Editorial: 2nd District voters should elect Kuster
There are dramatic differences between 2nd District congressional candidates Charlie Bass and his challenger, Ann McLane Kuster, on some of the most critical issues facing this nation. On those issues, the future of health care for senior citizens and the uninsured, the fairness of America’s tax system and a strategy to reduce the national debt, Kuster is right and Bass wrong, which is why we are endorsing Kuster for Congress.
Bass has proven himself willing to break with his party when he believes it’s wrong, particularly on votes whose outcome could endanger the environment or threaten the ability of women to control their reproductive fate. We applaud him for that. He has a record of crossing the aisle in search of compromise, but one of the problems in the U.S. House is that the aisle is too wide. Kuster’s election would help bring balance to a legislative body that in recent years has been an impediment to progress on almost every front.
Shrinking the deficit will require both spending cuts and revenue increases. When addressing the problem, some politicians look down and others up. Bass, by dint of his votes for Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan’s radical plan to balance the budget primarily with cuts to social services for the needy, looks down. Kuster, who supports allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire for those in the top income brackets, looks up.
Bass continues to support extending the tax cuts to all income brackets, a position that continues to make the deficit worse and increase the income gap between the rich and everyone else.
The nation has been struggling to deal with the growing number of Americans who lack health insurance and thus often lack basic care. Every other developed nation solved the problem long ago and Congress, over Bass’s objection, attempted to do so when it passed President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Bass was, and remains, a staunch opponent of the law and he’s voted repeatedly to repeal it.
Change has already begun to come to Medicare, the insurance program for seniors, in order to reduce its cost while increasing patient health. Kuster would build on those changes by supporting smart ways to reduce costs. Bass supports the Ryan plan to convert Medicare to a voucher program, one that is initially optional, for people currently under age 55. The goal of that plan is to shift an increasing share of the cost of care to senior citizens.
To his credit, Bass has often tried to find a path to compromise, but those paths almost inevitably led to a dead end. Kuster, as an adoption lawyer and longtime State House lobbyist, has built a career on finding ways to bring people together to achieve compromise. She deserves a chance to take those skills to Washington.