Saturday, May 12, 2007

This is why oversight is so important, Joe

It's shameful that this Congress has allowed for private contractors to make in a month what an active duty soldier, performing under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, makes in a year.

Yet Joe Knollenberg continues to vote to keep funding not only this unjust, unwinnable civil war, he actually thinks that the terrorists are worse than the Bush administration. As this video shows, this administration is every bit as dangerous to America as the terrorists.

Friday, May 11, 2007

U.S. Troops Are Dying for Knollenberg's Vote

On April 25, 2007, Joe Knollenberg had the chance to vote for legislation that would have provided for a timeframe for a phased and strategic withdrawal of U.S. Troops from the crossfire of Iraq's Civil War.

Since that date, 53 more U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq.

How many more U.S. Troops have to come home in a box
before Joe Knollenberg will vote to bring home our troops?

Joe Knollenberg is Wrong On Iraq.

Joe Knollenberg is Wrong For Oakland County.

Joe Knollenberg: Wrong Again, Naturally

Joe Knollenberg just keeps giving George Bush whatever he wants. Knollenberg advocates giving Bush all the funding he wants for an indefinite occupation in Iraq.

Joe Knollenberg has opposed every attempt to impose timelines or benchmarks on the Iraqi's to force them to make political gains to strengthen their government.

Joe Knollenberg has opposed every attempt to mandate that the troops are fully equipped and fully trained. He has supported letting troops go to the front line without proper body armor and without appropriate armor on their vehicles. He has also voted against guaranteeing that only troops that have received appropriate training get shipped to Iraq.

But Joe Knollenberg is wrong. Very wrong. The majority of Americans do want timelines/benchmarks placed on the Iraqis and they want the troops to be fully funded and fully trained.

According to a new CNN poll, "57 percent want Congress to pass another bill with funding and timetables."

Slightly more Americans, 61%, support benchmarks instead of timetables.

Most refreshing is that the vast majority of Americans now realize that Bush and Knollenberg lied to get us into this war in the first place. According to CNN,

Fifty-four percent said they don't believe the Bush administration's assertion that the war is the "central front" in the war on terrorist groups that was launched after al Qaeda's September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington.

65% of Americans oppose the war altogether.

50% favor Congress passing legislation revoking the original authorization for the war which would require Bush to seek new authorization.

Joe Knollenberg is WRONG on Iraq.

Joe Knollenberg is WRONG for Oakland County.

Joe Knollenberg is WRONG.

It is Time to Listen to the Experts

We need to listen to the military experts.

Listen to this veteran discuss why we need to get our troops out of Iraq so that we can prosecute the war on terror and go after those groups that want to harm Americans.

Where is our Congressman Joe Knollenberg on this issue? Silent.

Joe Knollenberg unconditionally supports Bush's escalation of the Occupation in Iraq.

Joe Knollenberg has voted to unconditionally support
President Bush's position on every single Iraq related bill.

Joe Knollenberg is out of touch on Iraq.

Joe Knollenberg is too extreme for Oakland County.

Knollenberg is Not Just Wrong, Knollenberg is WAY WRONG on Iraq

Yesterday, the House attempted to pass a bill that would have required troop withdrawals within 9 months. Joe Knollenberg voted NO on that bill.

But the Iraqi Parliament signed a bill that would require a similar timeframe for withdrawal of US troops as well as a freeze on current troop levels!!!

According to the Washington Post:

A majority of members of Iraq's parliament have signed a draft bill that would require a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. soldiers from Iraq and freeze current troop levels. The development was a sign of a growing division between Iraq's legislators and prime minister that mirrors the widening gulf between the Bush
administration and its critics in Congress.

The draft bill proposes a timeline for a gradual departure, much like what some U.S. Democratic lawmakers have demanded, and would require the Iraqi government to secure parliament's approval before any further extensions of the U.N. mandate for foreign troops in Iraq, which expires at the end of 2007.
Knollenberg wants to keep US troops in Iraq even though the Iraqi government doesn't want the US troops there!!!!

