Photo credit: @julesdwit.
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Jim Himes, Democratic US Representative for Connecticut District 4, talks about financial reform and other issues facing the United States.
Your choice in November
In Fairfield County’s congressional election, there is a candidate who likes the Congress’ direction and one who doesn’t.
Some voters agree with Jim Himes that the congress is headed in the right direction. They agree that jobs are created by government because redistributing wealth is just as good as making it. When they’re told that Nancy Pelosi and Jim Himes are creating an economic recovery, they believe what they’re told. Those who believe those things should not vote for Dan Debicella. There is an incumbent Democrat congressman that they can support. Jim Himes is a part of the single-party rule that has brought us our current policy decisions and outcomes. He has a record and there will be a referendum on that record in November.
On the other hand, if you do not like the congress’ direction and you believe that there is a better way, then Dan Debicella is the candidate with ideas to help bring about a new direction. If you believe it’s the private sector that will create jobs and that private sector growth creates prosperity, if you think the government should not spend more money than it has, then you should know that Dan Debicella agrees.
That’s what your choice is in November. It is that simple.
While I agree with Himes in the abstract about long-term deficit reduction, even his specific suggestions amount to pretty small potatoes. Still, it's better than nothing, which is what most of his colleagues have proposed.
One program that's wasteful in the extreme is the home mortgage interest deduction. The cost to the Treasury is tremendous, around $100 billion a year. It is poorly targeted, as tax deductions favor those in the highest tax brackets. The limits are far too generous; anyone who can take out a $1 million mortgage shouldn't need a subsidy to buy a home.
I know some people want to encourage home ownership. But this subsidy is in large part wasted on people who would buy homes anyway. Surely it could be restricted and still meet its policy objectives. I may be about to buy an apartment in Manhattan, and there is no good policy reason for having my purchase subsidized by people making far less than I do.
Reducing the scope of the subsidy would lower housing values, but changes could be phased in slowly to lessen the impact. If we're serious about long-term fiscal policy, then this is the kind of reform we have to undertake.
Isaac-Davy Aronson makes a good guest host!
Actually, Becky, "VER-bee-ij" is the preferred pronunciation of "verbiage." The pronunciation you suggest is a popular mispronunciation, like "liberry" for "library." In the future, you might want to do some research before making such pronouncements. Just because you believe something is true doesn't make it so.
uhhh did he say "ver-bee-age"? I sthat the correct pronunciation of verbiage? Dont think so.
How about raising the age to quality for Social Security by one year for those under 50, by another year for those under 21, and by another year for those not yet born?
And for the future, how about tieing the SS age to average life expectancy?
1. The Democrats should consider reducing payroll taxes or provide a payroll tax holiday for 6 to12 months. Would you consider this an alternative to other measures?2. When will the Democrats unify and push through a comprehensive immigration reform bill.?3. Where is public works investment in the nation's infrastructure in the mix of the budget? We need more investment in our cities and states for water, sewer, transportation, sidewalks, libraries, and broadband.
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Brian Lehrer leads the conversation about what matters most now in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives.
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