Morgan L. Amaimo (D), 70, of 18 E. Lake Ave., Baltimore, is a lawyer and developer of shopping centers in the Baltimore area. He is a member of the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars and professional associations.
Freeze: For general purposes of war, nuclear technology should be diminished gradually; providing such national policy does not make us a second-rate power in the world. Our fire power and war armaments must always be second to no power on earth; and especially to Russia or the likes of her, such as Cuba, where the build up of Russian arms is staggering to the imagination, and we're doing nothing about it.
Services: Social services to the American people is not a cancer on our society but an absolute need and necessity. If need be, I prefer to pour our wealth for the benefit of our people than to spill it around the world to ungrateful nations who have yet to thank us or show the slightest appreciation for all our support and financial help over the past century.
Social Security: If "security" is to be given any true meaning for the benefit of all our American people, then we should all contribute our share to that end, including government help and government employes. It will never fully work being done in half measure.
Budget: We've passed the trillion mark in spending, and were contemplating spending more than $1.7 trillion in general defense over the next 48 months. A constitutional amendment along these lines would be nothing more than a mockery. If we cannot balance with all the brains and technical minds that we have now working on the problem, an amendment to the Constitution is certainly not getting to produce any greater minds to solve the riddle. Note: This approximate $2 trillion for defense is in addition to $4 or $5 trillion to support government over the span of the 48 months. With all this staggering fiscal nonsense, we're yet to submit a plan that is workable to secure our people from want. I wonder, did the Indians have a better plan of operation?
Anselmo A. Chavez (D), 50, of 250 Gold Kettle Dr., Gaithersburg, is a manufacturing projects supervisor for Bendix Corp. He also has worked for other electronics firms. He served 17 years in the Air Force and four years in the Marines. He ran unsuccessfully for the Senate from New Mexico in 1972 and for the House in 1978.
Freeze: No, not until such time as we have nuclear parity. The Soviet Union has achieved strategic superiority. In a first strike, the Soviets have the capability, with their 308 SS-18s, to destroy up to 9 percent of our ICBMs an d up to 50 percent of our SLBMs and, using their SLBMs, they can take out all of our B-52 bases. The Soviets have been deterred because of our resolve to launch on warning. One frightening aspect: The Minuteman missle system, which was designed and engineered to survive a nuclear attack with the exception of a direct hit, is highly vulnerable to a ground attack. A force of 500 men, using simple destructive devices in a coordinated 30-minute attack, can destroy or disable the entire Minuteman missle system, leaving America subject to thermonuclear blackmail or destruction. Our country is in grave danger. Applicable corrective measures must be implemented immediately.
Services: I believe that we must seek additional federal funds for social services. However, before we explore appropriating additional funds, we must take steps to ascertain that those services gutted by the present administration are restored. Far too many disadvantaged people are suffering because of the inability of poorly funded programs to furnish appropriate aid. President Reagan assured us that the "truly needy" would not be hurt. The situation as we see it to day speaks for itself. John Palmer, coordinator of the Urban Institute research projects that is tracking federal program changes under the Reagan administration, estimates that more than $10 billion in federal support has been lost by the poor and near-poor beneficiaries. The Children's Defense Fund estimates that 661,000 children lost Medicaid, 900,000 poor and near-poor children are no longer getting free or reduced-price breakfasts and 150,000 poor, working families are likely to lose government- supported day care.
Social Security: Social Security faces a very serious funding problem as the population of this country ages and the number of workers contributing to the security diminishes. Benefits for present retirees should not be tampered with. However, the only solution that I see for long-term funding of Social Security is to change the indexing formula. Professor Martin Feldstein of Harvard has, what I believe, an excellent idea. His proposal is to continue to increase Social Security payments by the sum total of the year's inflation, less 2 percent. Do that until parity is reached between contributions paid in and contributions paid out. Importantly, the real increases in contributions paid out should not exceed the real increases in productivity. The Congress must act positively and courageously in bringing about changes to the Social Security system. They must act as expeditiously as possible. Time is rapidly running out.
