Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Speaker Hastert delivers the President today

President Bush comes to town to sign the transportation bill -- about $30 billion larger than what his feed-the-rich-and-starve-infrastrcture advisers wanted him to sign.

Speaker Hastert delivered for the pragmatic wing of the DC Republican Party and the nation. And as a sign of that clout, Bush comes to town.

Let's just assume that the Republicans will continue to run the show in DC through 2009 (just for the sake of argument). If Speaker Hastert's brand of Republicanism beats back the Texas-style 'tax-cut-and-borrow' irresponsible wing of the GOP, that would be a very good thing for the nation. So I hope Hastert becomes a Kingmaker in the 2008 Republican presidential primary and ensures that someone like him, and not someone like W, gets the nomination in 2008. Because that way, even if the Dems lose the presidential race, we'll have a far superior president than they one we have now.


Anonymous said...

We need to work on transportation in IL after United Airlines. Do you work in the Midway Airport area? Midway may have a bright future?

Things like constructively criticizing the CTA may add credibility to blue state people and make IL a more attractive federal investment. That being said, the CTA probably has been working hard and we should also probably point out, affirm and discuss the many things they have done well.

Hastert is in an interesting position due to social security debate. This issue is complicated and the discussion has been good. Future change, if any, will dramatically impact Republican chances in the U.S. House. Talk of social security reform potentially scares the Republican base in "red" america. Simple stuff like means testing, linking retirement age to changes in life expectancy, and specific investments in productivity might "save" social security.

Overall, U.S. people do not save enough. Talk of social security reform only confuses the issue, and social security reform does not necessarily address the savings issue.

It would be interesting to know: how do people in IL compare to the U.S. in regards to "savings"?

Per some internet stats, it looks like people in IL are not as "leveraged" as people in California. Leverage (borrowing money) potentially enhances returns in good times, but can make it impossible to survive downturns.

Anonymous said...

one more: it seems people like divided govt. The republicans may be more vulnerable than people think during the off-year election. national dems need to get their act together. dean should specifically work on quit upsetting people and focus on winning the middle 30-40%.

Anonymous said...

So, if tax-cutting and borrowing to pay for Bush's desired expenditures is bad, isn't tax-cutting and borrowing more to pay for Hastert's additional desired expenditures worse?

You are confusing me, Dan.

Anonymous said...

IL's share of federal spending is suspect. It is about time to get some of the tax $s back in IL.

Anonymous said...

what do you think of the proposed third airport? (Peotone) This seems to split people in odd, non-typical-partisan ways.

Anonymous said...

IL is a cross-roads and switching-station for the U.S. It makes sense to build and maintain transportation infrastructure in this state. The fed govt's job is to regulate interestate trade and defend the country. Transportation in IL meets both of these objectives.

Dan Johnson-Weinberger said...

I'd rather spend money on public infrastructure (like in the transportation bill) then on big, dumb tax cuts to oil companies (like in the energy bill) or the occupation of Iraq (don't get me started on that one). And I'd rather pay for that with the Clinton-era tax rates on high incomes (because those tax rates sure seemed to create a booming economy in the mid-to-late 90s). One good way to get more federal $ back to IL is to raise state taxes on high incomes in IL b/c those state taxes are then deductible from federal tax returns, so the ratio of IL tax dollars sent to DC versus federal dollars sent back to Illinois gets better for us. I'm not a big fan of Peotone, personally. I think with Gary, Rockford and Mitchell Field in Milwaukee, we've got enough capacity, especially if we invest in high speed rail.

Anonymous said...

if we had dramatically better \ new rail to champaign, champaign airport (expansion?) could be attractive. heck, once you go to Peotone, why not use champaign?

Anonymous said...

Half Day Road in Chicago used to be a half-day journey from downtown Chicago? Look what progress did to that...

Anonymous said...

Dan Johnson-Weinberger (obviously sharing his wife's last name) is an idiot.

The 90's boom started before clinton took office and ended before clinton left office.

He reeped the rewards of tax cuts that preceeded him and taxed us in to a stock market bubble the burst as the GNP tanked during his time in office.

Only the Tax cuts have saved us. If it were not for the bad energy policy of the 90's under clinton we would have cheeper fuel which is the only thing holding back our booming ecconomy now. The high fuel costs will raise inflation. Expect intrest rates to go up.

Pay more attention to when things happened and you wont look like such a idiot!

Anonymous said...

Okay, Clinton caused high oil prices? Sure. I won't disagree that energy policy suffered under Clinton -- should have pushed energy efficiency more then -- but growing demand and *geologically* limited supply (can't change geology, man) would have meant higher oil prices anyways. From a macroeconomic point of view, the US economy has been underinvesting in capital, including public infrastructure, for quite a while; the Bush tax cuts only fed corporate profits and rich consumers' shopping sprees, hardly a sturdy basis for long term economic growth.

The J-W comes from Dan's parents, btw, and he wouldn't be less of a man even if he did add his wife's name. Cheap shot and, as usual, wrong.

The transportation bill was larded with enough pork that we will see several big strides for transit. On the other hand, the process of having Congressmen (the very definition of non-disinterested parties) set the nation's transportation priorities makes a mockery of good planning.