QUESTION 1: Has the Reagan administration treated federal employes fairly in terms of workforce reductions, pay and retirement benefits? QUESTION 2: What measures should be tkane to reduce the federal deficit? QUESTION 3: To what extent should the U.S. be involved militarily in Central America? 6TH DISTRICT
Vote for One Beverly B. Byron (D); Robin Ficker (R); Beverly B. Byron (D); Incumbent 306 Grove Blvd., Frederick Age: 52 Member of Congress since 1978, chairman of House Armed Services Panel on Arms Control and Disarmament; member, Federal Government Service Task Force; chairman, Maryland Commission on Physical Fitness; serves on Board of Visitors, U.S. Air Force Academy, on Board of Associates, Hood College, and on Board of Directors, American Hiking Society.
1: As a member of the Federal Government Service Task Force, I have been disappointed with the administration's proposals to alter pay schedules for federal workers and to change benefits available to federal retirees. Federal employes deserve a fair shake, and this or any administration should be behind them 100 percent. I have worked with many of my Washington area colleagues in the House on behalf of federal workers by cosponsoring merit pay legislation, urging consideration of a bill to improve methods by which RIFs are implemented and supporting legislation to create an information center where both workers and retirees can evaluate the various health insurance policies offered under open season.
2: My feeling at this point in time is that comprehensive action on the deficit will have to be achieved on a bipartisan basis. These are the steps that I believe would truly reduce the size of the federal deficit: first, we must freeze spending for domestic discretionary programs as well as foreign aid; second, we must slow down the growth of our entitlement programs, which constitute almost half of the federal budget. At the same time, we must also slow down the growth of our national defense program. A tax increase should only be considered if these steps are taken initially. Otherwise, these revenues will only be used for additional spending and will not be applied toward the deficit.
3: I support our current efforts to provide both military and economic assistance to our allies in Central America. One only has to remember that Nicaragua is closer to Texas than Texas is to New York to realize the importance of checking Soviet influence in the region. It is also important to note that we are providing twice as much economic assistance to Central America than we are providing military assistance. I would say that an increased or decreased U.S. military presence in this region in the future will largely depend on the action of the Soviet Union and its allies in Central America. It is imperative that we meet the Soviet challenge and not walk away from it. Robin Ficker (R)
10405 Garden Way, Potomac Age: 40 Attorney in private practice, has been attorney for GE Co., Computer Network Corp., National Caucus on Black Aged, National Soft Drink Association; served four years in Maryland House of Delegates; active in petition drives to place nine questions on Montgomery County ballot in past 10 years; attended West Point, BS in engineering, Case Tech, JD, University of Baltimore Law, MPA, American University; writes a newspaper column; campaign includes shaking hands with 100,000 Western Marylanders and financing without PAC contributions.
1: As one who is the son of two longtime retired federal workers and whose only brother and sister-in-law are both pr who is an expert on just about anything. Since the smartest person is the one who picks the best brains, I often look to federal experts for information. Pay comparability studies show they are generally underpaid. Other than some cuts by attrition, I would not vote to cut benefits, including retirement COLAs, as our opponent has repeatedly done.
2: As the recovery continues and productivity increases, interest rates and deficits will drop. I'd support Social Security. In April 1984, our opponent voted to slash Social Security COLAs up to 67 percent, cutting $24.6 billion over three years. On the Armed Services Procurements Subcommittee, our opponent can't find waste. My father-in-law is a retired Army three-star general, formerly chief of staff for logistics -- and I know it's there, however. A congressman should be thrifty. Our opponent, over four years, spent $75,000 junketing to Antarctica, Australia, China, Denmark, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Guam, Hawaii, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Nigeria, Norway, Malaysia, Rhodesia, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, New Zealand, Oman, Pakistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Philippines, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Thus, she contributed to the deficit rather than being here to help reduce it, as I would have been.
