Iowa Public Television

 

CAMPAIGN 2002: The Office of United States Senator and Office of Representative of the U.S. House

posted on October 24, 2002

Glover: GOOD EVENING. AND WELCOME TO OUR FINAL EVENING OF "CAMPAIGN 2002." WE BEGAN OUR FIVE-PART CANDIDATE FORUM ON MONDAY EVENING, AND THROUGH LAST NIGHT, WE PRESENTED HALF-HOUR PROGRAMS DEALING WITH THE CANDIDATES AND THE ISSUES. TONIGHT WE DEPART FROM THAT FORMAT JUST A BIT, AS WE PRESENT TWO HALF-HOUR CANDIDATE FORUMS, LIVE AT 6:30 AND LIVE AGAIN AT 7:00. IN OUR SECOND HALF HOUR, CANDIDATES SEEKING TO BECOME GOVERNOR OF IOWA AND LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR OF IOWA JOIN US TO DISCUSS THE ISSUES DRIVING THE CAMPAIGN FOR TERRACE HILL. IN OUR FIRST HALF HOUR, WE LOOK TO THE CAMPAIGNS FOR THE UNITED STATE'S CONGRESS.IOWA HAS FIVE SEATS IN THE U.S. HOUSE ON THE LINE IN THIS YEAR'S ELECTION, AND ONE OF TWO IOWA SEATS IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE IS ON THE 2002 BALLOT AS WELL. LET'S MEET OUR GUESTS. KEVIN LITTEN OF CEDAR RAPIDS IS ON THE BALLOT AS THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE FOR IOWA'S SECOND U.S. CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT IN EASTERN AND SOUTHEASTERN IOWA.IN CENTRAL IOWA'S THIRD U.S. DISTRICT, JEFFREY SMITH OF CLIVE IS THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE. JIM HENNAGER OF CAMBRIDGE IS ON THE FOURTH DISTRICT BALLOT, AND MR. HENNAGER REPRESENTS THE ONE EARTH PARTY. EDWIN FRUIT OF DES MOINES IS RUNNING FOR THE U.S. CONGRESS FROM IOWA'S THIRD DISTRICT. MR. FRUIT IS A MEMBER OF THE SOCIALIST WORKERS PARTY. IN THE U.S. CONGRESS, HOUSE MEMBERS SERVE TWO-YEAR TERMS, WHILE IN THE U.S. SENATE, SENATORS ARE ELECTED TO SIX-YEAR TERMS.TIM HARTHAN OF EMMETSBURG IS A MEMBER OF THE IOWA GREEN PARTY, AND HE IS SEEKING TO BECOME A MEMBER OF THE U.S. SENATE.AND THE REVEREND RICHARD MOORE OF SLOAN IS THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE FOR THE UNITED STATES SENATE. GENTLEMEN, WELCOME TO YOU ALL. LET'S START WITH YOU, MR. LITTEN. WE LIKE TO GIVE CANDIDATES OUT ON SHOWS LIKE THIS A CHANCE TO MAKE THEIR CASE, OFFER THEIR CAMPAIGN COMMERCIAL, IF YOU WILL, ASSUMING THEY PROBABLY WOULD ANYWAY, SO GIVE US YOUR BEST SHOT.

Litten: WELL, THANK YOU. MY NAME IS KEVIN LITTEN AND I'M RUNNING FOR CONGRESS IN IOWA'S SECOND DISTRICT. I'M RUNNING BECAUSE I WILL NOT AND CANNOT VOTE FOR EITHER OF THE OTHER TWO CANDIDATES. BOTH OF THEM BELIEVE IN GROWING THE SIZE AND POWERS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. I BELIEVE IN SHRINKING IT. I BELIEVE THAT AMERICA'S BEST DESTINY LIES IN GIVING PEOPLE THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF FREEDOM POSSIBLE, AND FREEDOM SHOULD ALWAYS BE ABOUT CHOICE.

Glover: OKAY, MR. LITTEN, AND WE'LL GET TO SOME OF THOSE. MR. SMITH, GIVE US YOUR BEST SHOT. THERE ARE PROBABLY A LOT OF REASONS YOU THINK YOU SHOULD BE IN PUBLIC OFFICE. PICK THE BEST ONE AND TELL THE VOTER.

Smith: I BELIEVE THAT PROBLEMS THAT HAVE BEEN CREATED BY THE GOVERNMENT CANNOT BE SOLVED WITH MORE GOVERNMENT.

Glover: OKAY. MR. HENNAGER.

Hennager: I'M RUNNING BECAUSE I HAVE SOME DEEP CONCERNS ABOUT WHAT'S HAPPENING IN OUR GOVERNMENT AND OUR ELECTIONS. THE VAST AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT'S COMING FORWARD IN THESE CAMPAIGNS IS ALMOST CREATING A PAY-TO-PLAY KIND OF GOVERNMENT, AND THAT INFLUENCE IS INFLUENCING ALL OF THE ISSUES. AND I'M SURE WE'RE GOING TO HEAR ABOUT IT, BECAUSE INDEPENDENTS MAY HAVE THE ONLY NEW ANSWERS TO SOME OF THESE PROBLEMS.

Glover: WE'LL HEAR ABOUT A LOT OF THINGS. MR. FRUIT?

