Dems in 14th District Race Talk Earmarks, Taxes and Deficits

The League of Women Voters of Central Kane County hosted candidates Thursday night.

Two Democrats vying for their party’s nomination in the 14th Congressional District addressed questions from interested residents Thursday night.

The League of Women Voters of Central Kane County hosted the candidates in a forum at Batavia’s City Hall.

Dennis Anderson of Gurnee and Jonathan Farnick of Woodstock will square off in the March 20 Illinois primary in the hope of challenging Republican incumbent Randy Hultgren for the 14th District.

Both Democrats largely seemed to agree on many of the issues in the questions submitted from residents but did differ on how they view the divide between parties in Washington D.C.


What should we do to reduce the federal deficit? 

Cutting military spending is one area the candidates both see as places to start cuts.

Farnick said that military spending has doubled in the past six years and remains one of the largest aspects of government.

“That’s a good place to look for fraud and abuse,” he said.

While Anderson offered that the U.S. should scale back the number of overseas bases it maintains, Medicare also is a huge portion of the budget and should be freed up to negotiate drug prices as a way to reduce its costs.


How do you feel about the idea of a fair tax?

Both men favor maintaining a progressive federal income tax.

“It was always a progressive tax,” Farnick said. “If we ever have a flat income, we can have a flat tax.”

Anderson said that anything other than a progressive tax has a disproportionally greater effect on poor people. The tax structure in place for the last 10 years, specifically referring to the President Bush-era tax cuts, has not created jobs.

“And it’s not likely to do so,” Anderson said. 


What about earmarks attached federal bills? 

“One person’s earmark is another person’s wonderful project,” Anderson said. He prefers “clean bills” and was mainly against earmarks.

Farnick said earmarks simply shift funds around in what otherwise would be the total price tag for a bill

“It doesn’t add anything tot he cost of any particular bill,” Farnick said. His preference is to see add-ons that apply quality to the entire country, rather than for any one special interest. 


And how would you increase cooperation between Democrats and Republicans?

Farnick said there most be a common ground—"known truths"—that both sides must be willing to agree on. He specifically mentioned Republicans from the 2010 health care debate who rallied against proposed components they once had supported.

"If you don’t want even to agree to something you've said so in the past," Farnick said, "it’s hard to have a conducive arrangement and talk to move things forward.”

Anderson said he believed there are no bad people in Congress. 

"I have Republican friends. We’re able to talk about issues quite civilly,” he said.

The problem lies in the "near-constant campaigns" sitting senators and representatives conduct, Anderson said.

Scott Greene February 27, 2012 at 07:46 AM
In regards to these 2 candidates supporting the current Income Tax system, well I hate to break the news to them but the current tax code has been falling apart for years! The fact that the code is almost 75,000 pages long is bad enough, but that number does not even take into account the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of pages of tax publications, instruction booklets, revenue rulings and tax court cases. As a result of all its massive complexity and contradictions, the current Income Tax code has proven not to work and the problems it has are inherent within the mind numbing code itself. So at this point it is next to impossible to fix all the inequalities and contradictions strewn throughout the code. The only solution is scraping the whole thing and starting over and finding more sane ways to tax people. The current tax system with its out-of-control Alternative Minimum Tax and all the different rates and deductions and credits, not to mention all the countless and mind numbing rules and regulations covering every single movement of money from one person to another, is not going to be able to sustain itself much longer Something has to be done before this whole Income Tax system collapses on itself and the American people.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »