Peter won a second term quite handily. No big surprise, as incumbents always have the upper hand, and in Peter's case, the money sure helped. The question is what kind of effect he can have and how is he going to adapt to the new realities of Washington. He has been so partisan in his messages in the past, it seems there is now the challenge to see how to move forward with a more progressive message. A look at his website (www.roskam.house.gov) shows that he is already back on the old message of cut taxes for everyone, make them permanent, and all will be well.
Here are some questions:
If you cut all the taxes, where will the funds for education come from?
Yes, $3000 in increased taxes (if you are to believe Peter's math) is alot for some families, but for many in the district, this is not a lot; it's more a matter of just needing to make changes in consumption and expenses. The lower middle class already knows how to do this; perhaps it's time for some in the higher echelons to make some changes as well. As we saw with $4 gas prices, it seems like the most effective way to bring about societal change in patterns and behavior is through the pocket-book.
The challenges we face are enormous, and not just economic. To only focus on taxes won't do it. Peter is going to need to step up to a larger arena that looks at many issues (healthcare, energy costs, education costs) and get serious about solutions. Otherwise, he will find himself in the shrinking reactionary conservative wing of congress that is fighting the our current challenges with the last generation's tactics.