And, as noted by Joe's colleague, the Republican Congressman Wayne Gilchrest,

The Sunnis don't want Al Qaeda there and the Shiites don't want them there. Sending the message that we're going to leave prods the Sunnis to stop fighting
with the Shiites.

Once again, Joe is on the wrong side of an issue. This time it just happens to be the biggest issue facing the country.

Joe Knollenberg is WRONG on IRAQ and

WRONG for Oakland County.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

There is Such a Thing As a Moderate Republican, But Joe Knollenberg Is NOT one of Them

Joe Knollenberg is planning to spend the next 18 months trying to convince voters that he is really a "moderate" and not the radical right winger that he has been voting like for the past 14 years.

But as we have already described below, Joe Knollenberg is not a moderate. Joe Knollenberg votes with the extreme and radical right factions of his party.

If you want to see how a real moderate Republican talks, read this interview with Congressman Wayne Gilchrest (R) of Maryland. Here are some of the more interesting points:

When asked about Bush's recent veto of the supplemental spending bill for Iraq, Gilchrest said:

The veto and the speech were both big disappointments because the president mischaracterized the nature of the legislation. There was no drop-dead date to withdraw troops. There was a recommended goal for beginning to leave in 2007. The president should have looked at that legislation and said "You have your goals, here are mine, let's see what we can do." We should be able to reach both of our goals in that short time frame.
Joe Knollenberg sided with Bush on the Supplemental spending bill for Iraq. Joe Knollenberg gives Bush unconditional support for escalating the occupation of Iraq.

When asked about being frustrated by Bush's constant moving of the "goal" for Iraq, Gilchrest said:

The goalposts are moved on a regular basis. This football field isn't 100 yards. This football field has gotten about 3000 yards long. In 2005 the president had recommendations for the Iraqi government to reconcile the differences between the Sunnis and Shiites with the oil distributions, with elections, de-Ba'athifaction, with a whole host of things. And none of that's moved forward. You couple that with a weak Maliki government, with the Iraqi people seeing a weak government being propped up by occupying forces. Then you see the Maliki government being supported by Iran, an enemy of this country that we might invade or attack. We're looking at chaos.

When asked if, contrary to the Bush Administration position, the US should be talking to Syria and Iran, Gilchrest said:
Yes. It's absurd that a strong country doesn't talk to a weak country. We never stopped talking to the Russians in the ‘50s, and we didn't stop talking to the Russians when they had deployable nuclear weapons in Cuba. We engaged them and worked through the process. We talked to the Chinese. We talked to the Soviets after Khrushchev pounded his shoe on the podium and said "We will bury you" to Henry Cabot Lodge. How did Ike respond to that? He invited Khrushchev to America. But who did we not talk to at that time? Ho Chi Minh. We're in a global marketplace, and it seems like some of my colleagues will endorse a global marketplace but they don't want to talk to any foreigners.

As to the talking point that Knollenberg tosses around that discussing timelines destroys morale of our troops and emboldens the enemy, Gilchrest said:

It's absurd. When we do this we tell Al Qaeda that their days are numbered. The Sunnis don't want Al Qaeda there and the Shiites don't want them there. Sending the message that we're going to leave prods the Sunnis to stop fighting with the Shiites. A timeline sends signal that your days are numbered, your time is up.

Maybe Joe is worried that if he votes against Bush on the Iraq issue, the radical rightwing of the Republican Caucus and their "Victory Caucus" will take him on in a primary in 2008.

Joe Knollenberg is an EXTREME Right Winger.

Joe Knollenberg is too Radical for Oakland County.

Once Again, Joe Knollenberg Lets Down the Troops and America

Joe Knollenberg has failed once again.

The House voted on legislation today that would have fully funded the military to train the Iraqi troops, to fight Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations, etc. But it would have required the President to come up with an exit strategy that includes redeployment.

There was NO Pork in the bill. Nothing. It was a clean bill. But Joe still voted against it.

Joe Knollenberg voted NO on a bill to end the war in Iraq.

Once again, Joe Knollenberg has voted to give George Bush unconditional support to keep troops in Iraq for as long as he would like.

