An 11th Congressional Debate - Of Sorts

Submitted by kvaughn on Fri, 06/08/2012 - 01:00

With 4 days to go until the Republican primary, things are really starting to heat up. Since our last e-mail, we have also received an endorsement from Gerald Geddes, former candidate for the 11th District U.S. House seat. We now enjoy the official endorsement of both former candidates in the race.

We also had two great events to build name recognition; Congressman Gerry Connolly even enjoyed one of our bottles of water at Viva Vienna.

And my opponent realizes that he is losing his base of support. In fact, The Last Federalist blog switched their endorsement from my opponent to myself as they determined that my opponent has no chance of winning against Connolly. But he continues to launch misleading attacks against my campaign. The two most recent attacks relate to the mortgage interest deduction and veterans’ benefits.

Of course, these attacks are a classic diversionary tactic. He has yet to identify a single proposal that would significantly reduce our deficit. Instead, he has placed 86% of the budget off-limits to any spending cuts. As long as we are borrowing 40% of the budget, that policy is morally bankrupt. We have a moral obligation to live within our means, and we need leaders with enough integrity to be honest with the American people about how we will achieve this.

Nonetheless, it is worthwhile to dispel the misleading attacks on my positions:

Mortgage Interest
My opponent recently implied that I wanted to eliminate the home mortgage interest deduction. As a homeowner myself, I recognize that the current mortgage interest deduction factors into housing prices. Eliminating this deduction overnight would likely cause another collapse in the housing industry and strike another blow to our already weak economy. I have never called for, nor would I support such an extreme change.

The reality is that any change to the tax system will ensure that today’s homeowners are able to retain their mortgage interest deduction for a prolonged period, if not permanently. Any suggestion otherwise is pure fear-mongering, and my opponent should be ashamed of making that claim.

Veterans’ Benefits
My opponent has once again attacked me for proposing a fiscally responsible budget; this time he suggested that I want to cut veterans’ benefits by 10%.

As I explained in my last e-mail, I have not proposed any program-specific spending cuts; I have merely pointed out that it is immoral to live beyond our means, and I have provided my best guess as to what a sample budget might look like if we were to live within its means.

I believe that most members of Congress will share my desire to protect veterans’ benefits; however, I would be surprised if any program totally escapes the budget axe. My sample budget provides my best guess as to what will survive through the committee process and shows veterans’ benefits receiving the smallest cut of any program in the budget.

We can return to fiscal responsibility, but only if we are willing to have an honest discussion. Politicians who have no real plans for addressing our budget crisis typically resort to attacking those who do. Our country deserves better.

Our nation is at a crossroads. We will either allow our greed to lead us into financial destruction and slavery to our financers, or we will make the hard choices to live within our means and return to true freedom. While I believe we should honor our financial commitments to our veterans, I understand that we will be unable to honor these commitments if we do not get our overall budget under control. My opponent has no plan to do this – and his actions will ultimately result in the complete dismantling of veterans’ benefits. I want to tackle the whole budget so that we can ensure that all of these programs are viable for the current generation as well as my children’s generation.

In Liberty,
Ken Vaughn