Budget: I do not believe that a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget is in the best interest of this country. If the president firmly believes that it is imperative that the budget be balanced, then he should strive to do just that. He has the authority and the responsibility to propose a balanced budget now. The president can veto any expenditure he deems inappropriate. If the president really believes that the troubles of our country can be traced to the unbalanced budget, then he should point out specific programs which should be cut by a given amount. He should also tell us what taxes he would raise to resolve the difference. He has not done this. Our sagging economy can, in my opinion, ill-afford an attempt at this time to offset a budget deficit of an estimated $140 billion.
Monroe Cornish (D), of 3809 Ridgewood Ave., Baltimore. The candidate did not respond to The Washington Post questionnaire.
Marvin Dwayne Jones (D), 30, of 1811 Elton Rd., Adelphi, is an interviewer for Westat Research Corp. An Army veteran who served in West Germany, he is active in Phi Rho Pi, a speech and debating society. He worked for Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) in the 1980 presidential campaign.
Freeze: I could support the nuclear freeze with a few qualifications. I am opposed to the United States taking any unilateral action. Unfortunately, the way the world is organized pressure could be brought to bear on the American government, whereas little pressure could be put on the Soviets. Reagan has frightened a number of people, especially our allies in Europe, by rattling the nuclear saber. We learned during the Eisenhower administration, when the strategic doctrine was one of massive retaliation, that that was not a credible policy. Since we were reluctant to use atomic weapons when the balance was far more favorable to us, it is unlikely we would use them now, when the Soviets have parity with us. What I would like to see the government do rather than spend enormous sums on something like the MX missiles is to improve our conventional forces.
Services: One of the two key issues of my campaign is a bill I would introduce, called the universal national service act, which would require all Americans, men and women, upon reaching their 18th birthday, to serve a period of military service or some other form of national service. This would be an alternative to the draft, which has always been unfairly applied. The bill would require two years of active duty, two years in the reserves and two years in the National Guard, a responsibility of citizenship I think all Americans should undergo. In return for service, all Americans would be eligible to receive a college education. Also, when we have a Democratic president again, I think we will finally get a national health care program. That would be tied into my bill. Everyone would be covered by the system until the age of 18. If someone felt he or she couldn't contribute time to complete the service, he or she would have to pay some fee for health and other social services.
Social Security: I think it should be changed. First of all, we should meet all our present obligations to our older citizens. But we must recognize that circumstances have changed since the Social Security program was first enacted in the 1930s. In my universal national service act, I would tie in the Social Security system for those who would be eligible. A condition for participation in the Social Security system would be service to the United States. We are having problems financing Social Security through payroll taxes. Therefore, I think it's obvious that soon we're going to have to start using general revenue taxes. I feel that could be accomplished through tax reform. Some people estimate anywhere from $100 billion to $300 billion is currently available in the underground economy. It has also been said that by broadening the tax base and closing the loopholes, we could accumulate another $200 billion. So I think we presently have the resources to meet our obligations, if we begin to tap the system properly.
Budget: I am opposed to the amendment. It's hard to say that, because it's like being against mom and apple pie. In reality, it's something else again. A large number of circumstances have to be taken into consideration. First of all, in managing a modern industrial economy, it is more important for the budget to be balanced over the business cycle. The country must be more concerned with meeting its needs instead of merely trying to satisfy a theory. If we faced too many unexpected crises, our hands would be unnecessarily tied. It would make far more sense to reform the budgetary process, which can be done by statute. It's important for us to get the most for every dollar spent, but I think we have to look at this from a slightly different angle. The reason why we have what Reagan refers to as "runaway expenditures" is that we have number of special-interest groups with pet concerns and they make contributions to presidential and congressional candidates. It then becomes important for the politicians to remember who sponsored them. This often means tax breaks or subsidies are provided for respective groups, even in the case of those who consider themselves "conservatives," such as Mr. Helms and the tobacco subsidy. Rather than having "magical" solutions, we should start dealing with reality rather than ideology. Instead of talking just about free enterprise, we have to look at the way the economy actually works. We must consider the fact that the government has an important influence, that some businesses are not subject to supply and demand, or they are quite capable of manipulating the invisible hand of the marketplace.
Christos C. Poppos (D), 49, of 2111 Guilford Rd., Hyattsville, is an unemployed salesman and security guard.
Freeze: A nuclear freeze is absurd and counter to all military theory. Wise statesmen know that you cannot base your own safety on the words of your enemy.