Specifically, the bill would have:

Trained the troops:

Authorizes the Secretary to retain in Iraq U.S. forces for: (1) providing security for embassy and diplomatic missions; (2) protecting American citizens; (3) serving in roles consistent with diplomatic positions; (4) engaging in targeted special actions of killing or capturing members of al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations with global reach; and (5) training and equipping members of the Iraqi Security Forces.

Redeployed Troops under a Phased Exit Strategy

Makes funds immediately available to plan and execute a redeployment of U.S. forces and defense contractors from Iraq

Requires the Secretary of Defense: (1) within 90 days after the enactment of this Act, to commence the redeployment of units and members of the Armed Forces (U.S. forces) deployed in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and defense contractors operating in Iraq and funded using amounts appropriated to the Department of Defense (DOD); and (2) to complete such redeployment within 180 days after its commencement.

Joe Knollenberg is a follower, not a leader.

He is following George W. Bush.

Joe Knollenberg is not representing US.

Can a Leopard Change His Spots? Or, Can Joe Knollenberg Pretend to be a Moderate?

Can a leopard change his spots?

Can an extreme rightwing Congressman like Joe Knollenberg pretend to be a "moderate"?

According to Congressional Quarterly, Joe Knollenberg is now planning to paint himself as a moderate in hopes of being re-elected in 2008.

But if Joe Knollenberg was a moderate, his seat wouldn't be up for grabs now, would it?

Once again, Joe seems to have missed the point.

Joe Knollenberg is too extreme for Oakland County.

Stay tuned. Film at 11.

Watershed Moment For Bush & Knollenberg's War In Iraq?

Was the meeting yesterday between 11 moderate Republicans and President Bush the watershed moment in the history of Bush & Knollenberg's War in Iraq? Watch this:

What does Joe kNOllenberg say about this watershed moment? Nothing. Look at his website. kNOllenberg still doesn't even list Iraq as an "issue". Apparently he is too busy going to sporting events with lobbyists to pay any attention to Iraq.
Knollenberg's colleagues don't even consult him on the issue of Iraq. Knollenberg wasn't even invited to the meeting with President Bush.
Wouldn't it be nice to have a Congressman who was a leader and not a follower?

Joe Knollenberg's Unconditional Support for
the War in Iraq is Wrong For America.

Joe Knollenberg is too extreme for Oakland County.

kNOllenberg is kNO Moderate

MSNBC is reporting that 11 "moderate" Republicans met with President Bush on Wednesday to let him know that he had no credibility on the war in Iraq and that as far as they were concerned, their districts would be okay with "losing" in Iraq.

These guys are clearly running scared.

This information is important for 2 reasons.

First, the participants are a block of moderate House Republicans known as the "Tuesday Group". Joe Knollenberg is not a member of that group. In other words, even the moderates in Congress consider Joe Knollenberg to be too extreme.

Second, the participants went to let Bush know that they are not going to continue to give him a blank check for an indefinite war. Knollenberg was not a part of the group challenging Bush. Instead, Joe Knollenberg just rubber stamps his approval of anything Bush wants for Iraq.

This is a hot issue right now as Congress debates legislation in light of Bush's veto of the last Supplemental funding bill. This issue is the prime focus of Washington DC. This issue is of great concern to all Americans.

Except Joe Knollenberg.

Reading Joe Knollenberg's website, one wouldn't even know there was a war in Iraq. Joe Knollenberg doesn't even list "IRAQ" as an "ISSUE" on his website. There is no discussion of strategy, or changes in strategy. There is no discussion. Period.

Joe Knollenberg is out of touch on Iraq.

Joe Knollenberg's position on Iraq is Wrong.

Joe Knollenberg is Too Extreme For Oakland County.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Part 4: Knollenberg's Economic Policies Hurt Middle Class Families

Middle-Class Families Squeezed By Record Levels of Debt

Bush, with the assistance of Joe Knollenberg's rubber-stamp, turned record budget surpluses into record deficits.