Fruit: I'M RUNNING AS A CANDIDATE BECAUSE I THINK THAT THE DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN PARTIES CARRY OUT WHAT THEY DO IN THE INTERESTS OF THE WEALTHY AND THE RICH IN THIS COUNTRY, BOTH IN FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC POLICY. WE'RE ABOUT BUILDING A MOVEMENT OF WORKERS AND FARMERS AND YOUNG PEOPLE TO CREATE A NEW KIND OF SOCIETY, NEW POLITICAL PARTIES THAT WILL REPRESENT THE INTERESTS OF WORKERS AND FARMERS AND NOT THE RICH IN THIS COUNTRY.

Glover: MR. HARTHAN, PICK THE ONE ISSUE YOU THINK WILL MOST MOVE THE VOTERS TOWARD YOUR PLACE ON THE BALLOT.

Harthan: IN MY JUDGMENT, ECONOMIC APARTIDE THAT EXISTS IN THIS COUNTRY. I'M TIRED OF POLITICS AS USUAL. I'M TIRED OF THE WEALTHY GETTING FARTHER AHEAD WHILE THE REST OF US ARE LOSING GROUND, AS I SEE IT. OUR REPRESENTATIVES HAVE PASSED LEGISLATION AND REGULATIONS AND DEREGULATIONS AND TAXES THAT ARE LOOKING OUT FOR THE INTEREST OF THE WEALTHY RATHER THAN THE REST OF US OUT HERE.

Glover: MR. MOORE, PICK THE ONE ISSUE THAT YOU THINK WILL RESONATE MOST AMONG VOTERS WHO MIGHT CONSIDER YOUR CANDIDACY.

Moore: MIKE, I THINK THE ISSUE THAT BOTHERS ME THE MOST IS WHAT WE SEE ON THE TELEVISION, NO MATTER WHEN WE TURN IT ON, ON A COMMERCIAL STATION, AND THAT'S THE FACT THE BARRAGE OF NEGATIVE ADS THAT ARE GOING ON. AND THE NEGATIVE ADS ARE ONLY GOING ON FOR ONE REASON THAT I CAN SEE, AND THAT'S THE FACT THAT THERE ARE NO NEW IDEAS EITHER BY MR. GANSKE OR MR. HARKIN.

Glover: OKAY. MR. MOORE, I'D LIKE TO STICK WITH YOU FOR JUST A SECOND. ONE TOUGH ISSUE THAT CONGRESS HAD TO DEAL WITH RECENTLY WAS A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE PRESIDENT TO USE FORCE AGAINST SADDAM HUSSEIN IN IRAQ. HAD YOU BEEN A MEMBER OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE, HOW WOULD YOU HAVE VOTED?

Moore: I WOULD VOTED AGAINST IT, MIKE, AND I WOULD HAVE VOTED AGAINST IT BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT WE DO HAVE NOT HAVE A CLEAR MESSAGE AND A CLEAR DISTINCTION AS TO WHY WE ARE GOING IN THERE. I THINK THE OTHER PART OF IT IS THAT AT WHAT POINT DO WE DRAW THE LINE AND SAY THAT AS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, WE'RE GOING TO GO IN AND TELL OTHER GOVERNMENTS HOW TO RUN THEIR COUNTRY. AND I THINK I WOULDN'T WANT THAT GOING ON FROM OTHER COUNTRIES COMING TO THE UNITED STATES, AND I SURE AS HECK DON'T WANT TO DO IT TO OTHERS.

Glover: MR. HARTHAN?

Harthan: I WOULD NOT HAVE VOTED FOR IT; I'M AGAINST IT. I BELIEVE THAT IT LOOKS OUT FOR THE INTEREST OF THE FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRIES AND THE ARMS CONTRACTORS IN THIS COUNTRY. I AGREE WITH THE REVEREND. OUR LEADERS BELIEVE INGLOBALIZATION. THEY BELIEVE IN CREATING A U.S. EMPIRE IN THIS WORLD, AND I DO NOT THINK WE NEED TO BE GOING THAT WAY.

Glover: MR. FRUIT, HOW WOULD YOU HAVE CAST YOUR VOTE, HAD YOU BEEN A MEMBER OF CONGRESS?

Fruit: I WOULD ALSO HAVE VOTED AGAINST THIS RESOLUTION. I AGREE WITH THE OTHER TWO SPEAKERS. THIS IS A WAR FOR OIL. THAT'S WHAT THEY WANT, THE OIL IN IRAQ. THEY WANT TO CONTROL THE GOVERNMENTAL REGIMES IN THE MID EAST THAT WILL DO THE BIDDING OF THE UNITED STATES. THEY WANT TO PUT MORE PRESSURE ON THE PALESTINIANS WHO'VE BEEN FIGHTING FOR A HOMELAND. AND TO PUT GOVERNMENTS IN THAT AREA IN PLACE THAT SUPPORT THE UNITED STATES WILL WORK AGAINST THE PALESTINIANS, SO I WOULD HAVE VOTED AGAINST IT. THE UNITED STATES IS NOT ONLY DOING THIS IN THE MIDDLE EAST, THEY'RE DOING IT IN LATIN AMERICA AND AROUND THE WORLD TO EXPAND THE CORPORATE MARKETS THAT THEY HAVE TO. IT'S PART OF HOW CAPITALISM WORKS.

Glover: MR. HENNAGER, WHAT WOULD YOUR VOTE HAVE BEEN?

Hennager: I WOULD HAVE VOTED IT AGAINST IT ALSO. I CONSIDER THAT IF YOU LOOK AT THE LAST FIFTY YEARS, EVERY TIME WE'VE HAD AN ECONOMIC DOWNTURN, WE'VE HAD A GOVERNMENT TRY TO GET US INTO A WAR TO TRY AND GET US OUT. I THINK THAT'S WRONG FOREIGN POLICY AND IT'S CREATED A LOT OF PROBLEMS. I THINK WE NEED TO LOOK IN NEW DIRECTIONS.

