of the population would see virtually zero change in their federal tax liability.  The only people who would feel the pain would be the wealthiest Americans.

      And did you really use the term "inherited wisely"??? 

      If the bottom 50% of the population had simply planned ahead so that they could have been born into wealthy households, then they wouldn't be having these problems today!!!




      1. What would Wally do? we are 322 million in debt!

        If you taxed long term capital gains or qualified dividends at ordinary income rates and eliminated the tax-exempt treatment for municipal bonds,

        If the  Federal government eliminate the tax exempt treatment of municipal bonds what would Wally do?  The cost to borrow would increase dramatically.  Given Evanston high debt of over 322 million and our operating fund revenue of 85 million – I would suspect our interest might double!

        Every tax payers in town would be affected, by such a change.

        Given we are in trouble right now with Wally's silly proposal to take  2 million out of operating to fund capital, the budget coming in out in a few weeks should be interesting.


      2. I agree

        to dp_Witt,

        you caught my tongue in cheek reference to "inherited wisely."  If I had been a smarter guy, I would have been born into  some nice Kenilworth family with $100 million net worth. But, my parents were on food stamps(they hated it, but had few options) and they were two of the best humans ever to walk this planet…..


  5. Jan and taxes

    Jan has always been on the side of more taxes, as long as those taxes go toward hiring more union people. The reason for this is that as long as Jan comes through for the unions the unions will come through for Jan. Remember when she held her health care town hall and snook 400+ union friends in the back door. This might be considered a quid pro quo that punishes the citizens of Illinois and the rest of the country. Jan has never been a leader and gets most of ideas from the daily fax from the Democratic National Committee.


    She continues to be the joke of cartoons and tv/radio talk shows. For that, I salute her. We are not laughing with her but at her.

  6. Jan inciting class resentment again

    Jan is doing what she has come to do best–stir up resentment towards a vague, unspecified class of people known as "the rich." Tax proposals like Jan's and the President's would surely whack owners of small businesses–those who historically employ about 70% of American workers–but would do little or nothing to reign in the mega-wealthy–those who move their own wealth and the manufacturing operations of the corporations they control overseas and use their influence to ensure that tax laws are written to their own benefit.

    Jan fully exploits the fallacy that by representing unions, she somehow represents "the people." Nothing could be further from the truth. Union pension funds have come to serve as a source of capital for securitization by the very same large financial institutions phony liberals like Jan like to excoriate. Those who control this wealth, though they call themselves democrats, are as much a part of the problem as the most rapacious Wall St. predator.

    Jan also peddles the preposterous notion that we are somehow better off if the financial fruit of our labor is filtered through a vast bureaucracy in the District of Columbia. She sells the delusion that the same federal government that wreaks all sorts of havoc overseas is somehow loving and caring when it comes to matters here at home. The true objective of this approach is consolidate wealth and power among a class of politically connected individuals and corporations–preferably corporations with a lefty, feel-good image, like pharmaceutical companies and providers of "green" energy.

    So don't buy Jan's divisive incitement to class resentment. It serves only to benefit a select few. The idea that Jan represents "the little guy" is a fraud.

  7. Beating Jan at the Polls

    If you think Jan can be beaten at the polls, you can forget it. In 2010, she ran against a candidate who was much more qualified than her. He embarrassed her in the League of Women's Voters forum. The look on her face said that nobody can be that smart, he must be cheating. She  refuse to meet him for a real debate.

    Despite her unqualified showing, the Soviet Republic of Evanston returned her to power with plenty to spare. To bad for the rest of us. Middle of the road people don't stand a chance in this district.

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