Workin’ to 72

Making Bill Pascoe’s faux outrage even worse, Oberweis talked about wanting to privatize social security during the Trib forum.

“In return for being able to direct one quarter of the total payments into the special account, the individual would be giving up…the first, approximately six years of social security payments. It would move him from, say, 66 retirement to age 72 retirement.”

How does Pascoe refer to this privatization plan:

“To begin: the Foster ad falsely claims that Jim ’supported Bush’s scheme to privatize Social Security, gambling your retirement in the stock market.’ Bill Foster knows this isn’t true, because he sat next to Jim Oberweis yesterday in the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board endorsement session and heard Jim talk about his plan to strengthen Social Security, to make sure it’s still there 30 years from now.

Err…Oberweis has what is called a privatization plan–as CATO originally called it and, not only that, he wants to raise the age of retirement to 72!

Today’s Tosser: Bill Pascoe, What’s Most Amusing About Bill Pascoe’s Fine Whine

Are his comments about how to run a campaign in 2004:

First, understand why your opponent has problems with significant elements of his base, and drive wedges where you can, to the maximum extent possible; second, recognize that it is not your campaign’s job to tell the objective truth, it’s your campaign’s job to tell the version of the truth that puts your opponent in the worst light possible (it’s his campaign’s job, after all, to do the same to you); third, don’t get suckered into the trap of only talking about issues the media says are important – instead, choose the issue matrix over which you want to wage war, and stick to it no matter what; and fourth, if need be, if you can’t make a legitimate argument against your opponent on a key issue, use your opponent’s party’s position on the issue as the battleground, and wrap it around his neck. Make him pay for the sins of his party. Guilt by association still works, so don’t be shy in exploiting it.

Live by the sword, die by the sword.

Oh wait, the claims about Oberweis are all true…

3 Years Before Bush Ever Had a Plan for Social Security?

Pascoe below makes the claim:

“The on-screen sources listed for Mr. Foster’s ridiculous allegation are the Daily Herald of Feb. 17, 2002, and Jeff Berkowitz’s ‘Public Affairs’ show of Dec. 7, 2007. NOWHERE in the contents of EITHER source is there ANY indication that Jim Oberweis ‘supported Bush’s scheme to privatize Social Security’ — in fact, that would have been quite impossible, given that the Bush Administration DIDN’T EVEN OFFER A PLAN TO ADDRESS SOCIAL SECURITY’S LONG-TERM STABILITY UNTIL 2005, THREE YEARS AFTER THE FIRST SO-CALLED ‘SOURCE’ CITED!!!

Let’s start with when did Bush offer a plan to address Social Security Long-Term Stability:


Social Security has emerged as a critical issue in this year’s presidential campaign, but neither candidate seems prepared to address the system’s long-term financial problems. Instead, Gov. George W. Bush wants to let individuals invest a small part of their Social Security contributions in the stock market, where he thinks they will earn a better return, and Vice President Al Gore proposes to keep the system largely intact with an infusion of general tax revenues. Neither proposal would really stabilize the system in the long run. In truth, though Social Security is projected to become bankrupt in four decades, the system is not all that far out of kilter. It would not be hard for bold politicians to devise a fix.

Social Security may well be, as Governor Bush has said, “the single most successful government program in American history.” It was created in 1935, during the depths of the depression, to provide a guaranteed income to retired workers for as long as they live. Unlike private pension plans, Social Security benefits keep pace with inflation and, unlike 401(k)’s and other popular private plans, Social Security benefits do not fluctuate with stock and bond markets. Social Security provides the majority of income for most retirees and all the income for about a fifth of the elderly.

From its inception, the system has taken in payroll taxes from the working generation and turned almost all of them over to retirees. At the core of Social Security are the notions of social insurance — everyone participates in a common plan — and redistribution — the program tilts in favor of low-paid workers. The benefits for low-paid workers are about 80 percent of their average lifetime earnings, while benefits for high-paid workers are about 30 percent of average earnings. The progressive formula has cut the poverty rate among the elderly by two-thirds, reducing their poverty to below that of the general population. That is a remarkable triumph.

The question before voters is whether a program born out of depression — when poverty was rampant, few married women worked for pay and no one had 401(k)’s or I.R.A.’s to provide for retirement — needs to be revamped.