Glover: MR. SMITH, WHAT WOULD YOUR VOTE HAVE BEEN?

Smith: I WOULD HAVE VOTED NO. THIS COUNTRY SPENDS NEARLY ONE BILLION DOLLARS PER DAY ON THE MILITARY, BUT WE'VE BEEN UNABLE TO FIND OSAMA BIN LADEN. I FEEL LIKE IF WE GO INTO IRAQ, WE'RE GOING TO OPEN PANDORA'S BOX. I BELIEVE WE NEED A STRONG NATIONAL DEFENSE, BUT WE DO NOT NEED A STRONG NATIONAL OFFENSE.

Glover: IT'S BEEN PRETTY UNANIMOUS, MR. LITTEN. ARE YOU GOING TO ADD YOUR OPPOSITION TO THIS, OR WOULD YOU HAVE VOTED FOR IT?

Litten: IT IS THE PRIMARY GOAL OF A GOVERNMENT TO PROTECT ITS CITIZENS FROM FORCE AND FRAUD AT HOME AND ABROAD. IF THERE IS PROOF THAT IRAQ WAS BEHIND THE 9/11 ATTACK AND IF WE KNOW THAT THEY ARE OUT TO GET AMERICANS HERE AND ELSEWHERE IN THE WORLD, I WOULD HAVE VOTED FOR IT.

Glover: MR. FRUIT, I'D LIKE TO DIRECT THIS NEXT QUESTION TO YOU, AND I'D LIKE TO BROADEN THE ISSUE OF IRAQ A LITTLE BIT AND LOOK AT OVERALL U.S. POLICY IN THE MID EAST. ARE WE TILTED TOO HEAVILY TOWARD ISRAEL? NOT HEAVILY ENOUGH TOWARD ISRAEL? WHAT SHOULD OUR OVERALL POLICY BE IN THE MID EAST?

Fruit: THE UNITED STATES HAS SUPPORTED ISRAEL 100 PERCENT SINCE ITS FORMATION IN 1948. WE THINK THAT THAT'S WRONG. WE ACTUALLY CALL FOR A DEMOCRATIC SECULAR PALESTINE, ONE STATE WHICH WOULD INCLUDE JEWS, ARABS, CHRISTIANS, AND MUSLIMS WHO COULD ALL LIVE TOGETHER IN ONE STATE. IN LIEU OF THAT, WE ALSO SUPPORT THE RIGHT OF THE PALESTINIANS TO HAVE THEIR STATE, AND THE UNITED STATES IS NOT IN FAVOR OF THAT. THEY WILL SUPPORT ISRAEL ALL THE WAY BECAUSE THEY'RE OPPOSED TO THIS IDEA OF A PALESTINIAN STATE. THAT'S PART OF WHAT THE WHOLE MIDDLE EAST POLICY IS, IS TO PUT PRESSURE ON THE PALESTINIANS AND THE ARAB REVOLUTION IN GENERAL TO KEEP THESE MONARCHS AND BACKYARD FUTILE REGIMES IN POWER SO THE OIL KEEPS FLOWING TO THE UNITED STATES.

Glover: MR. HENNAGER, WAVE A MAGIC WAND OVER THE REGION, AND GIVE US YOUR MID EAST POLICY. IS THE CURRENT POLICY TILTED TOO MUCH ONE WAY OR THE OTHER?

Hennager: IT'S OBVIOUS THAT IT IS TILTED. LAST YEAR WE GAVE 3.2 BILLION TO ISRAEL AND REQUIRED THAT THEY SPEND 3 BILLION OF THAT BUYING U.S. ARMS. WE GAVE 700,000 TO THE PALESTINIANS AND REQUIRED THAT THEY NOT SPEND ANY OF IT FOR ARMS, SO IT'S OBVIOUSLY TILTED. I THINK IF WE WERE TO TAKE THAT 3 BILLION AND SPEND IT FOR NEW HOUSES AND HOSPITALS AND SCHOOLS AND ROADS, WE WOULD SEE AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT MIDDLE EAST.

Glover: MR. SMITH, THE SAME QUESTION TO YOU. WHAT ABOUT CURRENT MID EAST POLICY? IS IT TOO TILTED TO ISRAEL? IS IT NOT TILTED ENOUGH? WHAT SHOULD IT BE?

Smith: IT'S TOO TILTED TOWARD ISRAEL. WE NEED TO BE TOTALLY NEUTRAL. THE PROBLEMS THAT THE PALESTINIANS AND THE ISRAELIS HAVE WITH EACH OTHER, THEY'VE BEEN HAVING FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS. THEY HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO GET ALONG. THEY'RE NOT GOING TO GET ALONG WITH OUR HELP, AND WE NEED TO STAY TOTALLY OUT OF IT. THEIR PROBLEMS ARE THEIR PROBLEMS; THEY'RE NOT OUR PROBLEMS.

Glover: MR. LITTEN, THE SAME QUESTION TO YOU. IS POLICY IN THE MID EAST TOO TILTED TO ISRAEL? NOT TILTED ENOUGH? WHAT SHOULD IT BE?

Litten: ISRAEL IS THE ONLY DEMOCRACY IN THAT AREA OF THE WORLD. IF WE WERE TO BE A SHINING EXAMPLE OF DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM, WE SHOULD SUPPORT OUR FRIENDS.

