Reject tax and spend policies

September 30, 2009

I found a report written by Linda Blaser and published in the Lake Forester on Thursday, Sept. 24, regarding a recently sponsored event by the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff League of Women Voters, quite interesting for what it didn’t reveal:  State legislators tackle host of questions from public.

State legislators attending the event were State Senators Susan Garrett (D-29th) and Terry Link (D-30th) and State Representatives Karen May (D-58th) and Carol Sente, who recently replaced Rep. Kathy Ryg (D-59th).  It was disappointing to read that the event drew at the most 35 citizens.

All candidates expressed deep concern over this state’s budget shortfall.  To the credit of Susan Garrett and Karen May, both voted against the tax hike proposed back in the spring legislative session (a 50% increase for personal income earners and a 33% increase in the corporate income tax rate), believing a tax hike should only be done as the last resort. Terry Link, like many Democrats in the IL House and Senate, voted for the tax hike, preferring to hike taxes in order to feed the insatiable appetites for government spending rather than reining in government spending.

According to the Illinois Policy Institute, a Chicago-based, non-partisan research organization, state spending has skyrocketed over the past decade, while Illinois’s population growth has been minimal, just under 7 percent.  After adjusting for inflation, state spending per resident increased from $3,500 in 1998 to $4,600 in 2008. In fiscal year 2009, Illinois legislators spent $4.3 billion more out of the general fund than it brought in from revenue.

Also troubling is a report by the National Taxpayers of Illinois in September which shows Illinois losing jobs not to India, but to Indiana.  Illinois dropped seven spots from last year in terms of business tax climate and now ranks 30th, while Indiana picked up two spots with a ranking of 12th in the nation.  This could not be good news for Democrat legislators.

What Illinois needs is specific and significant personal and corporate income tax relief to reverse the budget shortfall, not a tax hike.  It would be wise for legislators like Garrett and May to heed the advise offered by the Illinois Policy Institute should they be tempted to vote for tax hikes in the future legislative sessions.

Suggested by the IPI is an expenditure limit that would cap state spending to last year’s budget, limiting spending growth to population plus inflation.  See Illinioispolicy.org.

Tax and spend candidates should be rejected in favor of those who embrace policies that create wealth and which call for a less intrusive government with more personal responsibility.

New blood is definitely needed in Springfield.  For the most part the current crop of Democrat legislators, and some Republicans, have failed the state and the people of Illinois.

Primary Elections will take place in February of 2010.  May your vote be an enlightened one to set this state on a path which Illinoisans can be proud of.


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Recently the Illinois Policy Institute, a nonpartisan research organization located in Chicago, released this eye-opening documentary, Charter Schools:  Changing Lives, after two of its members visited three of Chicago’s charter schools.  They were:  Urban Prep Academy for Young Men, Chicago International Charter School’s Ralph Ellison campus, and Pritzker College Prep.

Through film interviews and testimonials from students, the story emerges how charter schools are succeeding in terms of student  performance, often changing the lives of their students in positive ways.  Charter Schools: Changing Lives can be viewed at Illinoispolicy.org

With one out of two Chicago public high school students failing to graduate each year, it is obvious that its schools are failing, and the consequences are dire.  Dropouts are more likely to serve time in prison than earn $30,000 a year.

Although charter schools are allowing students to succeed in Chicago, those elsewhere aren’t so lucky. Despite community support for charters in Waukegan last year, the school board declined a proposal to open one.

A new Illinois state law has increased the number of charter schools in Chicago from 30  to 75.  Even so there are 13,000 children on waiting lists to get into one of the city’s 75 charter schools.  These schools are run by independent non-profit and community groups and are open to any student who applies. They allow innovation and provide parents with choices.

In comparison to Chicago’s traditional public school graduation rate of 50%, charter school graduation rates average 75%. The Chicago International Charter School, with a graduation rate of 90.4%, even tops the 83% graduation rate for students in the suburbs and downstate Illinois.  Such successes are often achieved with less public funding than traditional public schools

Shouldn’t all Illinois children have a chance at success?   Why should children be locked into failing schools with low graduation rates?

