Decision '92 : VOTING IN THE VALLEY / AN ELECTION GUIDE : CONGRESS / 27th DISTRICT : Q and A

Questions were sent to candidates in September. Answers have been edited to fit the space.

Tax Cut

Q. Do you support President Bush's proposal for an unspecified across-the-board tax cut and an increase in the personal exemption for individuals?

Decherd: Yes. I support anything that leaves more money in taxpayers' pockets.

Edwards: No. Raise taxes for the wealthiest 10% in this country so they begin to pay their "fair share."

Kahn: No. An across-the-board tax cut benefits the rich greatly and the middle class very little.

Moorhead: Yes. Because of the state of the economy, I believe a tax cut would stimulate the economy and help bring it out of the doldrums.

Moorman: No. Does opposition to such a foolish idea deserve explanation?

AIDS Research

Q. Do you support a proposal by the National Commission on AIDS to greatly increase the federal resources committed to combatting the disease?

Decherd: No. Better for this to be funded privately.

Edwards: Yes. Allocate 25% of current military budget as additional funding to fight the AIDS virus.

Kahn: Yes. AIDS may become the leading killer of Americans before the end of the decade.

Moorhead: Yes, where necessary. Federal spending on AIDS has steadily increased over the years. Spending on AIDS-related activities will total $17 billion by the end of fiscal 1992--$4.4 billion alone in fiscal 1992, a 170% increase over 1988.

Moorman: Yes. AIDS is one of our largest public-health problems and we should not skimp on appropriate expenditures.

Tax Increase

Q. Do you support spending more on job training, improvements to the educational system and rebuilding the nation's infrastructure by raising the taxes of individuals making more than $140,000 a year and couples earning more than $200,000 a year?

Decherd: No. I oppose any increase in anyone's taxes.

Edwards: Yes. But most particularly on the multimillionaires who in this country have tax loopholes and incentives that allow them to pay little, if any, tax at all.

Kahn: Yes. Those people who reaped massive benefits from the tax cuts of the 1980s should be willing to put some of that money to good use pulling us out of the Bush recession.

Moorhead: Taxing to death those in the upper income brackets is not the solution.

Moorman: Yes.

Capital Gains

Q. Do you favor President Bush's proposal for a capital gains tax cut as an economic stimulant?

Decherd: Yes. Taxes on capital gains should be eliminated.

Edwards: No.

Kahn: No.

Moorhead: Yes.

Moorman: No.

Balanced Budget

Q. Do you support a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget to be implemented within five years?

Decherd: No.

Edwards: No.

Kahn: No.

Moorhead: Yes. I do believe, however, that the line-item veto would be a better way of accomplishing the same goal.

Moorman: No.

Defense Reductions

Q. With the end of the Cold War, do you favor deep reductions in the $290 - billion annual defense budget? If so, how much could it be safely reduced in one year? Five years?

Decherd: No. Not deep, only moderate. It is still a very dangerous, unstable world.

Edwards: Yes. We can "safely" reduce it today if the American people are allowed to redistribute the tax dollars.

Kahn: Yes. Savings in the first year could be as great as $20 billion in uninflated dollars. Over five years, I believe $150 billion in total could be cut.

Moorhead: No. It still is not a totally safe world.

Moorman: Yes. The defense budget could be cut more than 50%. We should talk in terms of 75% as a goal in the next five years.

Medicare Benefits

Q. Should the government reduce Medicare benefits for the wealthy or ask wealthy beneficiaries to pay more premiums to help alleviate the federal budget deficit?

Decherd: Yes.

Edwards: Yes. Both.

Kahn: No. Senior citizens are not to blame for the deficit and the national debt.

Moorhead: No. It is to the benefit of everyone that the wealthy be kept in the Medicare program and contributing to its cost. Medicare was set up to give uniform care to senior citizens.

Moorman: No. Taxes or premiums might be means-tested, but I do not think that benefits should be discriminatory.

Welfare Benefits

Q. Do you support reducing welfare benefits of parents who do not go to school, attend training or find a job; do not make sure that their children attend school or get basic medical care, or who continue to have more children while on welfare?

Decherd: Yes. Federal government should not be financing the welfare state.

Edwards: No. Every person in this country has the right to a decent standard of living, regardless of whether he or she is employed.

Kahn: Americans are prepared to take responsibility for their own lives if the opportunity is offered in the form of education, job training and good available jobs.

Moorhead: Yes. It is appropriate that the government set reasonable limits on welfare recipients.

Moorman: No. Getting a healthy economy, where a welfare parent can expect to get a good job, would do more than sanctions to get people off welfare.

Health Care

Q. Do you support a national health-care system in which the government establishes fees, pays all the bills and collects taxes to cover the cost?

Decherd: No.

Edwards: Yes.

Kahn: Yes.

Moorhead: No.

Moorman: No.

The Environment

Q. Should the United States move more rapidly to limit industrial emissions that may be depleting the ozone layer and contributing to global warming even though such steps may hurt some businesses and eliminate some jobs?

Decherd: No. Ozone holes and global warming, etc. are only theories without proven factual base.

Edwards: Yes. Polluters and politicians offer the American people a dirty deal--a handful of jobs created by contaminating the environment.

Kahn: Yes, but I disagree that jobs will be lost. The economic and social consequences of ozone depletion over our latitudes and global warming are so severe that we have to limit industrial emission. Why not use the transition to new forms of cooling machinery as a great opportunity to encourage new, clean industries which can replace the defense industry?

Moorhead: I have been a strong supporter of the Clean Air Act, which will have a significant impact on the greenhouse gases and which will begin extensive monitoring of emissions. Our National Energy Act, which I strongly support, will also have a strong effect on these gases, but we need to improve scientific evidence of the cause of global warming before we take further steps.

Moorman: Yes. The ozone layer is much more urgent than global warming. We do not know all the causes of ozone depletion, but we should do more research, and curtail all important contributors.

Death Penalty

Q. Do you support capital punishment for any crimes? If so, what?

Decherd: Yes. Murder, treason, spying in wartime.

Edwards: No.

Kahn: Yes. Murder, murder for hire.

Moorhead: Yes. Premeditated murder and for narcotics kingpins.

Moorman: No.

Affirmative Action

Q. In general, do you think affirmative action in employment of women and members of minority groups has not gone far enough, or has gone too far, or is about right?

Decherd: Gone too far.

Edwards: We must take whatever measures are necessary to combat institutionalized racism and sexism.

Kahn: The only way to assure that we all have equal opportunity is to work for and achieve a full-employment economy.

Moorhead: Our present laws are quite adequate. Women and minorities have both made substantial progress.

Moorman: Not far enough.

Abortion Rights

Q. Do you support a woman's unrestricted right to an abortion within the first three months of pregnancy?

Decherd: Yes.

Edwards: Yes.

Kahn: Yes.

Moorhead: No.

Moorman: Yes.

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