Glover: OKAY. MR. MOORE, LET'S GO TO OUR SENATE CANDIDATES. WHAT ABOUT THE POLICY IN THE MID EAST? IS IT TOO TILTED TOWARDS ISRAEL? NOT TILTED ENOUGH?

Moore: MIKE, IT SEEMS AS THOUGH THAT WE'RE IN A SITUATION WHERE WE DO HAVE AN ELECTED GOVERNMENT IN ISRAEL. THAT'S VERY POSITIVE, A DEMOCRACY THAT'S WORKING THERE. HOWEVER, THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT WE ARE SENDING TO ISRAEL IS JUST OUT OF CONTROL. AND A LOT OF IT IS BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT THE PRESSURE THAT IS BEING PUT ON BY ISRAELI SUPPORTERS IN THE UNITED STATES AND PUTTING ON OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS, AND THAT NEEDS TO BE CUT BACK.

Glover: MR. HARTHAN, THE SAME QUESTION TO YOU. AS A MEMBER OF THE SENATE, WHAT WOULD YOUR POLICY BE TOWARD THE MID EAST?

Harthan: THE FIRST THING I WOULD DO IS START ENFORCING THE U.N. RESOLUTIONS THAT HAVE BEEN OUT THERE. WE CAN'T BE DOING IT FOR ONE COUNTRY AND NOT THEOTHER. THE U.N. HAS SAID TO ISRAEL, "YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES. YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO SET SETTLEMENTS UP THERE." ACTUALLY THE ISRAELI PEOPLE SAY THEY SHOULDN'T BE THERE TOO. SO IF WE'RE GOING TO SUPPORT ONE RESOLUTION FROM THE U.N., WE SHOULD SUPPORT THE OTHER RESOLUTION AND MAKE IT A -- SUPPORT THE WHOLE UNITY OF THE AREA AS MUCH AS WE CAN.

Glover: MR. MOORE, I'LL DIRECT THIS QUESTION TO YOU, AND WE'LL START WITH THE SENATE THIS TIME - THE SENATE CANDIDATES. CONGRESS PASSED A FAIRLY LARGE TAX CUT THAT PRESIDENT BUSH PROPOSED SHORTLY AFTER HE WAS ELECTED TO OFFICE. THERE'S A QUESTION ABOUT WHETHER IT SHOULD BE MADE PERMANENT. AS A MEMBER OF THE SENATE, WOULD YOU HAVE VOTED IN FAVOR OF THAT TAX CUT AND WOULD YOU VOTE TO MAKE IT PERMANENT?

Moore: I WOULD HAVE, MIKE. I WOULD HAVE VOTED FOR THAT. MY CONCERN IS THAT MANY OF THE INDIVIDUALS THAT HAVE -- IN THAT PARTICULAR AREA THAT RECEIVE THE BENEFITS, IT CAME ACROSS THE BOARD. THE ONLY INDIVIDUALS THAT DID NOT GET THEBENEFIT WERE INDIVIDUALS THAT WEREN'T PAYING THE TAXES THAT CAME BACK. SO I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH THAT. I THINK THE TAXES COMING FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ARE WAY OUT OF CONTROL ANYWAY, SO ANY TAX REDUCTION THAT WE CAN GIVE EVERY CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES WOULD BE WELCOME.

Glover: MR. HARTHAN, TWO-PART QUESTION: WOULD YOU HAVE VOTED FOR THE TAX CUTS; AND WOULD YOU VOTE TO MAKE THEM PERMANENT?

Harthan: NO AND NO. I BELIEVE THAT THE TAX CUTS DID NOTHING TO HELP AMERICANS -- MOST AMERICANS OUT HERE. I BELIEVE THAT IT IS -- AT THIS POINT IT JUST THE FAVORS THE WEALTHY, AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED. AND I'M CONCERNED ABOUT THE 80 PERCENT OF US OUT HERE THAT ARE MAKING A $100,000 OR LESS PER YEAR AND HOW WE ARE BEING TREATED IN THIS DEMOCRACY, OR WHAT WE CALL DEMOCRACY.

Glover: MR. FRUIT, THE QUESTION TO YOU, ALTHOUGH I SUSPECT I KNOW THE ANSWER. (A) WOULD YOU HAVE VOTED FOR THE TAX CUT; AND (B) WOULD YOU VOTE TO MAKE IT PERMANENT?

Fruit: WELL, WE'RE COMPLETELY OPPOSED TO THE TAX SYSTEM AS IT EXISTS. WE'RE FOR A STEEP TAX, A PROGRESSIVE TAX TAXING THE WEALTHY AND THE CORPORATIONS IN THIS COUNTRY. IT USED TO BE THAT 35 PERCENT OF THE INCOME CAME FROM CORPORATIONS. IT'S NOW UNDER 9 PERCENT. WE'RE FOR 100-PERCENT TAX OF THE PROFITS OF THE CORPORATIONS. WE'RE FOR NO TAXES ON WORKING PEOPLE AT ALL, BECAUSE WE'RE THE ONES THAT PRODUCE THE WEALTH AND YET WE DON'T REALLY REAP THE BENEFITS OF THE WEALTH THAT WE PRODUCE AS WORKERS AND FARMERS IN THIS COUNTRY.

Glover: MR. HENNAGER, THE QUESTION TO YOU. WOULD YOU HAVE VOTED FOR THE TAX CUT AND WOULD YOU VOTE TO MAKE IT PERMANENT?