One reason for thinking so is the projected bankruptcy — a sobering but manageable situation. The system will run surpluses for the next 15 years, building a large reserve. But in 2010, the first wave of the baby boomers — the nearly 80 million people born between 1946 and 1964 — will begin to retire and collect retirement checks. The number of people in the work force for every retiree will fall from about five today to about three in only 30 years or so. That, and the fact that people are living longer, will put a strain on workers to support the retirement needs of the elderly. The system will begin to run deficits around 2015. By 2037, the trust fund is expected to be empty.

But for all the talk of bankruptcy, the system is not facing irreparable financial crisis. Even after 2037, payroll taxes will cover about 70 percent of promised benefits. Deficits over the next 75 years, the planning horizon for the program, will equal less than 2 percent of total payrolls — hardly a catastrophic shortfall. If the economy were to grow only slightly faster than the actuaries at the Social Security Administration now project, the deficit would disappear.

One proposed remedy for financial imbalance is partial privatization, the approach favored by Governor Bush. Under current law, workers and employers pay a 12.4 percent payroll tax that goes into a public trust fund. Under partial privatization, workers could divert, say, two percentage points of that tax to private accounts that the worker could then invest in stocks and bonds. Workers would collect less money from the trust fund when they retired, alleviating financial strain on the system. But they would expect to more than make up for the loss by drawing from their private accounts.

Mr. Bush’s sketchy proposal fails to answer where he would find the money to pay retirees as payroll taxes were diverted into private accounts. But there are other fundamental problems with the proposal as well.

New York Times, May 29, 2000

Hmmmmm….Pascoe has some issue with dates apparently.

But more interesting is there is a point here.  Just it makes Oberweis look worse:

Specifically, Oberweis believes workers should be allowed to invest half of the current 6.2 percent tax in a personal account. Cox supports a lower percentage but would not specify a percentage. Durkin also has not offered details about what kind of personal savings account plan he would support.

Chicago Daily Herald, February 17, 2002

Oberweis actually would have had larger private accounts than Bush at the time in 2002.

Perhaps Bill Pascoe should know something about his own candidate?

Kooks Away….Bill Pascoe Writes Another Manifesto

Pascoe’s most recent work of ‘art’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Bill Pascoe
FEBRUARY 28, 2008

FOSTER, EXPOSED AS A TAX-HIKER, MAKES STUFF UP

(BATAVIA, February 28) — Oberweis for Congress spokesman Bill Pascoe today criticized liberal Democrat Bill Foster for airing a television advertisement made up of half-truths, distortions, and outright lies.

“Bill Foster’s latest television advertisement should come with a parental warning notice — ‘Smear campaign ahead,'” said Pascoe. “But that shouldn’t be surprising — if I’d been caught planning to raise taxes by $3,914 per taxpayer, I’d probably have to consider making stuff up, too. The choice for voters couldn’t be clearer: Bill Foster wants to hike taxes and spend more on failed big-government programs, while Jim Oberweis wants to cut taxes and shrink government so families can keep more of their own money.

“Of the three major claims made in Mr. Foster’s advertisement, two of them are demonstrably false, and the remaining claim is deliberately misinterpreted to create an impression at odds with reality. Bill Foster — whose own mudslinging began two days into the special election (as noted by the Beacon News) — should be ashamed.

“To begin: the Foster ad falsely claims that Jim ‘supported Bush’s scheme to privatize Social Security, gambling your retirement in the stock market.’ Bill Foster knows this isn’t true, because he sat next to Jim Oberweis yesterday in the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board endorsement session and heard Jim talk about his plan to strengthen Social Security, to make sure it’s still there 30 years from now. (Interestingly, Mr. Foster himself suggested he wasn’t at all concerned about Social Security’s impending troubles, indicating it ‘wouldn’t be [his] first priority,’ and suggesting that a 30 percent cut in benefits to future retirees would be all right with him.)

“The on-screen sources listed for Mr. Foster’s ridiculous allegation are the Daily Herald of Feb. 17, 2002, and Jeff Berkowitz’s ‘Public Affairs’ show of Dec. 7, 2007. NOWHERE in the contents of EITHER source is there ANY indication that Jim Oberweis ‘supported Bush’s scheme to privatize Social Security’ — in fact, that would have been quite impossible, given that the Bush Administration DIDN’T EVEN OFFER A PLAN TO ADDRESS SOCIAL SECURITY’S LONG-TERM STABILITY UNTIL 2005, THREE YEARS AFTER THE FIRST SO-CALLED ‘SOURCE’ CITED!!!