President Bush inherited a unified budget surplus of $236 billion from President Clinton, the largest surplus in American history.[41]

Budget surpluses were expected to continue for another ten years when President Bush took office in January 2001.[42]

By 2002, however, the unified federal budget had returned to a deficit of $158 billion and has reached historic highs.

Last year, the budget deficit was $248 billion, or 1.9 percent of GDP.[43]

Bush & Knollenberg have increased the national debt by $3 trillion.

President Bush, with the help of Joe Knollenberg's rubber stamp, has presided over the largest explosion of debt in our nation’s history.

Every year since taking office, President Bush asked Congress to increase the statutory debt limit, resulting in a $3 trillion, or 51 percent, increase.[44]

At the end of 2006, the federal debt totaled $8.68 trillion.[45] By 2012, the President’s budget would increase the public debt to 12.2 trillion.[46]

Enormous trade deficit is undermining U.S. competitiveness.
In 2006, the U.S. trade deficit was at an alarming record high of $765,262 billion – twice the size of the trade deficit in 2001.[47]

Even more troubling, our trade in Advanced Technology Products, a strong indicator of U.S. competitiveness, which was in surplus as recently as 2001, experienced a deficit of more than $38 billion in 2006.[48]

Debt owed to foreigners climbs to record levels.

In order to finance record budget deficits, the United States has had to borrow at unprecedented rates from foreigners.

As of February 2007, the United States had accumulated $1.1 trillion more in debt to foreigners than this country had accumulated in its first 224 years.[49]

By contrast, during the last three years of the Clinton Administration, the United States paid off more than $200 billion in debt to foreigners.[50]

Record government and personal debt levels threaten economic future.

Record federal deficits and debt create record interest costs for Americans.

In 2006, interest costs on the federal debt will total $405.9 billion and this figure will grow to $614.9 billion by 2016.[51]

“Flat wages and rising debt nationally have converged to leave millions of middle-class households feeling acutely vulnerable to bumps in their financial planning…

According to a study by the Federal Reserve Board, the ratio of financial obligations -- primarily mortgage and consumer debt -- to disposable personal income rose to a modern record of 18.7 percent earlier this year.”[52]

Average student loan debt soars to more than $19,000.

Interest rates for Stafford student loans have risen substantially over the past two years, from 3.4 percent to 7.14 percent for outstanding loans and 6.8 percent on new loans.[53] As a result, loan payments will be considerably higher for students taking out new loans and for those who did not consolidate loans in recent years. Without adequate federal grants funding, students and their parents must rely more on student loans to finance their college educations.

More than 60 percent of undergraduates at four-year colleges have to take out loans, and the average amount of federal student loan debt upon graduation has increased from $7,650 in the 1992-1993 to $17,400 in 2003-2004. When private loans are factored in as well, average student loan debt in 2003-2004 was more than $19,000.[54]

Erosion of employer-provided pensions threatens Americans’ retirement security.

Workers should be able to count on the retirement promises made by their employers. Increasingly, that is not the case.

An analysis by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), the federal entity created by Congress to protect employee pensions, found that nearly 10 percent of pension plans halted benefit accruals in 2003 alone, the latest year for which complete data is available. [55]


[41] President Bush’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2002, A Blueprint for New Beginnings at 201 (February 28, 2001), available at
[42] Id. at 7.
[43] Congressional Budget Office.
[44] Philip D. Winters, “The Debt Limit: The Ongoing Need for Increases,” Congressional Research Service Pub. No. RL31967 (updated March 21, 2006).
[45] U.S. Department of the Treasury, “The Debt to the Penny and Who Holds It,” available at
[46] Congressional Budget Office and analysis by Senate Committee on Budget Democratic Staff.
[47] U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Statistics, U.S. Trade in Goods and Services - Balance of Payments (BOP) Basis, available at
[48] U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Statistics, Advanced Technology Product Data, available at
[49] U.S. Department of Treasury, Major Foreign Holders of Treasury Securities (updated April 23, 2007), available at and
[50] Id.
[51] Congressional Budget Office (March 2007).
[52] Jeffrey H. Birnbaum and Chris Cillizza, “'Mortgage Moms' May Star in Midterm Vote; With Wages Stagnant and Debt Growing, Democrats See an Opportunity,” Washington Post at A01 (September 5, 2006).
[53] David P. Smole, “Stafford Loan Interest Rate Reduction: Background and Issues,” Congressional Research Service Pub. No. RS-22568 (January 30, 2007).
[54] National Center for Educational Statistics, 2003-04 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:04), Undergraduate Financial Aid Estimates for 2003-04 by Type of Institution (June 2005), available at, and 1993 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:93) (October 1995).
[55] Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, “Study of Frozen Defined Benefit Pension Plans,” available at and (December 21, 2005); Joel Friedman and Robert Greenstein, “Boosting Income And Contribution Limits For Pension Savings Would Swell Deficits, Do Little For Middle-Class Families,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (May 18, 2005).