Hennager: I WOULD NOT HAVE SUPPORTED THE TAX BILL AS IT WAS. I THINK IT WAS UNEVENLY WRITTEN, BUT I AM IN FAVOR OF REDUCING THE COST OF GOVERNMENT. I THINK IF WE TALK ABOUT TAX CUTS WITHOUT CUTTING THE COST, IT'S VERY IRRESPONSIBLE. SO SOMEHOW WE HAVE TO REDUCE THE COST FIRST AND THEN FIND WAYS TO REDUCE THE TAXES. IF WE DON'T DO IT THAT WAY, IT'S JUST PURE POLITICS.

Glover: MR. SMITH, THE TAX CUT HASN'T BEEN ALL THAT POPULAR. WHERE WOULD YOU HAVE COME ON THAT TAX CUT, AND WOULD YOU VOTE TO MAKE IT PERMANENT?

Smith: I WOULD HAVE RELUCTANTLY VOTED FOR IT. I WOULD RELUCTANTLY VOTE TO MAKE IT PERMANENT, BUT IT DOES NOT GO FAR ENOUGH. EVERY THREE SECONDS OUR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SPENDS ONE MILLION DOLLARS. I WOULD FIGHT TO RETURN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO ITS CONSTITUTIONAL LIMITS BY ELIMINATING UNNECESSARY PROGRAMS AND PRIVATIZING THE REST. THIS WAY WE COULD ABOLISH THE IRS AND ELIMINATE THE FEDERAL INCOME TAX. WHAT THAT WOULD DO FOR AN AVERAGE FAMILY OF FOUR WOULD GIVE THEM BACK, OF THEIR OWN MONEY, WOULD GIVE THEM BACK $6,200 PER YEAR.

Glover: MR. LITTEN, THE TAX CUT THAT WENT THROUGH CONGRESS. WOULD YOU HAVE FAVORED IT AND WOULD YOU VOTE TO MAKE IT PERMANENT?

Litten: I THINK WE'RE USING THE SAME NOTES HERE. THERE'S NOTHING I CAN REALLY ADD TO WHAT JEFFREY HAS SAID.

Glover: YOU'RE ALLOWED TO AGREE WITH YOUR POTENTIAL OPPONENTS.

Litten: HE'S ONE OF MY RUNNING MATES.

Glover: LET'S STAY WITH YOU, THEN. IOWA IS ONE OF THE OLDEST STATES IN THE COUNTRY, SOMETHING LIKE FOURTH OLDEST IN THE COUNTRY. AND THERE'S A LOT OF WORRY ABOUT SOCIAL SECURITY, PARTICULARLY WHEN THE BABY-BOOMERS START TO RETIRE. WHAT'S THE LITTEN PLAN FOR DEALING WITH THE LOOMING CRISIS IN SOCIAL SECURITY?

Litten: WELL, WE DO HAVE TO MEET THE OBLIGATIONS THAT WE HAVE MADE. PROMISES HAVE BEEN MADE. GOVERNMENTS MUST KEEP THEM. AMERICA HAS A LOT OF EXCESS PROPERTY. FORTY PERCENT OF THE WEST IS OWNED BY THE GOVERNMENT. WE OWN STRATEGIC RESERVES. WE OWN ALL SORTS OF WEALTH. RATHER THAN INCREASING THE AMOUNT THAT WE TAKE IN FROM TAXES AND CUTTING BENEFITS, WE COULD SELL OFF SOME OF THAT TO GET US THROUGH THIS CRISIS AS A ONE-TIME SORT OF DEAL, UNTIL WE CAN GET OUT OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY BUSINESS ENTIRELY.

Glover: MR. SMITH, DO YOU WANT TO BORROW MR. LITTEN'S NOTES TO TRY THIS ONE, OR DO YOU WANT TO TRY YOUR OWN? WHAT WOULD YOU DO FOR SOCIAL SECURITY?

Smith: I THINK THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO HONOR THEIR COMMITMENT TO THE PEOPLE THAT ARE IN IT. I THINK IF IT COULD BE PRIVATIZED AND RUN MORE EFFICIENTLY BY A PRIVATE COMPANY, I THINK THAT'S FINE. BUT I THINK THAT YOUNG PEOPLE NEED TO BE ABLE TO OPT OUT OF IT TOTALLY IF THEY WANT TO. IF THE GOVERNMENT DIDN'T TAX PEOPLE TO DEATH, THEY COULD BETTER PLAN THEIR OWN RETIREMENT.

Glover: MR. HENNAGER?

Hennager: I THINK WE HAVE TO TAKE A VERY SERIOUS LOOK AT THIS, BECAUSE I DON'T THINK WE'RE BEING TOLD ALL OF THE FACTS. I THINK THEY BORROWED FROM SOCIAL SECURITY SO HEAVILY THAT IT'S IN JEOPARDY RIGHT NOW. BUT BY 2014 TO 2016, THEY'RE ALREADY PREDICTING THAT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO RAISE TAXES ON PERSONAL LEVELS TO MAYBE 80 PERCENT TO PAY FOR THE INCREASE THAT'S GOING TO COME IN IN THE NEXT TEN YEARS. THAT'S JUST NOT POSSIBLE. WE CAN'T ASK OUR GRANDCHILDREN AND CHILDREN TO PAY 80 PERCENT OF THEIR TAXES SO THAT OLDER PEOPLE CAN HAVE SOMETHING THAT THEY HAVEN'T PLANNED FOR. WE HAVE TO FIND A SOLUTION TO PROTECT THOSE PEOPLE THAT NEED THE MONEY, BUT ALSO FIND AVENUES FOR YOUNGER PEOPLE TO MOVE INTO AREAS THAT THEY CAN TAKE CARE OF THEIR RETIREMENT, THEIR OWN MEDICAL COST.

