Keep the Focus on the Unemployment Crisis!

by John Laesch, posted on Sunday, August 21st, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Last week I attended a town hall meeting (THM) with freshman Repesentative Randy Hultgren in Sandwich, and a second in Geneva.  The third THM is in Yorkville on Aug. 29.  See details at the end of this post.

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Question after question, the crowd pushed for Jobs-Jobs-Jobs!  Many also called for a fair, progressive tax on the wealthiest of our society, the card-carrying members of the millionaire and billionaire clubs.  Others pushed more spcifically for H.R. 870, the Humphrey-Hawkins 21st Century Full Employment and Training Act, a bill that imposes a speculation tax of .25% on Wall Street trading.  The revenue would be used to create 2.5 to 10 million jobs.

Keep reading for press coverage, video of the THM’s, and details for the next THM. 

  • The DeKalb County Chronicle wrote, “Jobs top list of questions for Hultgren in Sandwich.”
  •  The Beacon News headlined, “Constituents at Sandwich town hall session press Rep. Hultgren to tax the rich”
  • The Kane County Chronicle headline was, “Hultgren hears from constituents seeking answers on jobs.”
  • By clicking on this link, you can see videos taken by Jessica Norman in Sandwich, IL - Great job Jessica!
  • The Fox Valley Video News Service (VNS) produced a 13-minute piece covering the Geneva THM.
  • The Washington Post followed Randy Hultgren for a day or two and wrote a piece titled, “Democrats’ road tour strikes back at GOP’s stand against raising taxes.” 
  • Most Democratic Party insiders were in Springfield for Democrats Day during the THM’s; leaving Hultgren to answer questions from concerned citizens and the “intelligent left.”  The effort to get people to town hall meetings to push Hultgren to take the unemployment crisis seriously was coordinated by MoveOn.org, Northern Illinois Jobs With Justice and several other groups. 

    The conservative blog, Illinois Review, put their own spin on reality here.  The sharply biased Daily Herald repeated everything Hultgren said because his answers would more or less earn him an A+ on their political questionnaire.

    More balanced reporting from the Geneva THM was available from the Beacon News, and Kane County Chronicle

    Clearly, the Republicans are trying to turn people out to defend Hultgren.  You could pick them out in the Geneva THM because they would simply stand up and say, “we support you Randy,” or “God bless America.”

    There is only one town hall meeting left at the Yorkville City Council Chambers at 6:00 p.m.   

    * Note that the Yorkville THM has been changed to Monday, Aug. 29.  MoveOn.org has set up an on-line tool to help organize the events.  Please click on the link below to RSVP for the event and then pass the word to other concerned citizens.

    Hultgren THM
    Monday, August 29th, 6:00 PM

    Yorkville City Council Chambers
    800 Game Farm Rd.
    Yorkville, IL 60560

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    2 Responses to “Keep the Focus on the Unemployment Crisis!”

    1. markg8 says:

      Keep the pressure on him.

    2. chef jeff says:

      Job, jobs, jobs, was the battle cry of the GOP as they campaigned in 2010. Many of them won because the jobs theme works well when we have so many unemployed in America. But where are the jobs? Why do we not see a lowering of the unemployment numbers to match the rhetoric of the GOP in 2010?

      Some will tell us that because President Obama has not agreed 100% with the GOP plans to lower taxes on the wealthy, the alledged “job creators,” is the cause for the slow growth of employment. But how will a new tax lowering now do what it failed to do in the Bush era? You see, taxes have been lowered time and again but we have seen a steady erosion of both jobs and real income amongst most working Americans. In the meantime, the wealthy class has grown wealthier. Am I alone is seeing that these tax cuts are an illusion, a smoke and mirrors argument that actually works against increasing employment?

      Currently, people who worked for $20.00 an hour fifteen years ago are happy to get a parttime job at minimun wages or slightly better. I see them every day. And, if they are fortunate enough to be the one hired out of fifty or one hundred applicants for a single job opening, they may be told they will be full time, only to find that there’s not enough business for them to work more than 10, or maybe 20 hours per week.

      Do the math. $8.25 per hour times 20 hours per week, before taxes equals a whopping, whole, entire $165 per week. After taxes, state, federal, and with other deductions, they bring home a mighty sum of about $130.00 or so. Times four, that equals a monthly take home pay of $520.00, gross pay of $660.00. Yearly, the take home is $6,240.00 and gross is $7,920.

      This is incredibly low, rivaled by some of the poorest nations on Earth. But this is America! Why do we settle for this? Why do we take it? Worse yet, why do poor, middle class and all people in between, who should be outraged, vote for and support the very party and their backers who grow wealthier on our backs, on our poverty?

      There’s an old song, often paraphrased and with a few words changed to meet the times, that goes like this: “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer”. and even “…the poor get prison”. How true is this today? I bet that many Americans can find the appropriate word to replace “poorer” or “prison” and it won’t be “happy”.

      Are you happy? Have you fallen for the lies that to stand against the few who profit from your loss, your joblessness, your poverty is “Communism”, or “Socialism”?

      I am here to tell you that the only threat of Communism ever coming to this nation exists only if we continue to placate the fat cats. If we trust those who will stop allowing the majority of us, the 98 or 99% of us, to have the oportunity to better ourselves, who profits?

      It is we who are asked to pay the taxes the wealthy shun. It is we to work like mules and get rotten hay to eat. It is We, the People, who hit the streets and look for jobs that either don’t exist or which pay pittance, unliveable wages. It is all of us who are not in that top 1 or 2% who are being tossed aside like chattel, like garbage, our needs, even our very right to existence, ignored. They sneer at us, and yet some of us support them.

      I ask, why?

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