Services: Yes. Federal pensions for retired citizens. Jobs or public assistance to the unemployed.
Social Security: Social Security should be supplemented by a federal pension plan for U.S. citizens.
Budget: Yes, with provisions for emergencies and for minor exceptions.
Robert Roosevelt (D), 72, of 731 Erie Ave., Takoma Park, has been a construction worker, builder, safety business organizer and government researcher.
Freeze: It would be little or no good and probably much harm to place a nuclear freeze on the U.S. and Russia without including other nations. The nuclear freeze should be worldwide, including all nations. The French navy, for example, is possibly the worst nuclear menace to the world. According to research I've done, France almost supplied Argentina with nuclear rockets in the Falklands conflict, and it won't be long before every small country will be able to acquire nuclear weapons. At this time, Germany is out to disarm the United States and Russia but no one else. Even China has been experimenting with nuclear weapons. What good does it do to disarm only the major nations? The United States may need equipment, such as the B1 bomber and nuclear bombs, to destroy bases rapidly. Having nuclear weapons could be to our country's advantage, although we ought to be honorable enough not to use them except in something like destroying enemy nuclear bases.
Services: Yes and no. During World War II, Social Security funds were used to finance the war. It is doubtful that it was ever paid back. If not, then Congress should appropriate money to repay Social Security, plus the difference of the devaluated dollar of 1980s compared to the 1940s, plus interest. Congress has been spending health and trust funds (Medicare and Medicaid) for other than to provide health benefits for covered persons. Congress should appropriate money to repay the health trust fund for money used for other purposes. Congress has created a hodgepodge system of paying insurance companies to process Medicaid and Medicare claims which should be processed by Social Security Administration. Hospitals and doctors rip-off and overcharge both Social Security and the elderly. Congress should immediately pass the long overdue wage price, interest, rent, etc., controls, thereby rolling back medical costs about 25 percent and saving both the trust fund and elderly billions.
Social Security: Funding of Social Security at the present time is at the level of about 6.7 percent. That is the rate for both employes and employers, for a total of about 13.4 percent. A bit less than 5 percent of that is for old age and survivors; disability is slightly less than 1 percent, health is about 1.25 percent. The employer now pays about 2 percent into U.S. unemployment, administered by the states. I propose that the employer's percentage be decreased to 1 percent and that we make up the difference with an import tax of 25 percent. There should be a personal income tax of 1 percent of taxable income, because so many people are not covered by unemployment. Later, we could extend unemployment to cover more people. The corporate tax maximum is now 46 percent after $100,000; after that it doesn't increase. I propose corporations pay a total of 10 percent in corporate tax on amounts over $1 million; 4 percent of that would go to old age and survivors, 1 percent to disability, 1 percent to health, 3 percent to unemployment, with 1 percent in reserve. In Social Security, I propose the employee should pay at a rate of 7 percent, similar to the rate now, which would go only to the survivors and old age fund. The employer would match that amount of 7 percent, like now, but would increase the rate to include an additional 1 percent for disability and 1 percent for health. With regard to pensions, Congress should pass pension and disability controls immediately. The controls should cover Social Security, disability, military and U.S. and D.C. government employees and officials. Changes should be made, computed on monthly pensions or to disabilities. Through the years pensioners have been cheated out of a total of about 25 percent of benefits in cost-of-living increases. I propose the following changes: a $100 increase on pensions of $1,000 a month; below that increase it by $10 a month, with a minimum of $300 a month.
Budget: Not at this time. The balanced budget gang is full of too much corruption to be trying to protect the tax-payers with a balanced budget. The balanced budget gang now has the most unbalanced budget in the nation's history. Corruption reached the highest during the Carter administration, followed by the Ford administration, followed by Reagan and Nixon administrations. Every one of these four administrations has had more corruption than all other administrations combined. They share some of their corruption with rubber-stamp senators and congressmen who cover up for the corruption and block impeachment. There are complaints that each administration, including Nixon and since Nixon, requires national defense contractors to kick back in return for national defense contracts. Recent administrations have been ignoring the budget, oVerspending in one department and using funds from another department. They are attempting to hijack or transfer Social Security funds to the Treasury to make up for a vast theft of Treasury funds.
