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It's Obama, Senger, Biggert

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Now that U.S. Sen. Barack Obama has won a historic presidential election, what's next? Who will Gov. Rod Blagojevich appoint to replace Obama in the Senate--himself? Or maybe his most threatening opponent for governor--Attorney General Lisa Madigan? Or maybe U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., or Bill Daley, or someone else.

Use this thread to comment on Tuesday's election results, both national and local. What do you make of Darlene Senger's apparent narrow victory over Dianne McGuire? Did you expect Judy Biggert to win a sixth term in Congress?

And how about this--three Democrats were elected to the DuPage County Board! They include a 22-year-old who will represent Naperville.

Historic, indeed.

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90 Comments

hey man I like it. I'm off to write more articles and put your ideas to the test. After all, we always have something new to learn and being humble, I came here to learn. Bookmarked.

- John

I think I said "GOP" control --- if not, that was my intention. Thus, my comment on the weak state of teh GOP!

To Anonymous on November 21, 2008 5:50 PM--

You're very right about reality vs. impression. But it's the impressions people leave that seem to live on longer than the realities.

I missed the WH statement the day of Katrina, so I remember about 5 days where the state of LA mucked around on it's own before the feds got involved. States do have to request assistance, but for heaven's sake! All Bush or a member of his administration had to do was tune in to CNN to know that the state gov had dropped the ball and an intervention was needed. My relative in Germany saw the news reports and responded before Bush did. The WH allowed the situation to exist for far too long before acting, and the impression this gave of Bush was that he wasn't involved or aware enough to even look into it. I think Bush earned that one.

If you don't want to call what Bush has as control, that's fine. But I was just using your statement, "Bush theoretically only had control for 4 of the 8 years." A little slip there? (hee hee)

We'll see how this college group rates Bush's presidency after he leaves office. I saw a political cartoon several days ago, I think it was in the Chicago Trib, but it showed the White House, and a dialogue bubble coming from it was saying "C'mon, we've got two more months! Can't we squeeze in a nuclear explosion or something?"

Impressions, indeed.

PJ,

We are very close to violent agreement!!!

I was not trying to cut Bush a pass on the items you mentioned, but only wanted to lay out what I felt was a more fair "spread" of reality vs impression (example: when folks say regardless of the data, it feels like a depression!!!)

We disagree on the entirety of the war --- that is okay and there SHOULD be disagrement on it.

Katrina was a cluster. The WH issued a statement that day, but any sane person believes the reaction from Bush the human being was way too slow. Under an understanding of State vs Fed rule, it was not mentioned enoughm though, that the Feds need a State;s REQUEST to enter the State in nay type of action. Blanco was afraid of teh PR and did not ask for, what, 5 days???? The other Gulf states (and Fla on a later hurricane), asked either immediately or even before the event hit.

Let's not say "control" for Bush ---- the GOP had control for 4 years, but I think even the most hard-headed GOPster wilol agree that the GOP on a national level has been in ruins for a few years.

As far as history, there is actually a well-known college group that rates Presidencies every 2-4 years or so. Bush rated somehting like a 74, while Bill got a 72. It is a non-partisan group, by teh way, and being from colleges you could go on a limb and say it at least leans left!

Held Our Ground wrote:

"Phase in of higher tax rates (from 36 to 39.6%--the pre Bush taxes was to make certain that all income was taxed at 39.6%. So from $250,000 to $750,000 or thereabout, the incremental tax rate as 7.2%. In addition, they phased out itemized deductions and exemptions--say another 3%."

Where the heck are you getting this?

To Held Our Ground on November 20, 2008 9:00 PM--

Darn, I was hoping to get some links. Once the number crunching begins, my brain goes on standby. Can't help it; it's an autonomic response.

I'll look into it and get back to you.

To Anonymous on November 20, 2008 10:43 AM--

My data is fine. I'm just focusing on different aspects of it than you are.

My whole point with Held was that we were using different criteria to define "doing well". His statment focused on inflation rates (which went down during Bush's tenure), mortgage rates (which went down or stayed in the same ball park) and unemployment (which inched up over time but I guess his point was that it is still relatively low, at least up until just recently). I'm judging Bush's presidency from events that resonate at a deeper level. Like Iraq, which IS strictly Bush's doing. Billions down the drain, thousands of young Americans dead. You can break it into three parts if you like--this part was successful, this part not so much--but it's largely recognized now that the whole thing was based on erroneous information and never should have occurred. If I had lost a son or daughter in Iraq, the last thing I would be applauding Bush for is low inflation. I think the costs of the Iraq war in both lives and money really outweigh a few percentage points of inflation, mortgage rates and unemployment, don't you?

And I know Bush didn't cause what has happened recently with the economy. Freddie and Fannie were championed by the Dems, deregulation started under the Clinton administration, etc. But once Bush got into office, no one paid attention to anything. Deregulation increased, the Bush admin had a hands-off approach, laissez-faire seemed to reign again. No one was at the helm, and by the time someone saw the iceberg it was too late to avoid. The U.S. did not cause the economies of other countries to tank, but the first dominoes fell here and the rest followed. Doesn't make a good case for unrestrained market capitalism or the strength of U.S markets, does it?

And the post-Katrina mess. Yes, the local government, the mayor, et al really underestimated that one and screwed up on multiple levels. But where was Bush? On vacation again? Neither he nor anyone from his administration visited the disaster site. From what I remember, it was days before the White House even issued a statement about it. As I've mentioned before, I have a relative who has worked in Germany for many years. He saw the pictures that were broadcast around the world, of bodies still floating in city streets days after the hurricane. He called me, wanting to know what the hell was going on. These are the kind of pictures you see from third world countries, he told me, not the United States! He said his German colleagues were astounded that our government let it go for as long as they did before stepping in. Again, Bush appeared unaware and uninterested in what was happening. See a pattern here?

You are right about how the Dems worked against the Bush admin., but you also admit Bush had control for 4 of the 8 years. So he can't blame it all on others.

Finally, "Bush, like Clinton and most Presidents, will be viewed in history as average." Really? Really?! REALLY!?! I don't know what you've been reading, but every indication of everything I've seen or heard suggests history will not remember the second Bush favorably. Average would be a gift. But I guess the only ones who really care about this are the Bushes.

The point is, the buck stops with the Commander-in-Chief, right or wrong, fair or not. It comes with the office.


PJ, your question on taxes (for people making $250,000 to $550,000

Phase in of higher tax rates (from 36 to 39.6%--the pre Bush taxes was to make certain that all income was taxed at 39.6%. So from $250,000 to $750,000 or thereabout, the incremental tax rate as 7.2%. In addition, they phased out itemized deductions and exemptions--say another 3%. Finally, Obama wants to subject all income over $250,000 to FICA 6.4%. It is unclear if there is an employer share. If that is the case, the employer will have to reduce salaries to pay the 6.4% (clearly the case for small business owners since they otherwise got the money).

Summary

Current rate 36%
Tax increase 7.2%
Phase out 5%
FICA plan 6.4%

Total 54.6%

If there is a FICA share on employers, 60.8%.

When you get over $750,000 or so, the rate would fall back to 48% to 54.4%.

As a small business owner, you make another $100,000 (let's say in plumbing) and you will keep between $40,000 to $45,000. That is another employee!!!


PJ,

Though I respect your opinion, your feelings, and your right to both ---- I would ask that you use some data!


Under "Measure Presidential Performance" you refer to the Iraq war, the post-Katrina disaster, the stock market crash and the world financial crisis that resulted from that. Let's be clear: the U.S. didn't cause the world econominc "disaster".

First point: a financial shakeout occurs about every 20 years or so. The market is part of this. The stock market crash is a result of the finanical crisis, not the cause. The financial crisis is a result of the mortgage meltdown (key point)

Second point: There were "bubbles" throughout the world waiting to be burst --- let's not blame it all on the old USA. Japan, China, Russia, and Europe were just waiting to crash. Their currencies werre part of that crash and they are now down where they economically belong. Also, most non-partisan minds are aware that names like B. Frank, C. Dodd, etc., are the main perpetrators behind the actual mortgage collapse (and not the name "Bush")

Third point: Our governemet system is "fun" in that it relies on three groups to actually function --- the house, the Senate, & the President. The President's power resides in justices, war, and the veto. The Congress is pretty much responsible for all else! If my math is correct, Bush theoreticaaly only had control for 4 of the 8 years.

Final observation: Bush, like Clinton and most Presidents, will be viewed in history as average. There are very few good or bad Presidents. Bush will be defined by a few things:

The first, and most important, is the number 2625 --- that is the approx. number of days since the last deadly attack on American interests (and, by theway, is the longest such period in the age of modern terrorism).

The second is the utter vile environment he had to work in with the absolutely useless Democratic party for 8 years. They said on election night 2000 they would never work with him, and they didn't. They blocked appointments at a historic pace for 8 solid years. They did their best to ruin the country and they should be ashamed.

Third, the three piece Iraq war --- a succesful first peice (the first three weeks), the demoralizing next 3 years or so, and then the surge.

Fourth, the utter inablilty to handle or communicate the Katrina disaster (with special note here that after-the-fact we all realize the locals --- Gov, Mayor, etc, were really the physical screw-up on that one --- several other states then and after had disasters hit with no where near the incompetence)

Fifth, the current economic crisis.

JOMO

To Held Our Ground on November 19, 2008 8:10 AM--

Hey there.

I DID believe you about Congressman Miller. One can't make that kind of stuff up, it's too nuts.

