VIDEO UPDATE: As Clock Ticks for 'Fiscal Cliff,' Demonstrators Gather at Hultgren's Office to Demand Answers

A peaceful demonstration Monday at Congressman Randy Hultgren's office in Geneva centers on keeping Social Security and Medicare from falling off a fiscal cliff that could happen in 22 days.

With 22 days remaining before $600 billion automatic tax increases and spending cuts kick in, demonstrators flocked Monday morning to U.S. Congressman Randy Hultgren's office in Geneva to tell Hultgren to keep Medicare and Social Security off the table.

"I'm just totally irritated that somehow the fiscal bump in the road has become a fiscal cliff," said Jean Pierce of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva. "And I'd like Hultgren to understand that there are a lot of seniors in his district who vote."

Demonstrators discussed a range of issues, from wind energy to the state of the economy to election promises, but the primary issue centered on protecting Medicare and Social Security in the context of lawmakers' solutions to the pending, so-called fiscal cliff.

The "Fiscal Showdown" event in Geneva was one of more than 160 similar events taking places across the nation Monday and promoted by MoveOn.org, one of the largest political action committees in the country

Carrying signs that said "Protect Medicare Security for the Elderly," "Austerity Doesn't Work" and "Be Brave, Don't Cave," about 40 people demonstrated peacefully front of Hultgren's office, without any counter rally or statements from Hultgren's staff.

The local rally was put together by Mary Shesgreen of the Northern Illinois Jobs With Justice, an organization that supported a similar action at Sen. Dick Dubin's office on Dec. 6. Today's event was titled "Tax the Wealthy to Fix the Deficit."

Protesters spoke in turn, offering reasons they were attending the rally, which began at around 10 a.m.

"We need to get wage equality," said one Geneva resident. "What we're doing now with the CEOs getting 200 times what the person on the factory floor gets is ridiculous. It didn't used to be like that. We need to change it."

"I'm a working cement mason, and I would like to keep working," one woman said. "The last couple years have been pretty shaky for me as far as construction work, which is in the toilet, but I do see the light at the end of the tunnel and I want to continue to see the light at the end of the tunnel."

"I depend on my 401K, and on my Social Security and Medicare, and I don't think of those two things as entitlements," another woman said. "Those are things I've been paying for."

Hultgren recently tweeted that his Facebook page is becoming a discussion board on the fiscal cliff. 

President Barack Obama met privately with House Speaker John Boehner on Sunday at the White House, but Obama set out Monday on a campaign-style rally to tour Daimler's Detroit Diesel Corporation in Michigan, according to CBS News.