Paul S. Sarbanes (D) (Incumbent), 49, of 320 Suffolk Rd. Baltimore, was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1976. Previous ly, he served in the U.S. House from 1970 to 1976 and the state House of Delegates from 1966 to 1970. He was executive director of the charter revision commission of Baltimore.
Freeze: I am a cosponsor of Senate Resolution 163, which calls for immediate negotiation toward a mutual and verifiable U.S.-Soviet freeze on nuclear weapons. Such a freeze would be an important and constructive first step while negotiations are conducted to achieve longer-range, more comprehensive arms control and arms reduction agreements. Negotiated verifiable arms control agreements should be regarded as an essential part of a rational and efficient national security policy, and I regret that this administration should have allowed nearly 18 months to elapse before sending U.S. representatives to Geneva to resume negotiations. In today's world, mutual and verifiable arms control agreements are a necessity, not a luxury, in strategic planning.
Services: I have opposed the drastic reductions pushed by the Reagan administration in nutrition, child care, health and other social services programs. In many instances the sweeping cuts reflect a penny-wise, pound-foolish approach. While all programs should be carefully scrutinized and waste and inefficiency eliminated, there is a difference between Pruning the tree and chopping it down at its roots. Often a prudent expenditure on such programs will avoid more difficult problems in the future and will constitute a wise investment in the future strength of our country.
Social Security: Population trends and economic conditions influence the retirement system. A strong economy, with high employment and low inflation, would restore financial strength to the system because it would mean increased revenues and lower cost-of-living adjustments. Such an economy should be a first priority for this and many other reasons. Any modifications for long-term population and economic trends must be developed carefully and responsibly, without breaking our commitments to present and future retirees.
Budget: Recently, I voted against the proposed constitutional amendment on the balanced budget. The Constitution is the fundamental charter under which our nation has grown and prospered. It defines the framework and procedures of our government and guarantees the rights and the liberties of the individual. With a few notable and unsuccessful exceptions, the Constitution has not in the past been amended to included specific policies dealing with particular substantive problems. Instead, it has generally been recognized that such policies should be arrived at through the decision making process established by the Constitution and should not be included in the basic document of our governance.
John M. Sions (D), 67, of 616 Franklin Ave., Baltimore, is retired from Black & Decker in Towson. He has been active in the right-to-life movement.
Freeze: No, I do not favor a nuclear freeze. Only the Russians will profit. The sole thrust of my campaign is to stop the potential slaughter of 12 million Americans, 9 million of whom would be Democrats. It is idiocy to think that a party or nation can continue to slaughter God's most precious creatures and survive or prosper. When we halt this holocaust, we will prosper. We grow or we die.
Services: If this can be done and the budget balanced, I would be in favor. If we do not limit our spending, there will be nothing for anyone. A well- known black economist has made the statement that if all the money that has been appropriated to help the poor had been given to them, there would be no poor today. I distrust every politician and any program they put together.
Social Security: I am a Social Security recipient. I feel that those receiving more than $9,000 a year from Social Security would be willing to forgo the COLA increases for two years if Congress passed a balanced budget constitutional amendment. I am sure a lot of people would be willing to sacrifice if Congress indicated it was serious.
Budget: I most emphatically do favor a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget. There is not a politician who can say no. This being the condition, I want a law that makes them say no.
B. Emerson Sweatt (D), 38, of Indian Head, is a journeyman carpenter, writer, teacher and coach. A picture of Sweatt was not available.
Services: Yes and the fallacy of eternal growth being equivalent to a healthy economy should be exposed for what it is -- a rip-off.
Social Security: Yes. Additional study must be done by me to answer reasonably on the intricacies of the existing system.
Budget: No, it is a joke. It would take five to six years to get through Congress and five to six years to get state ratification. By that time, the rich and super rich will have so much drained from the economy a constitutional amendment on balanced budget would totally wipe out the federal government, except for a few pawns of the rich and super rich. In short, such an amendment, while the intent might be good, would in effect end democracy in America.
Candidates for the United States Senate and House of Representatives were asked the following questions by The Washington Post:
Freeze: Do you favor a nuclear freeze? If not, do you support other forms of control?
Services: Should additional federal funds be appropriated for social services?
Social Security: Does Social Security need to be changed, and if so, how?
Budget: Do you favor a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget?