President, Congress, referendum issues up for vote
Wednesday, 31 October 2012 13:10

Dundalk and the nation prepare to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6, with Marylanders not only joining with their fellow Americans to choose a president and members of Congress, but also deciding a range of hotly contested state and local ballot issues.
    The presidential race features Democratic incumbent Barack Obama, Republican Mitt Romney and other candidates, including Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein. Supporters of three make their arguments in articles in this issue. A local Romney supporter was invited to write a piece as well, but, with the storm looming, was unable to meet our publication deadline.
    Also on the ballot is the race for U.S. Senate, with incumbent Democrat Ben Cardin being challenged by Republican Dan Bongino, Libertarian Dean Ahmad and independent candidate Rob Sobhani, all of whom were profiled in the Oct. 4 Eagle. (Cardin did not respond to an interview request.)
    In the 2nd District congressional contest, Democratic incumbent C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger faces GOP challenger Nanct Jacobs, a stte senator from Harford County, and Dundalkian Leo Dymowski, the Libertarian hopeful. All have been profiles in recent issues.
    Then there are the ballot questions, featuring a variety of state constitution and county charter amendments and the usual bond issues, but headlied by four high-profile topics:  casino gambling, congressional redistricting, the Dream Act and same-sex marriage. The first two questions were covered in the Oct. 25 edition of The Eagle; the latter two are reviewed this week.
    Just before press time, it was announced that, due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy, early voting in Maryland — including at the North Point Public Library — will be extended through Friday, Nov. 2.
    For election information, contact the Baltimore County Board of Elections at 410-887-5700 or at elections@baltimorecountymd.gov, or visit http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/elections, or contact the Maryland State Board of Elections at 410-269-2840 or info@elections.state.md.us, or visit http://www.elections.state.md.us/index.html.

DEMOCRAT: Go forward with Obama


by Jay Hidden

    The choice before us is clear; we can go forward, or backward.
    Contrary to popular misconceptions, Social Security is well-funded for years to come. It will continue to be so with just some small tweaks, like what was done under President Reagan in the 1980s. 
    Our choice on Social Security is very simple.  We can continue to keep our seniors out of poverty; or we can watch their standard of living become dependent on volatile stock markets. 
    On Medicare the choice is stark. We can preserve the most cost-effective health care system in the world that is working so well for so many; or we can cast what works aside and trust the health care of our seniors to companies that care more about profits than people. 
    On health care, we can continue on the path to covering all Americans with health insurance; or we can go back to some of us paying for the people who will not or cannot get insurance. We can continue with guaranteed coverage regardless of our health history; or we can revert to “pre-existing conditions.”  We can continue to be able to keep our children on our health insurance policies until they turn 26; or we can watch them go without health insurance when they finish school. 
    When it comes to national security, the choices are sharp.  We can continue the path that ended the war in Iraq and ending our involvement in Afghanistan; or we can choose an endless engagement in Afghanistan and more entanglements in the Middle East. We can continue gathering our allies in a unified stance against cruel dictators and theocracies; or we can embark on our own, assuming the role of self-appointed global sheriff. We can keep taking out the leaders of Al Qaeda as they rise up; or we can end this pursuit saying it’s not worth the effort. We can continue to improve our border security with increased border patrols and crackdowns on illegal aliens that commit crimes and join gangs; or we can encourage self-deportation.
    The choices for the future of America are very clear-cut. We can continue to expand student loans by eliminating the costly middlemen; or cut student loans and let students borrow from their parents. We can invest in community colleges to train Americans to do jobs that are available right now; or let those jobs go overseas. We can invest in our future by repairing our roads and bridges, creating good paying jobs in the process; or let our infrastructure decline along with our standard of living. We can cut the deficit by asking the top one percent to pay their fair share (the same rate we pay); or take mortgage interest and charity deductions away from working families.
    We can continue moving forward to a brighter future; or we can go back to the policies that brought us two wars and the great recession. I’m choosing to go forward with President Obama and I encourage you to do the same.

Jay Hidden is editor of the New 7th Democratic Club newsletter.


REPUBLICAN: Are you better off?


by Greg Massoni

    In Martin O’Malley’s speech at the Democratic National Convention, he repeatedly led the crowd in a sing-songy “Forward Not Back” chant.  It was reminiscent of every bad student council speech ever delivered, but in that spirit, and with the presidential election looming, let’s take a look “back.”
    “Back” when President Obama told us TARP dollars would infuse money into the economy and get unemployment under 5 percent, he would fix the ailing U.S. automotive industry, and he would put people back to work.  He couldn’t; he didn’t.
    Instead, he passed Obamacare — a tax increase on the middle class disguised as healthcare for all.  Don’t be fooled by a socialized healthcare system wherein the elderly and weak may be considered unworthy of rationed lifesaving treatment by arbitrary government panels. Further, buried in the bill are provisions that will cripple small business owners, who await sthe results of this election to decide whether they reduce their workforce to avoid the cost of Obamacare. 
    Barack Obama was overheard bargaining with world leaders that he will have more “flexibility” after the election. Translation: nothing is off the table, citizens will have no recourse, and there will be no consequences when his true agenda takes form. Our democracy is at stake.
    Today, 28 million Americans can’t find work, 49 million Americans rely on food stamps, and the U.S. is $16 trillion dollars.  Obama will end the Bush tax cuts; in Maryland, expect more federal taxes on top of the already-exorbitant state taxes we pay. 
    I believe President Obama to be a talented Teleprompter reader, a devoted family man, and a cool prime time TV hot dog. He is however, by any measure, a failure as president During the Obama Administration, no federal budget has passed, a foreign policy of apologizing for America has weakened our standing in the world, the Middle East is in tailspin, and terrorists who want us dead are living among us. The results of the “investigation” into what really happened in Benghazi that left our ambassador and three other Americans dead won’t be revealed until ... after the election. 
    Gov. Romney is a successful businessman who has a plan to create 12 million new jobs, champion manufacturing and return jobs to the U.S. He will reform the tax code, cut wasteful spending, restore our credit rating and steer us to a balanced budget. He will ensure Americans can keep their health insurance and protect Medicare by repealing Obamacare and replacing it with reform that provides better care at lower costs. He will approve the Keystone pipeline and allow us to actually use the abundant coal, natural gas, and oil resources that exist here. No friend of America will question our commitment and no foe will underestimate our strength and resolve.
    This election is about your health, safety, employment, family, bank account, and the very future of our Democracy. 
    The question is simple:  are you better off than you were four years ago?