3: Here again there is a strong difference of opinion between our opponent and myself. She voted approval of the CIA mining of the ports of Nicaragua. That mining was direct U.S. involvement, which sets a dangerous recedent. Were Nicaraguan troops to cross their country's borders, I might feel differently. The Salvadoran government and the contras in Nicaragua should continue to receive U.S. aid, however. Quite frankly, some U.S. pressure is necessary to prevent all of Central America from being turned over to Cuban and Russian sympathizers and supporters. We should continue to press for negotiations, human rights and economic aid rather than military action. Also, we must strive to involve other countries in the region in peace-seeking roles. In reality, though, sometimes terrorists understand only military might. 8TH DISTRICT
Vote for One: Michael D. Barnes (D); Albert Ceccone (R); Samuel K. Grove (Libert.); Michael D. Barnes (D);
Incumbent 9814 Summit Ave., Kensington Age: 41 Attorney; serving third term in Congress, assistant majority whip and chairman, Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs and Federal Government Service Task Force; counselor, National Bipartisan Commission on Central America; member, Presidential Commission on Drunk Driving; sponsor of drunk driving and child-passenger safety laws; recipient of UNICEF's first "Children's Champion Award," 1984; vice chairman, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Commission.
1: The Reagan administration has pursued a campaign to demean the federal work force in the eyes of the American people, destroy its morale and productivity and reduce salaries, pensions and health benefits. Major administration policies eliminated semiannual COLA adjustments for retirees; created the "diet COLA" for retirees under 62; reduced and postponed federal pay raises; increased health insurance premiums by 80 percent while cutting benefits 16.5 percent, and RIF'd thousands of workers. Its unfinished agenda includes more of the same -- increasing the retirement age and employe contributions to the retirement system, and encouraging our most skilled personnel to leave. I chair the Federal Government Service Task Force, which works to protect the rights of the federal community and find ways to make the government run more effectively. I have introduced the Fair RIF Practices Act and legislation establishing a Federal Employees Health Benefits Information Center. These remain key priorities for the next Congress.
2: Deficit reduction requires a combination of spending cuts and revenue-raising measures, including abolition of unwarranted tax breaks for corporations and the very wealthy; cuts in billions of dollars in subsidies for agricul- ture, public works and water projects; reduction in the rate of growth in defense programs, and elimination of the MX-missile, B-1 bomber, "star wars" in space and the DIVAD antiaircraft system. A modified flat tax, such as the Bradley-Gephardt "Fair Tax Act," would also help. Government must adopt a "pay-as-you-go" plan so that new expenditures cannot occur unless revenues are provided. I cosponsored and voted for the balanced budget statute passed by the House, which requires the president to submit to Congress, and Congress to vote on, a balanced budget. If reelected, I will seek a seat on the House Budget Committee, which sets the framework for budget and tax decisions made by Congress.
3: We should give reasonable amounts of military aid to friendly Central American governments that request it and that respect human rights. I have consistently sup- ported such aid. But military aid must be part of a coherent strategy designed to advance our interests. Lacking such a strategy, we have too often overused and misused military measures to the detriment of our interests. We should help President Duarte of El Salvador defend his country against guerrillas, but we should also help him find a political solution to the conflict. We should help Honduras with military aid, but we are not effectively addressing Honduras' far greater need for economic aid. Our "covert" war against Nicaragua isolates us, not Nicaragua, and it fails to change Nicaragua's behavior. It is a mistake for the Reagan administration to try to milita- rize Costa Rica, which has no army and doesn't want one. Albert Ceccone (R)
8724 Preston Pl., Chevy Chase Age: 38 Self-employed real estate investment and development counselor since 1969; knowledgeable in areas of taxation and asset management; past president of Metro Lions Club and Silver Spring Jaycees; past chairman, Lido Civic Club; fundraiser, Holy Cross Hospital Expansion Committee; founding member and past director, Silver Spring Multiple Sclerosis Society Committee; former member of the Silver Spring and Bethesda-Chevy Chase chambers of commerce, two PTA groups and the Men's Association of Saint Andrews Catholic Church.