“The Foster ad continues its calumny with this whopper: ‘Oberweis thinks we should end employer provided health insurance.’ That’s patently false, and Bill Foster knows it — he’s heard Jim say that to his face in editorial board meetings that have taken place over the last 48 hours. The two companies that bear Jim’s name — Oberweis Asset Management and Oberweis Dairy — both pay for health insurance for their full-time employees, and Jim has made clear he supports employer-provided health care.

“The Chicago Tribune even acknowledged that it had inadvertently mischaracterized Jim’s position on this issue, and issued a clarification that reads, ‘A story in the Feb. 23 West edition of the Metro section mischaracterized 14th Congressional District Republican candidate Jim Oberweis’ position on health care. While Oberweis advocates replacing the current employer-based health-care system with tax incentives that encourage people to buy their own insurance polices, he did not say the system should be eliminated.’ (See: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-claris_2-27feb27,0,7738809.story)

“Jim Oberweis believes we should offer Americans MORE choices in health care, not fewer. And he believes we should not force Americans to give up control over their own doctors and their own treatment by forcing them into a one-size-fits-all ‘universal’ health care scheme that cost hundreds of billions of dollars, as Bill Foster proposes.

“Further, the Foster ad declares, ‘Oberweis said ten more years in Iraq is the right approach.’ Actually, what Jim Oberweis said was that General Petraeus’s ‘Surge’ strategy is working, that we should continue to withdraw our troops gradually, as Iraqis take more responsibility, and we may have to leave a residual force in Iraq for up to ten years.

“Finally: Has anyone noticed that the quote the Foster campaign constantly uses — ‘I’ve supported the President on almost everything’ — comes from a newspaper article that’s more than FOUR YEARS OLD? That’s more than half the length of time George Bush has been in the White House! Has anyone noticed that the very title of the article cited — ‘GOP Senate rivals back away from Bush’ — has been deliberately hidden by Mr. Foster? Has Mr. Foster not read any newspapers between January 2004 and today? Has he not been made aware of the many instances in which Jim Oberweis has publicly disagreed with the President since then — particularly, for example, on the twin issues of immigration reform and management of the Iraq war?

“Liberal Democrat Bill Foster has been exposed as a man who wants to raise taxes on married couples, on families with children, on small businessmen and farmers, even on capital gains and dividends — this, as the economy is going into a rough spot. Liberal Democrat Bill Foster has been exposed as a man who wants to allow employers to hire illegal immigrants, as long as they’re willing to pay an ‘amnesty tax.’ Liberal Democrat Bill Foster has now been exposed as a man willing to force another $440 billion, big-government health care program down the throats of the American public. It’s no wonder he’s reaching for the standard Democrat playbook — distort, misinterpret, or falsify, whatever it takes — because his only alternative is to give up.”

— 30 —

Paid for by Oberweis for Congress

Never mind that most of this is just wrong–this is one of the worst press releases ever and it’s  because Bill Pascoe has to prove he’s right regardless of what helps his candidate the most.

Already, I exposed above that Oberweis’ own site supports eliminating employer provided health insurance.  More in the next few posts.

Today’s Tosser: Illinois Review, Apparently Jim Oberweis’ Web Site is Lying About Him

Illinois Review, with issues of honesty themselves, attack Bill Foster’s commercial as being untrue because it claims:

The false claim in the ad is that somehow Jim Oberweis doesn’t support employer provided health care. However, according to the correction that ran in today’s Chicago Tribune, Foster’s charge is false. You have to read the fine print, but hey, it’s there . . .

Well, let’s look at Jim’s web site:

In the long run, then, a fundamental element of health care reform must be to move away from the third party payer system, and reintroduce incentives for managing one’s own health care expenditures. Tax-free Health Savings Accounts are an excellent first step in the right direction.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://youtube.com/v/hobjGiNadCc" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

So, Oberweis does say he wants to end employer provided health care insurance.  It’s on his web site.  Did someone hack into it and put it there to smear him?

What’s the problem here?

Did Jim Oberweis Violate the “Millionaires’ Amendment”?

DCCC Release:

Jim Oberweis, the Republican Congressional candidate in IL-14, appears to have broken federal election law by triggering the Millionaires’ Amendment without notifying his opponent as required by law.  This would not be the first time Oberweis broke the law or tried to deceive voters.

“Jim Oberweis has a disturbing pattern of violating federal election law and deceiving voters” said Jennifer Crider, Communications Director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.  “This time, it looks like Jim Oberweis personally and deliberately failed to follow the law, pouring money into this race that he made investing in Chinese companies that threaten American jobs.  Jim Oberweis acts like the rules and law don’t apply to him – Illinois voters deserve better.”

