Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Evanston this evening called the compromise plan to raise the federal debt limit “the wrong medicine for a sick economy.”

Schakowsky in a statement said the bill could increase unemployment, slow economic growth and deepen already historic income inequality.

“For weeks Republicans in Congress, led by radical Tea Party members, have held hostage the full faith and credit of the United States, refusing to pay America’s bills until they could force huge spending cuts,” Schakowsky said.

“Their mission has been to eviscerate everything from Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security to the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts. Republicans intentionally created a crisis in order to get their way,” she added.

“Though I have voted to raise the debt ceiling in the past, I cannot in good conscience support this deal which requires $1 trillion in spending cuts that make the middle-class, the poor and seniors sacrifice while millionaires and billionaires are not asked to pay a single penny for deficit reduction,” Schakowsky said.

“It is clear where my district stands. Hundreds of constituents called my office today — 20 to 1 opposed to this bill,” she added.

“Looking ahead, Congress must focus on the immediate crises:  a disappearing American dream crisis, a jobs crisis, a foreclosure crisis, and an income inequality crisis, Schakowsky said.

“The fight is not over after this vote.   I will work to make sure that job creation is our number one priority, that the wealthiest Americans pay their share and that our seniors are protected from harmful benefit cuts,” she said.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Schakowsky just wants to spend, spend, spend

    This was the largest increase in the debt limit in this nation's history, and Schakowsky opposed it because there were spending cuts attached?

    The second largest debt increase in U.S. history came last year at $1.9 trillion . Many believe that was the primer for the Republican landslide last November. Schakowsky voted for that debt-ceiling increase.

    Our debt situation is the cause of our economic crisis, according to most economists. Our federal government spends 70 percent more than what it takes in! And yet Schakowsky could not vote for the debt-ceiling increase because there were spending cuts. Anyone see a problem there?

    Schakowsky also blames Republicans who want to reform Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security – those entitlements are heading straight into bankruptcy – every bipartisan agency including the CBO confirms that fact. These entitlements MUST be reformed to stay alive.

    Schakowsky voted for Obamacare that took out $500 billion appropriated for Medicare. It looks like Schakowsky and the Democrats have made seniors and the middle class sacrifice to support  Obamacare, which according to CBO will add trillions more to the debt. Schakowsky also voted for a $800 billion stimulus bill which she never read before voting on it. The Democrats' stimulus bill did not help the economy but put us deeper in debt.

    Incumbent Republicans and Democrats have caused this crisis. The Democrats however have made it far far worse in the past two years while Republicans are clearly trying to fix the problem – CUT SPENDING AND BORROWING!!!!

    Isn't it interesting that Obama voted against a debt-ceiling five years ago, calling the bill a failure in leadership that would put our grandkids in unnecessary debt. Did Schakowsky or any Democrat OR Republican say Obama was radical? So why are Tea party politicians considered radical now when just about every economist says we have been borrowing and spending WAY too much and spending cuts must be made NOW!!

    It's time we vote out Schakowsky next year. I hope we have a choice this time and not some unknown who only a few years ago was a Democrat that voted for Kerry but suddenly called himself a Republican.

  2. However…

    She did say tonight on one of the cable news shows that had the vote come down to her she would have voted in favor.

    1. No doubt

      That is not surprising.  I think she wanted the bill to pass, but did not want to take responsibility for it. 

      So what should we make of her voting record if it does not represent the way she wants the country governed?  What should we make of anything she says?

      Barack Obama also voted against raising the debt ceiling when he was a Senator.  At least he had the integrity to publicly admit that it was a mistake to play that political game.

    2. Her comment, if she really

      Her comment, if she really made it, makes no sense. Under no circumstance would a tie vote in the House be decided by Jan Schakowsky. In a such a rare instance, the job of breaking the tie goes to the Vice President.

      No, Jan's comment sounds more like an attempt at posterior-covering.

