The debates begin | Arkansas Blog

The debates begin

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Taping of AETN debates has begun and I've been following the first one — 1st District Congress — through Twitter comments of partisans on both sides.

Chad Causey continues to score points on Republican Rick Crawford's past on-the-record statements in favor of some privatization of Social Security. Crawford is so sensitive to it that he says it's a lie to say he favors privatizing. That, of course, is the lie, if his own words mean anything.

Crawford is also rightly nervous of Causey's efforts to link him to the national sales tax idea. He says he's not for such a thing. It is a measure of his honesty — or of his supporters' stupidity — that their Twitter responses to Causey's jab on this is that Causey is mischaracterizing how bad the national sales tax plan is. Crawford's people LOVE it. Is he for it or against it? You decide.

Causey spin:

The first debate between Chad Causey and his opponents showed that Causey is the clear choice to represent the people of Arkansas.

“Today’s debate proved Chad Causey is the right person to get the job done for the people of the First Congressional District. Chad Causey is ready to bring fiscal responsibility back to Washington, create jobs right here in Arkansas, and protect Social Security not just for the greatest generation but every generation to come,” campaign spokesman Candace Martin said. “Chad Causey is the right person to take our Arkansas values to Washington.”

Causey promised to fight to protect Social Security for hard-working Arkansans who have worked for those benefits, while Crawford favored privatization of Social Security, turning it over to Wall Street and risking seniors’ benefits to the whims of the stock market.

During the debate, Crawford said he has “never advocated for privatization of Social Security.” Yet, in an article in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette just last week, Crawford’s campaign spokesman said he supported diverting Social Security funds into private accounts [1] and Crawford has signed a pledge that supports risking hard-earned Social Security benefits on Wall Street and the stock market by diverting funds into private accounts. [2]

“Our opponent refuses to come clean with Arkansas voters, but his record is clear,” said spokesman Candace Martin. “He signed a pledge promising to support private accounts for Social Security, which will cut benefits to seniors. Chad won't let that happen.”

Had seniors been relying on private social security accounts in the Stock Market during the 2008 collapse, they might have lost nearly 40% of their retirement savings in the 12 months leading up to the collapse. [3]

During the debate, Crawford also lied about his record of supporting the flat tax and fair tax, saying he “never supported a flat tax or fair tax.”

Again, Crawford signed a pledge posted on his Facebook page showing his support for the flat tax [2], and he voiced his support for this tax at the Lonoke County Republican Committee meeting in March 2010 [4]. Crawford also posted on his Facebook page in response to a question about the Fair Tax which would raise the cost of everything we buy —food, gas, medicine — by 23 percent. He told a supporter that the “Fair Tax is an interesting idea that deserves debate and consideration.”

“Arkansans can see that Rick Crawford isn’t shooting straight with them,” Martin said. “Crawford wants to raise taxes during the worst economic recession since the Great Depression and cut seniors’ benefits by turning them over to private accounts. That’s just wrong and Arkansas families deserve better.”

In contrast, Causey talked about balancing the federal budget by introducing a constitutional amendment to balance the budget and cutting Congress’s pay by 10 percent.

Causey also discussed getting to work on the next Farm Bill and creating jobs through American energy independence and creating new jobs for energy production efforts here at home — from biofuels and natural gas to clean coal and solar and wind power.

[1] “Crawford Steps Back from stand on private Social Security funds”, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Charlie Frago
[2] Rick Crawford Facebook Page, http://www.facebook.com/chadcauseyforcongress#!/CrawfordforCongress?v=app_7146470109

[3] On October 9, 2007 the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 14,164.53. On October 9, 2008 the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 8,579.19. [History of Dow Jones Industrial Average, http://www.mdleasing.com/djia.htm; http://finance.yahoo.com/q/hp?s=^DJI&a=09&b=9&c=2007&d=09&e=9&f=2008&g=d&z=66&y=198]

[4] Lonoke County Republican County Meeting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIImM3YVa0k&feature=related

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