For all we know, he's playing to his constituents by pushing for changes that he knows don't have a snowball's chance in hell of being passed, so he's safe to make a lot of noise and get in the WSJ and appear that he's actually doing something. Politicians do this kind of posturing all the time, and even if he is serious, he's just one left-wing nutjob out of hundreds of congressmen. I don't think 401(k)s are under attack, at least not yet.

True, social programs tend to reward people for stupid and reckless behavior. I just don't see anyway around this. I do believe we need to provide basic social services to people who are in need, whether they be sick, elderly or slackers, as this keeps them from being a bigger problem to society later on. But too much removes individual initiative. A lot of European countries have this problem, and you know how socialist they are. I have a relative who has lived and worked in Germany for 20 years, so I hear about this all the time. Their government provides for them from cradle to grave, and the benefits are so cushy that many Germans are content with it. These people could work, they're educated and able-bodied, but they're happy with the minimum they get from the government, so they don't. There are people like this in every country, and we have our share.

No, Amy J. is not in the gutter. But she got herself fired, and being educated, she can move into another line of work. But she might be on the street if she ran through her unemployment compensation and savings and then was diagnosed with an acute illness, say cancer. If she doesn't have a job, she can't possibly afford hundreds a month in private insurance premiums. So she's unemployed, uninsured, broke and acutely ill. If not for social programs, she would be literally dying in the gutter. And this could happen to any of us.

I think the answer is for the government to provide basic services to those in need, and yes, those who work will have to be taxed for it. But the government should not provide so much aid that people are comfortable. All this does is encourage more dependency. So I wouldn't mind if the safety net is moved a tad to the right as well, as long as it's there. This is the bigger picture that many Democrats fail to see or don't care about. The "poor" won't have any incentive to strive to improve their lives if the government is willing to do it for them.

And we both know Serbia in the 90s, or the Bosnian civil war, in no way compares to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The U.S. did not have ground forces in that conflict, they were all UN peacekeepers who failed to keep the peace. The U.S. flew some bombing missions against the Serbs, the aggressors, since no one else on the face of the earth was willing to do anything to stop their ethnic cleansing campaign. To the best of my knowlege, no U.S. lives were lost there, just many Bosnian ones. And the 1930s is relevant in this discussion, because social security was enacted as a response to what was happening in this country at that time, and social security reform is what we've been argui--er, discussing--isn't it?

Lastly, saying that Obama wants to raise taxes to 60% sounds like right-wing fear mongering again. Where are you getting this?

TTYL!


PJ,

First, you are a very good blogger, not like that Thom Higgins.

Most importantly, you are absolutely right why we have policies, because people cannot act properly. Where I have a problem with this matter is that the premise should be based on rewarding those people who do right, not penalize them. People know there are not consequences and as a result, continue to act improperly. And we reinforce this behavior.

Take a real life example. Amy Jacobson. She was making a top dollar, very high profile, member of the East Bank Club with Barry O., nice house in Lincoln Park, nice family. Then she pulls the stupid move and goes swimming at Stubic's house. Today, she lost her house, her job, her husband, East Bank club and is desperate. But she is readjusting. She came to her senses that no Chicago television station will hire her. She lives in an apartment rather than a $3 million house. Is she in a gutter?

And the same would apply to me. Instead of having a union protect me even if I am no longer needed like the UAW, I need to figure out how to proceed. If I become disabled, will my insurance cover me? I am trying to save for retirement so I do not have to be a burden for anyone, but it is tought at a total tax rate of 39% plus local taxes, it will be worst if Barry O's taxes are implemented and they go up to 60%. It would also be nice for me to manage my social security rather than the government.

In short, I move the line for the safety net and government (rather than individual) responsibility to the right of you. Probably not that far, by the way.

Your last comments. What about Serbia, we lost lives there during the 90's, I thought that that war would never end. Ok, unemployment is going up. But not as bad as the 81-82 recession. Stop this talk about the 30's. Did Reagan whine like this? And all mortgages were 30 year.

And I'm glad you are not worried about Congressman Miller. Read last Friday's Wall Street Journal. I did not make this up. He feels that any investment plan not run by the government is wrong. And he resents those who have succeeded to have more. If you like your 401k and its freedom, it is now under attack as well.

To Held Our Ground on November 17, 2008 6:00 PM--

Oops, hit the submit button accidentally. I meant to say I couldn't help but notice the stats you listed under Lets' Measure Presidential Performance. You can call this doing well if you IGNORE the cost in lives and money of the Iraq war, the post-Katrina disaster, the stock market crash and the world financial crisis that resulted from that. 2008 isn't over yet; let's see what unemployment is in a few more weeks. And oil is now in the 50s per barrel. And you quantified the 2008 mortgage interest rate as being 30-year. Was the rate in 2000 and 2004 also 30-year?

Can Obama do as well? Seriously?! If Obama does as "well" as Bush we're screwed. I can't see how he can possibly do any worse.

PSS--The Anonymous above is me.

To Held Our Ground on November 17, 2008 6:00 PM--

The purpose of social security is not to make everyone equal monitarily. It is to give everyone equal protection from being destitute. That's what I meant by equal.

If SS becomes need-based, it is no longer a national retirement or disability program, it becomes just another welfare program. SS was created to give all citizens a safety net, not just poor ones.

By your comments I can tell you consider yourself to be one of the "winnners" in life. That's great. We, too, have been relatively unscathed by the events of the last two months and have done well for ourselves. But I don't deny the possibility that this could change due to circumstances in life that are beyond our control no matter how well we plan. The difference between us is you don't seem to acknowlege this could happen to you and you don't seem to care that it happens to others.

I do not believe in the "liberal bias" that people cannot look out for themselves. But the sad reality is that many people simply don't. Look at our most recent examples: the housing crisis, the hundreds of thousands of people who bought houses they couldn't afford and subsequently lost or will lose. The wall street folks who took very good care of themselves but did it at the expense of thousands of others. The number of young people who drop out of high school and/or have children in their teens and then complain that they're stuck in poverty. Geez, how many more examples do you need?

You believe people who act irresponsibly or make bad choices should suffer the consequences on their own and you resent being taxed for their mistakes and even resent contributing for yourself as if you too were one of them. But the fallacy in your thinking is that you can ignore other people's misfortunes because it won't affect you. Wrong. Hundreds of thousands of indigent, homeless people with only charities to fall back on would erode our society and standard of living substantially, just think of what it would do to the crime rate alone. When your home is burglarized, you car stolen, your city unsafe to walk in and scaring away business and investment, then you bet it affects you and everyone else who is a "winner" as well. This is the bigger picture that a lot of conservatives miss or don't want to think about.

I'm not at all worried about Congressman Miller or any other Dem succeeding in turning 401(k)s into personal investment accts. Thank God we didn't do what Bush wanted, which was to cash in those social security treasury bills and invest it in the stock market. Recent events have shown what a colossally stupid move this would have been. It didn't fly when Bush suggested it; it won't fly now. To talk about these ideas as if they are on the way to becoming reality is just fear-mongering.

P.S. I couldn't help but notice the stats you

LET'S MEASURE PRESIDENTIAL PERFORMANCE

Look at the Bush performance.

Flashback 2000

Inflation 3.4%
Mortgage interest rates 8.00%
Unemployment 4.0%

US under attack culminating in 9/11

End of 2004

Inflation 2.68%
Mortgage interest rates 5.75%
Unemployment 5.7%

Higher world order

Situation 2008

Inflation 2.8% (last full year) 4.35% with $140 barrel oil
Mortgage interest rates 6.25% (30 year)
Unemployment 6.1%
World safety--Significantly improved

Next four years? Can Obama do as well as Bush? This is not 1932, maybe 1980 at worst.

Two posts, will keep them separate.

PJ Your comment reflects what the WSJ called the "liberal bias" that people cannot look out for themselves. The government will do a better job. So let's put Social Security in charge of all of our investments. I think they would be worst off.

When this financial market problem surfaced in the late 2007, I have taken several moves, the last being totally in cash until I think the market has hit the bottom. So I have not lost 30% of my 401K. But if I had not made that call in December 2007, I would be a loser as well.

I do not think that I will be eating cat food if I was given the responsiblity to invest my own money. Better yet, I succeeded, it might be caviar.

Watch out. A Congressman called Miller (a Democrat) feels that the Middle Class and definitely the "poor" do not benefit from 401k's. They want to force the liquidation of these accounts, create the personal investment accounts that Bush was talking about, and TOTALLY netting them against Social Security payments. If this happens, you might as well blow your entire 401K.

Why such draconian actions? To make everyone EQUAL (monitarily). What does this reflect?

We all want change but not the change that those who voted for him want. What scares me most are those who voted for him. Majority have never voted before and admitted that when on TV at the rally. I'm not talking about young adults, I'm talking about the 30+ plus crowd with families. Why have they never voted before, why was this election more important than others. Did he promise him something different than others.

It's a sad day when someone is elected into office by people who are clueless and have never cared to vote in the 20+ years they could have.


It was hard to reconcile Dianne the school teacher with the extremely negative campaign run by her staff.

To Held Our Ground on November 14, 2008 9:29 PM--

Ok, so let's say that instead of giving 6% to SS your entire life, you put it in an annuity. But annuities are investments, right? You give money to an insurance co., they invest the money and give you back payments, and hopefully you get a nice return on it. But what if you don't? What if this annunity, instead of being well-diversified, had been too heavily invested in the stock market? What would be the value of that annuity now? What if the insurance company had misled you to invest in annuities that were inappropriate for you because of the commission they and their salespeople got for selling them? People suffer losses on annuities all the time, and the companies that sell them sometimes get sued. But people are not often successful in recouping loses from mismanaged annuities. And if you're in your 50s or 60s when this happens, you can't just "pick up a start over". You don't have the time to start over. This kind of scenario could have you eating cat food for years.

