Jones will try to hold off challengers Rouse, Holloman
By Staff Reports
Published in News on October 31, 2010 1:50 AM
Walter B. Jones is a Republican seeking his ninth term in Congress. He represents the 3rd Congressional District, which winds its way along most of North Carolina's coast and reaches inland to include most of Wayne County.
Democrat Johnny Rouse, a four-year U.S. Air Force veteran from Winterville, is one of two candidates running to unseat Jones. The other is Darryl Holloman of Wayne County, a Libertarian who says he decided to enter the race because he is fed up with Congress' inability to address America's problems.
1. Talk is cheap. There is no question that right now, the economy is off the rails. If we sent you to the Senate/House this fall, what would be one specific measure you would propose or support to get more Americans back to work? In other words, what would you DO to fix the economy?
Jones: "One thing I've been hearing for three years now is that small businesses are having a lot of difficulty getting loans from banks. That's why I have supported legislation to give them more access to loans. There are things we can do to encourage business, large and small. I'd be opposed to any trade agreement unless it is good for the American worker. The AT&T Call Center in Goldsboro is a prime example of how you can bring jobs back to America."
Holloman: "It's not the federal government's job to put people to work. A high tax rate is the number one killer of jobs. We need to cut government spending. You can't cut taxes without cutting spending."
Rouse: Rouse has a proposal that he believes will help create American jobs. The goal of it, he explained is to create a secondary lending market through tax cuts. However, rather than traditional tax cuts that go immediately and directly into personal and corporate pockets -- and often result in jobs being created overseas --these tax cuts would be reinvested into small businesses -- many of which are need of capital - in order to help them create jobs. Then, he said, after a period of time, three to five years, those tax cuts would be returned to taxpayers, along with the capital gains earned from the investments.
2. Very few people will argue with the statement that America has an illegal immigration problem. There are multiple thoughts on the issue, but two major suggestions have been made: Send those who broke the rules home or Give those who are already here amnesty. Where do you stand on both options?
Jones: "I'm not for amnesty. I am for securing our borders. If you secure the borders, then, I think, you are ready for a debate on it. But you can't have that debate until you secure the borders."
Holloman: "I am against amnesty. If we start giving amnesty for some law violators, where do we stop?
Rouse: "We've got to protect our border. We have to stop the flow of illegal immigrants before we can really focus on what we're going to do with the ones here currently. It's politically popular to say to just round everybody up, but it's not pragmatic. When we find out who's illegal, they need to go to the back of the line, if they even have a place in the line. If you're arrested for a criminal act and you're illegal, you need to be deported. I firmly believe that if you violate the law, you have to pay, but we also need to consider what's best for our country -- our economy, our schools, our national conscious."
3. There has been all kinds of talk about taxes lately. What is your stance on extending the Bush tax credits for everyone? Would you consider making them permanent? What is your stance on tax rates in general -- do you see Americans needing to buckle down and pay more or do you want to return more money to the taxpayers? How will that translate into a stronger economy?
Jones: "I'd like to see the Bush tax cuts extended for at least two years. Then we can evaluate where we are. But you've got to stop the spending first. You cannot get a handle on the deficit until you stop the spending. It's out of control. You have got to get a handle on the spending, then you can look at your options."
Holloman: "High taxes choke off the economy. It's punishing the productive. We need to reduce taxes. But reducing taxes without reducing spending would just give us more of a deficit. You have to cut spending, then cut taxes."
Rouse: "I'd have a real hard time raising taxes right now, just because of the timing of it." He referred to his plan to create jobs. "Because of agreements like NAFTA and CAFTA, the federal government has no fiscal pull anymore to create jobs. My idea is the only real way to create domestic jobs."
Rouse said he would push for a balanced budget. "I want to pay for what we're spending," he said. He also said he would like to see a cost-benefit analysis of every government program. "I'm very concerned about our welfare system. I think it's broken. It discourages families. But welfare reform doesn't have to be cruel. We need to make welfare a short-term thing."
4. Health care is now a reality. If we send you to Washington, what will your position be? A. Health care reform needs time to work. I support the change and have studied its impact. B. Health care reform is needed, but this law is not going to give us what we want, I support reforming the reforms. Also, have you read the health care law? What part do you think is a keeper and what is an area that scares you?
Jones: "If I am re-elected, I believe we need to take a fresh look at aspects of the health care bill. There are aspects of it that need to be repealed. The Republicans have always supported available, affordable health care. If President Obama had said to the American people, 'We're going to take this one step at a time, decide what is our most serious problem, then go to the leaders in Congress and said, 'Give me a bill that addresses the issue, say it's availability, then the American people would have gotten behind that."
Holloman: "I'd push to repeal the whole thing. If we could not repeal it, then I'd vote to limit it as much as possible."
Rouse: "We're going to have to watch it. There are some problems with it - like it's going to be cheaper for some companies to not provide (health insurance) than to provide it."
He agreed with most of what the legislation did, but admitted that because it had such a long-term focus, there are a lot of unknowns about it. "We'll have to stay on top of it and be willing to change things as we move along," Rouse said.
5. Americans are tired of partisanship determining votes. We do not want a yes man or woman in Washington. If you are a Democrat, what do you disagree with President Barack Obama about and what would you suggest he keep or change in his agenda? If you are a Republican, we get it, you don't like what President Obama has done so far, but what do you think about the way the GOP has handled itself and what other options would you offer to tackle some of the issues addressed by the Democratic leadership?
Jones: "I have believed for a long time that divided government is probably the best government. But whoever wins, they'll have to be ready to roll up their sleeves and find common ground for the good of the American people."
Holloman: "We've got a two-party system that is totally concerned with fighting one another. They lose sight of what is right and disregard the Constitution. I'd be a steadfast vote for "no" on big government. I'd try to offer common sense, capitalist-based solutions to problems."
Rouse: "I'm not in lockstep with anybody. I'm trying to represent my district. I'm going up there to represent eastern North Carolina and our interests,. What's best for eastern North Carolina is what I'm going to fight for, because that's what the House of Representatives was designed for. There are some things that will go along party lines, but if there's something my party asks me to do that would hurt eastern North Carolina, I would not do it.
"We need adults to go up there and sit down and find a solution. Washington is broken and part of the problem is they won't sit down and work together because they all want that one-liner or want the power, but that's not helping the American people."
6. Government -- what do you think the role of government should be? Would you like to see more social programs or less? Do you think government jobs can lead a recovery? What is your definition of personal liberty and how important is it in today's world?
Jones: "I think the federal government should be smaller. Not this massive, expensive .... it's just too big. For example, the federal Department of Education ought to be eliminated, or at least reduced. I believe education is a state and county issue."
Holloman: "The role of our government should be limited to providing justice and protecting our country. I don't support any social programs we have going now."
Rouse: "Our national government's role is to create and maintain a framework that will allow Americans to be able to compete in a global marketplace. Government has to be a pragmatic entity that protects its citizens and helps them. The government does have a major role to play in the competitiveness of the American people."
He said that includes supporting the Constitution, providing for a strong national defense, an economic framework and boosting education.
"I believe in personal liberty, but I also believe communitarianism, because we are in this together, and we have to work together to build a more perfect union."