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 the year? How do you and your opponent differ on it?
Legislation: Name one major legislative proposal you would champion if elected?
Herbert E. Harris II (D), 56, of 9106 Old Mount Vernon Rd., Alexandria, an attorney, served in the U.S. House from 1975 to 1981; he was on Civil Service, Judiciary and D.C. committees. He has been chairman of the Fairfax Board of Supervisors, a member of the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission and vice chairman of the Metro Board.
Reaganomics: The policies supported by my opponent are responsible for the deteriorating conditions which now endanger the economic security of the average citizen and of retirees. With more than 11 million Americans out of work, with federal employees unsure of their paychecks and retirees unsure of their annuities and health care, with 15,000 business failures, and with economic indicators pointing to further stagnation, the average citizen finds little comfort in assurances that "prosperity is just around the corner." The federal deficit, which has increased 150 percent because of the continuing recession and high interest rates, is dramatic proof of the failures of supply-side economics. Because the spending and tax policies supported by my opponent are so heavily tilted in favor of special interests and the rich, middle-income families and retirees face greater economic troubles. We must reorder our priorities to put the average citizen ahead of the powerful special interests.
Issue: Protecting the economic security of middle-income families and of retirees is the most important issue this year. Economic security means: 1) job security; 2) lower interest rates for home buyers and businesses; 3) good local schools and student loans to help with skyrocketing tuition costs, and 4) a safe, healthy, secure retirement. Stanford Parris voted for the economic plans responsible for high unemployment and for the RIFs and furloughs of federal workers. He voted to cancel cost-of-living adjustments for retirees and to slash Medicare benefits. After voting against middle-income families and retirees, Parris voted to give $12 billion to new tax breaks to the multinational oil companies. I have different priorities. I would seek to protect the economic security of the average family by: 1) protecting Social Security, federal retirement and Medicare; 2) working to reduce unemployment by cutting interest rates and balancing the federal budget, and 3) working to restore fairness and equity to the tax system.
Legislation: Among several legislative initiatives I feel are imperative, I feel there are two that should be emphasized in this abbreviated response: An equal rights amendment to the Constitution to seek again the clear prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sex; and a tax reform bill that strives for tax equity for the average citizen and which removes the outrageous tax loopholes for large corporations.
Austin W. Morrill Jr. (Citizens), 33, of 9301 Sanger St., Lorton, is a counselor who works with disturbed adolescents. A Vietnam veteran, he has been active in Amnesty International, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Washington Peace Center and the Northern Virginia Coalition for a Verifiable, Bilateral, Nuclear Weapons Freeze.
Reaganomics: It's not working and it won't work for several reasons: 1) Mr. Reagan's underlying assumption is his tax cuts was that if the government provided more capital to the private sector, especially large corporations, the economy would be significantly benefited. However the result was a further consolidation of wealth, a major cause of economic stagnation. 2) There weren't enough stipulations affixed to the tax breaks. Consequently large corporations weren't required to use their extra funds to increase productivity or create jobs. 3) The administration's irresponsible defense spending continues to cause severe damage to our economy through budget deficits and inflation. 4) Mr. Reagan fails to recognize that many of our society's needs cannot be fully addressed by the marketplace because of its focus on high-yield, short-term investments. The fundamental criteria in determining governmental economic policy should be whether the basic needs of all Americans will be met.
Issue: I support the Verifiable, Bilateral, Nuclear Weapons Freeze Resolution. The Department of Defense 1982 annual report stated that there is rough parity. Implementation of a complete freeze now would be the most reliable method of enhancing our national security. Mr. Reagan is trying to return to a period when threatening the Soviet Union with nuclear attack was a successful component of U.S. foreign policy. However, the maxim that peace can be maintained through strength has been offset by technological advancements. Building more nuclear weapons will not alter the fact that a nuclear war between our countries would devastate humanity. The latest innovations in nuclear weapons paradoxically make us less safe because they can lead to the erroneous perception by the superpowers that they can win a nuclear war or think that the other side believes this to be true.Neither Mr. Harris nor Mr. Parris supports this resolution.
Legislation: I will work to create a simplified, truly fair tax system. The present tax structure has caused a dangerous consolidation of wealth in our country. The ramifications of this problem in our distribution of wealth are devastating. Our elected officials' capacity to act in the interests of all citizens is undermined. Small businesses' ability to compete is hindered and the economy becomes further stagnated. Finally, the federal deficit becomes higher. I propose that we close corporate tax loopholes by basing each corporation's taxes on gross income. Presently, a large corporation canactually reduce its taxable profit margin simply by investing in itself. The criteria for corporate deductions should be based on whether the expenditure has broad, social benefits. And finally, capital gains should be taxed at the same rate as standard, salaried income.
Stanford E. (Stan) Parris (R), Incumbent, 53, of 903 Bay Circle Dr., Woodbridge, was reelected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1980, after serving a term from 1972 to 1974. He is on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs and District of Columbia committees. An attorney and businessman, he served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1969 to 1972.
Reaganomics: When I took office 21 months ago, interest rates were almost 21 percent and inflation had reached 18 percent. Today, as a result of the Republican program to reduce wasteful government spending, cut personal income taxes and curb excessive government regulation, interest rates are 13 percent and the inflation rate is 4 percent. We are making progress. Given time to work, the Republican policies advocated by the president will turn around the economic disaster that occurred as a result of 28 years of Democratic control of the Congress.
Issue: The central issue in the 8th Congressional District of Virginia is whether or not the voters want to return to where we were in 1980. Do the people of Northern Virginia want to return to Congress someone like my opponent who is clearly identified as part and parcel of the failed liberal policies of the past? Do the people of the 8th District want Herb Harris to represent them in Congress? After reviewing his record of voting for tax increases totaling $100 billion and increased federal spending totaling $2.8 trillion, I believe the answer is no. I believe that my positions in favor of cutting taxes and reducing spending more clearly represent the views of the majority of the families in Northern Virginia.
Legislation: As chairman of the House Task Force on Economic Policy, I intend to continue my efforts to restore Virginia and America to economic stability. But I also intend to be very active on behalf of a number of local proposals, including my plan to relocate Lorton Prison from Fairfax County in Virginia to within the boundaries of the District of Columbia. I believe the present situation which allows the operation of this outdated, overcrowded and badly managed prison in Virginia is a threat to the citizens of the 8th District and I plan to do everything within my power to relocate that facility.