School districts outside of Chicago have near-total control over whether charters are able to open, even if the public supports them, due to the squelching of charter school proposals by teacher unions.  Reform is definitely needed in the charter school authorization process in communities such as Waukegan and Springfield.  Both are badly in need of better schools.

Caps must be lifted by Illinois lawmakers on the number of charters permitted in Chicago and statewide.  Only in this way will children living in disadvantaged areas of the state with failing schools have a better chance to succeed in life.

Misplacement of priorities

September 30, 2009

It borders on a derelict of duty that President Obama, in his dual role as Commander in Chief, has spoken only once in 70 days to Gen. Stanley McChrystal, credited with capturing Saddam Hussein and killing the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, since McChrystal took command in Afghanistan.

This comes at a time when a written classified report was published in which Gen. McChrystal suggested that the war in Afghanistan will likely result in failure if more troops are not added next year.

Just how many conversations has President Obama had with his soul mate Mayor Daley of Chicago in regard to winning the bid for hosting the summer Olympic games in Chicago in 2016. It is not unreasonable to assume, given the ties between Obama and the Daley Political Machine, that a free flowing communications pipeline connects the White House to Mayor Daley whatever hour of the night or day.

I’m sure it didn’t take much convincing by Daley to persuade Obama that his charm was needed in Copenhagen this Friday to win the hearts of the International Olympic Committee.  Already celebrations are being planned by city officials, despite the lack of felt enthusiasm by the public in Chicagoland for Chicago to win its bid as host city.

For Obama to put off giving his Afghanistan decision to Gen McChrystal pending a policy review, while he has time to engage in what amounts to ego-building trips by both Obama and Daley, is definitely a misplacement of priorities.  It is also comes at a dangerous time when leadership is called, not waffling by President Obama.

Time is of essence in Afghanistan.  If a troop surge is to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan, the surge must be implemented.  It is also dangerous for the security of the U.S. and for the safety of other nations around the world that Obama is not giving immediate consideration to McChrystal’s request.

Instead, Obama has elected to dabble with games in Denmark on Friday in an effort to bring the bacon home to Chicago for the self-glorification of himself and Mayor Daley.

For the first time it is possible to bike, jog and run to and from Wisconsin and Cook County without ever leaving a bike path.

On Thursday, Sept. 10, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in Lake Forest, after the date of the dedication was twice canceled due to rain, to officially open the final extension of the Skokie Valley Bike Path from Laurel Avenue in Lake Forest up to Illinois Route 176, where it now connects with the North Shore Bike Path at Route 176.

The one-mile Lake Forest-Lake Bluff extension, adjacent to Lake Forest Open Lands, is the latest addition to the Lake County Department of Transportation more than 50 miles of bike paths.  The bike path extension became a reality through the cooperation of the Lake County Board, Division of Transportation, and several other government agencies working together.

The site of the ceremony was in front of the lighted tunnel under the Union Pacific Railroad tracks, constructed to enable bicyclists, pedestrians and joggers to continue on their way without having to cross the railroad tracks.  The total cost of the project was $2.7 million with money appropriated by the County Board and a $200,000 Bike Illinois grant by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to help with the project.

Featured speakers at the ceremony were Susan Loving Gravenhorst, Lake County Board District 13, who spearheaded the request for the funding after which the County Board followed through, and Marty Buehler, P.E., Lake County Division of Transportation Director.

Attending the ceremony were two officials from Commonwealth Edison, as a section of the bike path is on Commonweath Edison right-of-way. They were   John Misheniki, Local ComEd Supervisor and Jeff Batara, District ComEd Supervison.

Also present was Stephen Bartram, Executive Director of Lake Forest Open Lands,who worked to have the path located and constructed in a way that would help protect adjacent wetland and natural prairie resources.

Area citizens must take the time to experience first-hand the very attractive one-mile Lake Forest-Lake Bluff bike path extension.  It would make a pleasant walk, jog or bike ride on a balmy fall day.  Some may even wish to explore more of the trail by following the connection to the North Shore Bike Path when reaching Route 176.

