Pearce Talks Taxes, Jobs
2nd Congressional District candidate also touts war experience in Vietnam
By Duane Barbati
08/20/2010, Alamogordo Daily News
Taxes, veterans issues, fiscal responsibility and Social Security was on the mind of Republican Steve Pearce at Wednesday's town hall meeting in Alamogordo.
Pearce is running against incumbent Congressman Harry Teague for the U.S. House of Representatives District 2 seat in the November general election. He held the District 2 seat from 2002 until he left after the 2008 election. Pearce was defeated by Democrat Tom Udall for the U.S. Senate seat in the 2008 election.
Pearce said he believes the truth in economics is that tax increases kill jobs.
"It's pretty simple and straight-forward," he said. "We find it throughout our economic history. Many times, veterans' bills were paired with tax increases. If I look at things and wanted to kill jobs, that would be the best way to go about it. I would never vote for tax increases."
Pearce said he is not opposed to vets because he is a Vietnam War veteran.
"I spent 1971, '72 and '73 in Vietnam," he said to the audience. "I don't take veterans' issues lightly. I will continue to fight for our veterans."
Pearce said he would cut the federal deficit by going after Medicare and Medicaid fraud.
"In Medicare, we have $90 billion in fraud," he said. "In Medicaid, we have about $60 billion. We could come up with about $150 billion in tax cuts by stopping the fraud. Those are the things that Americans expect us to do. One of the great anxieties and angers is that we're not balancing the budget. We're spending more then we're bringing in."
Pearce said the federal government is spending about 43 cents out of every dollar that's borrowed.
"We're not going to survive long economically," he said. "What's going to happen is people are going to stop loaning money to us. What you've got is the Chinese, a couple of months ago, who stopped buying treasury bills. If the Chinese don't buy the bills, we'll start to print money, then you'll start running into high inflation like Argentina."
Alamogordo resident Edgar Wilson said Pearce never answered his question on Social Security.
"I still don't think Social Security needs to be privatized," Wilson said. "All these politicians take the money out of everything and spend it on what they want. What's hurting this state right now is we lost Pete Domenici, a senior senator. I don't think if we get Pearce in, that he's going to be a senior senator. He (Pearce) is going to have to sit at the end of the line."
Pearce said he has never believed in privatizing Social Security.
"I have always said we should have a three-layered function," he said to the audience. "Our people 55 and over should have no changes at all. The IOUs absolutely need to be paid back. They're is a Social Security lock box. The lock box has only IOUs in it. Both parties (Republican and Democrat) have taken the surplus and spent it."
Pearce said he believes the federal government had a Social Security surplus the entire time, while occasionally bouncing into a deficit.
"We weren't suppose to have our first deficit until 2017," he said. "We actually ran our first deficit in 2009. We have been borrowing from the lock box. Now we have to start paying back the lock box to balance Social Security. Now you don't have an in-flow and an out-flow of Social Security. It's a two-fold effect. I think both parties have been shameful in spending this money. We need to pay it back."
Alamogordo resident Annette Price said she likes Pearce because "he is our friend."
"He did represent us," Price said. "He got us all the highway improvements. He speaks to the people. He will do the same thing for us as in the past. Pearce is not your typical politician."
Contact Duane Barbati at firstname.lastname@example.org.