November 15, 2017
Last week in the NTD News commentary, I offered my perception that the Democratic Party needs to present a stronger issue-oriented image. Instead of spending hours of media time reacting to Donald Trump's endless string of foolish actions and legislative demands, Democrats should proactively be presenting their own clearly defined legislative proposals for helping the American public.
I know that the Democrats who represent us in the House and Senate would say that this is already happening. The periodic email messages from those office holders or from national party leaders (along with a fund solicitation) usually include information about bills the Democrats support or oppose. Even so, as I follow the media each day I am not getting the impression that the American public has any clear idea of what specific legislation Democrats advocate.
So, last Wednesday I noted that Republican efforts to pass a "tax reform" package offers a perfect opportunity for the Democratic Party to position its agenda in the public's mind. A short, memorable list of tax changes benefiting average Americans is one way to clearly differentiate our priorities from the "reforms" being pushed by Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump and their corporate and billionaire masters.
What specific tax legislation could the Democrats declare they are fighting for? -- Well, before I get into that I would point out that this urgent Republican effort to revamp the entire tax system at this moment in time is a highly questionable priority. Is it wise to completely overhaul our tax laws within such a ridiculously short time frame. Is the urgency warranted?
In a recent political TV discussion I saw (I think it was Shields and Brooks) it was pointed out that thirty years ago when the last major tax reform legislation was created it required a bi-partisan effort that spanned more than four years! The Republican and Democratic lawmakers leading that endeavor had decades of experience in Congress dealing with budget issues. They were recognized as the best minds for the task.
In contrast to this, the present Republican tax legislative package has been hurriedly pieced together in just months in order to meet a Christmas Day deadline arbitrarily set by President Donald J. Trump. The package is full of wishful thinking, highly questionable economic assumptions and linguistic diversions meant to hide the future negative impact it will have on much of the middle class.
Within the hundreds of pages of the GOP plan, there are scores of twists and turns that have little to do with addressing the most pressing concerns of the vast majority of Americans. And the more the public learns about the details, the clearer the real purpose of this supposed "reform" becomes. The GOP's highest priority, as it has been for decades, boils down to one goal: how to help America's wealthiest citizens acquire more money. Not that there's anything wrong with acquiring money. Who doesn't like that?
But a national agenda that pursues more wealth for a few at the expense of many who have much less is not a healthy direction for a democracy. How does the lowering of our highest income tax bracket, or the eventual elimination of inheritance taxes (no matter how huge the inheritance) improve the prospects of the other 98% of Americans? -- It doesn't. In my relatively long life I've never seen the "horse and sparrow" approach pay off for the American majority. ("Horse and sparrow" is a perfect description of the Republican economic philosophy. Look it up.)
For years, America's middle class has been dealing with shrinking financial security. And in virtually every region of our nation there are struggling small businesses, blue-collar workers in declining industries, college graduates hindered from pursuing their dreams by crushing debt, entrepreneurs trying to launch job-creating ideas. -- Smart tax reform can help them all.
So yes, for the good of America's middle class some reforms are needed right away. But the list of immediately needed reforms can be much shorter than the monster plan Republicans are attempting to rush through Congress.
This is where Democrats should plant their flag.
Democratic leaders should be pushing a short list of tax reforms that deal with issues such as student debt, small business stability, disastrous medical expenses, entrepreneurial enterprise, infrastructure investment (perhaps encouraged by a lowered tax rate for repatriated corporate funds). I'm sure focused Democrats could compile a list of reforms that would resonate with millions of Americans.
Our legislators could also propose an easily understandable reform that recognizes a glaring inequity in our highest tax bracket. Right now someone making $100 million or even $1 billion dollars in a year pays the same tax rate as someone making a lower-end six-figure income. Creating higher brackets for these super-high incomes would be an understandable way to offset some of the revenue losses caused by tax cuts for average Americans.
Many economists have reported that the Republican "reforms" will add as much as $1.5 trillion dollars to the national debt over the next ten years. Is lowering taxes for our wealthiest taxpayers really so urgent a need that we must raise our national debt even higher?
As we approach the 2018 election year, it's time for our Democratic Party's leaders to present a doable package
of goals that are
asily understood, believable, memorable -- and will actually help people. The sooner they get their act together on this, the better for all of us.
NTDO member since 1973
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Other events of interest:
Next Sunday, November 19 in Libertyville - The Stevenson Center Presents: "The Trump Administration's Attack on Sanctuary Cities."
When; Sunday, November 19, at 2:00pm
Where: The Stevenson Center on Democracy,
25200 N. St. Mary's Rd., Mettawa (Libertyville)
Edwin C. Yohnka, Director of Communications and Public Policy for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, presents The Trump Administration's Attack on Sanctuary Cities.
Coffee and conversation will follow the presentation.
