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Decision '92 : VOTING IN THE VALLEY / AN ELECTION GUIDE : CONGRESS / 26th DISTRICT : Q and A

October 25, 1992

Questions were sent to candidates in September. Answers have been edited to fit the space.

Tax Cut

Q. Do you support President Bush's proposal for an unspecified across-the-board tax cut and an increase in the personal exemption for individuals?

Berman: No.

Forsch: Yes.

Hinds: No.

Zimring: Yes.

AIDS Research

Q. Do you support a proposal by the National Commission on AIDS to greatly increase the federal resources committed to combatting the disease?

Berman: Yes. Much more funding is desperately needed.

Forsch: No. We need more efficient use of the funds already allocated.

Hinds: Yes. The Bush Administration has not allocated sufficient resources for the enormity of this problem.

Zimring: No. There are other diseases that affect more Americans, yet they receive less research funding.

Family Values

Q. Is a discussion of God, morality and family values appropriate for a political campaign?

Berman: The concerted effort of the Republican convention and the Bush-Quayle campaign to cast aspersions and challenge religious beliefs is one that I find disgusting and vulgar.

Forsch: No. The government should stay out of the morality business.

Hinds: No. Political campaigns should discuss political differences instead.

Zimring: Yes. But they are not the issues most pertinent to the situation we face today economically.

Tax Increase

Q. Do you support spending more on job training, improvements to the educational system and rebuilding the nation's infrastructure by raising the taxes of individuals making more than $140,000 a year and couples earning more than $200,000 a year?

Berman: Yes. I support a limited tax on the wealthiest Americans to address our enormous federal deficit and to boost federal aid to education and job training.

Forsch: No. It has been done for years by Democratic congresses and it hasn't worked yet and costs lots of jobs.

Hinds: Yes. In the '80s, wealthy Americans got tremendous tax breaks.

Zimring: No. Politicians deceive themselves when they propose solving social problems by taxing the rich.

Capital Gains

Q. Do you favor President Bush's proposal for a capital gains tax cut as an economic stimulant?

Berman: No. The smartest economists I know say that an across-the-board capital gains cut has no relationship to economic growth.

Forsch: Yes. While Congress has been merrily taxing "the rich," "the rich" have been leaving and taking the jobs with them.

Hinds: No. This is another tax break for the rich.

Zimring: Yes. Capital gains taxes amount to double taxation and are stifling economic investment. Individuals should never be punished for success.

Balanced Budget

Q. Do you support a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget to be implemented within five years?

Berman: No.

Forsch: Yes.

Hinds: No.

Zimring: Yes.

Defense Reductions

Q. With the end of the Cold War, do you favor deep reductions in the $290 - billion annual defense budget? If so, how much could it be safely reduced in one year? Five years?

Berman: Yes. I believe we can save $15 billion next year and $91 billion over five years as recommended by the chairman of the Armed Services Committee.

Forsch: No. We need to cut useless bases and overseas position of troops and fleets. We need to continue making top-flight hardware as a deterrent to potential aggressors.

Hinds: Yes. 80% in one year; 90% in five years.

Zimring: Yes. Our defense budget is grossly out of whack. We could cut it in half, yet still have the world's largest military might.

Medicare Benefits

Q. Should the government reduce Medicare benefits for the wealthy or ask wealthy beneficiaries to pay more premiums to help alleviate the federal budget deficit?

Berman: Yes.

Forsch: No.

Hinds: No.

Zimring: Pay more.

Welfare Benefits

Q. Do you support reducing welfare benefits of parents who do not go to school, attend training or find a job; do not make sure that their children attend school or get basic medical care, or who continue to have more children while on welfare?

Berman: As long as jobs exist, training is available and affordable child care is attainable, then able-bodied individuals should take available employment and lose their benefits if they don't.

Forsch: Yes.

Hinds: No.

Zimring: Yes. These are all just and necessary steps toward eliminating the welfare culture that has been created.

Health Care

Q. Do you support a national health-care system in which the government establishes fees, pays all the bills and collects taxes to cover the cost?

Berman: Yes.

Forsch: No.

Hinds: Yes.

Zimring: No.

The Environment

Q. Should the United States move more rapidly to limit industrial emissions that may be depleting the ozone layer and contributing to global warming even though such steps may hurt some businesses and eliminate some jobs?

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