Glover: MR. FRUIT, WHAT'S THE ANSWER ON SOCIAL SECURITY?

Fruit: WELL, AS SOCIALISTS, WE'RE FOR CRADLE TO GRAVE, FULL GUARANTEED BENEFITS FOR EVERYONE. THAT'S EDUCATION, HEALTH CARE, AND SOCIAL SECURITY OR WHATEVER RETIREMENT WAGES PEOPLE DESERVE. PEOPLE THAT HAVE WORKED THEIR ENTIRE LIVES, WHETHER ON THE FARM OR WHETHER IN A FACTORY OR WHEREVER, SHOULD BE ABLE TO LIVE DECENTLY AND HAVE A DECENT LIVING WAGE WITHOUT HAVING TO DECIDE WHETHER THEY'RE GOING TO BUY FOOD OR PRESCRIPTION DRUGS OR WHATEVER. WE'RE FOR FULLY FUNDED SOCIAL SECURITY AND OTHER BENEFITS THAT WOULD BE PROVIDED BY TAXING THE RICH, AS I SAID BEFORE, AND NOT HAVE ELDERLY PEOPLE WONDER WHERE THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO SPEND THEIR MONEY.

Glover: MR. HARTHAN, SOME OF US HAVE ENOUGH GRAY HAIR TO THINK ABOUT RETIREMENT AND SOCIAL SECURITY.

Harthan: I'M ONE OF THEM RIGHT NOW. BEING DISABLED, I'M ACTUALLY DRAWING ON DISABLEMENT --

Glover: WHAT'S YOUR SOLUTION FOR THE PROBLEMS FACING SOCIAL SECURITY?

Harthan: WELL, YOU KNOW, WHEN I LOOK AT SOCIAL SECURITY, I LOOK AT IT AND IT SEEMS TO ME LIKE IT IS THE WORST TAXES ON THE WORKING CLASS IN THIS COUNTRY. IF YOU MAKE OVER -- OR LESS THAN $70,000, YOU ARE TAXED AT A 15-PERCENT RATE. IF YOU TAKE THE 7.5 THAT GOES OUT OF YOUR CHECK AND THE 7.5 THAT GOES TO THE GOVERNMENT, YOU'RE TAXED THAT. IF YOU MAKE A MILLION DOLLARS, YOU ONLY PAY SOCIAL SECURITY ON $70,000. THAT SOCIAL SECURITY HAS HURT, ESPECIALLY WHEN REAGAN RAISED THE RATES, IT REALLY HURT US. I AGREE, WE'VE MADE A PROMISE. WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING. QUIT MESSING WITH THE SOCIAL SECURITY FUND. JUST QUIT MESSING WITH IT AND LEAVE IT WHERE IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE. THE INTEREST PROBABLY WOULD HAVE BEEN FINE IF WE HADN'T STARTING TAKING IT OUT OF THERE AND USING IT IN THE GENERAL BUDGET.

Glover: MR. MOORE, NO MORE REMARKS ABOUT GRAY HAIRS. BUT WHAT'S THE MOORE PLAN FOR SOCIAL SECURITY?

Moore: I HAVE TO AGREE WITH TIM ON THAT. THE OBLIGATION IS CRUCIAL. WE CAN'T WALK AWAY FROM THE OBLIGATION OF OUR SENIOR CITIZENS. ESPECIALLY WE SEE THAT HERE IN IOWA WITH SO MANY SENIORS. MY CONCERN IS THE FACT THAT NOT ONLY IS THE PERCENTAGES UNFAIR TO THOSE THAT ARE WORKING, BUT THE RATE OF RETURN FROM SOCIAL SECURITY, IF YOU CAN ACTUALLY PUT A RATE OF RETURN ON THAT, IS SOMEWHEREIN THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF 2 PERCENT. NOW, I DON'T KNOW ABOUT THE REST OF THE STATE OF IOWA, BUT I KNOW IN THE NORTHEAST - OR IN THE NORTHWEST CORNER OF THE STATE, A PASSBOOK SAVINGS ACCOUNT WILL GET ME 2 PERCENT. SO I THINK WE COULD DO MUCH BETTER THAN WHAT WE ARE.

Glover: MR. FRUIT, THERE'S ANOTHER BIG ISSUE THAT'S FACED CONGRESS AND IT AFFECTS IOWA VERY HEAVILY, AND THAT'S THE FARM BILL. CONGRESS JUST PASSED A NEW FARM BILL AND THE PRESIDENT SIGNED IT INTO LAW. AS A MEMBER OF CONGRESS, WOULD YOU HAVE VOTED FOR THAT FARM BILL?

Fruit: WELL, I THINK THE FARM BILL, IF YOU LOOK AT IT AS A WHOLE, BASICALLY, THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF THE MONEY GOES TO THE LARGE FARMING AND CORPORATE ENTITIES IN THIS COUNTRY. IT DOESN'T REALLY HELP THE WORKING FARMERS OR THE FAMILY FARMERS, NOT ONLY IN IOWA BUT AROUND THE COUNTRY. MANY WORKING FARMERS TODAY HAVE TO WORK TWO JOBS JUST TO BE ABLE TO EXIST. IF THERE'S A DROUGHT OR IF THERE'S A CROP PROBLEM, THEY HAVE NO WAY TO PAY THE BANKS FOR THE MONEY THEY OWE BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT DOESN'T GUARANTEE ANY OF THAT. WE'RE FOR FARMERS GETTING A LIVING WAGE, JUST AS WE'RE FOR - YOU KNOW, A LIVING WAGE THAT WILL HELP THEM EXIST AND FEED THEIR FAMILIES AND SEND THEIR CHILDREN TO COLLEGE AND ALL THE THINGS THAT ARE NECESSARY. THIS FARM BILL DOESN'T PROVIDE FOR ANYTHING LIKE THAT.

