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.
Lindsay G. Dorrier Jr. (D), 39, of Scottsville, is commonwealth's attorney of Albemarle County. He also has been an Albemarle County supervisor and has served on the governor's ad hoc committee on corrections overcrowding. A graduate of the University of Virginia law school, he has worked with several Albemarle community groups.
Reaganomics: I do not believe the Reagan economic program is working because it has resulted in record unemployment (nearly 10 percent) and a record budget deficit ($150 billion). I support in concept a reduction in the size of the federal government, but any reduction should be equitably distributed across the board and all areas of the budget, including the military, should be scrutinized for waste and potential tax savings. The Reagan program attempted to do too much, too fast, and the budget cuts, while necessary in some areas, unfairly hit the needy, the elderly and the handicapped. The deficit must be reduced to get this country moving again.
Issue: The central issue in this year's campaign is my opponent's record and his effectiveness as a congressman. Although he has been a member of Congress for twelve years, Mr. Robinson has initiated very little legislation and has not been appointed to leadership positions on his House subcommittees. During the 97th Congress, Mr. Robinson sponsored 18 bills, none of which became public law, and he cosponsored 185 bills, 10 of which became public law. Of these 10, nine were resolutions honoring certain groups or causes. We need leadership in Congress and a congressman who asks hard questions and does not merely vote the party line. We also need a congressman who will make it his top priority to reduce the budget deficit and the high unemployment rate.
Legislation: My first principal legislative proposal will be in the area of marketing U.S. goods abroad. We must be competitive in the world markets and a national focus is necessary if we are to successfully compete abroad. Federal red tape must be reduced or eliminated to enable companies to aggressively export their products. The Commerce Department should have the expertise and resources to adequately advise business and industry about worldwide markets. Government should cooperate with business to help reduce the enormous trade deficit and provide jobs for Americans. The possibility of business tax incentives for training unskilled workers should also be considered.
J. Kenneth Robinson (R), Incumbent, 66, of Winchester, was first elected to Congress in 1970. He is a member of the House Intelligence Committee and Appropriations subcommittees on defense and agriculture. He served in the Virginia Senate from 1966 to 1970. He is on the boards of the U.S. Air Force Academy and Shenandoah College.
Reaganomics: Yes. Interest rates and inflation rates have been reduced significantly. Given additional time for enacted tax incentives to take hold, job-generating capital investment will begin to make a substantial impact on the unemployment problem. A critical factor, however, is effective action by the Congress, after the elections, in dealing with budgetary matters in a manner indicating determination to move resolutely in the direction of a balanced budget over the next several years.
Issue: The prime issue is stabilization of the national economy. Everyone is affected by inflation -- diminishing but still a problem. Interest rates -- lowering but still too high to stimulate the housing industry or small business investment -- continue to dominate any talk about money. These specific concerns are factors of a long history of federal overspending and overborrowing. I believe it to be essential that future federal spending be concentrated in the areas in which the federal government is the only effective agent, notably the national defense. State and community needs must be dealt with at those levels to the maximum degree. Virginia, and most of its local jurisdictions, are in much better fiscal shape than the federal government.
Legislation: A balanced budget, with future federal spending limited to a fixed percentage of the gross national product.
David J. Toscano (Citizens), 32, of 1528 Cherry Ave., Charlottesville, a sociology professor at James Madison University, has a PhD with specialties in work and the economy, and military affairs. Former director of Boston College's Program for the Study of Peace and War, he has taught at the University of Virginia and the University of Maryland.
Reaganomics: It is a dismal failure. Although based on the hope that massive tax cuts for big business would spur investment and create jobs, recent commerce Department statistics indicate that corporate investment will actually decline by 4 percent in 1982. His monetary policy has cut inflation at the price of the jobs of thousands of working people. And his massive military buildup has raised the deficit and interest rates to unprecedented levels, leaving many small businesses and family farms to conditions of economic crisis. In actuality, the Reagan plan amounts to a cruel sham which only masks one of the most massive transfers of wealth in American history.
Issue: First, the economy. My Republican opponent has consistently supported Reagan. My Democratic opponent has stated that he is a Democrat "in the Boll Weevil tradition" and that he would support many of Reagan's policies. Specifically, the Republican voted against the recent measure to create 200,000 jobs and the Democrat said he would have done the same. I favor full employment through public works job creation, by placing constraints on the overseas flight of multinational corporations, by allocations of credit to growth industries and by supporting small businesses, especially in the areas of construction, conservation and solar energy development. Second, the arms race. The Republican supports the buildup. The Democrat has waffled in support of the freeze. I support the freeze and have proposed $45 billion in cuts for FY 1983, including termination of B1, MX and the nuclear carrier program.
Legislation: Federal legislation to provide local communities more control over the economic decisions affecting their lives by controlling large corporations. Specifically, I support legislation that would: 1) require large corporations to provide communities with advance notification of plant closings; 2) establish regional boards to examine whether a firm is economically justified in moving its operations and to determine payments which companies should pay to communities and workers in the event of unjustified shutdowns; 3) provide federal technical assistance to employees and communities who seek to buy the closing plants and operate them for themselves; 4) mandate the protection of pension benefits that might be lost as the result of corporate shutdown, and 5) place worker and consumer representatives on the boards of the largest firms. A close second would be the nuclear freeze resolution and legislation to stop the arms race.