John Stone is excited about his opportunity to unseat incumbent Democratic Congressman, John Barrow. That is going to be a hard job, since Barrow is one of the most conservative Democrats in Congress.
John is expecting a heavy voter turnout, maybe as high as 80%. According to John, the race is neck and neck. He claims that in a recent poll he is a percentage point ahead of Barrow. He also chastises Barrow for not debating him on several occasions.
John doesn’t appreciate the current trend of blaming the Republicans for the economic woes of America. He thinks the Democrats deserve some (maybe a lot) of the blame as well. While I agree that the current woes go back decades and encompass both Democratic and Republican administrations, I believe the party that has been in power for almost 8 years, that has cut taxes, while spending spiraled out of control has to be responsible for what occurs on their watch.
Having said that, I should say that John Stone is not fan of the Bush administration and acknowledges that it has been disastrous.
Stone accuses Barrow of “gaming” his votes, i.e., voting both ways on the same issue. I am not exactly sure how someone does that, but according to Stone, Barrow tells everyone he voted their way.
Stone is in favor of drilling more domestic oil. However, my understanding is that the oil companies are simply not drilling new wells, whether offshore or on land already approved for drilling. They aren’t drilling because they aren’t going to invest in a new well based on a temporary increas in oil prices. Look how the price has fluctuated in just the last few months. Our problems wanted be solved by drilling for oil offshore or in ANWR.
Stone supports alternative fuels and thinks we need to have a major effort to achieve oil independence in a decade or so. I wholeheartedly agree, but the question is where do we get the money? I asked John how America was ever going to raise the funds for these new programs without raising taxes. He said that he did not think we needed to raise taxes and would not have to raise taxes to do what we need to do. With all due respect to John and other Republicans who “believe” we can do more (develop alternative energy) without raising taxes, I can only say that doesn’t make sense. We have more than doubled our national debt in 7 years of Bush. We have had tax cuts after tax cuts. If tax cuts stimulate the economy, then why haven’t the tax cuts stimulated it enough to balance the budget. Why? Because tax cuts are a lie? You may get a dime of cut, but your kid ends up with a dollar of debt.
Until the Republicans and the Democrats have enough honesty to tell the American people that we have to raise taxes, I do not see much hope of ever doing what we need to do to put America back on the right path.
I must admit that John doesn’t sound like a Republican when it comes to talking about jobs. He thinks NAFTA was bad for American industry. He thinks we need to restrict imports and protect American jobs and products. I agree, but I am afraid that horse is out of the barn and I am not sure we can ever get him back in. The world is now flat! This idea of protecting American industry and jobs, sounds good but it certainly isn’t mainstream Republican policy. Hell, I am not sure it is even Democratic policy. Corporations, like Walmart, don’t want barriers to importing toys from China, even if they kill us.
John is also in favor of a national sales tax and/or a flat tax. This is my biggest disagreement with him. While I agree we need tax reform, I just do not understand how anyone can suggest a national sales tax to replace all other taxes is fair. The sales tax is a regressive tax. The poor and the middle class would pay much more of their income toward the tax than wealthy people. You pay sales tax on everything, including hospital bils, legal bills, etc. That may be fine for people with money, but people that spend 100% of what they earn will pay more because there are no exceptions, no deductions.
I also don’t understand how John can support the elimination of the income tax. It is like there is something inherently wrong with taxing income and inherently right in taxing sales. Both make sense to me and have their place in a broad based tax system. What we need is less loopholes and corporations that move their funds to other companies to avoid paying taxes.
Just remember, VOTE NOVEMBER 4th!!!!!