Glover: MR. HENNAGER, YES OR NO ON THE NEW FARM BILL?

Hennager: NO. LAST YEAR 40 PERCENT OF THE INCOME FOR IOWA FARMERS CAME FROM TAXPAYERS. WE DON'T DO THAT FOR ANY OTHER INDUSTRY. IT'S ABSOLUTELY CRAZY. IT ALLOWS THEM TO STAY IN THE INEFFICIENCIES THAT THEY ARE. WE NEED TO FIND WAYS TO TAKE REAL MONEY AND FIND WAYS TO GET YOUNG FARMERS BACK INTO THE BUSINESS, MORE DIVERSIFIED, MORE SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE. WE DO NOT WANT TO CONTINUE SUBSIDIZING THE BIGGER FARMERS. IT'S RIDICULOUS.

Glover: MR. SMITH?

Smith: I WOULD HAVE VOTED NO. I THINK THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO QUIT MEDDLING IN OUR SUPPLY AND DEMAND FREE-ENTERPRISE SYSTEM.

Glover: MR. LITTEN?

Litten: I WOULD HAVE VOTED NO. I BELIEVE THAT FARMERS SHOULD HAVE A CHOICE IN WHAT THEY GROW AND CURRENTLY THERE'S TOO MANY CONTROLS PUT ON THEM IN HOW THEY CAN DO IT.

Glover: MR. MOORE, ONE OF THE PEOPLE YOU'RE RUNNING AGAINST WROTE THATFARM BILL AND WAS THE MAIN DRIVING FORCE BEHIND IT. HOW WOULD YOU HAVE VOTED ON THE FARM BILL?

Moore: I WOULD HAVE VOTED NO. THE REASON WHY IS THE QUESTION REALLY COMES DOWN TO ARE THE FARMERS GOING TO BE ABLE TO GET A FAIR PRICE FOR A GOOD CROP. IT'S INTERESTING THAT IT WAS SENATOR HARKIN THAT WAS INVOLVED WITH THAT, AND YET REPRESENTATIVE GANSKE VOTED AGAINST IT AND IT WAS PRESIDENT BUSH'S BABY. SO WE'RE IN A SITUATION WHERE THE RIGHT HAND REALLY DOESN'T KNOW WHAT THE LEFT HAND IS DOING WHEN IT COMES TO THE TWO MAJOR PARTY CANDIDATES. AND I WOULD HAVE VOTED NO JUST BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT THE FARMERS NEED TO HAVE THE GOVERNMENT GET OUT OF THE BUSINESS AND LET THEM DO WHAT THEY DO BEST, AND THAT'S FEED THE WORLD.

Glover: YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT POLITICS, IT'S NOT ALWAYS LOGICAL AND THINGS AREN'T ALWAYS THE WAY YOU THINK. MR. HARTHAN, A QUESTION TO YOU. ONE OF THE PEOPLE YOU'RE RUNNING AGAINST HELPED WRITE THAT FARM BILL. IN FACT, SOME SAY HE DID WRITE THE FARM BILL. HOW WOULD YOU HAVE VOTED?

Harthan: NO. I WOULD NOT HAVE PUT MY NAME TO A BILL THAT STILL ALLOWED MEAT PACKING CORPORATIONS TO HAVE LIVESTOCK OWNERSHIP. I WOULD NOT HAVE PUT MY NAME TO A BILL THAT STILL WAS BASED ON SUBSIDIES ON YIELDS OF CORN THAT KEEPS THE PRICE OF CORN ACTUALLY BELOW PRODUCTION COST FOR THE ADMs, THE CARGILLs, THE HUGE CORPORATIONS TO BUY THAT CORN UNDER PRODUCTION COSTS WHILE THE TAXPAYERS OF AMERICA KEEP THE FARMERS GOING. OPEN UP THE MARKETS, GET A FAIR PRICE FOR OUR FARMERS' GOODS, AND LET US GROW MORE CROPS TOO, BECAUSE THAT'S PART OF IT RIGHT THERE. SUBSIDIES ARE BASED ON JUST TWO CROPS IN THIS STATE.

Glover: MR. MOORE, I'D LIKE YOU TO THINK CREATIVELY FOR A SECOND. WHAT CAN CONGRESS DO TO HELP FIX AN ECONOMY IN THE RURAL PART OF THE COUNTRY THAT'S REALLY PRETTY BAD, OR IS THERE ANYTHING CONGRESS CAN DO? DO WE HAVE TO GIVE UP ON THIS CORN AND SOYBEANS PRODUCTION MODEL AND TRY SOMETHING NEW?

Moore: MIKE, I DON'T THINK WE NEED - I DON'T THINK WE NEED TO GIVE UP ON THOSE THINGS. BUT I THINK PROBABLY THE NUMBER ONE CONCERN THAT I HAVE, IN TALKING WITH PEOPLE IN THE STATE OF IOWA, IS THE FACT THAT WE'VE GOT TO GET THE GOVERNMENT BACK DOWN TO THE ORIGINAL SIZE THAT IT WAS WHEN THE COUNTRY WAS FOUNDED. AND I DON'T THINK THAT'S THAT DIFFICULT TO DO. IT'S GOING TO BEDIFFICULT FOR THOSE IN POWER TO DO BECAUSE THEY HAVE GOTTEN USED TO THAT POWER, BUT WE NEED TO GET THAT GOVERNMENT BACK OFF THE BACKS OF THE AMERICAN CITIZENS.

