Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sestak, the Democrat, for Pennsylvania

The Political Heretic urged Democratic primary voters to pull the lever for U.S. Congressman Joseph Sestak in the primary because he believed then and believes now that Pennsylvania’s Democrats deserved a candidate who grew up and supported the Democratic Party’s principles for a long time.
The incumbent, outgoing Senator Arlen Specter, deserved a lot of credit for his tough vote for his politically courageous vote for the economic stimulus and had he actually won in the Republican primary or decided to run as an independent, the Political Heretic might be supporting him over U.S. Congressman Sestak today. Specter, however, thought he could not win in the Republican Party so decided to run in the Democratic primary.

Today the Political Heretic urges Pennsylvania’s residents to vote for Sestak for the same reason he is urging California’s voters to send Boxer back to Washington. Sestak’s priorities and principled stands on the economy are more in line with what the average American’s needs while his opponent, Republican Pat Toomey is the Club for Growth candidate whose views are more in line with the rich business community’s needs.

Congressman Sestak voted for the economic stimulus well as the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the auto bailouts and the credit card bill of rights. Mr. Sestak would increase the lending opportunities for small businesses while closing tax loopholes for those companies that ship jobs overseas. He favors more stimulus spending, particularly when it is directed at the roads and bridges in need of repair. This focus on infrastructural spending would allow us to rebuild America while creating the high-paying jobs many are desperate to take so they can provide for their families. And he favors the president’s approach on tax cuts by supporting the extension of the middle class tax cuts while letting those that favor the rich (who can afford to pay more in taxes) expire.

His opponent, Pat Toomey is running on the same Republican platform he ran on before the economy tanked – tax cuts that primarily benefit the rich and cuts in government program that primarily hurt the middle class and poor – though he would never put it in those terms. Toomey not only favors making the Bush tax cuts, which primarily benefit the rich, permanent, he also favors the elimination of the estate tax and sharp reductions in corporate taxes.

Reductions in these taxes would lead to an even larger explosion in the deficit and force the government in Washington to cut funding for education, transportation and any number of vital services the American people and their state governments have come to rely upon for support.

In a FOX News interview with Chris Wallace, Toomey could not say what government programs he would cut to offset the loss of tax revenue needed to bring down the debt. In fact, the Republican told the FOX News host that the tax cuts would at worst pay for themselves by increasing the tax base and creating jobs. (It should be noted that this did not occur when Bush cut taxes). He nevertheless asserted that some government programs can be cut and asserted that some programs which overlap can be eliminated, saving taxpayers millions. Mr. Toomey did, however, concede that cuts and reforms in the entitlement programs would be needed to cut the growth in government spending.

Toomey favors the eventual privatization of social security, another program many Americans rely upon for their retirement. He would have it eventually replaced with a private security accounts where retirees’ entire life savings could be wiped out in one single downturn like the one we just went through.

Congressman Sestak’s views on the cultural issues is far more preferable than the stances taken by Toomey. Sestak believes women should have a right to terminate a pregnancy. Toomey does not. Sestak has voted for the Employment Non-discrimination Act, a bill that prohibit discrimination against gays and lesbians in employment and he has promised to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” His opponent, Toomey, consistently voted against the rights of gays and lesbians when he was in Congress. He voted for the misnamed “Defense of Marriage Act” as well as for a ban on gay adoptions in the capital district. Congressman Sestak supports a cap-and-trade bill, a politically courageous position in Pennsylvania. His opponent, Toomey would not.

Voters should pull the lever for Sestak when they go to the polls this Tuesday.

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