Matilda B December 10, 2012 at 09:12 PM
Thanks to all who took the time to demonstrate. I wish I had known beforehand , so that I could have joined you. For those of us who could not attend, remember to send Mr Hultgren a message. And if we go off the cliff, blame people like Mr Hultgren. Obstructionism is unacceptable. He should remember to work for the people, not the 2%
John Walsh December 11, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Congratulations to the people who put together the protest. Randy Hultgren is part of the problem - the biggest "Do-Nothing Congress" in over 60 years.
Jon Azavedo December 11, 2012 at 06:14 PM
WAHHHHH! The company president makes more than I do, and it's just not fair!!! WAHHHH! Do any of you people really have a job?
It is sad--that Many people are worried about Fiscal Cliff. Somehow Media as well as Medicare and other insurers have done a good job.Example: Colon Cancer screening in Illinois is 55% compared to Michigan with 75% Colon Cancer screening. With higher screening--it means Colon Cancer is detected early and taken care off at VERY LOW PRICE to Insurers as well as affected person. Dr.OZ has said "25% of people over 50 have Polyps--which are source of Colon Cancer". He got his colonoscopy at 50--and found a Precancerous Polyp. Now Dr.Oz had no symptoms-he is healthy,has no family history,exercises regularly. The fact he had Polyp-- means 45% who have not bothered to get Colon Screening--may end finding Stage 4 Cancer-costing over 400,000$--problem for Medicare as well an individual. Who is responsible? We all are--for not pushing PREVENTION or Preventive Screening. Unless Medicare or insurers send out reminders to those--SAYING--HEY-you have not had Colonoscopy according to our records---PLEASE get it ASAP. This will lower HEALTH CARE COSTS and help in Fiscal Cliff.
Jimmy December 12, 2012 at 12:19 AM
Considering the FACT that Randy Hultgren was TWICE elected to his current office with over 50% of the votes cast, he actually works for the MAJORITY of his constituency, NOT the nanny-state, entitlement-demanding, redistribution-of-wealth, far-left liberals so prevalent in other congressional districts in this incredibly corrupt state of ours.
Matilda B December 12, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Jimmy and Jon, when you respond with such hostile, immature comments, no one is going to hear you. You just look bad
Jon Azavedo December 12, 2012 at 07:04 PM
Matilda, thank you for monitoring the board and determining what is hostile. I think it's hostile to bite the hand that feeds you. For years, a LOT of people have willingly paid exorbitant taxes, knowing full well that most members of the community skated by contributing far less, but get the sam pd and fd protections, drive the same roads, go to the same schools. This is eye-opening. I had no idea we were held in such disdain. Guess what? NO MORE. Pay your own freight, don't leach off of those paying your bills and employing you. See how the schools will fail miserably when we decide to move. This charade was nicknamed, "Tax the wealthy to fix the deficit?" How about this: tax the leaches who have had a free ride?
Jon Azavedo December 12, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Listen to Jimmy. Jimmy speaks the truth. Jimmy works for a living. Matilda couldn't attend because she was attending a Dale Carnegie course. The 2% won't pay your bills anymore Matilda. Good luck.
Art Stern December 12, 2012 at 08:07 PM
The federal govt borrows $4,800,000,000 every single day, adding that much to the $16,000,000,000,000 it is already in debt. The problem our country faces is that the federal and many of the state governments are spending money at an unsustainable rate. The top 1% of taxpayers already pay 39% of all federal taxes and the top 25% pay 86% of taxes. The "rich" simply don't have enough money to fund the current govt spending. It has been estimated that if the tax rate on the top 2% of taxpayers goes back to the Clinton era rate then the increased revenue will fund the federal govt for 9 days. Revenue to the treasury has been significantly increased on 3 occasions in the past 50 years, when Presidents Kennedy, Reagan, and Bush cut taxes in the 60's, 80's, and 00's economic growth with ensuing job growth and increased tax receipts were the result. Raising taxes on anybody right now will be counter productive.
Matilda B December 14, 2012 at 01:30 AM
Jon, judging by the amount of time you spend on the Patch trashing people,I'd guess you're the one with no job. Let me guess...you are retired. Jon, no one is going to listen to your hate mongering. It just doesn't get you any respect.
Jon Azavedo December 14, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Ah, Matilda, once again, you decide to be judge and jury, claiming that I am a "hate monger" for voicing an opinion. BTW, thanks for monitoring my time on this board. I simply had no idea that those who have been paying taxes, employing neighbors and contributing anonymously to the community were hated by you and others. Holding a rally demanding that hard-working successful employers pay even more? It shows that you have no hope of ever being successful, resigning yourself to a sad life of mediocrity, knowing that you will never have to pay your "fair share." Here's the unintended consequence-we're finished letting you ride our coattails. I owe nothing to a community that despises me. The gravy train you failed to recognize is over. Your impromptu little gathering simply emphasized the bitterness small-minded people like you harbor against life's winners. Pay your own way, Matilda, no more leaching.
Matilda B December 15, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Jon, there is a difference between opinion, distortion and lies. You have expressed not opinion but gave accusations as to whether I have a job. You have accuse me of being a leech. You have no data to support this. You really look foolish. Nothing you say has any truth or validity. And yes, you spew hate
Jon Azavedo December 15, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Matilda, you ARE a leech if you pay less in taxes for the same services. You have been subsidized, willingly, for years, by myself and others. Thank you for the protest, for the blatant hatred you have for those who have made your life easier. The free ride is over.
Matilda B December 15, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Jon, Love your fantasy about me. If you knew the truth you might be embarrassed. You are not living in reality. I don't know how you can call me a leech when you know absolutely nothing about me. For all I know, you are the leech. Actually, that's probably closer to the truth
Jon Azavedo December 15, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Matilda, I know that anyone who subscribes to the idea of "Tax the wealthy to fix the deficit" is not only hateful, but stupid. Please explain in detail what "wage equality" is, feel free to use the terms "theft" and "redistribution" freely. BTW, don't know if you've heard yet, Caterpillar in Aurora and Belvidere are cutting all wage workers to 27 hour weeks to avoid Nobamacare. The free ride train is off the tracks, don't let the caboose hit you in yours.....


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