Try it again, Candidates?

At the recent candidate forum in Anderson, I posed the following question: “Do you have any concern at all about the federal deficit, and if so, how would you address that concern?” While both candidates said they indeed had big concerns, their follow-up answers left me deeply disappointed. Here’s why.

Congressman LaMalfa started by saying, “Don’t spend more than you take in,” which I like but evades the question, namely, how would you do this? His most considered comment was, “The strong economy is going to help us get out of this.” That is, growth would answer the deficit problem. Yet since Q2 of 2014, the U.S. economy has registered continuous growth, and expanded at an average annual growth rate of 2.2% between 2012 and 2017. Current conditions show a stock market at record highs along with other positive economic signs. Yet three days before this forum, Bloomberg reported a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report upping this year’s deficit, and projecting federal deficits at $1 trillion per year well into the future. Taken together with the information above, the CBO seems to be saying, “No, growth alone is not going to solve this problem.”

Candidate Denney focused on restoring fairness to the tax code, and on the potential revenue reduction that the 2017 tax reform bill may cause. Since we had deficits without tax reform well back into the last century, this answer really doesn’t get to the issue.

A proper answer would include acknowledging the huge difference (17%) between federal spending and federal income, the difficulty in solving the problem (60-year track record), and then specific proposals with a timeframe. While I realize the time limitations in a candidate forum may prevent an answer such as this, perhaps one or both candidates could use this space to share an actual plan. This would be of great help to voters on this issue.

Tom O’Mara
Olinda, CA

Note: Candidates’ actual answers are the 41;25 mark here.

Tom O'Mara
Tom O’Mara is a volunteer Civil Rights Advocate for the Redding Police Department.
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12 Responses

  1. Robert Robert says:

    What to do about the deficit? Simple. Reign in out-of-control military spending. That’s why we can’t have nice things, like universal healthcare.

    • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

      Broadly, I agree.

      Narrowly, universal healthcare is actually cheaper, and provides better care and outcomes. It makes zero economic sense not to adopt Medicare-for-All, or something approximating that. Universal healthcare works better, for less money, everywhere they have it in Western Europe. We only stick with what we got out stubborn adherence to a certain political dogma.

  2. Avatar Beverly Stafford says:

    Hey, R.V. or Robert. I’ve missed your posts. Welcome back.

  3. Joanne Snyder Joanne Snyder says:

    Hi Tom. I think you’re just getting started on what the candidates should know about the country. I hope there were important questions about our neck of the woods offered and answered.

  4. Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

    As the House of Representatives represents the whole country, not just California, who wins can affect me.
    I did not check the “Hats” profile as I believe I know where he stands.
    Audrey Denney’s page. She would protect SS and Medicare, a plus for me. She also is for a single payer health system She advocate’s for women’s rights, including safe abortion access. She is a gun owner who advocates for background checks and eliminating the gun show loophole. As I have been to gun shows I agree with that. While promoting Homeland security she does not mention military cuts Not much about immigration, a hot button issue here in Arizona but not much so in northern California.
    Whoever wins will be 1/53rd of California’s Representatives and really will not have much to do about national politics except getting something for District #1 with a go along vote.

  5. Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

    Denny’s response was overly simplistic, but The Empty Hat’s response was just more of the GOP’s blatant dishonesty.

    We’ve been living with the lie since the advent of the Reagan Revolution: cut taxes —> stimulate the economy —> increase tax revenues —> balance the budget. Reagan himself said you didn’t even have to cut spending; that economic growth would be so huge that revenues would exceed spending.

    We’ve tried it three times: Reagan, Bush II, and now L’Orange Tyrant-baby. Each time deficit spending has exploded and the pile of federal debt we’re leaving to our kids and grandkids grows exponentially higher. It’s running up the nation’s credit cards to create the illusion of prosperity, plain and simple. When Reagan first tried Voodoo Economics, we didn’t know what was going to happen. At this point, we know EXACTLY what’s going to happen, but the GOP does it anyway.

    Why? Because screw our kids and grandkids. We want ours, now.

    Denny may not have flushed it out properly, but LaMooch is complicit in the Reagan Revolution’s Grand Generational Lie.

    • Avatar Beverly Stafford says:

      And when “For All” includes elected officials. That way, Medicare-for-All makes even more sense. Reaganomics. Trickle down. Didn’t work then; hasn’t worked since. I know he appeared to be a joke, but Perot was the first to harp on reducing the national debt in order to be prosperous. No one else has had those two huge planks on their platform: health care and national debt.

  6. Avatar says:

    A client once told me, ” You can’t spend your way out of Debt! Apparently, someone in Washington Missed that talk.