1: With regard to efficiency, pay, medical care and retirement benefits, the Reagan administration has attempted to shift the civil service system into a system that is fair to not only the federal employe and retiree but also to the American taxpayer. President Reagan has introduced through the Office of Personnel Management the Performance-Based Incentive Proposal, which provides financial incentive for greater production and efficiency, and which would help set a greater degree of standardiza- tion and insure fairness for all federal employes. In dealing with work force reductions, less than 1 percent of federal employes have been displaced. It is reasonable that government should not be shackled by employes who are unproductive and uncooperative. Requirements justifying RIFs, lateral transfers and downgrades are presently given top priority by federal managers when dealing with the sensitive question of displacing a federal worker. The administration has treated federal employes fairly.
2: The federal deficit is a problem; however, this is not the only administration that has faced this problem. On the way to a healthy economic recovery, federal spending in critical areas has and will continue to be necessary. Also, reduced taxes have been an important ingredient in elping to restore ailing industries to profitability and allowing our citizens to achieve a high support maintaining and encouraging legislation that would create tax incentives for improving the environment, capital accumulation and investment leading to increased productivity.
3: I feel that the United States has an important leader- ship role to play in fostering an atmosphere of peace, stability and prosperity in Central America. With regard to El Salvador, I am in favor of continuing to provide military aid. I am, however, opposed to the way Congress has avoided committing military funding in a consistent and steady manner. In my judgment, the El Salvador govern- ment has made credible strides in human rights, social improvement and the election process. Pandering to guerrillas, attempting to impose moral and social stand- ards by using financial blackmail as a tool should not be our role. With respect to Nicaragua, I feel that if the government there poses a threat to peace and stability in the region, then we should provide not only financial assistance to our sympathizers but also military assistance and expertise, including direct intervention if required. Samuel K. Grove (Libert.)
9568 Fern Hollow Way, Gaithersburg Age: 33 Electronics technician at Advanced Navigation; Libertarian Party activist for four years, has taught seminar on libertarian political theory; received one of the highest scores ever given on the Navy's nuclear program placement exams in the D.C. area; self-educated in economics, philosophy, politics, theology and physical science.
1: What is fair? The problem here is that by its nature, the government is insulated from market forces. With its virtual carte blanche access to the taxpayers' wallet, the federal government has been able to treat its employes more than fairly. To prove that, just ask any federal employe if he or she would prefer to retire on Social Security. Government jobs are well known as gravy train. For a while they got away with it; but we don't have unlimited wealth, and now the taxpayers are getting restless. If we go beyond the Reagan administration's half-hearted measures and allow a truly free economy to develop to its capacity, productive former government employes will find it amply profitable to work in the private sector.
2: Ending military waste and intervention into foreign affairs would save $61 billion. Elimination of the departments of Energy and Education and discretionary funds allocated to the president would save $28 billion. Cutting regulating activities and subsidies to the rich scattered throughout the federal government would save another $81 billion. The elimination or privatization of most of the quasi-governmental agencies would bring the total to over $200 billion, completely wiping out the deficit with enough left over for a $14 billion to $16 billion dollar down payment on the national debt (depending on whether administration or Congressional Budget Office estimates of the debt are used). There is much more that can be done, of course.
3: The United States should not have any military involvement in Central America. The only reason the morally bankrupt philosophy of Marxism has gained any popular support in Central America (and the rest of the Third World) is because of the legacy of past U.S. intervention in the area. By propping up corrupt and oppressive governments, the U.S. politicians have given much credibility to the charges of U.S. imperialism and colonialism. These puppet regimes, through their criminal treatment of their subjects, have driven the people to rebellion and into the arms of the leftist agents to obtain Soviet aid. We must withdraw militarily and open up the region to free trade, and reveal the benefits of freedom and laissez-faire captialism by practicing them at home.