Congressman Westmoreland, let’s have a debate
Debates have a long and storied history in the politics of America. We have all watched debates and they often help us form our opinions of candidates. Certainly presidential debates are the ones history remembers most often.
The first presidential debate I remember as a young child was the Kennedy/Nixon debate of 1960. Many presidential historians have written that those who saw the debate on television thought Kennedy won. Those who listened to the debate on radio thought Nixon won. The debate was pivotal in the outcome of the election that year.
A second set of dates that were highly influential were the Illinois senate debates of the 1850s between Lincoln and Douglas. Debates were good for the political process then and voters should demand them now.
In 2012 are there issues that should be debated in a congressional race? The short answer is absolutely yes.
The most pressing problem facing America today is the oppressive debt we are leaving our children and grandchildren, $15.6 trillion and growing. In approximately the last eight years the national debt has doubled and our annual deficit has doubled. This year the debt will increase by up to 1.4 trillion dollars.
What are the solutions? Is Congress solving the problem? Is the answer higher taxes? Should Congress and the President have an unlimited credit card? These are serious and important questions that should be discussed and debated.
A second issue that would be of interest in a congressional debate is the future of Social Security and should Congress continue to deny funding to the Social Security trust fund which hastens the time Social Security will no longer be able to meet its obligations.
Is it acceptable to underfund Social Security in order to deny the opposing political party an “issue” in an election year? Do members of Congress have responsibility to insure waste, fraud, and abuse are at a minimum? Can we afford congressional “can kicking” of these issues any longer?
A third issue ripe for debate in a congressional race is our tax system.
Does America have a tax system were the lobbyists are able to influence members of Congress? Is it good for Congress to pick the winners and losers in our tax code?
Can you trust those who receive hundreds of thousands of dollars from lobbyists to be unbiased in amending the tax code? Is there a better system that America could adopt that would greatly reduce the influence of Congress?
These are questions an incumbent congressman or any individual that desires to be a member of Congress should be able to answer.
For the first time since 2004 the citizens of the 13 counties that comprise the 3rd Congressional District have the opportunity to have a choice in the Republican primary on July 31. Without debate, ideas die. Congress spends countless hours making speeches but rarely do they engage in constructive debate.
Let’s start the trend toward constructive and informative debates between our congressional candidates right here at home.
I challenge Mr. Westmoreland to not just one debate, but to a series of debates held around the district, so that every citizen can come and decide if the status quo is what they want or if they desire real fundamental change.
I know that the citizens of the Third District are concerned about the problems faced by our country. The status quo has had their opportunity to fix those problems and they have avoided it. Now it’s time for a change.
I hope you will join me at these debates and have a chance to make up your mind yourself. Let’s start in Fayette County.
I’m ready, Mr. Westmoreland, are you?
[Kent Kingsley is a Republican candidate for Congress in the Third Congressional District which includes Fayette and Coweta counties. He is a retired U.S. Army Infantry lieutenant colonel, owns a small real estate company in Lamar County and lives in Milner, between Griffin and Barnesville. He is an advocate for the Fair Tax, balanced budgets and federal term limits. His website is kingsleyforcongress.com.]