COLUMNS

It's tough being a Democrat

Staff Writer
Woodford Times

Information that broke Friday demonstrates the truth in the old saying, “It is lonely at the top.”

Top Democrats in the statehouse and the White House just can’t seem to get a break when it comes to taxes.

Poor Ill. Governor Rod Blagojevich claims he is the victim of a conspiracy to raise taxes. And, the president’s economic stimulus efforts are being sidetracked by an effort to lower taxes.

Brian Hudson of GateHouse News Service reported Blagojevich said Friday he intends to boycott his impeachment trial because it is an unfair process that will have “a chilling effect” on future governors.

Blagojevich, it seems, is being guided by nobility.

The governor said his objections are two-fold: one objection is that he is challenging the system in place for you and I because there has to be fundamental fairness in the system for one of there is no fairness for anyone.

His second objection, however, is the one that really tugs at the wallet. 

The governor said, “If you can remove me from office like this, then you tell me what governor’s going to challenge the legislature. Do you honestly think that my successor when they try to raise taxes, or my successor will challenge them when they want to do certain things that might not be good for the people, but are all about taking care of those lobbyists and special interests in Springfield? This will have a chilling effect on every governor in the future.”

The governor just oozes integrity and nobility.

The governor is not alone in struggles with a group of lawmakers over taxes. The president’s effort to get his economic recovery plan started is being sidetracked by Republicans.

U.S. Rep Aaron Schock on Friday said he and his fellow Republicans believe there is little hope they will give the president a chance to change our economic situation without a fight. They just aren’t buying into the argument that we can spend our way to prosperity.

Schock said “Everyone can agree that we are facing daunting economic challenges and our economy is in a recession.  With each passing day, families across America are watching their bills pile up and their savings disappear ... Our new President is correct in saying we must take action to stimulate the economy by investing in our infrastructure and I agree it is time for action ... Unfortunately, the plan put forth by the House Leadership fails to meet these goals.  While their proposal is billed as a transportation and infrastructure investment package, in actuality less than eight percent will be put towards improving our roads, runways, rail lines and rivers. This amount of funding simply will not create the amount of jobs promised by President Obama.”

Schock pointed out the proposed economic stimulus plan includes $200 million for grass planting on the National Mall and $224 million presumed to go to build a new sewer treatment plant in Mexico. 

Schock instead supports a plan calling for tax breaks for every taxpaying-family in America with an average benefit of $500 in tax relief from the drop in the 10 percent bracket and $1,200 for the drop in the 15 percent bracket. A married couple filing jointly could save up to $3,200 a year in taxes.

“The bottom line is,” Schock said, “the proposed stimulus can be enhanced to meet the vision of President Obama. I pledge to work with him and with other members of Congress to ensure your taxpayer dollars are being spent in a targeted, timely and responsible fashion.”

Giving Americans more control over how they want to spend the money they earn. What a concept. It might catch on.

Despite all the hope for change it’s still tough being a Democrat.