      1. Breaking the tie goes to the Vice President

        "Under no circumstance would a tie vote in the House be decided by Jan Schakowsky. In a such a rare instance, the job of breaking the tie goes to the Vice President."


        Hey Joe, you should look at the Constitution.  The Vice President serves as President of the SENATE , and breaks a tie vote there.  ( This is really the only job that the Constitution gives the VP.   Chuckie Dawes, one of the most inept VP's in history, couldn't even do this right – and missed his opportunity to break a tie because he was taking a nap at his hotel.)

        In many legislatures, the Speaker or Chairman  does not vote on bills and only serves as a tie-breaker.  This is often just tradition – not specified in the rules.   If the votes are "tied" in the House of Representatives, the motion has failed to pass.

  3. Schakowsky should just look in her own back yard

    It amazes me how Congresswoman Schakowsky can believe soaking the rich will solve our fiscal problems when soaking the rich in Evanston hasn't changed a thing. Evanston is hundreds of millions of dollars in debt with no chance whatsoever of paying down. Thankfully there isn't a Republican or a TEA Party in Evanston, Cook County, or in Illinois for her to blame otherwise she would.

    Evanston is the microcosm of what is wrong with our entire country. We are a city that believes that government knows best, that income should be redistributed, that being financially successful is evil, that if you can't achieve what you want – legislate it, and now we are bankrupt.

    And when she mentions job creation, is she talking about the ones the government creates or the private sector?

    Still we still elect the same people to office expecting a different outcome. Isn't that definition of insanity?

  4. Irresponsible

    A lot of us did not like the bill up for a House vote yesterday.  The choice for House members was to either accept it, or leave the government in a position where it is forced to not meet its obligations.  Representative Schakowsky has indicated that she prefers the latter option.  While there is a great deal to not like in the bill that passed the House yesterday, not meeting obligations would be far far worse for us all.

  5. Republicans intentionally created a crisis

    Yes, Republicans FDR and LBJ created massive entitlement programs decades ago to create this specific crisis. Can we get a moratorium on the use of the word crisis for awhile? My wife just got back from visiting family in Japan. It's about 100 degrees everyday with 90% humidity and a/c use is limited. A nuclear reactor has melted down. Farmers have had to plow their crops under and tens of thousands have lost their homes from disaster. There aren't enough younger people to take care of an aging population and rebuild. And their government debt to GDP ratio is 200% to boot. That's a crisis.

    Meanwhile, back in Evanston, the two people in front of me at Whole Foods the other day were both paying for their non-alcoholic purchases with LINK cards (booze purchases were with cash). The person immediately in front of me was heading up to the parking garage to get his car. And checked his iPhone while in line. I couldn't tell if it was an iPhone4, though, but I think somewhere in the back of the Constitution there is a fundamental right to the newest version of iPhone, so I guess I can see why the word crisis is getting thrown around.

    1. Food stamps and Lotto, etc..

      You wrote "Meanwhile, back in Evanston, the two people in front of me at Whole Foods the other day were both paying for their non-alcoholic purchases with LINK cards (booze purchases were with cash). The person immediately in front of me was heading up to the parking garage to get his car. And checked his iPhone while in line. I couldn't tell if it was an iPhone4, though, but I think somewhere in the back of the Constitution there is a fundamental right to the newest version of iPhone, so I guess I can see why the word crisis is getting thrown around."


      I think everyone has seen people pay for grocery with their Link Card and then pay out dollar after dollar for a fist load of Lotto tickets. A few years ago I stood behind a man who looked like Arthur Ash–tennis racket, clothes and all but that would make Ash jealous.  He paid for his food with food stamps then drove off in his sports car.  I know a restaurant owner who applied for food stamps.

      There are people who really need aid but also too many who mis-use it, don't need it and use it while spending their money on liquor, tobacco and gambling. 