Help me raise money to get this ad in Joe's District has a great new ad featuring General Bastiste They are currently running in Fred Upton and Mike Rogers' districts in Michigan. I just spoke to them and suggested they run it in the 9th District of Michigan, Joe Knollenberg's district.
To donate, click on the link below, then send an e-mail to and put MI-09 Congressional District in the subject line and let them know how much you donated.

Click here to donate securely.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Part 3: Knollenberg's Economic Policies Hurt Middle Class Families

The Really Rich Get Much Richer, While The Middle Class Falls Behind

While families work harder, their wages continue to decline.
Middle-class families are working harder and earning less today than they were at the start of the Bush Administration.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “Since the end of the recession of 2001, a lot of the growth in GDP per person – that is, productivity – has gone to profits, not wages.”[13]

Median household income, adjusted for inflation, has declined $1,273 from $47,599 in 2000 to $46,326 in 2005.[14]

Meanwhile, employment compensation has lagged behind productivity gains.

While the productivity of the American worker rose by 17.5 percent between the first quarter of 2001 and the fourth quarter of 2006, real compensation per hour increased by only 8.7 percent.[17]

In the first quarter of 2007, productivity in the non-farm business sector further improved by 1.7 percent, while real weekly earnings increased by only 1.2 percent.[18]

Therefore, Americans have worked harder – and more productively – for their families, but are not receiving the proportionally increased rewards for their hard work.

Earnings for workers with college degrees declining.

The LA Times has reported that: “Wage stagnation, long the bane of blue-collar workers, is now hitting people with bachelor’s degrees for the first time in 30 years.

Earnings for workers with four-year degrees fell 5.2 percent from 2000 to 2004 when adjusted for inflation, according to White House economists…

Not since the 1970s have workers with bachelor’s degrees seen a prolonged slump in earnings during a time of economic growth…trends for people with master’s and other advanced degrees…have found that their inflation-adjusted wages were essentially flat between 2000 and 2004.”[19]

Worst job creation record since Hoover Administration.

A growing economy should be good news for those seeking jobs. But over the last 6 years, his Administration has the worst overall job creation record since Herbert Hoover more than 70 years ago.[20]

Overall non-farm payroll employment has increased by just 5.2 million since President Bush took office in January 2001 compared with 22.7 million during the Clinton presidency. Overall employment growth has averaged just 70,000 per month under President Bush – much lower than the approximately 150,000 jobs needed each month to keep up with population growth. It was not uncommon to see monthly job gains of 300,000 and even 400,000 during economic expansions under previous Administrations. [21]

Private sector job creation has been especially poor during the Bush presidency, with an average annual job growth rate of only 0.5 percent per year since 2001.[22]

Just 3.8 million private sector jobs have been created during the Bush presidency, compared with over 20 million private sector jobs during the Clinton presidency.[23]

The manufacturing sector, often the source of jobs with good pay and benefits, has lost three million jobs since the start of the Bush Administration.[24]

Nearly half of the jobs created since 2001 were part-time and freelance positions without benefits.[25]

Unemployment has increased 7.1 percent and long-term joblessness has nearly doubled.

The national unemployment rate stands at 4.5 percent,[26] which is 7.1 percent higher than the 4.2 percent rate when President Bush took office.