Like you said, there are no guarantees in life. Social security was enacted at one of the worst times in U.S. history precisely for this reason--to give people a safety net, guaranteed by the U.S. government, so the suffering that was endured during the great depression would not happen again. I think in theory it is worth keeping. But should we be giving payments to newly-arrived immigrant seniors who have never paid into the system? My opinion is no. Should social security payouts become need-based? No again. This changes it's focus from one of an insurance-type program for everyone to a welfare program for some, and that's not what it was intended to be.

This country became a world power based on market capitalism, and I don't think having social programs is a threat to that. These two things can coexist; you don't have to throw out one to have the other. Having some social programs does not make the U.S. socialist--and here I used the "S" word this time! I think they ensure our status as a civilized nation rather than one where the law of the jungle is allowed to rule.

Just a few things to chew on . . .

P.S. You've probably figured out that I'm a rather conservative Democrat. Maybe even a blue dog.

The situation today is still better than the economy of the late 70's. Undemployment was 10%, inflation was 18%, interest rates were 15 to 22%. And the numbers were worst in the Depression.

The only issue is whether the government will stay out of the way. At least two major banks should go out of business. The big three all need to go through bankruptcy just like the airlines. In two to three years, our economy would be back to the prosperity we have enjoyed since 1990 with a couple of bumps.

However, if the government props up these bad companies, we will instead not rid our economy of inefficiency. Then we could see an economy that is worst than the Depression.

Just my view.

Worth a read, another step on the road to hyper-inflation?

Government spending (new and old programs) and deficits are the nut of the downside.

Two articles from a Reuters Economic Summit

Whitehead sees slump worse than Depression
Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:50pm EST

http://www.reuters.com

YORK (Reuters) - The economy faces a slump deeper than the Great Depression and a growing deficit threatens the credit of the United States itself, former Goldman Sachs chairman John Whitehead, said at the Reuters Global Finance Summit on Wednesday......

"Before I go to sleep at night, I wonder if tomorrow is the day Moody's and S&P will announce a downgrade of U.S. government bonds," he said. "Eventually U.S. government bonds would no longer be the triple-A credit that they've always been."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXx
Counter Point

http://www.reuters.com

Looming credit card debt may be next crisis
Thu Nov 13, 2008 6:12pm EST

................
The effect was a sharp drop in the value of homes as well as the savings portfolios of all types of investors.

Wall Street veteran Donald Marron, CEO of private equity firm Lightyear Capital, called it "the first 401(k) crash," referring to the leading U.S. private pension plan.

But other executives believe the worst had passed.

They pointed to the coordinated moves of governments and central banks globally -- including capital infusions and lowering interest rates -- that have allowed the market to begin clawing back.

"We're seeing the end of the fireworks post-Lehman," said William Chalmers, head of European banks in Morgan Stanley's (MS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) financial institutions group. "The intervention of the state has slowed that."..............

Although few executives made hard predictions on the duration of the current downturn, most agreed it would not reach the depths of the Great Depression, which gripped the world in the 1930s.

PJ,

Very civil and positive comments. Just another take.

You do not know me, but I have been VERY consistent on Social Security since I have started working. If I had my 6% (forget about Medicare), I would have a very generous annuity and would not need to rely on anyone. Help myself. I wish we would have funded the unfunded liability (like we did with the financial bailout) and let everyone have their own annuity. And if we died young (like my father), there would be funds for my decendents. And I think we could still do this.

And the annuity would be more than I will get from social security. So I think that John McCain should be getting $3,000 per month rather than $1,920.

I have met people who lost all of their pensions from bad companies (Continental Bank, Comdisco, etc). Do you know what they did? Picked up the pieces and started over. Same for the Enron people and the World Com. There are no guarantees in life, you have to take each as they come. There are winners and losers. But not losers that live in a gutter.

When this is working, the United STates is the best. Just my Americanism. (notice not one socialism comment!!).

To Held Our Ground on November 13, 2008 2:16 PM--

Let's not get hysterical over the "Fairness Doctrine" making a comeback. I'm sure we'll have just as much opportunity to present our views over the next 4 years as we have now. Besides, I would miss Hannity and Combs and even Bill O'Reilly's rants. I may not always agree with them, but that doesn't mean they're not fun to watch. And I really don't think the Fairness Doctrine has anything to do with the money these guys make. Nobody cares.

I definitely remember "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." I could never mistake this for Limbaugh, I watched Kennedy say these words on my family's black and white TV when I was a kid. Actually, a speech writer wrote it, but Kennedy got the credit. I think Obama has the potential to be this generation's Kennedy. And keep in mind Kennedy was a sociali--uh, I mean Democrat--too.

But back to your creeping socialism. As was mentioned above, even John McCain, who is a member of the Budweiser billionaires club, gets $1900 a month from social security. I think the exact amount is $1,920 a month. How is giving him almost $2000 a month he doesn't need punishing him? How is forcing anyone to save money that they get back with interest, sometimes even giving them more than they pay in originally, punishing them? Your argument does not make sense, unless you have a wacky idea of what punishment is.

Also, I'm glad you agree that all people, no matter their mistakes, should be allowed to retain their dignity. A basic safety net like social security provides them this dignity so they don't have to be homeless or go begging to charities or others to survive should they become sick, disabled or too old to work.

And a lot of time people become destitute through no irresponsibility or fault of their own. They play by the rules, do everything right, and still get screwed. Like work for a company for 30 years only to have that company go out of business and raid the pension funds before they do. Or put their savings into a savings and loan that said they were FDIC insured, only to find out when the S&L went under that the bank officer had lied to them and their savings were gone. Or Wall Street executives got greedy and single-handedly brought down the financial market of their own country just to line their pockets, and shareholders, investors and those in the stock market lose millions through no fault of their own. Do you see where I'm going with this? Often the responsible are hurt by the irresponsibility of those in positions of power and influence, and programs like SS are a safety net for them as well.

To PH on November 13, 2008 8:44 AM--

Great link, thanks for it. But this comes as no surprise. Given how many times Bush and Cheney invoked executive privilege while in office, you know the Dems in Congress would go after them, just like the Reps in Congress went after Clinton. If the "impeachment" of Clinton wasn't a show trial, I don't know what is. It's simply the way the game is played, unfortunately.

The article makes it sound like Obama is not too interested in pursuing this; he'll have enough on his plate when he takes office. But he has no control on what the courts and Congress do. Obama's presidential platform used change we can believe in; the people elected to the House and Senate did not, and they are the ones pursuing this, not Obama. So let's not hold him personally responsible yet.

Hopefully Obama will not participate so we can move on. I think everyone pretty much suspects we were lied to in regards to the Iraq situation, whether deliberately or dumbly, and the focus now needs to be how to get out of it. My guess is Obama will not get involved in this, but if some Congressional Dems want to spin their wheels in this muck for the next four years, and it sounds like that's what they're determined to do, there's not much Obama can do to stop them.

PJ

First, I acknowledge there are two sides to every story (or more). And today, we have the ability to present our views. Who knows what the next four years will bring. I think Democrats (Socialists--can't help myself) will try to impose the Fairness Doctrine to silence Limbaugh, Hannity, etc. not because they care about what they say, but because they are jealous of the millions they make. Al Franken went bankrupt when he "tried" to compete on Air America.

But I think the best quote is as follows. "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country!" Sounds like Rush Limbaugh, but surprisingly it was said by John Kennedy.

Your best comment. "If people always acted responsibly and did this for themselves, we wouldn't need social security." I AGREE!!!! Your answer, punish those who act responsibly. AMAZING. Shouldn't the people who DO NOT act responsibly suffer the consequences?

In fact PJ, you have framed the issue of the creeping Socialism (or whatever other term you want to call the concept) into our society. I think it should be reversed, but also let me clearly state that all people, no matter how big of a mistake they made, should be able to retain their dignity.

Again PJ, thanks for summing up the issues regarding Socialism.

Source: Ultra right wing New York Times

Bush, Out of Office, Could Oppose Inquiries

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/13/washington/13inquire.html?_r=1&oref=slogin


In short, House and Senate Democrats plan committee show trials of Bush and officials from his administration after Obama is in office.

CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN?

The winners in an election conduct show trials of the losing party?

I liked the one in Romania with Ceauşescu and his wife, the televised executions were great family entertainment.

To Held Our Ground on November 12, 2008 1:01 PM

Also, look to Anon on 11/7 at 10:33 AM above for other "popular and accepted definitions of socialism". I definitely think this is the way in which you mean it:

--According to Joseph Schumpeter, socialism is the public ownership of the means of production and distribution; BUT IN AMERICAN PARLANCE IT IS OFTEN USED PEJORATIVELY TO DESCRIBE ANY ATTEMPT AT GOVERNMENT REGULATION OR INTERVENTION . . .

Yep, that's you all right.