      1. Food stamp abuse

        Two more examples of the 50% of people in this country living off the government who shouldn't be-

          A college friend, northwestern educated, lost her job.   She went out and bought at $2000 television with her savings, while applying for food stamps.   Since there is no longer any social stigma attached to picking up a credit card from the government, she didn't feel bad about it. 

          Another acquaintance is the wife of a trader at the CBOE.   She had a baby, and was then laid off while on her 6 week maternity leave(but she was planning on quitting anyway).   Her unemployment gave her rights to collect unemployment of around $50,000, which she did  for 99 weeks-   Meanwhile, her husband was making 6 figures.   Totally unethical?  Absolutely-  But when the government is dishing it out, and obviously not checking who has their hands open, too easy.   

        When the conservatives are talking about cutting benefits, it is examples like this and the ones above that we are talking about-  make the safety net too big, and people lay down in it.


  6. Give Al his own column

    Anon. Al- Couldn't agree more- I love your posts.   You should write your own column.   and run for alderthing.  Evanston needs you-

    p.s.  Loved your post about the library discussion being tragic.

  7. Schakowsky and Walsh

    Schakowsky's criticism of the Tea Party as radical is really strange. Last time I looked, she and Tea Party hero Joe Walsh voted exactly the same way on the bill to increase the debt limit. No doubt she would contend that her motives were pure and his were not, but the vote was still the same. And they have the same showboat approach to politics, as well. 

    If there is any money left in the U.S.Treasury, perhaps some of it could be used for one or two or three courses in economics for these folks.


    1. Schakowsky and Bachmann

      Jan Schakowsky also joined Michelle Bachmann in voting against the debt bill. Ironic indeed.

      1. Schakowsky vs. Bachmann and Walsh

        The difference between Schakowsky vs. Bachmann and Walsh is this:

        Jan realizes that this is a stupid bill.  It will not necessarily reduce the deficit  and it is a scheme to destroy Social Security and Medicare, which is what the Republicans really want.    Most  Democrats recognized, like Emanuel Cleaver, that this bill is a 'Satan Sandwich' .  They were forced to vote for it because the consequences of default would have been worse.  Some, like Cleaver, voted against it only when they realized that it was going to pass anyway.

        The Republicans, on the other hand, voted against this bill because it didn't go far enough in destroying Medicare and Social Security and making the world a miserable place.  They were willing to destroy the US – and international – economy if they didn't get their way.

        1. The US economy

          Who is destroying what?  I think the Democrats have done a remarkable job killing the US economy. They are driving US businesses offshore, where they have growing businesses and creating jobs — offshore. They have a health insurance dithering law that will do more damage to the economy and health care than any Republican could ever hope to achieve.

          Sadly I cannot attribute malice where sheer incompetence is the cause.

          1. Creating jobs — offshore

            Karl Marx says:

            "I think the Democrats have done a remarkable job killing the US economy. They are driving US businesses offshore, where they have growing businesses and creating jobs — offshore."


               Actually, Karl, it is the capitalists who drive their businesses offshore – they are always looking for cheaper labor to exploit.  It isn't the Democrats who are moving factories to China to take advantage of slave labor and nonexistant environmental regulation.

               You, Karl, have discussed this phenomenon – "The Iron Law of Wages" – in your own writings. Competition drives down workers pay to the bare minimum.  This also explains why many Republicans – while always willing to pander to anti-immigrant prejudice – like to keep immigrants flowing into this country to keep wages low.

          2. Capitalists and going offshore

            AA(Who knows?)

            As someone who spent 7 years as an expert witness in an antitrust suit against 26 Japanese TV mfrs I can vouch for the effect of taxes on jobs. 400,000 in this case. It is the taxes, such as direct corporate taxes that are not rescinded vs. VATs, which are rescinded, that are crucial in determining where things are made. Why do you think Germany and Japan are such export leaders?

            Wade through our 70,000+ pages of IRS code.

