Westmoreland to challenger: Get government out of the way

Incumbent U.S. Representative Lynn Westmoreland (R-Grantville) on the right and Democrat challenger Frank Saunders of Midland listen to a question posed at a Coweta County forum Monday night. Story on Page A3. Photo/Ben Nelms.

Incumbent District 3 Congressman Lynn Westmoreland (R-Grantville) and Democratic challenger and school teacher Frank Saunders (Midland, in northern Muscogee County) squared off Monday night at a forum sponsored by the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce. The candidates responded to questions centering on issues such as the recession, job creation, stimulus spending, immigration and healthcare.

“There is a problem in Washington and I want to help solve it,” said Saunders in his opening remarks. “There’s a lack of common sense and leadership in Washington.”

Saunders in his comments noted that businesses were investing their money in overseas opportunities that do not help the U.S. economy while the oil companies continue to be subsidized at the expense of clean energy alternatives. Saunders also said the education system deserves increased funding.

Westmoreland in his opening statement said he disagreed with Saunders that tax cuts and deregulation were not the way to go, adding that, “We don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem.”

One of the questions posed to the candidates dealt with the economic and unemployment effects of the recession and their thoughts on a recovery.

Saunders said we need more jobs in Georgia and in America.

“Jobs are still leaving and we’re giving businesses tax cuts to move jobs out of the U.S.,” Saunders said, noting the existence of home-grown companies that are trying to make an impact on creating green jobs and technologies. In his remarks Saunders cited an example. “We have a lot of biomass in Georgia: kudzu. I want factories to use it to create clean energy.”

Saunders said his statement exemplified the need to exercise creativity to focus on job creation.

In his comments on the recession and its ramifications, Westmoreland said, “We have a high corporate income tax and over-regulation. We need to be pro-active in helping businesses bring jobs to Georgia. The problem is that every bill the Democrats pass is a job-killer.”

Westmoreland cited Kia and others companies that moved to Georgia to take advantage of the state’s workforce and to get away from unionized labor.

“Small business doesn’t know what their insurance, taxes and energy costs are going to be next year,” Westmoreland said as a follow-up.

The candidates were also asked about their thoughts on TARP under President George Bush and the stimulus program under President Obama.

Westmoreland said he advocated for extending the Bush tax cuts and that he voted against both initiatives, adamantly stating that, “You can’t spend your way out of debt and you can’t print enough money to make it right.”

Saunders in response said he would have voted against TARP and the stimulus if he had been in office, adding that, “Nobody is going to help me if I start a small business and it fails. I’m not a fan of government, Democrats or Republicans.”

Saunders said he agreed that a government cannot spend its way out of debt.

So how are jobs created and what will the candidates do to stimulate job creation, the forum moderator asked.

“We need to incentivize job creation through tax breaks,” Saunders said, adding that, “We need to get rid of teachers who don’t want to teach and we need to get rid of (the federal education program) No Child Left Behind. We need a government/corporate partnership to create an educated workforce.”

Saunders said he wanted to see fewer federal jobs, adding that wasteful programs should be eliminated.

For Westmoreland, the solution to job creation rests with the federal government fundamentally getting out of the way of business.

“Government doesn’t create jobs, government kills jobs,” Westmoreland said, reiterating his point with several examples. “My philosophy is that government should get out of our lives and out of business and let us do the things that make our country great.”

Responding to a question on cap and trade, Westmoreland said he advocated for off-shore drilling and the recovery of oil shale deposits, adding that the cap and trade initiative would “... pretty much be the cap on killing jobs in this country. We need clean air and water, but cap and trade doesn’t cut down on carbon emissions, it gives companies credits. It’s big business.”

Exercising a propensity for plain-speaking, Saunders in his remarks on cap and trade said, “... (it) sounds stupid to me. We need to do something smart like regulating the coal companies blowing off the tops of mountains in Kentucky, then people get cancer. We need regulations not to encumber people, but to keep them safe.”

Saunders in his response also noted the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the deaths that occurred after the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.