According to his most recent FEC filing, Oberweis put in $640,000 of his own money.  [http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/dcdev/forms/C00436642/324695/sc/ALL]

  • $300,000.00 on February 7, 2008
  • $340,000.00 on February 11, 2008

The Millionaires’ Amendment is a part of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law.  McCain-Feingold increases contribution limits for candidates facing opponents who put substantial sums of their personal funds into their own campaigns.  An individual who puts in more than $350,000 into their House race risks triggering the Millionaires’ Amendment.  Once the millionaire candidate trips this threshold, the candidate must notify his opponents and the FEC by filing a FEC Form 10 within 24 hours.  The opponent can have access to higher limits depending on his or her own spending and fundraising. [http://www.fec.gov/press/bkgnd/MillionairesAmendment.html]

Jim Oberweis’ Pattern of Violating Federal Election Law and Deceiving Voters

  • Oberweis was previously fined $21,000 by the FEC for breaking federal election law.  The FEC said Oberweis benefited from a television ad he appeared in for the Oberweis Dairy in the 2004 Senate race and that the ad constituted a corporate contribution which is prohibited by federal campaign laws.  [Associated Press, 7/27/07] 
  • Oberweis used fake headlines in his 2006 gubernatorial campaign. Oberweis ran two TV ads that use made-up newspaper headlines to attack his opponents integrity. The words were displayed as if they appeared on the front pages of the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the State Journal-Register. The St Louis Post-Dispatch ran a story with the headline “Ads for Oberweis using Fake Headlines…” after TV spots he ran attacking is opponent used replicas of real newspapers with fake headlines.” [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 3/2/06] [Chicago Tribune, 3/1/06]

Candidates That Violate the Millionaires’ Amendment Receive Significant Fines

  • $91,000 Fine for Former Representative Charles Taylor. In December 2006, the FEC Taylor On December 27, the FEC fined Taylor, R-Brevard, $91,000 for failing to properly report loans and contributions totaling more than $800,000 that he made to his 2004 congressional campaign. [Asheville Citizen-Times, 1/6/07]
  • $71,000 Fine for J. Edgar Broyhill II (NC-05).  In July 2006, the FEC fined for J. Edgar Broyhill II, a candidate in the 2004 primary election, for violating the reporting requirements of the Millionaire’s Amendment, along with other reporting requirements of federal election law. [$71,100 CIVIL PENALTY PAID BY BROYHILL FOR VIOLATIONS OF MILLIONAIRE’S AMENDMENT States News Service July 19, 2006 Wednesday]
  • $68,250 Fine for James R. Socas (VA-10).  In March 2006, the FEC fined James R. Socas, a candidate in the 2004 general election for for violating the reporting requirements of the Millionaire’s Amendment. [SOCAS PAYS CIVIL PENALTY FOR VIOLATIONS OF MILLIONAIRE’S AMENDMENT States News Service March 16, 2006 Thursday]

Hysterical

Hiram:  Jim Oberweis Believes In Health Care For Cows – Not People

Jim Oberweis supports health care for all cows in his business. But the Chicago Tribune points out Jim Oberweis is against employers providing health care insurance for people – he says employees should go it alone. Cows get guaranteed health care while people go without. Should we treat cows better than people? Yes, it sounds strange, but you know where Jim Oberweis stands.

Foster campaign reports it’s daily tracking shows a small lead opening up between Foster and Oberweis. 

Here’s the Skinny:

poll

What’s fascinating is that Oberweis is talking about a health care system that existed 20 years ago and not what exists today.  There are incentives to avoid overusing health care, but more importantly health care now is starting to focus on more preventative care which is the only way to truly reduce the rising health care costs.

Not So Much

OneMan clearly doesn’t understand the depths of my cynicism:

If Jim was the one backing out of forums I know Archpundit and Hiram wouldn’t let it go without a comment (and rightfully so).

It’s true I’m sure I have taunted a candidate or two on this, but I largely see debates about debates to be kind of pointless, especially with this short of a timeline.  If you have several months before an election such events can be kind of useful, but this close out, they don’t do much when you could be doing more effective voter contact.   So if I’m ranting about a debate about debates, you know I’m being disingenuous.

Foster doesn’t do well in such events from what I can tell because he is bad at making quick points–not unlike Obama was at one time.

