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Monday, October 23, 2006

Can-do attitude to get job done.....

From the Sunday Dispatch......

Why send me to congress? Zinga: Can-do attitude to get job done
By Andrea Zinga

I know, love, and want to work for the 17th District. Macomb is my hometown; Galesburg is my husband's. Our parents started life together desperately poor, but believed the answer was to work hard and save a little every step of the way. Mine taught me to respect all life, to love ideas and new information -- to dream big, work hard, and never give up. My mother traced her roots to the Revolution -- my father, to Ellis Island. We were and are melting-pot Americans! And they worked hard to build a better life.

We as a nation and as a district still have that opportunity and that "can-do" attitude today -- and it beats nursing a policy of resentment about everything that goes wrong. That, more than anything else, is the fundamental difference between me and my opponent. For 23 years he has been quick to tell people who they should blame as jobs leached away from our district. Consolation of sorts, and tempting; but it didn't solve a thing -- didn't save or create a single job.

This district has fallen behind under Republican presidents and under Democratic presidents. It has fallen behind under Republican Congresses and under Democratic Congresses. The problem cannot be that we're in a depressed region. Just take a look across the river. Iowa's growth is evident. When my opponent started his job, Peoria was the national archetype of a failing rust belt city. Yet instead of playing the blame game, local, city, state and FEDERAL leaders worked to develop a plan -- to find solutions. And they did. Now Peoria is used by many city planners in how to overcome big economic problems.

We could not have saved all the manufacturing jobs we have lost, but we could have saved some of them -- and we could have spent more time working on the infrastructure improvements that make an area attractive to companies: good highways and bridges, expanded locks on the Mississippi, high-tech communications.

I differ dramatically on economic policy. I support cutting taxes, eliminating the death tax and supporting free, but fair trade policies. My opponent promises to raise taxes, keep the death tax, and has opposed every significant free trade agreement of the last 20 years. The reason I support the policies I do is pretty simple – they work. Every time a president has cut taxes in my lifetime it has resulted in an economic boom. Jobs appear, activity begins perking, the deficit goes down, and tax receipts to the government increase – because the economy's growing. My opponent talks about more taxes on big business. Sounds good if you don't think about it too hard. But businessmen and women use their profits to expand -- to create more jobs in the process of making more profits. Money paid in taxes can’t go to salaries.

My opponent loves to blame free trade agreements for job losses. The evidence says something different. First, we are running some of the lowest unemployment rates in our history right now. If NAFTA (signed by President Clinton) and CAFTA were part of a conspiracy to kill jobs, the conspiracy has utterly failed. Now take a look at the countries of Western Europe: those with the most heavily protectionist trade policies and the most confiscatory tax policies have the highest unemployment.

And so, that difference between my opponent and me is very stark. He wants to take the policies that have made the 17th fall behind economically and establish them nationally: I want to take the policies that have given us a booming national economy and establish them in the 17th District.

We differ on the war on terror. He believes we should adopt a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. I believe that would simply tell the terrorists when they can quit playing defense and start playing offense.

Iraq is a front in a larger war with a transnational group of jihadists who repeatedly say they want to dominate the world. If we could soothe them by withdrawing, 9-11 would have never happened in the first place. The fundamental question is: How do we persuade the terrorists they can't win, so they abandon their aggressive aims? We need allies in the Middle East -- perhaps not mirroring our exact form of government, but stable and friendly.

It's all very hard and I mourn every life, but our fighting men and women understand: stand strong now to save more sorrow later.

Finally -- I'm as sick of dirty politics as you are. I'd like to be a clean breeze blowing through the House.

Working together, we can get started and get busy. If you elect me your Congresswoman, you'll seldom hear me blaming someone else for a problem. I'll be too busy finding solutions. That’s how my parents raised me.

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