For additional information or to RSVP, register online or call 773-633-5661.
Next Tuesday, November 21 in Northbrook - The National Organization for Women (NOW) Screens "Birthright: A War Story."
When: Tuesday, November 21, from 7:00 - 8:30pm
Northbrook Public Library, 1201 Cedar Lane, Northbrook
Join the North/Northwest Suburban Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) for a showing of this important film about the status and future of women's reproductive rights.
For more information, visit the film's website - click here.
SAVE THE DATE: Sunday, December 3 in Evanston --
"Voter Suppression/Voter I.D. in Wisconsin---What it Is
and What We Can Do About It!"
When: Sunday, December 3rd, 2pm to 3:30pm
Where: Location TBA, in Evanston, IL
Presented by Molly, McGrath, ACLU People Power organizer featured in the recent article by Ari Berman in the November issue of Mother Jones about voter suppression in WI, "Rigged: How Voter Suppression Threw Wisconsin to Trump" Honored Guest, Jan Schakowsky, 9th District representative in United States Congress.
The goal will be to inspire many to travel to southern Wisconsin over the next year to help peple access their voter i.d.'s so will have access to the ballot box in 2018.
Monday, December 4 in Chicago - A Women for Biss Cocktail Reception for Daniel Biss and Litesa Wallace
When: Monday, December 4, from 5:30 - 7:00pm
Where: 625 Kingsbury St., Chicago
A cocktail reception for Daniel Biss and Litesa Wallace, Democratic candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Illinois.
Here is a list of the local and statewide Democratic candidates seeking your vote in the 2018 Primary Election. You have several months to get acquainted with the positions and qualifications before the Democratic Primary this spring and the NTDO Endorsement Meeting in January.
Because some web browsers will not accept e-mailings with a large number of Internet links, they have been erased from this candidate list.
To see all the available links, visit our NTDO website at ntdo.org. (If it isn't posted tonight, it should be soon.)
JB Pritzger representative-Andrew Pryzbylo, Mayor of Niles
Daniel Biss, State Senator 9th District
Illinois Attorney General:
Jesse Ruiz, Board of Commisioners, Park District
Kwame Raoul, IL State Senator13th District
Nancy Rotering, Mayor of Highland Park
Aaron Goldstein, 33rd Ward Committeeman
Scott Drury, IL State Rep, 58th District
Illinois State Representative -
Mary Rita Luecke
Cook County Assessor:
Frederick (Fritz) Kaegi
who represent New Trier Township in
Washington, Springfield and Cook County
You'll be hearing a lot from these exceptional public servants. --
And they want to be hearing a lot from you.
The fact is, they need to hear from you and want to hear from you in order to represent you most effectively. So, the first thing you can do is get to know who these people are. The links below to their campaign websites are a good place to start.
, 9th U.S. Congressional District Representative
and Chief Deputy House Democratic Whip. The new Ninth District boundaries include all of New Trier except for Glencoe.
, 10th U.S. Congressional District Representative which includes a number of precincts in Glencoe.
Julie Morrison, State Senator for Illinois' 29th State Senate District
State Senator for Illinois' 9th State Senate Distric
t.The Ninth District includes all of New Trier Township.
. The district includes New Trier's northernmost precincts.
IL 18th District State Representative
. The 18th District includes much of New Trier up to Hazel Avenue and Dundee Road.
, IL 17th District State Representative.
The 17th District includes the East Glenview and West Wilmette areas of New Trier Township.
IL 58th District State Representative.
The 58th District includes the northernmost precincts in Glencoe.
Larry Suffredin, Cook County 13th District Commissioner. The 13th District includes all of New Trier, Evanston and Niles Townships.
Have you visited Senator Biss' website "The Road Back" --
click on the link to his video -- then, throughout the year follow his plan's development on the website.
Daniel explains a lot about how Illinois got where it is today and how we can begin the journey on the road back toward achieving our state's tremendous economic potential.
Dear Fellow Democrats,
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|Still not a member of the New Trier Dems? Your participation in grassroots political action will make a difference. -- Come join us.
When you're a member of the New Trier Democratic Organization, you have an active role in affecting the political process; participating in grassroots campaigns, staying in touch with elected officials, playing a role in deciding which candidates are endorsed. You'll also gain free admission to select forums and events throughout the year.
Come be a part of New Trier's grassroots political community.
The New Trier Democratic Organization is made up of hundreds of grassroots volunteers dedicated to advancing progressive ideals through the political process. We welcome your participation.
Dean T. Maragos, Committeeman New Trier Township
We are located at 800 Oak Street, Suite 112, in Winnetka, IL. Ph: 847-446-8030
*This Internet communication paid for by the New Trier Democratic Organization and not authorized by any federal or state candidate or campaign committee. A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is available for purchase from the State Board of Elections in Springfield, Illinois.