Unfortunately, once unemployed, America’s workers also are staying unemployed longer. In 2006, over one in six of the unemployed had been out of work for more than 26 weeks.[27]

The number of long-term unemployed has increased by 61 percent since President Bush took office.[28]

Bush’s deficit-financed tax cuts have widened the income gap between millionaires and middle-class workers.
In testimony before the Congress, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned against rising income inequality: “[T]o the extent that incomes and wealth are spreading apart, I think that is not a good trend.”[29]

The Wall Street Journal has attributed the widening income gap to President Bush’s tax policies: “[I]t appears that the highest-salaried workers – executives, managers and professionals – are widening their lead on the typical worker…The Bush tax cuts appear to have widened the income gap, according to many analyses.”[32]

In fact, President Bush’s capital gains and dividends tax cuts will cost $197 billion over ten years, with most of the benefits going to multimillionaires.

In an analysis by the Tax Policy Center, economists found that the immediate effect of the Bush tax cuts has been “skewed in favor of those with high incomes,” benefiting the most wealthy households the most.[33]

In 2006, for example, “families making more than $1 million a year saw their after-tax income increase by 6 percent because of the tax cuts, while families making $40,000 to $75,000 saw after-tax income rise by about 2.5 percent.”[34]

More American families and children face severe financial problems.
The average annual increase in the poverty rate during President Bush’s first term is second only to that during George H.W. Bush’s administration and contrasts sharply with the declines in the Clinton and Kennedy-Johnson Administrations.[35]

The poverty rate has increased 12 percent to 12.6 percent since 2000.[36]

Nearly thirty-seven million Americans were living in poverty in 2005,[37] an increase of 5.4 million over the 2000 level, the year before President Bush took office.[38]

Poverty has hit America’s children particularly hard. with almost one out of every six American children living in poverty.[39]

The number of children living in poverty has increased 6.5 percent during the Bush Administration.[40]

[13] Greg Ip, “Wages Fail to Keep Pace With Productivity Increases, Aggravating Income Inequality,” Wall Street Journal at A2 (March 27, 2006).
[14] U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Census Bureau, Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2005, Figure 1 (August 2006), available at
[15] U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey: Historical Data for the Tables of the Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers, available at
[16] U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey: Historical Data for the Tables of the Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers, available at
[17] U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Productivity Data, available at and
[18] U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Productivity and Costs: First Quarter 2007, preliminary, available at and U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Weekly and hourly earnings data from the Current Population Survey, available at
[19] Molly Hennessy-Fiske, “That Raise Might Take 4 Years to Earn as Well: Those with bachelor's degrees are finding their incomes stagnate despite a growing economy,” Los Angeles Times at A1 (July 24, 2006).
[20] U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Situation Summary, available at
[21] See e.g., Speech of Gary H. Stern, President, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Perspectives on the Economy (March 29, 2007), available at
[22] U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Industry at a Glance, Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey, available at (visited April 26, 2007).
[23] Id.
[24] U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Industry at a Glance, available at
[25] Molly Hennessy-Fiske, “That Raise Might Take 4 Years to Earn as Well: Those with bachelor's degrees are finding their incomes stagnate despite a growing economy,” Los Angeles Times at A1 (July 24, 2006).
[26] U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Situation Summary (May 4, 2007), available at
[27] U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey, Table A-9,
[28] Id.
[29] Testimony of Ben Bernanke before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, (July 19, 2006), available at
[32] Greg Ip, “Wages Fail to Keep Pace With Productivity Increases, Aggravating Income Inequality,” Wall Street Journal at A.2 (March 27, 2006).
[33] Greg Leiserson and Jeffrey Rohaly, “The Distribution of the 2001-2006 Tax Cuts: Updated Projections, November 2006,” The Tax Policy Center (November 15, 2006), available at
[34] Michael Abramowitz and Lori Montgomery, “Bush Addresses Income Inequality,” The Washington Post at A04 (February 1, 2007), citing “The Distribution of the 2001-2006 Tax Cuts: Updated Projections,” supra.
[35] Joint Economic Committee analysis of data maintained by the Bureau of the Census and U.S. Department of Commerce from 1959-1995.
[36] U.S. Census Bureau, CPS 2005 Annual Social and Economic Supplement, POV01 (August 29, 2006), available at
[37] Id.
[38] U.S. Census Bureau, CPS 2000 Annual Social and Economic Supplement, POV01 (December 11, 2001), available at
[39] U.S. Census Bureau, CPS 2005 Annual Social and Economic Supplement, POV02 (August 29, 2006), available at
[40] U.S. Census Bureau, CPS 2000 Annual Social and Economic Supplement, POV02 (December 11, 2001), available at

