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Schakowsky Responds to Citizens' Frustrations

Congresswoman listens to constituents’ disillusions and adds some of her own.

Several of the more than 250 people who came to the in Northfield Tuesday to listen to brought their anger at government along. 

Schakowsky answered their questions and expressed some of her own frustrations both during her speech and when she responded to issues raised by the audience. 

Lawrence Elegant of Wilmette voiced a concern heard nationwide of the . “Why should we reelect any of you?” he asked.

Schakowsky acknowledged members of Congress were regarded “just below used car salesmen” as she recognized his feelings. Then she suggested he express his priorities to help find the best representative for him.

“Tell members and candidates what it is you want to have them do,” Schakowsky said. “Ask what they would support. Vote for the person with views that most match yours.” 

A few questions later, Stuart Goodman of Highland Park demanded to know why members of Congress could not compromise to pass . 

Schakowsky explained every section of the proposed legislation was supported by a majority of the Republican members over the last few years. She also opined they had a problem supporting the same ideas when proposed by the President. 

“I’ve never seen such disrespect for the President of the United States,” Schakowsky said. “The jobs bill is as much of a compromise as we’ve seen. It was all good then (when it was not the President’s idea) but not now.” 

Don Packard of Highland Park had his own concerns with the American Jobs Act. He said did not create any jobs. Schakowsky explained millions of jobs arose from that bill. 

“Between 1.9 million and 3 million jobs were created or saved,” Schakowsky said, citing non partisan analysis of the program. 

Schakowsky was also critical of some of her colleagues who opposed the legislation and quickly took advantage of the projects’ success. “They proudly go to the ribbon cuttings,” she said expressing displeasure when they take credit. 

During her speech, Schakowsky listed certain things she would defend and others she would never support. She made it clear she will always support Medicare and Social Security. 

“I will never support the ,” Schakowsky said. “It fundamentally changes what Medicare is,” she added, describing the plan to replace Medicare with a voucher system to be applied to private health insurance. 

John Cartland of Northbrook told Schakowsky a voucher system was used in Switzerland and the Netherlands. “It works in Germany and France as well,” he said, wanting to know the reason for her opposition. 

“The governments there control the price,” Schakowsky said. “You can sell private insurance but they can only offer different plans and packages. Under the Ryan budget the only control is on what you have to spend. The insurers determine the price.” 

Schakowsky also made it clear she wants to change the reference to programs like Medicare and Social Security as entitlements. She does not see it that way. 

“The very idea of calling them entitlements is wrong,” Schakowsky said. “They are earned benefit programs. You pay in your money. You earned it. It’s a middle class tax.” 

The seven-term Congresswoman explained only a portion of the first $106,800 of a person’s income is paid into the Social Security Trust Fund to be used for future benefits. She also explained why payments cannot be reduced. 

“Do you know what the average Social Security benefit is?” she asked rhetorically. “It’s $14,000 a year. For two thirds of the people receiving Social Security it’s 70 percent of what they live on. For 10 percent it’s everything.”

Sully December 20, 2011 at 10:58 PM
Here ya go, Rich. Just for you- http://winnetka.patch.com/blog/apply Merry Christmas
BransonSkokie December 20, 2011 at 11:19 PM
To Richard Schulte: I urge you to read the following: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychosis While you may justify it to yourself, your behavior here (500+ posts) is abnormal. If you have friends or family you can reach out to, I urge you to seek out the help you so desperately need. Patch, please help this poor, sick man by closing the comments on this article.
Richard Schulte December 21, 2011 at 06:35 PM
In fact, the president of the Laborer’s International Union of North America, in reference to Keystone XL stated “The administration chose to support environmentalists over jobs…Job-killers win, American workers lose.” http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/lincolnbrown/2011/12/21/ohio_union_to_obama_enviro_jobkillers_win_american_workers_lose/page/2 Yes, who cares about jobs. An unemployment check is better than a job, isn't it? Well, no it isn't. Even the union folks get it.
Simon Ribeiro February 13, 2012 at 05:59 AM
Vote for a new vision! Vote for Simon Ribeiro, 9th Congressional Candidate!
Tim Wolfe September 07, 2012 at 03:28 PM
I'm Tim Wolfe and I'm running for US Congress in the IL 9th District. I agree with Simon that we need a new vision. In fact we need "A New Direction for the New 9th." With respect to health care our vision must be to realize that great things can be accomplished without a government take over of the system. Gov't control over the health care system will only lead to an ineffective health care system and ultimately even more control. (Make no mistake about it, both Pres. Obama & Schakowsky want a single payer health care system. And Schakowsky has said that it doesn't matter what the tactics are to get there, only accomplishing the goal is what matters. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfOWnZ82Pm4) I am not proposing that the private market will cure the ills of our health care system by themselves. We need certain legislation that must be enacted by the Federal government including required coverage for pre-existing conditions, interstate sales of health insurance policies that will stimulate competition (there is no reason the Federal gov't should have been withholding this legislation) and tort reform. The private market must then come up with new and innovative products to keep costs in check. And if you don't like the private market don't think for a moment that the Federal gov't is going to be our benevolent savior. If the Federal gov't is so caring why are they hiring over 16,000 IRS agents to ensure compliance with Obamacare? We must repeal & replace !

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