February 21, 2009


UPDATE: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” “Change came to Washington claiming bipartisanship and transparency. Obama lied on both. The bipartisan bill was rammed through with classic — and sleazy– Chicago-style politics. And how transparent is a process where even graduates of the Evelyn Wood speed reading course couldn’t have analyzed the bill? . . . The very change that swept Democrats into D.C. will surely sweep them away again if they squeeze ordinary citizens too much to pay for the failings of others.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Diane Lanning sends this report from California:

Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-Pleasanton) hosted “Congress at your Corner” from 9:30 to 10:30 this morning. The meetings are “part of McNerney’s effort to reach out to and hear from citizens in the 11th District.” I have never gone to anything like this before, but decided to go to express my displeasure about the stimulus package. Keep in mind that this is NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. The meeting was held in a local bagel cafe, and I was happy to see that the place was packed with probably about 50-75 people. The vast majority of them were extremely angry about the stimulus package. It started out with him taking questions from the crowd, but then they started a line for people to talk to him privately because things were getting “out of control”. Several people then asked if he would consider having a town hall style meeting with microphones, etc. We’ll see if that happens. I’m not betting on it.

During the first part, several people asked if he had read the stimulus package. At first he tried to ignore them, but eventually admitted he hadn’t. (No surprise there.)

Several people came with signs similar to what you see at the protest rallies.

When he started talking to people individually, he obviously did not want anyone else to hear. That did not go over well with the crowd. They were there to find out what he thought, and he wasn’t allowing that to happen.

When I got my time with him, I explained to him that even people who make $150k in Northern Cal. are not “rich” and should not be taxed as if they were. (A 1400 sq ft, 40 year old home here goes for over half a million, even after the housing slump. Then you add in real estate taxes, state income taxes, 10% sales tax, gas prices, utility costs, etc.) I also expressed my concern that about half the people in the country now pay no income taxes, so there is overwhelming incentive for them to keep voting for democrats and therefore higher taxes for the rest of us. He told me that he thought tax rates should go up for the very rich and that the top marginal tax rate should be 90%. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, so I asked in a voice that many in the room could hear if he really meant 90%, and he said yes. Several people asked me after my turn was over if they heard correctly what he said, and were amazed when I said yes.

I also asked how a congress that was very critical of republican ethics and vowed “change” could justify letting Rangel, Dodd, and Murtha keep their committee chairmanships with their obvious ethical issues. His response was that Republican’s ethics were worse because of their “unjustified aggressive war”.

This is just my small example of the anger and frustration of people in liberal Northern California.

Anybody else know anything about this? I called Jerry McNerney’s office but got no answer.

Meanwhile, more Overland Park photos are here.

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