Part 2: Knollenberg's Economic Policies Hurt Middle Class Families

Middle-Class Families Squeezed By Skyrocketing Costs

Health care premiums have increased by over 80 percent.
  • The cost of family health insurance has skyrocketed 80.8 percent since 2000.

  • Premiums are rising twice as fast as wages and inflation.

  • The typical family health insurance premium is now $11,480 a year compared with $6,348 in 2000.[1]

  • The number of uninsured Americans has increased every year since President Bush took office, from 39.8 million in 2000 to a record high of 46.6 million in 2005.[2]

Gas prices have more than doubled.

Prices at the gas pump have jumped 102.7 percent from $1.47 per gallon the week President Bush took office in January 2001[3] to $2.87 in the latest week of energy price data.[4]

  • The average price of gas for this summer is estimated to be $2.97 per gallon, 84 percent higher than the average price for the summer of 2001.[5] (And given that it is over $3.00 now, that is probably a low estimate!)

  • The price for a barrel of oil has more than doubled during the Bush Administration from $30.63 in January 2001 to $65.26 in April 2007.[6]

  • The average household with children will spend about $3,743 on transportation fuel costs this year, an increase of 97 percent or $1,841 over 2001 costs.[7]

College education costs have risen by 44 percent.

  • Average tuition, fees, room, and board costs at four-year private universities have increased by $6,786 from $22,240 in the 2000-2001 academic year to $29,026 in the 2005-2006 academic year.

  • Tuition, fees, room, and board charges at four-year public colleges grew more rapidly between 2000-2001 and 2005-2006, after adjusting for inflation, than during any other five-year period since 1975.

  • Total costs jumped from $8,439 in 2000-2001 to $12,127 in 2005-2006 – an increase of $3,688, or 44 percent.[8]

  • The cost of a college education is rising faster than family income.

Housing affordability has reached a 15-year low.

  • In 2006, housing affordability reached its lowest level since 1991.[10]

  • According to the Washington Post, “[o]ne of every 92 U.S. households faced foreclosure last year and the number is expected to get larger.

  • Over the next two years, monthly payments on millions of loans will surge as their low introductory interest rates balloon by as much as 50 percent.

  • The nonprofit Center for Responsible Lending predicts that one in five subprime mortgages taken out in the past two years – those marketed to borrowers with poor credit histories and limited incomes – will end up in foreclosure.

  • The crisis may eventually cost as much as $164 billion…

  • There is considerable fear that the pace of foreclosures, which jumped again in the first three months of this year, will continue to rise and jeopardize the entire economy.”[12]

    Knollenberg's Positions HURT Middle Class Families



[1] Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust, 2006 Employer Health Benefits Survey, available at
[2] U.S. Census Bureau, 2005 and 2006 Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual Social and Economic Supplement (August 2007), available at, (revised March 23, 2007) (see U.S. Census Bureau, Census Bureau Revises 2004 and 2005 Health Insurance Coverage Estimates (March 23, 2007), available at
[3] Energy Information Administration, Petroleum Navigator, available at
[4] Energy Information Administration, Household Vehicle Energy Use: Latest Data and Trends (2005), available at; Weekly Retail Gasoline and Diesel Prices (updated April 30, 2007), available at
[5] Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook (April 2007), available at
[6] Spot Prices for Crude Oil (updated April 23, 2007).
[7] Energy Information Administration, Household Vehicle Energy Use: Latest Data and Trends; Short Term Energy Outlook (April 2007).
[8] The College Board, Trends in College Pricing 2006 (October 2005), available at
[9] Analysis of Department of Education data contained in “The College Cost Crunch: A State-by-State Analysis of Rising Tuition and Student Debt” at 2, available at
[10] National Association of Realtors, Housing Affordability Index (updated February 9, 2007), available at
[11] Michael Grunwald, “The Housing Crisis Goes Suburban,” Washington Post at B01 (August 27, 2006).
[12] Michael R. Crittenden, “Bracing for Default Day,” CQ Weekly at 1168 (April 23, 2007).

