Steve Beren For Congress (WA - 7th CD)

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BEREN: "CUT SPENDING, CUT TAXES, REDUCE DEFICIT, BALANCE THE BUDGET"

In these challenging times, we need to keep taxes low and improve economic growth.  The economy is strong in its essentials – inflation is low, unemployment is low - but nevertheless, we can take action to even further strengthen the economy.

We need to sharply reduce spending, cut taxes, reduce the deficit, and balance the budget.  I’m for lower taxes and smaller government, because lower taxes are better for families, property owners, and small businesses.  Lower taxes lead to increased liberty.  With lower taxes, families have more money for their needs: mortgage, college education, and health insurance.  With lower taxes, businesses have more money to invest, hire, and provide services.  Less government bureaucracy improves the business climate and promotes job growth.  In general, I favor economic policies that create jobs, encourage small businesses, reduce taxes, protect property rights, and strengthen families.  We need to maintain the tax cuts and continue growing the economy. 

We should eliminate taxes for everybody making less than $25,000 a year, and we should greatly reduce taxes for everybody else.  This could be done, for example, by raising the personal exemption to $25,000 (or $100,000 for a family of four).  I support generous tax deductions for retirement savings, medical savings, and education savings.

If taxes are lower, liberty is increased.  If taxes are lower, families have more of their own money to pay their mortgages, educate their children, and purchase health insurance.  If taxes are lower, businesses have more of their own money to invest, leading to more jobs, more products, and more services.

There can be no fiscal responsibility without addressing the problem of illegal immigration.  The presence of 12 million illegal immigrants hurts the economy, depresses the wages of American workers, and burdens the taxpayers.  I oppose open borders, and I oppose amnesty for illegal aliens.  We need to end the massive wasteful spending on benefits for those here illegally.

CUT SPENDING, REDUCE THE DEFICIT, BALANCE THE BUDGET
In all spheres of government bureaucracy, we must recognize that there is much wasteful spending on programs that are ineffective, obsolete, or no longer serve the purpose for which they were initially intended.  Thus, program-by-program auditing and accountability is necessary, and often greater results can be accomplished with program reform and less actual spending.

I favor the promotion of government reform, lower taxes, limited government, and curtailing out-of-control spending. Cutting the deficit is a priority for our nation.

There should be across-the-board spending cuts of at least 10% to 15% in almost every program, with rare exceptions such as national defense, homeland security, and emergency preparedness. No program should ever be increased without a dollar-for-dollar decrease elsewhere in the budget.  This would allow appropriate levels of spending for vital programs such as programs for military veterans, and assistance to people with severe disabilities. (See below for a chart, from votesmart.org, contrasting my views on taxes to those of my opponent.)

REDUCE TAXES, INCREASE DEDUCTIONS, REFORM THE TAX SYSTEM
Federal tax levels should be greatly decreased across the board, with elimination of taxes for families with incomes of less than $25,000 per year per individual family member.  Gasoline taxes should be greatly reduced, and the death tax should be eliminated.

The child tax credit should be greatly increased, as should the deductions for mortgage payments, medical expenses, and charitable contributions.  There should be generous deductions for savings by parents for their children’s education, with an increase in the allowable contributions to education savings accounts, which earn tax-free interest.

The medical expense tax deduction should be greatly increased, and all drug purchases and insurance premiums should be fully tax-deductible.  Eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts should be greatly expanded.  Low income families should receive tax credits to help them purchase private healthcare coverage. 

We need major tax reform – an overhaul and simplification of the entire tax system.  The current federal tax code should eventually be replaced with some combination of a flat tax and national sales tax, with generous rebates for low-income people. (See below for a chart, from votesmart.org, contrasting my views on taxes to those of my opponent.)

CLEAR CHOICE – STARK DIFFERENCES WITH MCDERMOTT
In my campaign against incumbent Congressman Jim McDermott, there is a clear choice, with stark differences on a wide range of issues.  In particular, our views clash sharply on the matters pertaining to the economy, taxes, the budget deficit, and a sharp reduction in spending.

Source: Project Vote Smart (comprehensive non-partisan survey of congressional candidates on dozens of political issues)
Steve Beren Project Vote Smart responses at http://www.votesmart.org/npat.php?can_id=67595
Jim McDermott Project Vote Smart responses at http://www.votesmart.org/npat.php?can_id=27128

Should federal funding levels
be increased for….

Steve Beren

Jim McDermott

…agriculture?

no - greatly decrease

yes

…arts?

no - greatly decrease

yes

…education?

no - greatly decrease

yes - greatly increase

…environment?

no - greatly decrease

yes

…international aid?

no - greatly decrease

yes - greatly increase

…United Nations?

no - greatly decrease

yes

…welfare?

no - greatly decrease

yes - greatly increase

Should federal taxes
be eliminated for families
with income of….

Steve Beren

Jim McDermott

$12,001 to $40,000?

yes

no

Should federal tax levels
be greatly decreased for
families with income of….

Steve Beren

Jim McDermott

$100,001 to $180,000?

yes

no - maintain status

$180,001 to $350,000?

yes

no - slightly increase

$350,001 and above?

yes

no - greatly increase

Should the following taxes be
either greatly decreased or
eliminated….

Steve Beren

Jim McDermott

…alcohol taxes?

yes - greatly decrease

no - greatly increase

…capital gains taxes?

yes - greatly decrease

no - slightly increase

…cigarette taxes?

yes - greatly decrease

no - greatly increase

…coprorate taxes?

yes - greatly decrease

no - slightly increase

…gasoline taxes?

yes - greatly decrease

no - slightly increase

…inhgeritance taxes?

yes - eliminate

no - slightly increase

Should the following tax
deductions be greatly
increased….

Steve Beren

Jim McDermott

…charitable contribution deduction?

yes - greatly increase

no - slightly increase

…child tax credit?

yes - greatly increase

no - maintain status

…medical expense deduction?

yes - greatly increase

no - slightly increase

…mortgage deduction?

yes - greatly increase

no - maintain status

Do you support the permanent
repeal of the federal estate tax?

Steve Beren - yes

Jim McDermott - no

Do you support expanding eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts?

Steve Beren - yes

Jim McDermott - no

Do you support offering tax credits to individuals and small businesses to offset the cost of insurance coverage?

Steve Beren - yes

Jim McDermott - no

Do you support increasing the Social Security payroll tax?

Steve Beren - no

Jim McDermott - yes

Do you support raising retirement age for individual eligibility to receive full Social Security benefits?

Steve Beren - no

Jim McDermott - yes



Source: Project Vote Smart (comprehensive non-partisan survey of congressional candidates on dozens of political issues)
Steve Beren Project Vote Smart responses at http://www.votesmart.org/npat.php?can_id=67595
Jim McDermott Project Vote Smart responses at http://www.votesmart.org/npat.php?can_id=27128

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