The two Democrats vying to unseat exchanged sharp words at a Moraine Township Democratic Organization barbecue Saturday in Highland Park.
Waukegan community organizer said that Deerfield management consultant was unwilling to end the Bush-era tax cuts during a speech to more than 50 people.
“Unlike Brad Schneider, I want to roll back the Bush tax cuts so we can put people back to work,” Sheyman said.
When Sheyman finished speaking, Schneider put up his hand to correct his opponent’s statement. “I won’t put words into your mouth," Shneider said, "Don’t put them into mine.”
The claim came after Schneider's address, which did not include any mention of his tax policy. When both were done speaking, Schneider clarified his position to Patch.
“We need to review the entire tax system,” Schneider said. “The tax levels as a percentage of the economy in the Clinton era were not an unbearable drain on the economy. The Bush tax cuts were one of the four things that led to the economic difficulties we have now.”
Sheyman made it clear after the speeches that he wants Congress to let the Bush tax cuts expire as scheduled at the end of 2012.
“They (tax rates) should be rolled back to where there were under (President) Bill Clinton, which created 22 million jobs,” he said.
Sheyman also let the group know he differed with Schneider on methods the government should use to spur job growth. Sheyman supports a proposal made by August 10 to create 2.3 million jobs through a government works program.
“I’m in 100 percent support of Jan Schakowsky’s proposal,” Sheyman said. “It’s a much needed emergency plan to put people to work.”
Sheyman stopped short of agreeing with Schakowsky’s plan to pay for the proposal by increasing tax rates for people earning in excess of $1 million.
Schneider believes job growth should be spurred by improving infrastructure like schools, roads, transportation and bridges. He is afraid a government-controlled program will not create the permanent, long-term jobs necessary for sustained economic growth.
“We have to let communities and states decide where the needs are,” Schneider said. “If we build a road in the right place, businesses will locate there and we will have growth."
Trude Roselle of Lake Forest, a barbecue attendee Saturday who considers jobs and the economy the most important issues, likes Sheyman’s embrace of progressive ideas.
“He’s a solid progressive, well-spoken with organizing skills,” Roselle said. “He wants to create jobs like a solid Democrat.”
Michael Weinberg of Highland Park likes Schneider, in part because of the consulting work he has done with small businesses.
“He understands their problems,” Weinberg said. “He is thoughtful with progressive ideas on how we can solve problems.”