Some reform can be a good thing. Take "forced public education". You would prefer to have a large underclass of illiterate, uneducated citizens, who would still be able to vote, keep in mind. That's a very scary notion. And social security is another "socialist" evil? Forcing people to provide a safety net for themselves should they become disabled or sick or too elderly to work? If people always acted responsibly and did this for themselves, we wouldn't need social security. We wouldn't be needing massive government bailouts right now, either. But human nature being what it is, all people don't act responsibly, so they need to be "forced" through taxes to. Leave providing for these people to the private charities, I hear you say? Yeah, we saw how well that worked during the DEPRESSION, which was when social security was enacted, remember? I guess you would rather see tent cities in Naperville and people panhandling in front of Jewel for food. What impact would that have on your standard of living? God forbid you should lose your job, run through your savings and then become disabled. I bet you'd be pretty happy to have social security then.

I think a lot of the things you deride as "socialism" I call CIVILIZATION. Taxes are the price we pay for this, not only paved roads and garbage pickup but an educated citizenry and providing basic living necessities so our fellow citizens don't starve or die on the streets. Just because there is a problem on who makes the call on what is "just and equitable" is not reason enough NOT to do these things.


No wonder our children do not learn. Teachers (such as "By A Teacher") simply deride them.

I will let Webster's speak for itself.

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

So"cial*ism\, n. [Cf. F. socialisme.] A theory or system of social reform which contemplates a complete reconstruction of society, with a more just and equitable distribution of property and labor. In popular usage, the term is often employed to indicate any lawless, revolutionary social scheme. See Communism, Fourierism, Saint-Simonianism, forms of socialism.

When the government controls our lives through forced public education, social security, "progressive" tax structures and the like, they are trying to "reform" our society to this definition. The problem is who makes the call on what is "just and equitable"?

Ultra right wing NBC reports

"US May Lose Its 'AAA' Rating" Source S&P

http://www.cnbc.com/id/27641538

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Gotta love the Germans for direct speak

"The U.S. might really have to look at a default on the bankruptcy reorganization of the present financial system" and the bankruptcy of the government is not out of the realm of possibility, Hennecke said.

Later the counter point states that the Treasury can just crank up the printing press if there are no lenders....Jimmy Carter....Bismark

I strongly encourage those on this blog bandying about the word "socialism" to look the word up in a dictionary as well as doing some studying of the history of socialism.

The word "socialism" does not mean what you think it means, especially not in the context of the sentences that you are using. It exposes you as ignorant, ill-informed, and uneducated, like parrots mindlessly repeating lines heard elsewhere without being able to grasp the true concept of their meanings.

Held our Ground on November 11, 2008 6:49 PM

To PJ

A simple question.

Is "Progressive" a code word for "Socialistic"?

Your examples sure are, people who make less get more, those who pay in more, get less.
________________________________

You're so freaked out about socialism that you see it everywhere. I'm sure to you progressive is a code word for socialistic; I'm sure you have many of these kind of "code words". To me, it's just another way of looking at the social security system, nothing more. Get a grip.

To PJ

A simple question.

Is "Progressive" a code word for "Socialistic"?

Your examples sure are, people who make less get more, those who pay in more, get less.

P.S. to PH--

And yes, all of that progress made under market capitalism!

To PH--

The 500 year comment did seem like a bait. I was thinking it was a typo, that you really meant to say 50 years, since the biggest increase in the American standard of living has occurred since the end of WW2.

I understand your reasoning about same people, same soil, but let's be accurate. The United States of America as an entity did not exist prior to 1776, so our system of government is only 232 years old. Before that it was something else, as you stated, the colonies or the Indian nations, but not the U.S.

I voted for Obama, and I, too, will be watching closely over the next 4 years.

To John Q. Public on November 10, 2008 3:37 PM

It's all in the percentages:

"Others, including the Congressional Budget Office, argue that the tax is progressive. Some argue that since Social Security benefits are eventually returned to taxpayers, with interest, in the form of Social Security benefits, the regressiveness of the tax is effectively negated—i.e., the taxpayer gets back what he or she put into the Social Security system. Furthermore, Social Security benefits are returned "progressively"—I.E. INDIVIDUALS WITH LOWER LIFETIME AVERAGE WAGES RECEIVE A LARGER BENEFIT (AS A PERCENTAGE OF THEIR LIFETIME AVERAGE WAGE INCOME) THAN DO INDIVIDUALS WITH HIGHER LIFETIME AVERAGE WAGES. According to this reasoning, the net effect of the Social Security system is progressive. A counter-argument to this criticism is that it assumes that every individual will live long enough (or be disabled long enough) to receive a complete return of his or her Social Security contributions. If a large proportion do not, then a large portion of the tax remains unreturned, and the tax remains regressive."

Given that average life expectancy is in the 80s for baby boomers who are now retiring, this becomes a more compelling argument. At the time of social security's inception in the 1930s, I don't even think the average life expectancy was at the retirement age of 63-65, so it was assumed that many people who paid into the system would not live long enough to draw out that much. With average life expectancy at what, 85 for men and 87 for women now, this is changing rapidly. Even John McCain, with his Budweiser billions, receives around $1900 a month in social security payments. And why not? He paid into it, he's entitled to it.

All the same, this is why there have to be some adjustments to social security. Again, I never heard McCain address this issue. And since I didn't hear every second of the presidential debates and town hall meetings, I'm wondering if I missed it. The thing that really sticks out in my mind was him talking about more tax breaks for the very rich so the rest of us 99% could sit around and wait for a few drops of it to "trickle down" and paying for it by taxing MY health care benefits. How perverse is that? That alone did it for me, so I don't think any platform he had on social security would have made a difference in my vote. But since folks here are blasting Obama's plan, I'm just curious as to what McCain's was. Anyone?

WT,

I was waiting to see who would be first. :-)

Our history is approximately 1492 to 2008, give or take a few years. True it wasn't called the US until after 1776, before that it was the chartered colonies, Indian nations, New France, New Spain, New Holland, New Russia etc..

Basically the same people and same dirt for the last 500 years. My family has been around for 15 generations in North America as the names changed.

All of the progress made under market capitalism.

PH

I thought Obama wants forced public schooling. Then why did he go to private schools in Hawaii and now his children go to private schools.

Do as I say, not as I do?

To PH on November 10, 2008 12:25 PM

"The standard of living in the US has been going up for the previous 500 years."

The U.S. is only 232 years old. Otherwise, good points made. All citizens should watch and question their public officials.

PJ wrote:

"As it stands now, the more you earn in your lifetime, the smaller the percentage you get back from social security when you retire. If you have money in a 401(k) or other savings that will also decrease the amount you receive. So the folks who benefit the most from SS are the people who have earned and contributed the least to it in their lifetimes. It has NEVER been a flat you-get-back-what-you-paid-in system, it has always been a redistribution of wealth, or as you say, a socialist program."

People who pay more into Social Security will get bigger benefit, not a smaller one. To the best of my knowledge, it has always been this way. Also, everyone pays the same percentage of their income into Social Security---everyone, that is, except those who make more than $102,000. Income above this level is not subject to the Social Security tax, so people who make more than this actually pay a smaller percentage that decreases with each additional dollar in income (Obama wants to change this for people who make more than $250K). This makes Social Security a very regressive tax, and results in the majority of people paying more money into Social Security than they do in federal income tax. It also results in people like Warren Buffet paying a lower overall percentage in combined taxes than his secretary.

To Get Over It and Move On

Obama did not get 100% of the vote, only 52% (not sure on final numbers).

A more important matter. What are his real policies and do people support them? Until two weeks ago, I did not fully appreciate his "income tax" plan was really a new welfare plan. The fine details on Social Security are tough as well.

I know Obama feels lucky (as he should) in having a free ride to the US Senate, book deals, and an economic meltdown three weeks before the election. And as a result, he truly does not care if he can simply "give" another 3% to the Federal government, they pay him.

But for those of us who make $250,000 to $500,000 per year, I for one have to work to make my money and there are bad years with the good years. So forgive me when I am concerned that if I have a good year and make an extra $100,000 and do not like the idea of giving 51% to 55% (36% current tax, 3.9% (or 8% with phase in) for income tax increase and 12% for new FICA tax) that Obama proposes. I would be better to defer income to the lean years when I can keep more.

Do you really think that this kind of tax policy will improve our economy? Doubt it. All business owners really need to tighten their belts and lay off people to offset these tax increases. The reward is not worth the risk.


By Get Over It and Move On on November 6, 2008 7:20 PM

"Obama Won. McCain Lost. The People Have Spoken. It Is Over Now.

The time is now to get behind the government that the majority of the American voters selected and getting moving ahead.

Anything else is a tragic waste of valuable time and resources.

Lets give it a chance and see what happens. Besides, based on the length of this last election we only need to wait a couple of years before it starts all over again.

So what do you all say? Give it a chance? I hope so!"

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Dear Move on (dot org?),

First let me say that I want our country to succeed.

The question is “what does success mean”? The Euro socialist version is fighting over a fixed size pie and how big your slice is going to be; the American version has been continuously making the pie bigger so that everyone gets more pie.

The standard of living in the US has been going up for the previous 500 years.

THE ELECTION IS OVER

I accept that Mr. Obama won the election fair and square in the booth.

I accept that people can grow and change and develop new points of view.

I accept that Mr. Obama is a success story in his own right coming from a modest family to National renown.

I accept that Mr. Obama is an intelligent and articulate politician.

I believe that the Obama campaign needs to account for their sources of funds $360 million of which are unidentified or questionable at this time. I want full disclosure (transparency) from all candidates, don’t you?

I believe that it is a fair to ask what CHANGE means; if it makes sense go with it as you suggest and if it does not make sense, oppose it.


FORMATION OF A NEW GOVERNMENT

I hope that the Republicans perform their obligation of due diligence then give Mr. Obama's appointees a thorough, and fair public hearing followed by an up or down vote. This is loyal opposition.