“De-regulation caused the loss of life in the gulf spill. We’ve got to stop letting white collar crooks murder our people,” Saunders said. “And the (spill) should have been cleaned up immediately. They should have been accountable and prosecuted.”

Both men took similar postures on the question of the response to illegal immigration. Westmoreland said he supported the Arizona law, adding that states have the right to protect their borders.

“Until we have secure borders we will never have a secure country,” Westmoreland said. “We’ve got to seal the borders and then deal with the comprehensive issue, and I’m not talking about amnesty.”

Substantially agreeing, Saunders said, “Georgia (and the states) have a right to protect their citizens,” and adding that existing laws should be enforced.

The candidates near the end of the forum were asked their opinion on healthcare.

Saunders said he was initially excited about the some aspects of the bill such as the 26-year-old at-home age limit and the requirement on pre-existing conditions. But Saunders said he now believes the bill needs to be re-worked.

Westmoreland’s perspective was simply to repeal the law, noting that the bill is essentially a joke, given that doctors and patients should be central to decision-making rather than having legislation standing between them.

The forum, which also included candidates for the Coweta County Board of Education District 1 and District 1 at-large seats, was attended by nearly 50 people.

mbest
mbest's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/01/2009
Westmoreland; What a toad

We need a Congressman with more credibility. Westmoreland has baggage.

Joe Kawfi
Joe Kawfi's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/20/2009
Liberal Logic

Americans: "So, the economy is pretty bad and there's high employment. You think you can do something about that?"

Democrats and Obama: "We can spend a trillion dollars we don't have on pork and stuff."

Americans: "No . . . that's not what we want. We'd really like you not to do that."

Democrats: "You're stupid. We're doing it anyway."

Americans: "That's not going to help us get jobs!"

Democrats: "Sure it will; millions of them … though they may be invisible. You'll have to trust us they exist. And guess what else we'll do: We'll create a giant new government program to take over health care."

Americans: "That has nothing to do with jobs!"

Democrats: "We don't care about that anymore. We really want a giant new health care program. We're sure you'll love it."

Americans: "Don't pass that bill. You hear me? Absolutely do not pass that bill."

Democrats: "Believe me; you'll love it. It has … well, I don't know what exactly is in the bill, but we're sure it's great."

Americans: "Listen to me: DO. NOT. PASS. THAT. BILL."

Democrats: "You're not the boss of me! We're doing it anyway!"

The Democrat "leadership" sucks. But not just plain old, usual politician sucks. . . . It's Godzilla-smashing-through-a-city level of suck--but a really patronizing Godzilla who says you're just too stupid and hateful to see all the buildings he's saved or created as he smashes everything apart.

Courthouserules
Courthouserules's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/02/2010
KAWFI

I thought you were going to discuss the points difference between the two politicians! Instead you criticize President Obama.

I'll do it for you:
Westy: I don't want none uf hit, none you hear---applause.

Other feller: well of course neither do me, but that's here nor there.

Westy: That there obammercare gotta go soon as I can vote on gerttin rid of hit! Applause.

Other feller: yeah I want to revision hit too. But we nede sumthin! Silence.

Westy:
We gotta giyt them government types, cept me, offn our back and out uf Fayette Couinty and Coweta Couinty. Applause.

Other feller: I no Im a token runner but sumbody gotta do it.

Westy: All 15 people here noes that for shore.

Other feller: How you feel about aid to us frum Washington fer techers and cops?

Westy: Hits hour muney. We are owed it. I know we giyt more than we send but they make interest on it.

Other feller: When will they branng the rubber chicken and peas?

Westy: Not fer me I lak DC restaurants. Remember, all you TEAS we hear you.

Davids mom
Davids mom's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/30/2005
Cyclist - Maybe

Maybe the comment using the term 'de-regulation' refers to the lack of enforcement/implementation of safety regulations for the 'oil rigs'. White-collar workers may refer to the distinction between those who are considered 'blue collar' and have suffered because of 'de-regulation' in contrast to those who are administrating or not administrating regulations. Maybe?