Out of Context McCain

The straight shooter, not so straight:

Q. Put in context your comment about spending 100 years in Iraq.

McCain: “As we know all’s fair in politics. The fact is that everybody in the media who follows me and spends a lot of time with me I was talking about after the war is over. Just as after the war was over in Korea, there was a cease fire, we had American presence there. After the first Gulf War, we still have a presence in Kuwait. It’s very clear what I was talking about, after we succeed in this conflict and we are succeeding unless the Democrats are able to pull the plug out and cause a date for withdrawal, then we will succeed in this confilict and we will enter into negotiation and discussion as far as the military and other relationships between our two countries. I think that’s pretty clea

Yes, he wants permanent bases in Iraq:

After the event ended, I asked McCain about his “hundred years” comment, and he reaffirmed the remark, excitedly declaring that U.S. troops could be in Iraq for “a thousand years” or “a million years,” as far as he was concerned. The key matter, he explained, was whether they were being killed or not: “It’s not American presence; it’s American casualties.” U.S. troops, he continued, are stationed in South Korea, Japan, Europe, Bosnia, and elsewhere as part of a “generally accepted policy of America’s multilateralism.” There’s nothing wrong with Iraq being part of that policy, providing the government in Baghdad does not object.

In other words, McCain does not equate victory in Iraq–which he passionately urges at campaign events–with the removal of U.S. troops from that nation. After McCain told Tiffany that he could see troops remaining in Iraq for a hundred years, a reporter sitting next to me quipped, “There’s the general election campaign ad.” He meant the Democratic ad: John McCain thinks it would be okay if U.S. troops stayed in Iraq for another hundred years…..

60% of the public wants out of Iraq in one year.  They don’t have a fantasy of Iraq becoming some a stable liberal democracy.  He doesn’t want a gradual draw down of troops that isn’t happening as Oberweis is claiming.  He wants to stay there and stay there adn stay there.

And why would he want American troops permanently stationed in Iraq?  To start another war in the Persian Gulf:

McCain: I would at minimum consult with the leaders of Congress because there may come a time where you need the approval of Congress and I believe that this is a possibility that is maybe closer to reality than we are discussing tonight.

It’s not some conspiracy theory, it’s what McCain says he’ll do in the middle of a debate. Why does anyone doubt him?  And is Oberweis ready to back another war in the Persian Gulf also?

And so the drama continues in IL-14

Both men took off the gloves in the month before the primary, sending out negative mail pieces and taking out mud-slinging radio ads. Lauzen accused Oberweis of trying to buy his way into office. Oberweis questioned Lauzen’s judgment and accused him of being a “career politician,” casting Lauzen’s 15 years in the General Assembly in a negative light.

In the end, Oberweis won both the regular and special primary elections decisively. But while Lauzen has called Oberweis to concede, he has not publicly offered his support in the special election. In fact, in a letter to supporters sent last week, Lauzen criticized Oberweis for being willing to “say or do anything to get elected … no matter how personally destructive or untrue.”

Waiting for apologyIt’s ordinarily expected that the losing candidate in a primary election will come out publicly and support the winner. Lauzen said he is willing to help Oberweis, but wants an apology first.

“All I ask of Jim is to correct the record,” Lauzen said. “I’m not corrupt; I don’t buy people off. I’m happy to help as soon as he repairs the damage he’s done to my reputation.”

Lauzen mentioned a couple of specifics. During the campaign, Oberweis accused Lauzen of poor judgment for taking money from a company under investigation by the Illinois attorney general’s office. The company, International Profit Associates of Buffalo Grove, is also at the center of a massive federal sexual harassment lawsuit.

In December, Lauzen returned nearly $100,000 in contributions to International Profit Associates and its owner, John Burgess, but the Oberweis camp questioned why Lauzen took the money in the first place and compared him to several Democrats who had also taken IPA money, including Sen. Barack Obama and Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Additionally, the Oberweis camp was critical of Kane County Republican Chairman Dennis Wiggins for accepting a paid position with Lauzen’s campaign. Oberweis spokesman Bill Pascoe called for Wiggins’ resignation from the Kane Republicans, but Wiggins declined, choosing instead to take a leave of absence until after the primary election.

Pascoe accused Wiggins of “(selling) himself to the highest bidder,” a statement which upset both Lauzen and Wiggins.

“He attacked my integrity,” Wiggins said of Oberweis. “I’ve worked for the party for 45 years. He owes me a hell of an apology.”

SUE! SUE! SUE!