By Jo Ann Hustis
This has to be a take-back-the-country year, says Republican 11th District Congressional candidate Adam Kinzinger.
"It's not a Republican or Democratic thing," he said Wednesday in Morris, while on a campaign swing through Grundy and La Salle counties.
"It's going to take people making the tough decisions to get our country solvent again, and to allow small business owners the freedom to go out and create work for people."
The Republican from Bourbonnais wants to wrest the 11th District seat from incumbent U.S. Representative Debbie Halvorson, D-Crete. He said taking the country back will, however, take some time.
"It won't happen next year or immediately," he noted. "But, we've got to start to right the ship, because if we don't, we're just going to find ourselves more in trouble."
Kinzinger criticized what he termed Halvorson's "unhealthy fixation" on government-run health care instead of her focusing on conditions to grow the economy and create jobs.
He recalled meeting Tuesday with an owner who is closing her coffee shop in Kankakee County next week, ending three years in business.
"Her six employees can't find jobs elsewhere," he said. "She said taxation and complete government regulation makes her job difficult to do. That's too bad."
While Halvorson has been preoccupied with pushing through the health care legislation, Kinzinger said, unemployment stayed high in the 11th Congressional District. He cited La Salle County's current jobless rate at 16.7 percent, followed by Kankakee County at 16.2 percent.
"Look at the health care bill," he said. "Nobody knows what it will actually end up doing. We have to do something about health care, but this isn't it. Government can't just write a big check to cover health care. We need to control the cost."
Kinzinger said the nation is getting deeper and deeper in debt, with businesses becoming more and more nervous about any new investment.
The candidate outlined his five-step agenda for getting the economy rolling once again, starting with eliminating business uncertainty and the threat of the Cap-and-Trade legislation.
Cap-and-Trade would mandate limits on emission of greenhouse gases that cause global warming. The legislation passed in the House last summer by 7 votes, with Halvorson voting for the measure. The Senate has yet to act.
If Cap-and-Trade becomes law, it would require a massive switch to cleaner energy sources the next four decades.
"I've talked to industries and producers in Grundy County who have said they are leaving if Cap-and-Trade passes," Kinzinger said. "They are leaving."
The second step would extend existing tax relief, including the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts set to expire next year. Kinzinger said Congress must immediately act to make the tax cuts permanent.
Third is encouraging business investment through tax incentives. Fourth is ending unnecessary spending by the federal government, and limiting new spending to critical national security and infrastructure needs.
The last step is embarking on energy independence, which will bring new jobs and save dollars and strengthen our national security for tomorrow.
"This agenda will lead to real jobs and make all the difference to workers and employers in the 11th District and the country," he said.