The Village of Lake Bluff and the City of Lake Forest will take care of the day-to-day maintenance of their respective sections of the bike path.


What was President Obama thinking on Thursday, Sept. 17, when he scrapped plans for basing elements of the defense shield in Poland and the Czech Republic in favor of a smaller system to shot down medium-range Iranian missiles.  Russia’s Vladimir Putin opposed the defense shield, pressured Obama to scrap the plan, and then praised Obama for his correct and brave move.

The real story is that the U.S. has abandoned E. Europe, especially undercutting our two allies, Poland and the Czech Republic, who stood steadfastly by the U.S. in supplying troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan.  The missile sites in Poland and Czechoslovakia were never a threat to Russia.  Their purpose was to protect Europe and the west coast of the U.S., while the smaller system will only protect Europe.

After casting its lot with the West, all of E. Europe is now subject to pressure from Russia.   It was only a year ago that Georgia was invaded by Russia.

What makes Obama’s decision all the more unreasonable is that its announcement came on the same day as the 70-year anniversary of Poland’s invasion in1939 by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

What would prompt President Obama to scuttle the Bush-era missile defense plan when there is not a shred of evidence that Russia plans to side with the U.S. to put stiffer sanctions on Iran either under or above the table?  Could it be that President Obama and his top aides never believed in missile defense?  Might the Obama Administration be eager to prove that by giving in to Russia and other tyrants and rogue leaders that these nations will be more willing to do the bidding of the U.S?

Putin failed to signal a greater cooperation with the U.S. when on the day after Obama’s 9/17 decision he announced that he would listen more “attentively” to President Obama.

Obama’s announcement to scrap the defense shield in Poland and the Czech Republic comes on the heels of an International Atomic Energy Agency report that Iran has sufficient enriched uranium to build a nuclear bomb. Japan and South Korea, feeling vulnerable to future attacks, are especially concerned about Iran’s missile development.

Just as Nikita Khrushchev considered JFK a lightweight in foreign policy which led to the Cuba missile crisis and the Berlin Wall, Obama’s preemptive capitulation sends a signal of American weakness all over the world and a retreat from our power and influence.

It is obvious that President Obama is absent from duty on defense issues while he pushes for Obamacare.  Both hint at destruction.  The former places this nation in grave physical danger from attacks from abroad, while the latter would drain our financial resources with results that would prove undesirable to most Americans.

President Obama’s first address to the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday, Sept. 23, can only be described as a renunication of American exceptionalism.  Obama essentially gave up his nation in favor of being leader of the world when he told world leaders:  “No world order that elevates one nation or groups of people over another will succeed.”

In Obama’s eyes the U.S. is tarnished, stained, immoral, and unjust, with a flawed Constitution, and no better than any other nation.

It saddens me that Obama does not recognize the greatness of this nation.  It isn’t that our DNA is different.  It isn’t because we are better than inhabitants of other countries.

Why during our nation’s 250-year history have our living standards risen to the likes of never before seen in the world?  We have also shared our prosperity with the world.

America is exceptional because it was founded under the principles that have allowed its people the freedom to be the best that they could be.  This constitutional republicanism has allowed ingenuity and prosperity to flourish, and is our sacred trust.

President Obama’s obvious dismissal of America and its role in the world could not bode well for our future.

As one who answered the call to attend the 9/12 protest in Washington, D.C., I was astonished to find that the MSM had given so little attention to the mass gathering of American patriots who gathered, at their own expense, to show their displeasure to President Obama and the Congress. It was not a Democrat, Republican, white or black thing.  It was an American thing.

CNN had the audacity to report that the event was poorly attended and without significance, placing the attendance at 2,000 angry protesters.  ABC placed the crowd estimate at 60,000 to 70,000.  It took a report in the London Daily Mail to state what seems closer to the truth as to the enormity of the rally I experienced first hand, where the participants stretched as far as my eyes could see:  “Up to two million march to US capitol to protest against Obama’s spending in ‘tea-party’ demonstration.”