The Democrats never accepted the election results and did not allow the formation of the new government; they undermine the will of the people by subverting the process. The undermining only diminished slightly after 9-11. This is disloyal opposition.


BIG BROTHER GETTING BIGGER

What History has proven over and over again is that irrational economic behavior eventually leads to an economic correction. In the case of the FEDs, this means promoting and subsidizing economic and social failure while punishing success on an unprecedented and expanding scale.

Clinton, Bush, Greenspan, Frank and Dodd making loans to people that had no hope of repaying them has brought the world to the brink of 1930’s like financial and banking collapse. This is a good example of irrational social engineering (if we move everyone into a free standing house, preferably in the suburbs, they will automatically become middle class) failure causing a catastrophic economic correction.

The losses (bailout costs) in the US Govt sector are now $2.7 Trillion and growing.

The losses in the securities markets to US investors (pension plans and 401Ks own most of the stocks) are now $5T and growing.

The losses in the housing market are now $5T (can’t remember the exact number) and growing, this not only wipes out sub-prime-borrowers but lots of 10% and 20% down borrowers who are now upside down and still making their payments. Another 19% drop in home values will bring housing back to its pre-credit-bubble values.

3 million foreclosures down, 7 million to go. I feel good, do you?

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?

Unfortunately, the Government (the FEDS in particular) has continued to expand its scope and control over almost every aspect of economic and social activity.

Consequently, the effects of any FED policy and program have far reaching and substantial impacts on the country and those who live in it.

As we have seen from the feel good housing experiment, letting the government into new areas of social engineering is like putting your pay check on one number at the roulette wheel, the odds are against you.

With the expansion of government, it is like betting the net worth of the country on one number and letting the government spin the wheel. So far we are losing and losing big.

The money has to come from somewhere, today the Chinese and Japanese for loans, tomorrow the printing press and possibly hyper inflation. Tomorrow may be as soon as two years from now.

WHAT IS THE FUTURE WITH MR. OBAMA?

If I understand Mr. Obama’s positions, he is arguing for a further expansion of the Government’s involvement in economic and social activates. I won’t support this; it has been a disaster under Bush. Anyone paying attention knows that Country Club Republicans are closet Liberals, and Bush is one of them.

If the “real Mr. Obama” continues to have Mr. Volker standing behind him, I’ll be able to sleep a little easier on economic issues provided that he listens to him.

If the “real Mr. Obama” supports our allies (not just the lip service ones in Europe) and punishes our enemies, I will support him.

If the “real Mr. Obama” completely rejects his black separatist, racist, and un-American long time associates, I will support him.

If the “real Mr. Obama” throws open the gates of social engineering especially in the areas of abortion (and Dr Mengele like experiments) and its export he will be responsible for the death of millions of what we in this country call minorities.

I for one intend to watch and question.

To Held Our Ground on November 9, 2008 11:30 AM--

I certainly do understand Obama's plan. Why gripe that the "massive redistribution of wealth" through FICA is socialist now? Hasn't it always been a socialist program? Since it's inception in 1935, participation was suppose to be voluntary but it really wasn't for about half the wage earners at that time. And Jimmy Carter started giving social security funds to newly arrived immigrant seniors during his administration, giving people who had never paid anything into the system a check every month. And hasn't social security always been means-based? As it stands now, the more you earn in your lifetime, the smaller the percentage you get back from social security when you retire. If you have money in a 401(k) or other savings that will also decrease the amount you receive. So the folks who benefit the most from SS are the people who have earned and contributed the least to it in their lifetimes. It has NEVER been a flat you-get-back-what-you-paid-in system, it has always been a redistribution of wealth, or as you say, a socialist program. Obama isn't making social security "socialist"; it's always been this way.

I consider social security to be more of an insurance program than a "socialist" welfare program as you assert. Like insurance, many people make premium payments and never have a claim. Others pay premiums and file large claims. Does this make insurance a welfare program because some benefit while others don't? I see SS in the same light. Everyone pays in, but what you get back is largely based on need when you retire.

And what was McCain's plan to improve social security? I really don't remember him committing to any sort of plan. When asked if he would raise SS taxes, he did make the comment that "nothing was exempt from being put on the table", which I took to mean he might change the tax structure as well but he really didn't have any firm ideas at the time. So what was McCain planning to do that would have been such an improvement?

"And how about this--three Democrats were elected to the DuPage County Board! They include a 22-year-old who will represent Naperville.

Historic, indeed."

HISTORIC?? TRY STUPID; OUTRAGEOUS; MIND-BLOWING; ALARMING. WHAT ON EARTH IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE THAT A 22 YEAR OLD, COD STUDENT IS ON THE DUPAGE COUNTY BOARD.

GOD HELP US ALL

Yeah, didn't think so.

Southeast Dad

Patrick Henry said it the best. Social Security is a fraud.

Make sure you understand Obama's plan. He intends to subject all earnings greater than $250,000 (that magic number) to FICA. Again, that amounts to a 12% tax increase on top of the "meager" 3.9% increase. (I know you say that employers pay half, but people who make more than $100,000 are paid based on profits of a company, for that matter all employees are. So the employer share will reduce salaries, as they do right now for EVERYONE.)

His second plank is to MEANS TEST future benefits. So people who save their money in 401k's and other pension plans will get less.

Do you think this double whammy is good for the economy? Absolutely not.

And how would you characterize this MASSIVE redistribution of wealth? I call it SOCIALISM.

This was not change that I thought was beneficial. But since Republicans can hold back such programs in the Senate, we should not see these tax plans see the light of day. I will rather pay the Clinton taxes when the Bush taxes expire rather than the Obama taxes.

To: Ken on November 8, 2008 11:05 AM

I couldn't agree more!

The day after election night, 2000, a nationwide movement by liberals took place. They were loud and adanmant in their hate for Bush and the fact that they would NEVER agree with him, support him, fight with him, etc.

Like petulant children, they wanted to take their ball and go home because they lost!

They spent the next 8 years spending virtually every ounce of energy they could backstabbing and undermining Bush.

Whenever a GOP-type got sick or died, they literally laughed about it both on tv and in teh printed press.

The elected libs themselves led much of this undermining. Pelosi & Reid's comments over theyears were not only disgusting, they probabaly bordered on treason at times. They blocked more judges and other appointees than ever before in the history of the presidency.

NOW, they want everyhting to be a bygone?

Fortunately for the country, I believe the GOP is not only more mature, it is more caring for the country and it's people and has better "vision". Thus, I fully believe the GOP will actually TRY and move forward and get things done with Obama despite Pelosi & Reid.

Darlene Senger clogged my mailbox with more paper than anyone and that paper was pure drivel anyway. If you have ever watched her at a council meeting she says nothing and rarely contributes to the debate. She has also been a part of the most incompetent school district administration in the country and possibly the world (lead by the famous Howie can't count the number of students Crouse}. I can't believe she won.


By Southeast Side on November 7, 2008 3:52 PM

"3. Block the further socialization of Social Security. Enough is enough. Why expand a bad program.

Here you expose yourself as a total crackpot. Social Security is the most popular program in the history of the US.

You and Patrick Henry should get adjoining rooms at Linden Oaks and matching straitjackets."

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Southeast,

No doubt you posses a formidable command of the language with significant rhetorical skill in addition to your deep understanding of the facts.

I look forward to a post where you are able to display your abilities.

Social Security, if run by a private company, would be shut down by the Feds, it promises what it can't deliver.

It requires an ever growing base at the bottom of the pyramid, continually expands coverage to new areas, was based on an average life expectancy of 65-67 and has no cash reserves. Its' only asset is increasingly worthless IOUs from the Treasury backed by loans from the Chinese and Japanese.

Nationalizing the 401Ks to keep SSA afloat for the short term will only drag more survivors down when the Titanic finally sinks. Punishing saving, aka deferred gratification, is one of the things that the FEDs are good at; Apparently, the next logical step is one more disincentive to save.

In the Marxist Soviet Union, after the firing squads fell silent, political opposition was relegated to the gulags and mental institutions for chemical injections and other maltreatment, in modern times the kinder gentler Chinese have perfected the mass re-education camp (kinder still, America has its Universities and Public Schools). I think we all know the NAZI version, which comes in at number three for body count after the leftist versions of National Socialism.

You sound like this is your program for the opposition point of view?

Have you polished your jack boots and taken your black marching uniform to the dry cleaners yet for parades?


I find it amusing that the democrats that did everything they could to undermine President Bush now say we have to come together and support Obama.

I’m pleased Cassioppi lost because when he was on the school board of School District 203 he and his associated elected to reduce school bus drivers pay and benefits by 30 percent thereby increasing taxes for Illinois taxpayers. He deserved to be defected and hopefully will never seek political office again.

To Anonymous on November 7, 2008 10:35 AM--

Thanks for an intelligent and rational post with no fearmongering or doomsday scenarios. It was a pleasure to read.

I still disagree with the right to center thing (just because Tom Brokaw says it doesn't make it true either), but since we can't take a person-by-person poll it's all a matter of opinion anyway.

To Anonymous on November 7, 2008 10:35 AM--

Thanks for an intelligent and rational post with no fearmongering or doomsday scenarios. It was a pleasure to read.

I still disagree with the right to center thing (just because Tom Brokaw says it doesn't make it true either), but since we can't take a person-by-person poll it's all a matter of opinion anyway.

