Joyce Washington Interview
Supplementary information to the Chicago Tribune


Joyce Washington, interviewed by host Jeff Berkowitz on local cable talk show  "Public Affairs," recorded on May 15, 2003.

Jeff Berkowitz: Is the country [Iraq] better off without Saddam Hussein now than it was before?

Joyce Washington: I think we have got to look at-- are they being fed? do they have electricity?

Berkowitz: So, your answer is-- you don't know?

Washington: I am not saying I don't know.

Berkowitz: Well, either it is a yes, no, or I don't know. What's the answer-- Yes, No or I don't know.

Washington: Well, no, I don't accept either one of those.

Berkowitz: In 2003-04, is it the phrase, "it's National Security, stupid," or is it still, "it's the economy stupid."

Washington: I think it's still- it's the economy, stupid.
Berkowitz: You are in favor of what the Democrats are doing in terms of filibustering [the judicial nomination of] Miguel Estrada?

Washington: Absolutely, the information they are asking for is not anything unusual and I think it should be forthcoming.

Berkowitz: You would say the same thing about Priscilla Owen?

Washington: The same thing about Priscilla Owen, the information should be forthcoming.
Berkowitz: ...You would know that some of the people who own small businesses are really self-employed-- they may have other employees but they are not corporations. They may be paying income tax at the individual rate, right? And, many of these people may be relatively high income. It doesn't take a lot of income to get into the highest [tax] bracket of 40%, right? So, would you say people are not necessarily rich if they have $200,000 in income?

Washington: I think people may call that rich.

Berkowitz: But are they some of the people that you would like to have do well so they could create more jobs?

Washington: Sure.

Berkowitz: So, would you like to lower the marginal tax rate for those people from 40% to maybe 35% so they would have an even greater incentive to work, save and invest?

Washington: Absolutely

Berkowitz: You might support that?

Washington: I might support that, because that affects everybody.

Berkowitz: Then, you should know that in 2001 that was the Bush Tax proposal-- to lower the top rate from 40% to 35%. The Dems said no dice- we are going to slow this down-- and they have only lowered the rate in a year and a half by about 1 1/2% because it is slowly being phased in. So now, Bush says, let's accelerate these cuts so we can get the economy moving again...sounds like you would support that?

Washington: No, he wants to make sure they get the money into the hands of the top 1%. I want to make sure it gets into the hands of working class folks-- who will again put it back into the economy.

Berkowitz: He wants to cut taxes [income tax rates] across the board.

Washington: Small business, you go around and you talk to all the small businesses- they want some incentives that will help them create jobs and spend that money.

Berkowitz: Something like 5% of the people pay 50% of the [income] taxes, so if you are going to give tax cuts-- there are large numbers of people who don't pay any [income] taxes, so how do you give someone a tax cut if he or she doesn't pay any taxes.

Washington: Because you have to decide what government is for.

Berkowitz: They want jobs.

Washington: These people aren't even asking for those dollars. Let's let them alone. Let's put the money back in the hands of the working people ...


For almost six years, Jeff Berkowitz has hosted and produced, "Public Affairs," a cable television show airing (a) weekly throughout the City of Chicago on Ch. 21 (Every Monday night at 8:30 p.m.) and (b) in 34 North Shore, Northwest and West suburbs on Comcast Cable. See, below, for the suburban airing schedule.

The suburban edition of "Public Affairs" airs three times each week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8:30 p.m. on Comcast Cable Channel 19 in Winnetka, Bannockburn, Deerfield, Ft. Sheridan, Glencoe, Highland Park, Highwood, Kenilworth, Lincolnshire and Riverwoods.

The suburban edition also is broadcast every Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. on Comcast Cable Channel 19 in Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Niles, Northfield, Palatine, Rolling Meadows and Wilmette and every Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. on Comcast Cable Channel 35 in Arlington Heights, Bartlett, Glenview, Golf, Des Plaines, Hanover Park, Mt. Prospect, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Prospect Heights, Schaumburg, Skokie, Streamwood and Wheeling.