Traveling to D.C. to participate in the rally with a friend from Libertyville was an awesome experience for me.  Attending the 2009 D.C. march and rally were American patriots from every state in the Union, including Hawaii and Alaska.  We were informed that for those unable to attend the 9/12 Washington Tea Party event, 200 tea-party were being held in tandem across the nation in 45 states.

The mass assembly of individuals that descended on Washington, flooded Washington, and that rocked Washington was truly an “Assembly of Patriots,”  whose purpose it was to bring this message to everyone of our politicians in Washington, D.C.  Either start listening to us or pack your bags.  As Americans we didn’t elect you to rule over us, and we will not accept being ruled over.  And as Americans we will not go away quietly into the night.

Over 450 buses entered Washington, D.C. on the morning of 9/12.  It was impossible to travel the subway or walk the streets without spotting fellow patriots, most with homemade sign, and often dressed in patriotic attire.

To me the most memorable happening was my arrival at Freedom Square on Saturday morning, where I was able to mingle and greet participants from all over this country, and then march up Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol from Freedom Square.  Holding homemade signs held high, wave after wave of participants made their way up Pennsylvania Avenue with pride and in a peaceful procession which eventually filled the west lawn of the Capitol and then spilled onto the National Mall.

Arriving on the west lawn of the Capitol, with the steps of the Capitol directly in front on me, I listened reverently to the speakers as they expressed what was in the minds of those gathered, be they young or old.  Sentiments expressed by the speakers covered many grievances besides the tax and spend issue:

  • This is not a game.  It is time to restore fiscal responsibility and limited government and let the free market work.
  • We come in peace because we own this Dome and will be rearranging the furniture very shortly.
  • The government is not God and we will not bow down to an earthly king.
  • We don’t receive our freedom from Democrats or Republicans or from the government, but from our Creator.
  • Legislators have forgotten that we are not their servants, but that they serve us.
  • Obama’s prophesy has finally come true.  He prophesied for hope and change never realizing that “We the People” here today stand for hope and change.
  • Americans have a right to hold their heads up high, while there are those who go around the world apologizing for past actions, for American stands alone as an exceptional nation blessed by God.
  • Message sent to both parties that neither party is innocent of the problems that brought us here.
  • Government can take our liberty away, even though our liberty is not given by government.  Instead government gives us dependency which is the exact opposite of freedom.
  • We must be willing to protect our country using any means necessary.
  • In this “We the People” revolution, we must redefine our principles of limited government, personal responsibility, and going back to our Constitutional roots — as a living legacy to our children — so that we will never lose our heritage of a free republic.
  • We were told to sit down and shut up.  We say, not in this lifetime will we back down in the defense of freedom. The legislators chose to ignore our voices, so we must speak louder.
  • We stand here for liberty and freedom and against spending money to feed our over stuffed government.

I came home fired up with the assurance that there are millions of Americans like me who refuse to go quietly into the night while their country is being taken down a path that is not consistent with this nation’s Constitution.

Although it is impossible to foretell whether the D.C. 9/12 march and rally was a day that will come to represent a new beginning for “We the People”, it was an event that should legislators ignore, they ignore at their own peril.  For whether or not the mainstream media chose to truthfully cover the event, there are now millions of American patriots at the grassroots level all across this nation who will continue to let there legislators know in no uncertain terms that “We want our country back” and that “You serve us and not the other way around.”

Peter Wallsten’s after-account in the Tribune on Monday, Sept. 14, of the 9/12 rally in Washington, D.C. stirred up anger within me:  Critics:  GOP credibility at risk.

Clarence Page had an equally out-of-touch Tribune commentary on Wednesday, September 16, in which he suggested that racism played a part in the Fiery rhetoric of Obama’s critics during the 9/12 demonstrations last week in Washington, D.C.

Neither of them are qualified to judge the event, the people who attended, or the tenor and tone of the event, as they were not a part of it.

As one who answered the call to attend the 9/12 Washington event, I can speak first-hand about the awesome and inspiring occasion, not as a crackpot or one harboring paranoid delusions, but as a well informed American citizen who demonstrated peacefully to let President Obama and Congress know that either they start listening or they should be ready to pack their bags.  For Americans didn’t elect a president or legislators to rule over them, nor will they accept being ruled over.

