Candidates for the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives were asked the following questions by The Washington Post:
Reaganomics: Do you believe the Reagan economic program is working? Why or why not?
Issue: What do you see as the central issue of your campaign this year? How do you and your opponent differ on it?
Legislation: Name one major legislative proposal you would champion if elected.
Scott R. Bowden (Libertarian), 28, of 7600 Burnside Ct., Falls Church, is a programmer/analyst for a small consulting firm that does work for the U.S. Defense Department. He served as chairman of the Libertarian Party of Virginia in 1980-81 and was first vice president of the Pimmit Hills Citizens Association last year.
Reaganomics: Deficit spending by the federal government hurts the economy because it is done outside of free market forces. Normally, high interest rates would discourage increased borrowing. Taxation also hurts the economy because it places purchasing power and therefore economic control in the hands of politicians and a bureaucracy that have not earned this money. If a company made spending decisions as poorly as the federal government has, it would have fallen into bankruptcy and would no longer affect the economy. Reaganomics is ineffective because it has not resulted in either a balanced budget or a real reduction in taxes. Reaganomics will never yield a national economy that is operating at its full potential because it does not address other policies which hurt the economy, such as minimum wage laws and compulsory public education, which have the combined effect of keeping job skills from the young and unemployed.
Issue: The central issue in my campaign deals with the proper role of government in this nation. My opponents would attempt to solve this nation's problems by coding their own ideas or those of lobbyists into laws which restrict peaceful activities. I fully appreciate the value of restoring freedom to this country and I will allow the citizenry to establish their own goals and solve their problems using the methods that they find most reliable. I would allow the government to restrict only those activities which involve the use of force or fraud against people or their property.
Legislation: I would introduce a motion to have Congress propose a constitutional amendment which would place a ceiling on taxation well below today's level of taxation and that would require a balanced budget.
Ira M. Lechner (D), 48, of 2812 N. Kensington St., Arlington, a partner in Lechner & Butsavage law firm, served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1974 to 1978. An Army veteran and graduate of Yale law school, he has been chairman of the Arlington Tenant-Landlord Commission and the Arlington County Health Care Commission.
Reaganomics: If you think Reaganomics is working, ask a friend who isn't. My opponent voted for enormous deficits -- more than $570 in four years. The crippling deficits supported by my opponent will force the Treasury to borrow hundreds of billions of dollars to pay our bills, forcing up interest rates and keeping them there. Tax giveaways combined with reckless and unselective weapons procurement spending have shifted our nation's economic priorities. There is simply no rational evidence to suggest that if we keep on with a flawed economic program that America's economy will improve soon. Frank Wolf supports Reaganomics. I have a specific program to save $113 billion by deferring 1983 tax giveaways. We can save $52 billion more from the MX, B-1, M-1 tank, etc. We simply cannot afford to risk our families' economic security any longer on this discredited program. Let's vote for a sensible middle course.
Issue: 1) He supports Reaganomics 100 percent. I oppose it and have proposed a fiscally responsible deferral of tax giveaways and careful cuts in unnecessary weapons procurement. 2) He voted to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of funds for clean air, clean water and toxic waste control programs. I think the price we pay for clean air and clear water is worthwhile.3) He voted against a nuclear freeze. I believe it is in our national interest to negotiate a mutual and verifiable reduction in nuclear weapons. 4) He opposes the Equal Rights Amendment. I favor it. 5) He voted to slash $300 million from federal programs providing loans to college students and to eliminate Social Security college student survivor benefits. I favor a strong student loan program. 6) He voted to veto the rule requiring used car dealers to disclose known defects. I favor the rule and have been endorsed by the Consumer Federation of America.
Legislation: Unlike Frank Wolf, I would stand up for fair pay and retirement benefits for federal employes and retirees. Wolf actually voted, on May 25, 1982, to eliminate all pay increases (including step increases) for all federal employes for fiscal year 1983. Wolf also voted for the 4 percent pay cap. He voted to eliminate semi-annual COLAs [cost of living adjustments] for retirees, costing them an average of $563 annually. The National Council of Senior Citizens rated Wolf 100 percent "wrong" in 1981, and the National Association of Retired Federal Employees gave him a failing grade. I believe the congressman from the 10th District has a special responsibility to persuade the Congress not to beat up on federal employes. Not only does morale and the work of the government suffer, but the entire economy of the Washington area suffers, too. My opponent has voted again and again against federal employes and retirees. Most people are "fed up." Who can blame them?
Frank R. Wolf (R), Incumbent, 43, of Hunter Mill Rd., Vienna, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1980. An attorney, he has been assistant to the secretary and deputy assistant for congressional and legislative affairs for the U.S. Interior Department. He has served in the Army Reserves Signal Corps.
Reaganomics: The tax and spending reforms passed last year by a bipartisan coalition in the Congress have succeeded in bringing down the inflation rate, reducing taxes, lowering interest rates and cutting government spending -- all essential elements to building a strong economy. However, more must be done to reduce federal deficits and lower unemployment while holding down inflation, interest rates and spending. There are no simple answers, but I believe steady progress can be made if Republicans and Democrats continue to work together for spending and tax policies that are fair and balanced.
Issue: I am campaigning on my record of service to the people of the 10th District. I have worked hard and, I believe, effectively to listen and to keep my promises to vote to bring down inflation and interest rates, reduce taxes and control the rate of government growth on the national level. I also have kept my promises on the local level to work for a policy for National and Dulles airports which provides a balance in our regional air transportation system and to fight for fair policies for federal workers, including the lifting of the pay cap imposed on senior career federal employees. I am committed to continuing to work with members of Congress and concerned citizens for responsible solutions to the major problems confronting the 10th District and the nation.
Legislation: An improved system of transportation is essential to the economy, prosperity and quality of life in the Northern Virginia area. As a member of the Public Works and Transportation Committee, I will continue to champion legislative and administrative solutions to further control growth and congestion at National Airport and increase service and improve access to Dulles Airport. In addition, I will work with federal, state and local officials to correct traffic problems in the area, including alleviating bottlenecks in the Route 7 and Tyson's Corner corridors and along the George Washington Parkway, and provide continued support to complete the region's Metrorail system.