3. Block the further socialization of Social Security. Enough is enough. Why expand a bad program.

Here you expose yourself as a total crackpot. Social Security is the most popular program in the history of the US.

You and Patrick Henry should get adjoining rooms at Linden Oaks and matching straitjackets.

Why was it any surprise that the party that "hates" government dis such a spectacularly crappy job of running the government? Let's hope we don't forget that lesson.

To quote Gerald Ford "our long national nightmare is over" - at least it will be on Jan 20, 2009.

Some ideas.

1. The Senate Republicans (and hopefully Joe Lieberman) can block any of the proposed changes. So let the Bush tax cuts expire FOR EVERYONE, make everyone pay more. That would be better than to give welfare checks to 40% of the people who do not pay ANY income taxes. A compromise would be to give tax cuts to those less than $250,000 THAT PAY INCOME TAXES and take the money that that would have been WELFARE PAYMENTS and reduce the taxes on those over $250,000 that create the jobs in America. Increase their taxes from 36% to 38%.

(My point to JQP was that the tax rate under the Clinton taxes over $250,000 was designed to be 39.6% on ALL income. So I have to go back to the old tax tables, but I think the "incremental rate" from $250,000 to $500,000 was 43%, not 39.6%. Over $500,000, the incremental rate fell back to 39.6%.)

2. The auto industry is looking for a bailout. Give them a deal like AIG, Federal loans at LIBOR plus 8.5% plus 80% of the equity of their companies. What are they looking for? Loans at LIBOR minus 1% (almost a 10% interest subsidy) and no equity. I still think it is better that the Big Three shut down their American operations, let companies that meet consumer demand expand their operations in states that do not burden companies with costs like Illinois and Michigan.

3. Block the further socialization of Social Security. Enough is enough. Why expand a bad program.

And there are other issues. Obama did not win 100% of the vote, in fact, he did not get the 61% of the Senate. So Republicans should rerashion their platforms and stick to it. And the sixty "Blue Dog" democrats renounced these socialistic ideas, let's see if they can be trusted to remain true to their campaign promises. Like Bill Foster and Mellissa Bean.

If people really want these new plans, make them vote out one to five Republican Senators two years from now (depends how the current elections work out). And then people will have something tangible to vote for.

There are many definitions of Socialism (see below for a few).

It is clear from any reading or definition of the word that many of Pres. elect Obama's stated policies and past votes are socialist. Whether this is bad or good is up to the individual.

The U.S. is not a pure deomocracy --- it was set-up as a Republic. For history buffs, one of the reasons for this was to avoid tyranny of the masses and mob rule. Thus, each state gets two Senators (no matter how "piddly" the state), and we have an electoral college.

It is also clear that many policies in our Republic are at least socialist-leaning. The income tax code comes quickly to mind. Again, whether this is bad or good is up to the individual.

Like many, I was not very amused by all of the "bailouts" of the past month or so. However, I would caution us all to at least acknowledge a few tidbits:

1)SOMETHING had to be done, and done quick. When money doesn't move efficiently through the system, even (especially) the innocent get taken down with the guilty, the strong with the weak.

2)Not all bailouts are the same. The bulk $700 bil will, in my opinion, all be returned to the government within 5-7 years. The trick will be to see if our wonderful elected officials re-spend it upon it's returm

3)We should NOT, as a nation, get involved in any more industry bailouts. Unless they have a true national security aspect, a bailout should not even be on the table. Loss os jobs is not a valid reason in a Republic or a Democracy (ie nothing to GM, as an example).

Finally, despite anything that happened this Tuesday, the nation is a center to slightly-right-of-center country. That is the reason Pres. Clinton moved there, and why Pres elect Obama will. As President, they must deal with the entire country and the ROW ---- this creates the move to center. Traditionally the House is the most left, the Senate swings, and the Presidency moves in the middle.

Those who see a mandate in any election do need to look at the results, especially the popular vote. No matter how you cut it, 50 million voted for McCain. It would be my guess that many didn't even like him or his policies, but were trying to avoid a left move and nothing more. We have a new President and it will soon be time to support him until he proves we shouldn't.

Popular & Accepted Definjitions of Socialism:
>An "economic, social and political doctrine which expresses the struggle for the equal distribution of wealth by eliminating private property and the exploitative ruling class. ...


>Christian socialism generally refers to those on the Christian left whose politics are both Christian and socialist and who see these two things as being interconnected, perhaps because one derives from the other. ...


>>An economic system in which the basic means of production are primarily owned and controlled collectively, usually by government under some system ...


>A political philosophy advocating substantial public involvement, through government ownership, in the means of production and distribution.


>Economic system centered on the belief that the means of production (such as land) should be collectively owned and that market exchange should be replaced by collectively controlled distribution based on social needs.

>A political system where the means of production are controlled by the workers and all things are shared evenly. Socialist policies provide for government funding of many basic needs such as food, shelter, and medical care.

According to Joseph Schumpeter, socialism is the public ownership of the means of production and distribution; but in American parlance it is often used pejoratively to describe any attempt at governmental regulation or intervention. ...


>a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done.

Patric Henry (who keep spelling your own name differently),

You're in for a long eight years. Keep up your campaign of Fear - it's the only idea you seem to have.

I just love the Republicans still insisting the country is right of center. Not only do we have a Democratic president, but a Democratic congress, senate and house. And we have the largest number of Democratic governors nationwide, 29 in all. This is a pretty big message the voters have just sent the GOP.

As Get Over It above has said, let's give it a shot and see what happens over the next four years. If this country could survive 8 years of Bush, I'm sure we can survive 4 years of something new.

And give the socialist rhetoric a rest. The biggest step towards socialism was taken last month by a Republican administration. I don't care who seconded the motion, Republicans put it on the table and insisted it had to be done. You sound ridiculous when you b*tch and moan about the Dems socialist agenda and then deny that the government bailout of our banking system is a step towards socialism. If a Democratic administration had proposed such a thing, you would have lost your collective minds.

And for the record, many Reps and Dems alike were disgusted by the bail out. The only ones who weren't were those who acted irresponsibly.

Amazed and Southside:

My apologies, I make typos when I type fast, in the case of Schumer, I did a Google search instead of going to the source US Senate site. Apparently I'm not the only one getting the name wrong. If I made any typos below, sorry in advance.

Sources;

1. Fairness Doctrine, Schumer's Mouth moving on TV, recent. Free speech=porn
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htD_-A7pDhw

2. The House and Senate have been pushing the idea of taxing and suing guns out of existence for years, mass shooting usually bring them out. Obama's record kept at NRA
www.nraila.org/Legislation/Read.aspx?id=3991

3. Immigration Reform is citizenship for millions that walked in, Heritage Foundation estimates $40K cost per family in Govt services since education and skills are low. Heritage has lots of articles on Immigration.
http://www.heritage.org

4. 401 K elimination and or taxation, Democrats strategist on Cavuto two weeks ago, Saturday. Well regarded Investor Insight website
www.investorsinsight.com,

"The Democrats' Plan To Hijack Your 401(k)". The proposal are fluid, including rolling 401Ks into SSA bonds.

5. Sen. Obama has been very consistent in his support of gay marriage, he is against gay marriage but was against the California amendment banning it. He's for it. Obama’s support of federal “civil unions” legislation that mimics “gay marriage” – and his promise to repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which prevents states from being forced to recognize out-of-state same-sex “marriages”.

Congress woman Biggert had her own initiative on anti discrimination legislation. How do you know who to discriminate against?

6. The FEDs already send earned income tax credits to people who don't pay taxes. Obama's tax cut includes bigger payments to people who don't pay federal income tax. Obama calling for moratorium on foreclosures while new terms are worked out. New terms are cram-downs or Govt buy downs. Obama’s plan is a jobs killer.
http://www.heritage.org/Research/Taxes/cda08-09.cfm

7. Words out of Obama's mouth available on youtube, "constitution is flawed".
http://www.breitbart.tv/?p=206253

The Govt racial purity formula laws are on the books for determining what programs you are eligible for. Percentage AA to be AA, same for any minority claim.

8. The words out of Obama's mouth on his 20 year relationship with Rev. Wright in his speech on race.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26oWmw379Lk

Also Wright speech at the press club following Obama’s rejection of him. Both available on Youtube.

Wright excerpts on Youtube and Obama’s responses where he distances himself, lots of good stuff.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kP2K4Lhas2o&feature=related

9. Obama calls for Civilian Defense Force=Brown Shirts?
Anyone know where the entire video is or what he is talking about?
http://www.breitbart.tv/?p=211203

Obama Won. McCain Lost. The People Have Spoken. It Is Over Now.

The time is now to get behind the government that the majority of the American voters selected and getting moving ahead.

Anything else is a tragic waste of valuable time and resources.

Lets give it a chance and see what happens. Besides, based on the length of this last election we only need to wait a couple of years before it starts all over again.

So what do you all say? Give it a chance? I hope so!

John Q. Public--we are on a hiring freeze until we can figure out what is going to happen to us. Check with Obama for a share of the wealth.

Tim, good start. Populists would let all people vote on changes. I do not think that the LEFT would ever allow that. But I think a graduated income tax IS partially based on socialistic principles, the more money you make, you should pay even more. But once you increase/graduate the taxes more AND give the money to others, you are DEFINITELY converting the tax system to a socialistic system.

I do not think that the government intends to own Freddie and Fannie forever, they are simply in conservertership just like IndyMac is in conservertorship by the FDIC. Going forward, these positions either need to be liquidated or sold. If not, then they will be socialist entities. Just like Social Security.