Cyclist
Cyclist's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/15/2007
Candidate Saunders

“De-regulation caused the loss of life in the gulf spill. We’ve got to stop letting white collar crooks murder our people,”....

I would really like Saunders elaborate on this.....if he can.

And then what's this "white collar crooks murdered our people" statement. Typical, eh?

PTC Observer
PTC Observer's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/23/2007
CPB

These increases will be typical in the future. Get use to them.

AtHomeGym
AtHomeGym's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/18/2007
Ask ME what I think about Healthcare...

This year, my Health Insurance premium rose by 8%. Along comes "Health Care Reform", mandating many new things on Insurances companies. My premium for 2011 will rise 32%---you do the math and ask me again what I think!!

Chris P. Bacon
Chris P. Bacon's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/28/2010
Wow Gym

I must admit 32% sounds excessive.

You're retired military as I recall, so are these Tricare premiums?

AtHomeGym
AtHomeGym's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/18/2007
Bacon & Premiums

No, never signed up for Tri-Care. I surrendered my retired military pay to combine mil/civ svc and retired as a Civil Servant. My insurance is via the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (just like congress). I had it the entire 21 yrs of civil svc and carried it into retirement. I will admit I have aHigh Option Family "Cadillac" plan (Aetna Open Access HMO). It has served me and my family well for a long time, but a $146 monthly increase is a chunk of change.

Davids mom
Davids mom's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/30/2005
AHG

I certainly hope you and your family continue to enjoy good health. If you have to utilize your health care coverage for more than wellness visits - you may find that the $146 additional cost (Mine was actually lowered - with BlueCross/Anthem PPO) is well worth it noting the current cost of medical treatment and hospital cost. My mother's one night visit (which saved her life - therefore no complaints) was almost $20,000. Medicare and Blue Cross covered the cost. There are many who will fight to the core repealing insuring students on the family healthcare account until age 26; no fear of having pre-existing conditions; no losing insurance after one becomes 'sick', etc., etc., etc.

AtHomeGym
AtHomeGym's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/18/2007
DM & Healthcare

Thanks for the kind words. I do have Medicare Part A, so they are the first payer for hospital, Aetna handles the rest. I'll suck up the increase and drop or decrease somewhere else, just like always. Glad your Mom came through ok.

Observerofu
Observerofu's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/14/2010
Over 100 companies have ask for and received exemptions

from Obamacare.

Now why is that?

If Obamacare is so good for business then why do they need exemptions for their employees?

All I ask is for the Politicians to get into the same boat with the rest of us. Why exempt themselves from it?

Socialism is never for the Socialist it is always for the little people.

AtHomeGym
AtHomeGym's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/18/2007
OOfU & exemptions

Would just bet there is some sort of Union involvement in those exemptions.

Chris P. Bacon
Chris P. Bacon's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/28/2010
Heck I'd take that bet, Gym!
AtHomeGym wrote:

Would just bet there is some sort of Union involvement in those exemptions.

Actually, there have been zero union involvement on these waivers. Virtually all of the waivers have been to companies that have low-wage, non-unionized high turnover workers such as McDonalds, which offer these barely-better-than-nothing insurance plans that have $10,000 LIFETIME payout caps.

Observerofu
Observerofu's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/14/2010
As usual you would lose

http://www.hhs.gov/ociio/regulations/patient/appapps.html

Several are union groups.

So once again you are wrong. Not surprising though.

btw- I do find it somewhat amusing that you corrected me on the number of exemptions and gave us another fine example of your personality. I corrected my mistake immediately. Then you go off on Gym shooting from the hip without checking your facts either.

So if you do not correct this are your opinions/postings not worth a "sack of spit" as you call it?

Chris P. Bacon
Chris P. Bacon's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/28/2010
LOL...that's why I don't gamble

You're right on the union groups and I was mistaken.

Celebrate your victory.

Observerofu
Observerofu's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/14/2010
No victory there bacon

just observable facts. This is why I have issues with you. You attack the poster personally and then go on to attack their families if you don't agree with them.

We all make mistakes. At least you owned up to yours as I owned up to mine.

