Schakowsky's Job Bill Faces GOP Fire

The 9th District lawmaker introduced a $227 billion proposal that she estimates will create as many as 2.2 million jobs.

With the economy struggling, the markets extremely volatile and the debt limit debate still stinging, was aiming to put a focus back on job creation last Wednesday. But her $227 billion proposal will face stiff opposition even her most ardent of supporters concede.

At a North Side school in Chicago, Schakowsky said she will be introducing a plan when Congress returns from its recess in September that she estimates will create as many 2.2 million jobs in this era of above 9 percent unemployment rates.


“Because the American people, 2 to 1 [ratio], believe the real issue is jobs, I am relying on the voice of the American people to make the difference and to make this legislation a reality,” Schakowsky said to a cheering throng of supporters.

Creating 'emergency jobs'

Specifically, her legislation calls the creation of “emergency” jobs by putting people to work in schools, parks, a student job corps, health care as well as new teachers, policemen and firefighters.

Schakowsky does not have a funding component for the proposal, but said the $227 billion legislation could be fully paid for over two years by creating higher tax brackets for millionaire and billionaires and eliminating certain tax loopholes and subsidies.

“The job creators are not the big companies sitting on $2 trillion and not creating any jobs right now because there is no demand,” Schakowsky said. “What this bill does--and it is not the total answer-- is to put 2 million people to work.”

Ina Allen, a music teacher at the Chute School in Evanston, represented the Illinois Education Association at the rally. “This legislation will help steer our economy back to fiscal strength and restore the American Dream for struggling working families,” she said.

“The United States needs vision and a pathway to assure us that we will reach full employment and prosperity,” said Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen. “This bill helps us accomplish that goal.”

GOP not pleased

Not surprisingly, the GOP did not take well to the proposal.

“It shows to me how complete tone deaf Jan Schakowsky is,” said Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady. “It also makes me think she does not know about basic economics. Government does not create jobs.

"This is just one of her many redistribution schemes," he added. "It didn’t work when they spent $862 billion on the stimulus. It is amazing to me with what everything that has occurred in the past year, she would come out with something like this. It makes no sense on a variety of different levels.”

No one doubts Schakowsky is going to have a very difficult time getting such a proposal through the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, especially after the passionate and partisan weekslong debate over increasing of the debt ceiling pass its $14 trillion level.

But Schakowsky, who has served the 9th District since 1999, remained hopeful.

“I believe some [of my colleagues] would like to do the right thing and are being held hostage by a minority of people called the Tea Partyers in the Congress,” she said.

Van Dusen, who served as a top aide to Schakowsky’s predecessor Sidney Yates, realized that passage of the jobs legislation will be difficult in today’s political climate.

“It’s going to be a tough road,” he said. “But we have to make sure that jobs are part of the conversation.”

The lack of specifics regarding funding concerned Skokie resident Roy Chavadiyil, the chief steward of Local 73 of the Service Employees International Union.

“Where is the funding going to come from?  She didn’t give a definitive answer,” Chavadiyil said. “That might be a problem if we don’t show the right funding source.

"We have to create jobs, there is no question. If we don’t create jobs, we are going to fall into debt even more," the union leader said. "Where the funding is going to come from is going to be a problem for passing it in Congress.”

Stay tuned to Patch for more on job creation along the North Shore. Join the discussion on Wilmette-Kenilworth Patch's and Winnetk-Glencoe Patch's Facebook pages.

daniel zube August 18, 2011 at 06:10 PM
cris The folks that get jobs, more than likely will spend money at your small businesses, so there is a growth developed in the economy. Without government involvement there will be no growth. Your billionaires and tea part idiots are not promoting jobs or growth, just keeping all revenues away from our government and why can't we stop CORPORATE WELFARE?
Willie Wilmette August 18, 2011 at 07:04 PM
Yes, the Democrats & Republicans got us into this mess, now they point fingers at the other side. Jan, give me the $227 billion and I will create twice as many jobs. $100,000 per job might not seem like much to you, but is pricey to me.
David August 18, 2011 at 09:59 PM
I support Schakowsky's efforts 100%. If corporations sitting on piles of profits will not hire people, then the government must. Of course the money will and should come from taxes. And it will come back in tax revenues and economic activity. We can no longer wait for "people who might start small businesses," and it's time to admit that every time the GOP speaks up on behalf of "small businesses" they are engineering for Big Oil, Big Pharma and other corporations who benefit from this country but do not contribute their fare share. And the government should put armies of people to work fixing roads, fixing up parks, museums, finding an alternative to fossil fuels and the like. The US is the richest country in the world and in human history. We can afford this, especially if we stop funding the two disastrous wars we are in and start fighting terrorism intelligently.
cris August 18, 2011 at 10:10 PM
Daniel- Use your head. Why should we send money to Washington so that it can be spent here? How much of that dollar gets siphoned off? Shouldn't I have the right to spend my own money? Why is it supposed Congress is better qualified in every sense-intellectually, morally-than I am? Did you know Jan Shakowsky's husband is a convicted felon (wire fraud)? Corporate welfare exists for the same reason as other forms of government welfare-the aggrandisement of corrupt, narcisistic public officials.
Willie Wilmette August 19, 2011 at 12:50 PM
Cris said, "How much of that dollar gets siphoned off?" Historically, for every budget that Schakowsky & Kirk vote for, IL gets back $1 from Washington for every $1.33 that we send, the other $0.33 goes to subsidize other states. It is probably worse for our district because of the higher incomes and lack of a cost of living adjustment for taxes. What could IL do if we had kept the $5 trillion we donate to other states? That and the $100,000 per $25,000 job that gets created make one wonder if this is good for IL. Make IL pay it's fair share and stop subsidizing other states.


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