I am always offended by people who say I cannot determine my own destiny and have to let the government invest (MORE ADAPTLY WASTE) Social Security funds.

Patrick Henery, where do you get this stuff from? Please inquire at Linden Oaks for some counseling.

In fact, the general opinion of the country is right of center.

I think you missed the election on Tuesday. The "right of center" country was shot in the face by Dick Cheney. It no longer exists.

People want CHANGE.

Wow. I'm not sure where to start.

Held Our Ground: "Socialists"? First, there's really no need to put such a broad label on a group of people. But if you insist, how about "populists," returning power to the people rather than giving more to the corporations?

Next, as has already been pointed out, graduated income taxes do not amount to socialism.

Lastly, plenty of Democrats didn't approve of the bailout either, myself being one of them. My tax dollars shouldn't go to cover the mistakes made by greedy companies and homeowners who got in over their heads. The problem is that so many of our elected officials on both sides of the aisle rushed to action in an election year in order to save their own posteriors and make it look like they were doing something good.

"Current actions are not socialism"? For Pete's sake, the government seized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and is throwing money... I'm sorry, "injecting capital" into banks that felt forced by Paulson to take it:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/15/business/economy/15bailout.html
http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2008/10/20/paulsons-offer-no-bank-could-refuse.aspx

How is that not socialism?

"Patrick Henery" needs to learn how to spell, first of all. "Schumer" has no N in it, and "Henry" only has one E. But he should also do some of his own research instead of just posting something that landed in his inbox from his right-wing buddies.

1) There is no support for the Fairness Doctrine on either side of the aisle. It's not coming back.

2) "People making less than $40K under the Bush tax cuts pay no income taxes." Not sure where that comes from. I was making less than $40K for a few years after the Bush tax cuts, and you can bet your butt I was paying income taxes. The biggest problem here is that we cut taxes and then we went to war! No economist in their right mind will tell you that's a sound fiscal policy.

The rest is just fear-mongering that's not even worth addressing.

Stinks, November 4th election was for you. Obama and the first lady Michelle are heading to the White House. Life is good. Have a great day.


By Hopeful on November 6, 2008 7:58 AM

"The liberal use of the term "socialism" and "left-wing" by republicans shows just how ignorant and manipulative they can be. The only move I have recently seen that could be considered socialist would be that of the current goverment during the bailout of the financial system."

-------------------------------------
Actually the bail out for the owners of the banks, who would have been zeroed out by the FDIC, was proposed by Bush and endorsed by Obama and McCain.

Paulson is Goldman Sachs and Rubin is Goldman Sachs, CHANGE?

Yale=Bush, Clinton, Bush2

Harvard= Obama

CHANGE?

Watch, the rich will be everyone between $50K and $500K a year, above that will remain untouched with loopholes, overseas earnings,trust funds and stocks, real estate and companies that are never sold.

The middle is where the money is.


Now that U.S. Sen. Barack Obama has won a historic presidential election, what's next?


SEN. SCHUMNER'S CHANGE AGENDA

Chuck is making the rounds on TV running his mouth and taunting reporters with a preview of what the Democrats are cooking up as “CHANGE”.

1. Curtail free speech with the “fairness doctrine” to silence opposition media. Expect to see broadcast licenses threatened especially FOX News and Talk Radio where the Liberals consistently fail. Christianity will be criminalized since preaching against homosexuality in Church will become hate speech (already done in UK).

First Amendment gone

2. Bankrupt gun manufacturers and dealers with lawsuits, 500+% taxes on guns and ammo. If there is another mass shooting, expect “emergency legislation” for gun round ups, proven formula in UK, Canada and Australia.

Second Amendment gone

3. Give citizenship to tens of millions of illegal aliens who will require permanent government assistance since most have little education and minimal skills and sign them up to vote (as Democrats). Your vote nullified by stuffing the ballot box with millions of newly created dependent citizens. Hugo Chavez implemented this one in Venezuela.

Value of Citizenship gone

4. Property Rights, Natural born Citizens and Naturalized Citizens who own assets and property diluted. 401K plans are already being targeted by the Democrats as new source of cash for redistribution like Argentina.

Property rights gone

5. Continued assault on traditional institutions such as Local Governments, Families, Churches (your choice), Military and Boy Scouts. The Federal Government will force States and Military to accept gay marriage and unrestricted abortion regardless of State laws and referendums. The Fed State is the only important institution.

Freedom of conscience and association gone

6. Welfare re-instituted as refund check, and a 75% govt. subsidized house (mortgage bail out) to those who pay no little or no taxes. Something for nothing is making a come back.

People making less than $40K under the Bush tax cuts pay no income taxes. They will start paying when Bush’s cuts expire in a couple of years. Top ten percent of tax payers pay 75% of Federal Income Taxes today.

Self-reliance, hard work, education and deferred gratification as the cornerstone of the economy gone

6. Assault on small business, whose owners are predominantly Republican, strong arm-unionization and tax increases designed to break the owners. Also, look for more regulations aka government control of businesses.

If this makes the economy into a real crises (15% unemployment and 30% inflation) all the better, the people will be willing to accept more “emergency economic measures” giving the Feds even more control of the economy and day to day life. Sen. Obama made it clear that what he cares about is “fairness regardless of the economic consequences”. Fairness equals Redistribution.

Capitalism and Private Enterprise gone

All tax increases to Business are passed on to consumers through increased prices. In Illinois, the increase in taxes on Diesel by Gov. Rod means that all products like food that travel on trucks went up in price. Consequently, consumers will buy less, since they can afford less, which equals fewer jobs.

State and local Government will become increasingly irrelevant. Top down government with bottom up economics. The more you depend on Government the more power you will give them. Freedom exchanged for a bowl of soup.

Self Determination, the individual, gone

7. Obama has stated that the Constitution is “flawed”, widely understood code speak for “written by wealthy white slave owners looking to cement their place in society”.

Racial purity laws: affirmative action and reparations expanded.

Equal rights and protections gone

Sen. Obama stated in the debates that he is looking for “judges that will rule with their hearts”. Translation, written laws will become completely meaningless and there will be no need to change the Constitution, just ignore it like the Court has done so often since FDR.

Constitutionally limited Government gone

8. Senator Obama was in concert with Rev. Wright who is in concert with Farrakhan, the inverse of the KKK, for 20 years.

He was extremely liberal in the Illinois Senate and US Senate (ranked #1), did he believe in what he was doing for the last 20 years or was he playing those who supported him then?

Or, is he playing the country now telling us he is now a “centrist moderate”?

If Sen. Schumner if correct, then the Sturmabteilung (Brown Shirts) are on the march.


Host Ted,
Will the "fairness doctrine" require the Sun to turn over blog records so that the Govt can ensure that equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans are posting?

Before January 1 may be a good time to erase and wipe your blogger databases of e-mail and IP addresses just in case the thought police appear with warrants in January.

Will the Sun Companies allow the Feds access to your databases?

Thank you Hopeful - for the voice of reason. Heldourground should be embarrassed to have adopted the desperate closed minded republican talking points as his own. I take great solice in the knowledge that at least 54% of our nation (not enough, but its a start) were smart enough to see through the small minded attacks that go against all reason and logic and play only to fear.

I was actually fustrated with both McGuire and Senger and did not want to vote for either. I have sent numerous emails to Darlene Senger as a Naperville Council member with no response ever so please tell me what good she will do for us in Springfield. I also was sick of phone calls recordings from Mayor Pradel endorsing her what does he know. My feelings for McGuire were not much better especially regarding School District 203 history.
People have made up their minds when they go to Polling Place so I find it very irritating to be bothered when I go to vote.
Who is going to take down all those signs now that elections are down and we are expecting high winds today - more littering

Socialism involves public ownership of the means of production. Graduated income taxes (a system John McCain, supports, BTW) do not constitute socialism, nor does raising the tax rate for one group of people.

I'm not sure where you're getting your information on Obama's tax plan. According to his campaign website, the proposal is to raise the incremental tax rate on incomes above $250K to 39.6%. The rate for income below that level would remain the same.

I suspect you are confusing this plan with another proposal to apply the Social Security tax to ALL income above $250K. Currently, all income up to $102K is taxed at a 12.4% rate. Income above $102K is not taxed at all. Under Obama's proposal, income between $102K and $250K still would not be taxed, while every dollar above $250K would be taxed.

As for your four future employees/ex-employees, I am not an accountant, but I'm pretty sure that both of these tax proposals would apply to YOUR adjusted gross income, not to your business' gross income (this is a point that was lost on Joe the Plumber). So I have two questions for you: 1) Do you really expect to be taking home so much money from this business that fifteen cents of every dollar you earn ABOVE $250K will be equivalent to the total compensation of FOUR employees? and, 2) If the answer to my fist question is "yes", are you looking for a parter? :-)

To Hopeful

Republicans are proud to be called leaning right and are conservative and capitalistic. In fact, the general opinion of the country is right of center.

On the other hand, Democrats lean right and are socialists. I asked before and I will ask again, what is the more appropriate term instead of socialists?.

And most Republicans DO NOT approve of the bail out. The Federal Reserve Board could have taken all of the action that Paulson has taken to date. Current actions aren't socialism, they are good old fashion capitalism. If you want the Federal government money, you will have to pay a high price for it.

More importantly, a capitalist society is based on companies failing and capital (both human and financial) being redirected to better uses. In fact, the bailout actions to date follow this AMERICAN principal. AIG shareholders will lose their entire investment as their financial products group is "liquidated" (that is what the $123 billion is fortifying). The good parts of AIG will be resold and the taxpayer will reap the profits, the AIG shareholder only gets money AFTER the government is paid off, just like foreclosing on a house.

