None of These Is Just like the Other; the Democrats for U.S. Senate Slot Differ on Tax Policy

Article excerpt

Byline: WALTER C. JONES

Stimulating job creation and juicing up the economy are goals of the five candidates running for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, but they each have different approaches.

They generally agree in wanting to lower taxes on the middle class, reduce spending on the Iraqi war and increase business innovation. They disagree, though, on their other recommendations.

The candidates hoping for the chance to face Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Libertarian Allen Buckley in November are Vernon Jones, Dale Cardwell, Josh Lanier, Jim Martin and Rand Knight.

All of the campaigns were contacted, but Jones' press secretary Candace Reese did not provide answers to the questions before the Friday deadline.

ECONOMIC STIMULATION

Cardwell was the only candidate to mention extending unemployment benefits to 12 months and ensuring that every worker gets paid extra for overtime. He also said U.S. companies are being harmed by trade with countries whose labor and environmental regulations are less extensive. Both he and Knight would halt trade with those countries.

"We are trading with countries that do not have wage laws or environmental laws," Cardwell said. "We're trading with them with one hand [tied] behind our backs."

Martin would impose stiffer regulation on banks and credit-card companies. He also would increase spending on education.

"The federal government can help by providing early childhood education for children who need help, by supporting school systems in their efforts to achieve excellence, and by expanding federal loan programs to ensure that cost is not a barrier to higher education," Martin said.

Martin and Lanier argue that universal health care would help the economy by removing that direct cost from employers. They, along with Cardwell, also cited runaway federal spending as a drag on the economy. …