Now maybe we can move forward without the rancor and vitriol that seems to have arisen.

I can certainly back off what say you?

Observerofu
Observerofu's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/14/2010
Oh I am sure they are some

Unions are embedded like ticks with this administration.

Chris P. Bacon
Chris P. Bacon's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/28/2010
30 waivers
Observerofu wrote:

from Obamacare.
If Obamacare is so good for business then why do they need exemptions for their employees?

All I ask is for the Politicians to get into the same boat with the rest of us. Why exempt themselves from it?

Actually, the number of exemptions granted was THIRTY, not 100 (even your masters at the Teahadist High Command say so).

Please print the source of your 100 waiver claim, if you fail to do so that will be further evidence that you are not to believed on matters of fact, or to put it in simpler terms, you're a lying sack of spit.

Now then, you asked about why these waivers were granted. The newly enacted health care reform law requires companies to to have a "Medical Loss Ratio" of not less than 80%, meaning at most a company can use for overhead and profit is 20%. These rules are transitional rules in effect until the main parts of health care reform go into effect in 2014. There are provisions in the law for companies to ask for waivers on these transitional rules, of the thousands of companies in America, a whoppin' 30 have received exemptions.

I hope this explanation lessens your ignorance somewhat.

Observerofu
Observerofu's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/14/2010
Correction for once you are correct

I find it funny that you want the moderator to install a drupal module so in your words
"The user can still post all they like, but they alone (and admins, of course) will be able to see their posts, in other words other users will be spared their prolific vitriol."

When you give us every example of that vitriol daily.

I consider you already not worth a sack of spit so even we are.

hutch866
hutch866's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/28/2005
Observer

Long as you understand that Bacon is one of those do as I say not as I do kind of people, it all makes sense.

BTW Sniff,I'm still waiting for you to show me where I criticized your opinion the other day, or was that...GASP...an untruth?

Observerofu
Observerofu's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/14/2010
Well since we are talking about "Sacks of Spit" here

I won't expect bacon to correct his "mistake". If however I was to take a page from his/her book I guess I would be screaming that bacon is a LIAR and then attack his family.

Oh well progressives are what progressives are.

SamP
SamP's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/20/2010
Congressman Westmoreland Is a Great Representative

I have been friends with Congressman Westmoreland for many years, he is one of the best congressmen in the U.S. House. I completely trust him.

Davids mom
Davids mom's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/30/2005
SamP

You are a loyal friend.

jackmehog
jackmehog's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2006
He has the intellect of a
lifeinptc
lifeinptc's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/13/2010
Westmoreland you are nothing but ego.

Anyone who's ever met you knows it, the only ones voting for you are the people who haven't met you yet. Oh by the way, I saw you on TV the other day. When we sent you to Washington to become a fat cat we didn't mean it litterally. Push away from the table on some of those lobby dinners. Just cause their free doesn't mean pig out time.

rjhatl
rjhatl's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/20/2005
Westmoreland = part of the problem.

This is a pot, kettle, black situation. Westmoreland is a fine one to talk about how he wants smaller government, but looking at his voting record his goal appears to be to shrink the government only until it's just big enough to fit in your bedroom and your telephone:

He's wrong on privacy and individual rights:
-voted against requiring FISA warrants for domestic wiretaps
-voted for allowing electronic surveillance without warrants
-voted for the PATRIOT act without bothering to read it
-voted to make it permanent

He's wrong on free trade (he frequently votes along free trade lines, but doesn't understand that along with giving corporations the right to run their businesses without interference, they must also have to face the consequences for their actions, otherwise they'll run amok:
-voted to protect gun manufacturers from lawsuits
-voted to give telecommunication companies immunity for illegal customer wiretaps, etc.

He's wrong on individual freedom:
-wanting to amend the Constitution to define marriage

And he's wrong on the line between federal and state government:
-voted to federalize state driver licenses

This is the guy who was such a fan of the Ten Commandments that he could barely name any of them at all when asked on TV.

Westmoreland is slightly above average in Congressional terms, but that bar is pretty low.

Recent Comments