Shareholders have lost their money in Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Washington Mutual, and IndyMac. Hurray!!!! The shareholders did not monitor management and are punished.

And the same should be done for Chrysler, GM and Ford. They should put their American subsidiaries into bankruptcy. Maybe even just liquidate them and focus on Europe and South America, shareholders would be better off if these American companies went out of business. We have a very strong auto industry that is located outside of Michigan. We cannot afford to prop up bankrupt companies, that is socialism.

There are many more examples. But a key point. Government does not create jobs or a vibrant economy, it is people and their capital. Look at the failed socialistic countries throughout the world. We want to be like that??!?!?!?!

The liberal use of the term "socialism" and "left-wing" by republicans shows just how ignorant and manipulative they can be. The only move I have recently seen that could be considered socialist would be that of the current goverment during the bailout of the financial system. In terms of big government there is no precedent for the spend-happy Bush who has thus funded generations of Cheneys to come by diverting the tax payers´ money toward the pockets of his VP´s companies.

Dare to be better and think through the issues if you want this country to return to its former glory. Demand of your goverment and of yourself. Do not vote on impulse. And above all, base your actions on love, not hatred.

The "socialism promoted by Obama" is shorthand for his extreme left programs starting with taxes. He shrewdly states that the rich (starting at $250,000 now) will pay only 3.5% more while he gives checks to the 40% of Americans (or working American families) who do not pay income taxes (should we call these checks "welfare checks"?). I always felt that "sharing the wealth" is a socilistic policy. Even the liberal press called Obama a far left leaning individual (I think that also is another code word for socialist) in their coverage last night.

Why is this a smear? I thought Obama was proud of his message. What is the appropriate characterization of this plan?

Another tid bit. When income rizes above $250,000, the incremental tax rate was not 3.6% (39.6 minus 36). Instead, it was more (at least double) as the intent was to make certain that people paid a higher tax rate on all of their income, not just the amount of $250,000. Same for the "phase out of certain deductions for the "rich".

As a small business owner, in 2010 (or sooner, why wait), I will have to pick the four employees to fire to fund the higher taxes I will have to pay. These employees can ask Obama to replace their income since Obama wnans to "share the wealth" instead of letting us in the private sector take risks in pursuing new opportunities. I can concentrate on my core business to maintain my life stye oad that of the employees who remain.

And maybe I will take the offer from either the Mexicans or Chinese who want to buy my company and move the jobs. I can shelter the money from taxes and eliminate headaches.

At least a McGuire person cared enough for your vote to visit you personally. What did Senger do to personally address your thoughts and concerns? I never heard from Senger or received a call or mail from her. I guess that's because she doesn't care about my concerns.

Go Darlene Senger! I too had a Diane McGuire cronie at my door a few days before the election. I told him I didn't support Diane McGuire and he asked me why. I said I was voting for Darlene Senger and gently closed the door.

Held Our Ground wrote:

"1. The US Senate will allow Republicans to block left wing plans including the socialism proposed by Obama."

Which "socialism" are you talking about: real socialism, or "socialism" as the Republicans attempted to redefine the word in an effort to smear Obama?

To Held Our Ground on November 5, 2008 11:51 AM

"Real Republicans won despite huge discontent with Bush. This election was not electing Obama, but sending out Bush."

No, this election was about electing Obama. Bush was out no matter who won. That's a screwy way to rationalize losing, but it's good to be able to keep a positive outlook when getting your butt kicked.

P.S. I voted for Senger, too. I didn't like McGuire's behavior, past or present.

McGuire was ridiculously negative, not that Senger was a whole lot better. Both played below the line. But in Naperville is supposed to be mostly Republican, why was this election so close. Have Democrats really infiltrated Naperville that much?

I am glad to see that Senger won but I am stunned by how slim of a margin. Don't people in this town know who Dianne McGuire is? She is a former union president of D203 and once led the teachers out on strike at the very beginning of the school year. Her actions in doing this put the school board and tax paying public over a barrel and pretty much forced the approval of raises that were more than what the private sector was getting. This also helped to contribute to the 2002 referendum because the district was heading for a massive deficit if they did not get addtional money.

All the more argument for a law to be passed banning the teacher's union (and/or all public employees) from striking, especially in this manner. It is totally unfair and puts the public at a great disadvantage. Dianne McGuire would never vote for such a law. Just remember that.

Personally, both Senger and McGuire annoyed me. McGuire with all her negative ads totally turned me off to listening to her about anything. I do not like any of her tactics in campaigning.

However, I actually told Senger's campaign that if I continued to get Robocalls in support of her every day, that I might not cast my vote for her either. I was told they would try to get me off the list. And it seemed to work for a couple of days. But the day before and the day of elections I received a total of 5 Robocalls, 4 in support of Senger and one in support of McGuire.

Are these calls going to be around forever?

I did find an grass roots organization online that is trying to work on this issue and create a "do not call" list. A few politicians have vowed to honor that list now. The website is http://www.stoppoliticalcalls.org/welcome2.html

I think the more people who register, the more likely we'll be able to end these intrusions.

Congratulations to Darlene.


Dianne McGuire is the only Democrat running that I didn't vote for. Grab a clue: robocalls, nasty fliers, negative campaigning turns people off. Tell us what your vision is, not how supposedly terrible your opponent is.

She also didn't seem terribly proud to be running as a democrat, in a climate overwhelmingly pro-D this year. Her flyers and website didn't mention party affiliation, and one of her robocalls called her an "independent voice". Nice try.

I too was completely turned off by the nasty, negative campaigning of Diane McGuire -- otherwise I probably would have voted for her.

Yeah, I was annoyed by being blindsided by the McGuire goon at the door as well. But, I can't say I'm surprised by his presence. The candidate herself is very shrill and beligerent. She has a tendency of getting "in your face" when discussing her views.

Blah. I'm glad it's all done with. Now if people would only get the darn signs out of their yeards . . .

One other summary.

Despite millions of spending, the Democrats did not get their four additional seats in the Illinois House (McGuire was part of this effort), only 2. So they cannot get their referendum to double the Illinois income tax on the ballot for at least two more years unless the Republicans capitulate.

I'm a registered Democrat, and historically just vote Democrat straight down the ticket... but there was absolutely no way I could support McGuire's vicious daily slams against Senger. Local politics are more about character than platform, and I am honestly fairly shocked that over 24,000 people support McGuire's daily misleading and overly extreme smears.

I hope McGuire learns from this experience and retreats back to her cronies and comes up with a better campaign platform that doesn't weigh heavily on constant bitter and mean spirited trolling of her opponent. If McGuire had run an honorable campaign, she would have been a shoe-in.

I'm glad Obama won. He's been able to energize the youth of America in ways I didn't even think was possible. Unfortunately, he has created some astronomical expectations for himself... I just hope he's able to live up to them.

The Highlights of this election

1. The US Senate will allow Republicans to block left wing plans including the socialism proposed by Obama.

2. Real Republicans won despite huge discontent with Bush. This election was not electing Obama, but sending out Bush.

3. Senger defeated the attempt by the Cook County Democrats to take over a portion of DuPage County. Imaging spending as much as $700,000 to buy an election. If they (Chicago Democrats) were that committed, they should have found a better candidate. McGuire should concentrate on mixing kool aid for her left wing cronies. It's nice to see Democrats waste money, just like how they govern.

4. The County Board District 5 election was no surprise. It is much better to take a chance on a young man with no history than Cassioppi who was a Democrat in disguise from his school board days of increasing taxes and granting excessive teachers contracts. We should have had another Republican candidate instead of two Democrats on the ballot.

I'm a registered Democrat, and historically just vote Democrat straight down the ticket... but there was absolutely no way I could support McGuire's vicious daily slams against Senger. Local politics are more about character than platform, and I am honestly fairly shocked that over 24,000 people support McGuire's daily misleading and overly extreme smears.

I hope McGuire learns from this experience and retreats back to her cronies and comes up with a better campaign platform that doesn't weigh heavily on constant bitter and mean spirited trolling of her opponent. If McGuire had run an honorable campaign, she would have been a shoe-in.

I'm glad Obama won. He's been able to energize the youth of America in ways I didn't even think was possible. Unfortunately, he has created some astronomical expectations for himself... I just hope he's able to live up to them.

I'm really glad Darlene Senger won this election. Not only did I have to dump all of those nasty McGuire mailings in my recycle bin every other day, I was also ambushed by one of her cronies at the door of my polling place. He was passing out vote for McGuire
cards to people entering the building. While the election officials claimed this was not illegal, I felt like it was crossing the line. But, should we be surprised at anything the McGuire campaign was willing to do to win this election?

What a waste of money!!!

I'm really glad Darlene Senger won this election. Not only did I have to dump all of those nasty McGuire mailings in my recycle bin every other day, I was also ambushed by one of her cronies at the door of my polling place. He was passing out vote for McGuire
cards to people entering the building. While the election officials claimed this was not illegal, I felt like it was crossing the line. But, should we be surprised at anything the McGuire campaign was willing to do to win this election?

What a waste of money!!!

It's about time comes to Naperville. We need more government and regulation.

This place doesn't tax enough, and I feel like we don't get much for our money. As we become more expansive, I believe we can take this city into the next decade.

God Bless Nader.

All I can say is that I'm glad Senger won. McGuire's negative and rabid anti-Senger ads drove me off.

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