Knollenberg's Economic Policies Hurt Middle Class Families: Part 1

Joe Knollenberg's "follow-the-leader" position on economic policies has hurt middle class families in Oakland County.

Joe Knollenberg has never voted against a Bush economic policy. Instead, Joe Knollenberg has voted to increase our debt, to continue with runaway deficit spending, declining wages, well all the while, increasing costs of fuel and education put middle class families further and further behind.

Just Say NO to KNOLL-enomics!

Middle Class Families Have to Struggle Just To Stay Even
For millions of hard-working, middle-class families, life has grown less affordable and less secure.

President Bush’s record of fiscal incompetence and mismanagement, and Knollenberg’s close ties with special interests, have helped lead to both lower wages on the one hand and skyrocketing costs for basic necessities like gas, health care, and college tuition on the other.

Unfortunately, instead of producing solutions to the problems facing the middle class, Bush and Knollenberg have ignored them and pushed for policies that would make matters even worse.

In addition to tightening the squeeze on families, Knollenberg’s economic policies have made our entire nation less financially secure.

Knollenberg has followed his leaders into increasing our debt to nearly $9 trillion while insisting on spending billions of dollars every year on budget-busting tax breaks for special interests and multi-millionaires.

Knollen-omics Risk To National Security
By voting for Bush's failed economic policies, Knollenberg continues to compromise our economic security by increasing our reliance on foreign investment from in China, Japan, and Dubai.

Film at 11.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Joe Will Start to Waver on Iraq

We don't need a crystal ball to devine that Joe Knollenberg will soon be wavering in his support for Iraq.

Never much of a leader or a voice in Congress, Knollenberg easily bends to the will of others -- particularly lobbyists. But in this particular case, nervous about the impact Iraq will have on Republican re-election campaigns, referring to House Minority Leader Johm Boehner, CNN reports "The top House Republican said Sunday that GOP support could waver if President Bush's Iraq war policy does not succeed by the fall."

CNN then attributes the following statements to Boehner:

"Over the course of the next three to four months, we'll have some idea how well the plan's working. Early signs are indicating there is clearly some success on a number of fronts," he said.

But, he added, "By the time we get to September or October, members are going to want to know how well this is working, and if it isn't, what's Plan B."

So, those are the talking points. If Joe even mentions Iraq, those "follow the leader" talking points are sure to be heard.

Joe "Do Nothing" Knollenberg is a follower, not a leader.

Why Has Joe Knollenberg Been Silent on These Key Issues?

Why is Joe Knollenberg silent about George Bush's Blunders?

Here is just a starter list of Bush's Blunders:

Afghanistan Falling Back into Taliban Hands
Tora Bora
Aluminum Tubes
Ahmed Chalabi
Greeted as Liberators
Jessica Lynch
Jack Abramoff
Bob Ney
Jay Garner
Mission Accomplished
Duke Cunningham
Bring 'em On
Dead or Alive
Go it alone
Abu Ghraib
Walter Reed
Pat Tillman
Valerie Plame
Donald Rumsfeld
The Economy
New Orleans
Military Contractors
Body Armor
When they stand up, we'll stand down
Price of Gas
the "Surge"
3,346 Americans killed
26,188 Americans wounded
the 1,458 days the United States has occupied Iraq

Joe Knollenberg has failed to show even a modicum of leadership on any of these issues.

Joe Knollenberg Is NOT A Leader. Oakland County Deserves A Leader in Congress.

Fire Joe Knollenberg. 2008