            The other element is technology. There is less need for people to do the actual work. It is not only manufacturing. Even lawyers are feeling the effects. Programs are now used to "read" documents digitally, eliminating the need for lawyers and paralegals.

            So stop chanting the mantra of "evil business" and get to the root of the problem: which is our tax system and the educational oligopoly which ill prepares our students for a changing world.

          3. Cheap Labor Half the Story

            Cheap labor isn't all that drives businesses to set up offshore plants and facilities. 

            I don't know if you've seen the tax code for US corporations, but money that is invested overseas and then not funneled back to the United States is tax free. 

            Now imagine you're an international company like Ford or GM. Why on earth would you not take advantage of that double whammy? If it was just cheap labor, you might just get cheap products, but the fact that you can make capital investments in your plants without having to pay taxes on the money going out to Thailand or Australia or Italy is one less thing to pay for. 

            Don't get wrapped up into just cheap labor. There are many moving parts to an international economy, and most of them right now point away from the United States. Now go elect people who know what they're talking about and aren't just complaining about sweatshops abroad (considering we still have plenty in the United States). 

            And don't bring the real Karl Marx into the discussion. Clearly he would not have made the miniscule distinction you made between Democrats and Republicans. Lest you forget, they're both capitalist parties. If you're not a capitalist, you're not a Democrat either. 

    2. Speaking of strange

      Speaking of strange bedfellows, Jan Schakowsky also stands with John McCain in supporting military aggression against Libya.

      That their motives differ is obvious–just as Jan's motives in voting against the debt ceiling bill differ from the motives of Joe Walsh and Michelle Bachmann.

      Motives hardly affect the outcome of a vote, though, nor do they diminish the irony of Jan siding with right-wingers.

  8. No one left to vote for

    Democrats in government have turned us into nothing more than a welfare state. I would vote Republican, but the Right Wing social conservatism makes me sick to my stomach and reeks of racism. Republican candidates can't even be moderate anymore and won't even be taken seriously without bashing gays or Mexicans. On the other hand, the Dems keep eyeballing my pocket book and do nothing to help grow business. God forbid that a Democrat Candidate even whispers about cutting granny's SS check.

    I voted since I was 18 and this year I probably will just stay home. The choices for me are; Vote for hate and racism or vote for taxes and joblessness.

    And I'm not bashing every Rep out there. I know there are those who feel the same way as I do. Be financially conservative and stay out of people's personal business.  

    1. I hear ya

      I hear ya. Being a libertarian, which is what I assume you are, is a frustrating experience. Here's to hoping things go our way in the near future.

      1. I feel your pain

        Yeah, there are a few of us in this "progressive" city (I guess that means "progressing" towards socialism and Greek level debt). There was a Libertarian candidate running for our state congress seat, I believe Steve Funk was the name, I met him at the farmers market. The Democrat incumbent pulled maneuvers to remove him from the ballot (signature issues I think). Sad, I really thought we were getting somewhere with a candidate reasonable on social & fiscal issues.

      2. Libertarian candidate to evanston council

        Amen to more libertarians in Evanston.  My husband and I thought we were alone.   We need a libertarian minded person to be in Evanston city council- start on the small scale.

        Ron Paul would be my first choice for prez.    God help this country us if this Michele Bachman character tries to run, or even worse- Donald Trump!   I'd rather vote for my dog.

    2. Vote Libertarian

      If you want a candidate that is financially conservative and stays out of people's personal business, you should vote for a Libertarian candidate or for Ron Paul.  Those are exactly the principles that the Libertarian Party supports and Ron Paul is a libertarian masquerading as a Republican. 

      Is it likely that your candidate will win?  No, but at least you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you participated in the democratic process and still were able to vote with your conscience.

      If everyone would just vote for the candidate who most closely aligns with their personal beliefs instead of voting for the candidate that they feel has the best chance of winning, we would be rewarded with legislators who actually represent our best interests instead of the interests of Large Corporations, Unions and other organized special interest groups.

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