Greg Massoni is a former aide to Gov. Bob Ehrlich.


GREEN: Stein offers bold proposals


by Bill Barry

    In 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt, the new president of the United States elected in the middle of a Depression, stepped up and in 100 days passed legislation to put Americans back to work, to control the financial system — the banks and Wall Street — and to radically change this country.
    In 2008, Barack Obama, the new president, elected in the middle of another depression, stepped up and — did nothing. Not for 100 days but for four years. Dithered, proposed, accommodated.
    If FDR was a game changer, Obama is a game watcher.
    It’s time for a game change attitude again, and the Green Party, with Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala, is supporting a Green New Deal to make the same dramatic changes in our communities and in our country  
    If the current crisis at Sparrows Point shows us anything, it is that we cannot keep trusting the same policies and politicians that have driven union manufacturing jobs out of the country, left workers with no health insurance or income, and dimmed the future for our children.
    The Green New Deal has some basic parts:
    1. Put people back to work through a Full Employment Program, controlled by local communities, just as the New Deal created employment programs — and real jobs, not just sweeping up casinos.
    2. Withdraw U.S. troops and end these foreign invasions. If the celebration of the War of 1812 in Dundalk teaches us any historical lessons, it is that a foreign army, no matter how “professional” or well-equipped, cannot defeat a local population. Take the money wasted on these invasions and put people back to work!
    3. Provide Medicare For All though a single-payer health care system.  All of us would have full coverage, avoiding the situation that steelworkers face today —l ose your job, lose your health insurance. Best of all, each of would save huge amounts of money with a single-payer system. Good for the greedy health insurance companies? Not at all.
     4. Establish the right to a tuition-free, quality, federally funded, local controlled public education system from pre-school through college. We will also forgive student loan debt from the current era of unaffordable college education.
    All of the campaign issues can be found in more detail at http://www.jillstein.org/summary_green_new_deal.
    These bold proposals are exactly why Jill Stein, as well as other presidential candidates who will be on the Maryland ballot, have been excluded from all national debates as part of the voter suppression policies supported by the Republicrats. They don’t want you to hear new ideas or challenge their corporate sponsors and fat cat contributors. They want the rich to get richer while the rest of us end up like Sparrows Point.
    Is this what we want for our country? Vote Green on November 6. Don’t waste your vote.

Bill Barry, retired director of the Labor Studies program at CCBC Dundalk, is membership chair of the Maryland Green Party.

LIBERTARIAN:  Johnson offers small government

by Leo Dymowski


    Gary Johnson is running for President as the Libertarian Party nominee. He served twoterms as governor of New Mexico, establishing a fantastic record of protecting civil liberties (he received the highest rating of all presidential candidates by the ACLU) and fiscal responsibility (he used the veto power 750 times to convert a billion-dollar deficit into a billion-dollar surplus, without raising taxes).         He is also an adventurer (he’s successfully climbed Mount Everest) and successful entrepreneur, building his handyman business into a 1,000 employee-strong company.
    Gov. Johnson is opposed to the expanding security state’s encroachment on our liberties, opposing the Patriot Act (with its warrantless wiretapping), the use of torture, and the National Defense Authorization Act’s provision allowing the federal government to arrest and detain American citizens without
trial.
    He is in favor of reforming our failed drug laws, legalizing marijuana and treating drug dependency not as a criminal offense, but as a health issue. He is a strong supporter of the
2nd Amendment right to bear arms. Gary also supports marriage equality and has endorsed Maryland’s marriage equality law.
    Gary Johnson proposes to completely reform our federal tax laws, replacing all taxes (payroll, income, capital gains, estate, etc.) with one flat consumption tax (called the Fair Tax, supported by over 90 congressman), which would reboot America’s economy for the 21st Century and lead to an explosion of job growth and solve our export problems.
    He wants to bring free trade principles to the health care system, removing the current system of government-sponsored health insurance cartels, bought and paid for by special interests.
    Gary has also promised that if elected, he wouldn’t merely reduce the rate of increased spending, but would submit a balanced budget in his first year in office, including cutting defense spending. Gary Johnson would make a great President.

Leo Dymowski of Stanbrook is a hearing officer for the Maryland Parole Commission and the Libertarian nominee for the 2nd District U.S. House of Represntatives seat.