Pennsylvania District 7 Primary Candidate Debt Questionnaire Responses

In late April 2018, the LVTP Tax, Spend and Debt Committee submitted 5 questions related to the federal debt to each of the Democratic (David Clark, Rick Daugherty, Greg Edwards, John Morganelli, Roger Ruggles, Susan Wild, Rich Wilkins) and Republican (Dean Browning and Marty Nothstein) primary candidates for the new Pennsylvania District 7 US Congressional seat:

1. Do you feel that the growing federal debt represents a threat to the future of America?
2. Do you feel that passing along our current levels of federal debt to future generations is morally defensible?
3. Do you support a balanced budget amendment to the constitution?
4. Do you support the 1% plan to eliminate the federal debt… namely a cut to all federal agencies’ budgets (except military) of 1% each year with all ‘savings’ to go to budget balancing and then debt payoff? If not, what is your plan to reduce the federal debt?
5. Are you willing to be an active champion in Washington for comprehensive federal debt reduction?

We received a full response only from Dean Browning:

1. Do you feel that the growing federal debt represents a threat to the future of America?

Answer: The path we are on is unsustainable and I believe it is one of the biggest threats our country faces.
2. Do you feel that passing along our current levels of federal debt to future generations is morally defensible?

Answer: It can not be defended at the federal level.  Nor can it be defended at the State and Local level where the unfunded liabilities for pensions and health care costs are passed on to future taxpayers.
3. Do you support a balanced budget amendment to the constitution?

Answer: Yes – I am fully supportive of an amendment to the Constitution to require a balanced budget
4. Do you support the 1% plan to eliminate the federal debt… namely a cut to all federal agencies’ budgets (except military) of 1% each year with all ‘savings’ to go to budget balancing and then debt payoff? If not, what is your plan to reduce the federal debt?

Answer: I would support the 1% plan along with using zero-based budgeting for all discretionary spending.  The first step for either of these is for Congress to return to the regular order of business.  This means passing the 12 appropriation bills that set discretionary spending for various government functions and stop using continuing resolutions or omnibus spending bills to set the federal budget.
5. Are you willing to be an active champion in Washington for comprehensive federal debt reduction?

Answer: I will actively look for and champion efforts to reduce the deficit
Dean also provided evidence of his pledge with the Coalition to Reduce Spending. They are the only national advocacy organization dedicated only to reducing federal spending. Part of what they do is to highlight candidates and elected officials who commit to fiscal responsibility via their Reject the Debt pledge. The pledge asks that signers offset any spending increases with cuts elsewhere in the budget and that signers vote only for budgets with a path towards balance.

We also received a response from David Clark, although he did not answer our questions:

Response: The republicans promised that tax cuts since the Reagan  would pay for themselves with higher revenues from all the new businesses.  The result is a 20 trillion national debt.  I advocate going back to the graduated income tax to balance the budget and have the needed revenue to fund needed programs.  I am for cutting the military budget down to $500 billion.

No responses were received from:

Marty Nothstein
Rick Daugherty
Greg Edwards
John Morganelli
Roger Ruggles
Susan Wild
Rich Wilkins

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