A recent letter to the editor suggested that the Demoratic Party in Illinois had been "doing something about jobs." If it were true, I would say it's about time. I thought jobs were the priority.
But it's not true. In fact Congressman Brad Schneider, Gov. Pat Quinn and Sen. Dick Durbin have led the charge on policies that are in fact pushing people out of the workforce. Look at the unemployment numbers. Look at a 92 percent youth African-American unemployment rate in Chicago. That isn't leading on the issue of jobs and the economy.
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I'd ask Mr. Schneider specifically how he believes forcing employers, businesses and individuals in Illinois to the health care law makes it easier for them to employ people and operate on a budget. Rates are skyrocketing, and we haven't seen the worst of it yet. I'd ask Brad how a hike in the minimum wage can help me, a 19-year-old student at the U of I, find a job to pay off my crushing student loan debt. The effect is to price people in my generation out of the prospect of a job.
Where is Mr. Schneider on paying down our nation's $17 trillion debt? He is there asking for more revenue, more taxes dollars -- not to pay off the debt, but to expand it. It's something the future of Illinois cannot afford. Brad Schneider hasn't been leading the charge on much of anything in Washington. But on jobs and the economy, he is leading us into a dead end.