I am still appalled at the lack of mainstream media attention given the mass assembly of patriots who gathered at their own expense to share their grievances with President Obama and Congress.  The gathering was not insignificant, yet the media chose to report it as such, greatly under estimating attendance figures which the London Mail reported as “up  to two million.”

The 9/12 rally was not Democrat, Republican, white or a black  It was an American thing, yet we who gathered in D.C. are being told to sit down and shut up while our nation is being taken down a path that is not consistent with this nation’s Constitution.

Neither party is innocent of the problems that brought up to two million people to Washington, D.C.  Should legislators on both side of the aisle ignore the 9/12 D.C. mass grassroots gathering, they do so at their own peril.

The D.C. message was loud and clear:  This is not a game.  It is time to restore fiscal and personal responsibility, limited government, and let the free market work.

We will not allow government to take our liberty away to give us dependency which is the opposite of freedom.  Neither will we allow our voices to go quietly into the night.  Republican Party leaders who think otherwise have not yet figured out that conservatism activism wins elections.

As one who answered the call to attend the 9/12 Washington event, I can speak first-hand about the awesome and inspiring occasion, not as a crackpot or one harboring paranoid delusions, but as a well informed American citizen who demonstrated peacefully to let President Obama and Congress know that either they start listening or they should be ready to pack their bags.  For Americans didn’t elect a president or legislators to rule over them, nor will they accept being ruled over.

I am still appalled at the lack of mainstream media attention given the mass assembly of patriots who gathered at their own expense to share their grievances with President Obama and Congress.  The gathering was not insignificant, yet the media chose to report it as such, greatly under estimating attendance figures which the London Mail reported as “up  to two million.”

The 9/12 rally was not Democrat, Republican, white or a black  It was an American thing, yet we who gathered in D.C. are being told to sit down and shut up while our nation is being taken down a path that is not consistent with this nation’s Constitution.

Neither party is innocent of the problems that brought up to two million people to Washington, D.C.  Should legislators on both side of the aisle ignore the 9/12 D.C. mass grassroots gathering, they do so at their own peril.

The D.C. message was loud and clear:  This is not a game.  It is time to restore fiscal and personal responsibility, limited government, and let the free market work.

We will not allow government to take our liberty away to give us dependency which is the opposite of freedom.  Neither will we allow our voices to go quietly into the night.  Republican Party leaders who think otherwise have not yet figured out that conservatism activism wins elections.


On 8/25 the White House released its Mid-Session Review admitting that President Barack Obama’s policies would force our nation to borrow more than $9 trillion over the next ten years. The administration is now in sync with the projection of the Congressional Budget Office ( CBO).
This figure represents a miscalculation of $2 trillion from the $7.108 trillion debt projected just a few months ago.  It is frightening to think how much more the current $9 trillion figure might escalate during the next 10-year period!

It would take 20,900 years, spending at a rate of $100 a second, to deplete $9 trillion.  It is indeed sobering and does not bode well for future generations of Americans.

The record breaking deficits have raised concerns over this nation’s ability to finance it debt and maintain a top-tier AAA credit rating.  Because the U.S. relies on China and Japan to cheaply finance its debt, both countries may demand higher interest rate if they perceive this nation cannot control its deficits.

The White House brags that it will cut the deficit in half by 2012.  Omitted is how the deficit has nearly quadrupled this year. Even if the White House were able to cut in half the bloated debt level — which is highly doubtful —  remaining would be budget deficits twice as high as under President  Bush.

Predictions have been made that the public national debt will actually nearly triple by 2019.  If this happens, this nation would have accumulated more government debt under President Obama than under EVERY President in American history from George Washington to George W. Bush combined!

At a time when the U.S. and its citizens are going through a painful time economically, with unemployment still projected to go higher, it is irresponsible for Democrats to propose a new Obamacare program that would at a minimum cost $1 trillion, piled on top of our already unsustainable entitlement obligations, when health reform can be achieved without throwing the baby out with the bathwater.