A debate between Democrat Rick Waugh and Independent Floyd Bayne took place last night at the Tuckahoe Library in Henrico, Virginia. The debate was sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the Richmond First Club. Richmond radio legend Lou Dean moderated the hour long debate.
The debate was recorded and will be broadcast tomorrow, Wednesday October 13, 2010 at 6:00 PM on FM 92.5 in Richmond, Va.
According to Dean, incumbent Republican Congressman Eric Cantor declined the invitation.
Floyd Bayne is attending school at Mary Baldwin working on his B.A. in history with minors in political science and education. He is 53 years old and a Richmond native.
Rick Waugh is a 36 year old Social Worker living in Louisa, Virginia who has never held public office.
Both gentlemen share a disappointment in what they see as a failure of the current Congressman, Eric Cantor, to represent and communicate with the voters of the 7th district.
Bayne blames Cantor for growing government, supporting TARP (twice) and his support of out of control spending as a Congressman.
Waugh blames Cantor for not supporting Medicare and for being against measures to help the poor, such as raising the minimum wage, and essentially failing to grow government enough.
So, this debate is between one very Liberal candidate and one very Conservative candidate, debating the accomplishments of the incumbent from opposite ends of the political spectrum - in absentia.
While the positions of Rick Waugh are indistinguishable from the President and the left wing Democrats, Floyd Bayne is a rock solid Conservative Constitutionalist. As an independent, Bayne is not weighted down by the failures of the Obama Administration or the past failures of the Republican Party, both of which share responsibility for the current economic crisis.
The first question to each candidate concerned unemployment, specifically how to alleviate the problem.
Bayne’s solution was for the government to get out of the private sector. He called for tax policies that encourage private investment in businesses, not government “investment” in the form of bailouts. Bayne wants to reduce the tax level on businesses and burdensome regulation, both of which cause businesses to move jobs overseas.
Waugh believes that government investment in the country’s infrastructure is the answer. More federal dollars for transportation and education will stimulate jobs. In addition, Waugh wants to give incentives for businesses to keep jobs in America by taxing businesses that m0ve jobs overseas. (This seems more punitive than incentive, though.)
Next question: Should the government see that every American has health care coverage?
Waugh believes that every American is entitled to health care coverage and would provide additional coverage for the elderly.
Bayne is a firm believer that the Federal Government should stick to the powers enumerated by the Constitution, and health care is not the federal government’s job. Bayne believes that much of the high cost of health care is the result of government bureaucracy, and the government should step aside.
Next Question: How do we balance affordable energy with protecting the environment?
Bayne believes that the government needs to stop subsidizing energy and let the private sector do it’s job. We need to get off of foreign oil and drill for oil here, in the short term.
Waugh blamed the free market and Eric Cantor for the Gulf oil spill and says Cantor would ruin Virginia’s economy by drilling in the Chesapeake Bay and an oil spill disaster is inevitable. Waugh believes that massive investment in wind and solar energy is the best option.
Bayne countered that the only reason the Gulf oil spill was big news was because such an occurrence is extremely rare. He pointed out that the Obama Administration had given the oil rig a clean bill of health, and to make matters worse, stopped people from cleaning the oil up.
Waugh responded that only heavy government control of the entire energy sector will work.
Next question: Do you support an extension of the Bush tax cuts for people making over $250K?
Waugh supports extending the tax cuts for people making less than $250K, but substantially raising taxes on those making more than that amount. He believes that allowing the tax cuts to remain in place for those making over $250K will raise the deficit and for the first time this evening expressed concern for the deficit.
Bayne believes that we should not only extend the tax cuts for ALL taxpayers, but that we should cut taxes even further for those who create jobs, and we should stop punishing success with higher taxes. Bayne says he does not play the class warfare game, and he never got a job from a poor person. It is his belief that the deficit is caused, not by too little revenue, but by too much spending on unconstitutional programs.
Next Question: How would you balance military spending with domestic spending?
Bayne would immediately bring the troops home and spend only that which is needed to defend America. Spreading Democracy is not a power given the government by the Constitution and we should not waste dollars on such ventures. Bayne would stop giving foreign aid to countries and programs like the $55 billion Bush spent to combat Aids in Africa. That money could have done a lot of good in America.
Waugh said he mostly agrees with Bayne on this one, but he would talk to the countries that hate America. Waugh has no problem giving aid to foreign nations and says we are obligated to help others.
Next Question: What should be the roll of the federal government in Education?
Waugh believes that education should be America;s number one priority and that “culturally biased tests” should be stopped. He further believes that the lack of funding for education is like a draft for poor kids who can’t afford college.
Bayne would abolish the Department of Education – education is not in the Constitution. HE would move the responsibility back to the states. Bayne’s wife has been a teacher for 32 years and he says most of the $8,000 per student Virginia spends never makes it to the classroom.
Waugh countered that the per pupil spending should be equal in every school and the federal government should see to it. Abolishing the Department of Education will not work.
Bayne countered that the schools are failing despite more and more money going to education. Schools are required to follow federal curriculum mandates in order to get money and that education has become about obtaining federal funds, and not about educating the kids.
Next question: Your position on Health Care Reform.
Bayne would repeal Health Care reform. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are prime examples of why government should not be in the health care business. All are bankrupt and total failures.
Waugh countered that the Health Reform law is not perfect, but it should be improved, not repealed. He says that Social Security is not a failure because his wife collects social Security benefits because she is disabled.
Next Question: How would you stop jobs from going overseas?
Bayne would stop punishing achievement and scale back the regulations that make it too expensive for businesses to do business in America.
Waugh would punish corporations like McDonald’s that advertise overseas using tax dollars. He would also increase taxes on Fortune 500 Companies who pay too little in taxes now.
Next Question: Paul Krugman and other economists believe increased investment in infrastructure will create jobs and fix the economy, like Eisenhower did.
Waugh agrees. More government spending on high speed rail and more spending in Education and Health Care will create jobs and fix the economy.
Bayne believes Keynesian economics is a complete failure and any infrastructure investment would be better if controlled by state and local governments rather than the federal level.
Next Question: Is man-made Climate change real or not?
Bayne believes that man-made climate change is a government hoax designed to control people. He remembers the Ice Age warnings in the 1970’s, that became Global Warming, and then changed to Climate Change when the warming cycle turned colder. He says he is not so arrogant to believe that man can change the weather. If we could, why can’t we reroute hurricanes and relieve droughts.
Waugh blames CO2 and claims the science of global warning has been proven. Waugh has basically the same position as Al Gore et al on this.
Next Question: Eliminating Medicare Fraud.
Waugh says Seniors use ambulances for personal transportation and the government should make them stop.
Bayne believes Medicare fraud is yea another example of why government programs should stop.
Next Question: The TEA Party wants a flat tax. Do you agree?
Bayne would abolish the IRS and Income Tax in favor of the Fair Tax. He would get rid of unconstitutional government departments like the Federal Reserve.
Waugh did not really answer the question, but posed a question to Bayne asking what he would do without revenue, “Put your feet on the desk and do nothing?”
Bayne calmly explained the operative word in Fair Tax was the word Tax. And if we abolished the unconstitutional areas of the Federal Government we would not need so much of the people’s money.
Waugh’s closing remarks thanked those involved in the forum for the hard work and explained that Eric Cantor’s failures were the reason he was running. To give the voters someone who would listen to them and work for them, and not for big business.
Bayne said he was not a “Young Gun”, perhaps he was an “Old Gun”, but he hits what he shoots at. He contrasted his positions on smaller government and pointed out that both the current administration and the Republican Party (under Eric Cantor) grew government and will continue to grow government, and that will not work.