Mar 21, 2012

Congressman Bobby Schilling’s Failed Priorities

Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL-17) consistently demands Illinois families make sacrifices like giving up Medicare while voting lockstep for an agenda that protects tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires. Instead of taking on spending by closing loopholes for corporations that ship jobs overseas, Congressman Schilling caved to Washington special interests and protected tax breaks for Big Oil. Schilling even cut constituent services to boost his re-election election efforts by spending exorbitantly on mass mailers on the taxpayers’ dime.

“Congressman Schilling’s failed priorities cost middle class families their Medicare, but protect tax breaks for millionaires, billionaires and Big Oil,” said Haley Morris of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “By voting lockstep with an out of touch Congressional agenda that caves to special interests and corporate outsourcers, Congressman Schilling has made clear he values Washington not Illinois.”

Background:

Schilling Voted to End Medicare. On April 15, 2011, House Republicans voted in support of a budget, which according to the Wall Street Journal, “would essentially end Medicare.” If enacted, this budget would begin affecting millions of seniors almost immediately by increasing the costs on prescription drugs and long-term care. For future beneficiaries, the plan will significantly increase out-of pocket costs for health care, which according to the Congressional Budget Office would more than double under the Republican Plan. [H Con. Res. 34, Vote #277, 4/15/11; Wall Street Journal, 4/4/11; National Journal, 6/2/11; CBO, 4/5/11; see also: Los Angeles Times, 4/7/11; Congressional Joint Economic Committee, 5/20/11]

House Republican Budget Would Lower Taxes on the Rich. Under the House Republican budget, the nation’s top tax rate would be cut from 35% to 25%. [The New Republic, 4/20/11]

House Republican Budget Protected Special Tax Breaks for Big Oil. In April, Robert Greenstein, President of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities wrote that it was noteworthy that Republican budget secured no deficit-reduction contribution at all from closing special interest tax breaks, such as breaks for big oil companies. [Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/20/11]

Schilling Pledged to Protect $92.5 Billion in Subsidies That Encourage Companies to Outsource Jobs. The Americans for Tax Reform pledge has become a litmus test for Republican congressional candidates and Members of Congress. The Americans for Tax Reform falsely claims that cutting tax expenditures constitute a tax increase. In reality, it is widely recognized that cutting tax expenditures is just another way to cut spending. Schilling, who signed the Americans for Tax Reform pledge, has promised to protect $92.5 billion in subsidies that encourage companies to ship jobs overseas. [CBS News, 11/20/11; Americans for Tax Reform Pledge Signers, accessed 7/11/11; Americans for Tax Reform, 4/11/11; Center for American Progress, 3/11]

Schilling Spent More Taxpayer Money on “Propaganda.” In his first year in office, Schilling has spent $307,282 on mass mailing that critics claim are campaign-style propaganda aimed at bolstering his re-election chances. While spending almost double what his predecessor spent on mass mailings in four years, Schilling slashed his office’s administration and salary costs. [Quad City Times, 2/25/12]


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