Eric Stewart may not have had an opponent at last week’s political forum sponsored by Southern Standard and WCPI, but he still had to answer questions about his agenda should he be elected to Congress.
Stewart is a current state senator who is running for the U.S. House seat currently held by Scott DesJarlais.
Stewart was asked about his philosophy on cutting the national deficit, which has exceeded $1 trillion in each of President Obama’s four years in office. Since the nation is spending more than it’s generating in revenue, reducing the deficit is going to take program cuts, tax increases, or a combination of both.
“I think you have to have an across-the-board look at the entire thing and you’re going to have to have folks who are willing to sit down at the table and work together,” said Stewart when asked which programs he would cut. “Unfortunately, I think a lot of the folks we have in Washington, D.C. right now, they don’t want to solve the problems because they’ve figured out if they can drive a wedge between the American people they get to keep their jobs. I’m not going to name any individual programs I think should be cut. I will tell you what programs I don’t think should be cut and those are Medicare, Social Security and support for our veterans. I’m not saying defense, I’m saying support for our veterans.”
With steady discussion about the tax burden and its impact on the rich and middle class, Stewart was asked if he thought a flat tax would be a fair form of taxation.
“I oppose it,” said Stewart of the flat tax. “And the reason I oppose it is because a loaf of bread costs the same for me and my family as it costs for somebody making $1 million a year. I hope one day I will be making $1 million a year, and when I do I’ll be happy to pay a little more in taxes because there will be folks who helped me along the way. I will be more than happy if I’m making $1 million to pay a little more in taxes so someone can have a good education, so someone else can drive across good roads to go to work.”
Stewart made several comments about the fact his opponent decided not to attend the debate. He closed by hammering that point home.
“Government works best when it’s in tune with the local people and you can’t do that from Washington,” said Stewart. “On Nov. 6, voters will have the opportunity to go to the polls and decide who will best represent them. I will say I’m the candidate who will represent you. If you disagree with me, just take a look at the stage tonight.”