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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, May 09, 2008

Sam Bennett's Fiscal Policies

The questions below detail Sam Bennett's views on fiscal policy.

Question: Will you support elimination of the Bush tax cuts? If so, will you propose a soft landing for married couples who stand to lose $6K in take home pay, or low-earning singles who'll lose $1,500 to $2k?

"Only the top 1/2 of 1% should lose those tax cuts."

Question: How about the dividend exclusion that put $8 billion in retained earnings into the pockets of the investor class (i.e. 86% of us)?

"That's not fair. Those who work hard should benefit. But we all need to pay our fair share."

Question: How about the inheritance tax, which Republicans argue is something that hurts family farms and prevents emerging classes from creating and passing on legacies the way the Bushs, Kennedys and Rockefellers did?

"This bears further discussion. I am not a tax and spend Democrat. I am a fiscal conservative."

Question: You spoke in support of Mayor Pawlowski's $10 million dollar loan during his first year as Mayor, which produced a $5 million "surplus." You called this financing arrangement "very creative." Is it good policy for governments to borrow money to cover operating deficits?

"In this case, yes, because it improved our bond rating and instantly decreased the cost of borrowing future money. As a general rule, municipalities should not borrow money to cover operating expenses."

Question: Has Pawlowski contributed to your campaign?

"No, but he will. The three mayors are having a fundraiser for me on June 7. 'Sam Bennett and the Congressionals' will be performing."

Question: On Social Security, what exactly is your better plan? How do you plan to make a finite amount of tax dollars stretch to cover the huge number of baby boomers in the way you are suggesting you can, and still have money left for the next generations?

"This is an example of the kind of false choices Republicans give us so they can privatize social security. In truth, our social security transfers money from those in earning years to those that aren't. It's a very elegant system. If administrations would stop looting it, it would look a lot better. Even with the looting, it works just fine, thank you very much."

Question: How can you feel qualified to work on our nation's debt problem when you amassed huge debt in previous failed campaigns?

"I don't have debt. I view it as an investment. When we buy a home and take out a mortgage, that's not a debt. That's an investment. When we borrow money to pay for education, that is an investment."

5 comments:

A.J. Cordi said...

I didn't like her last response; she didn't answer the question.

She can call it whatever she wants, but it's still a debt.

Oh, for Pete's sake! said...

"This is an example of the kind of false choices Republicans give us so they can privatize social security. In truth, our social security transfers money from those in earning years to those that aren't. It's a very elegant system. If administrations would stop looting it, it would look a lot better. Even with the looting, it works just fine, thank you very much."--Sam Bennett

There was no "example of a false choice" in Mr. O'Hare's question. The question was:

"On Social Security, what exactly is your better plan? How do you plan to make a finite amount of tax dollars stretch to cover the huge number of baby boomers in the way you are suggesting you can, and still have money left for the next generations?"

Ms. Bennett tells of her ideal situation for Social Security here, which states:

"We must protect and reaffirm the historic commitments of Social Security and Medicare. There is no place for the false promise of privatization. Social Security and Medicare should continue to be a promise of dignity from one generation to another, not a Wall Street windfall."

But what exactly is her way of protecting Social Security for all Americans? A look at Census data clearly shows that as the oldest baby boomers become senior citizens in 2011, the population 65 and older is projected to grow faster than the total population in every state. Furthermore, Pennsylvania is one of 26 states projected to double their 65- and-older population between 2000 and 2030, and is also projected to have more people 65 and older than under 18 by the year 2030.

This is not a partisan ploy, this is population and mathematics issue, and her answer to Mr. O'Hare's question does not jib with her own assertions within this posting (section on inheritance tax) that she is a "fiscal conservative."

Since Ms. Bennett says she is not a "tax and spend Democrat," how does she plan to cover or elderly over the long haul without overburdening their children with taxes? I would appreciate a specific, fiscal answer.

Oh, for Pete's sake! said...

Pardon the broken link above. Here is the link for the Census data.

Anonymous said...

"Question: How can you feel qualified to work on our nation's debt problem when you amassed huge debt in previous failed campaigns?

"I don't have debt. I view it as an investment. When we buy a home and take out a mortgage, that's not a debt. That's an investment. When we borrow money to pay for education, that is an investment.""


But you don't have property, a marketable degree, or in-office experience to show for it. Does that make it a failed investment?

Does accumulating additional debt from the second campaign to pile on top of the debt from the first go along with being "fiscally conservative"?

Anonymous said...

On Social Security, easy answers -

1. Lower the FICA withholding percentage and increase the ceiling on which it applies. Do the math so that sufficient funds are raised to keep Social Security solvent.

2. Set an income limit above which you cannot collect. Let's get the people who don't need the $$ out of there.

As it is currently structured, it's a regressive tax - not fair to the lower income people that Social Security is designed to protect.

Also, the plain fact is there is no way to fund Social Security to cover all the boomers as they retire. We have to preserve a system that allows us to help those who need help.