Glover: MR. HARTHAN, THE SAME QUESTION TO YOU.

Harthan: I WOULD SAY -- I WOULD GO ON TO STATE, YES, I AGREE WITH YOU ON THAT. I AGREE COMPLETELY WITH THAT. LIKE I SAID, TO JUST CHANGE THIS OUT HERE, WE DO NEED LESS FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. WE DON'T NEED AN AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT SPENDING 80 PERCENT IN BUREAUCRACY OF WHAT THEY GET, OR THE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT. THE GREEN PARTY WOULD LIKE TO SEE MONEY, NOT ONLY LESS FEDERAL CONTROL, BUT THE MONEY THAT WE SEND TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT STAY HERE. LET US MAKE OUR DECISIONS LOCALLY, AND WE THINK WE'D BE BETTER OFF.

Glover: MR. FRUIT, THE SAME QUESTION TO YOU. THINK CREATIVELY ABOUT RURAL AMERICA.

Fruit: WELL, IF YOU WANT TO THINK CREATIVELY, YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT WE'RE IN A SYSTEM THAT PUTS PROFITS OVER PEOPLE. THE SITUATION IS GOING TO GETWORSE, NOT ONLY RURALLY BUT EVEN IN THE CITIES AS WELL. THE CAPITAL SYSTEM AS A WHOLE INTERNATIONALLY IS IN BIG TROUBLE, IF YOU LOOK AT ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, A LOT OF THESE COUNTRIES ON THE VERGE, IF NOT ALREADY, BANKRUPT, WHICH IS GOING TO HAVE A BIG EFFECT IN THE UNITED STATES. THAT'S WHY WE CALL FOR A WORKERS AND FARMERS GOVERNMENT. WE THINK WORKERS AND FARMERS MAKE THE COUNTRY RUN. WE THINK WORKERS AND FARMERS SHOULD RUN THE COUNTRY.

Glover: MR. HENNAGER?

Hennager: WELL, I THINK IN IOWA WE HAVE TO LOOK AT WHAT'S ACTUALLY HAPPENED IN THE LAST THIRTY YEARS, AND WE'VE LOST OVER 200,000 FARM FAMILIES IN RURAL IOWA. THAT'S AFFECTED ALL OF THE COMMUNITIES, ALL OF THE CHURCHES, ALL OF THE SCHOOLS, AND PEOPLE ARE SAYING IT WILL NEVER RETURN, THERE'S NO WAY TO GO BACK. BUT I THINK THE NEW FARMER OF THE FUTURE NEEDS TO BE MORE DIVERSIFIED, MORE SUSTAINABLE, MORE ORGANIC, MORE VALUE ADDED, AND THAT CAN BE A FAMILY FARM. IT COULD BE DONE IF WE WOULD ONLY SET THOSE PRIORITIES. WE NEED TO FIND WAYS TO GET FARMERS BACK.

Glover: MR. SMITH, WE'VE GOT A MINUTE LEFT. WE'LL LET YOU TWO SPLIT IT UP.

Smith: THE MAIN THING FOR IOWA IS THE REASON THAT WE'RE LOSING POPULATION ISBECAUSE WE ARE TAXED TO DEATH. WE HAVE ONE OF THE HIGHEST STATE INCOME TAX RATES. WE HAVE ONE OF THE HIGHEST SALES TAX RATES, ESPECIALLY IN POLK - AND NOW STORY COUNTY HAS 7 PERCENT. PEOPLE WILL NOT LIVE WHERE THEY'RE TAXED TO DEATH.

Glover: MR. LITTEN, THINK CREATIVELY ABOUT RURAL AMERICA. WHAT CAN CONGRESS DO TO HELP TURN THINGS AROUND OUT THERE?

Litten: IT CAN GET OUT OF OUR LIVES.

Glover: THE LESS GOVERNMENT, THE BETTER, AND THE MORE THINGS WILL TURN AROUND?

Litten: ABSOLUTELY. MM-HMM.

Glover: MR. LITTEN, ONE QUICK QUESTION. HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THE FACT THAT IOWA HAS NO TRADITION OF ELECTING THIRD PARTY CANDIDATES?

Litten: WELL, IT'S GOT TO HAPPEN SOMETIME.

Glover: IT'S GOT TO HAPPEN SOMETIME, AND YOU THINK YOU CAN MAKE THIS THE ELECTION TO DO IT? MR. MOORE, THE SAME QUESTION TO YOU.

Moore: IT'S GOT TO BE THE TIME. IT'S GOT TO BE THE TIME BECAUSE IF ALL WE DO IS CONTINUE TO ELECT REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS, ALL WE'RE GOING TO GET IS WHAT WE'VE GOTTEN FOR THE LAST TWO HUNDRED YEARS, AND THE TIME IS NOW TO ELECT SOMEONE WHO HAS THE CREATIVE JUICES TO BE ABLE TO GET THE COUNTRY BACK WHERE ITNEEDS TO BE.

Glover: AND THE TIME IS NOW TO STOP, BECAUSE WE'RE OUT OF TIME. THANKS TO EACH OF YOU FOR YOUR PERSPECTIVES ON THE CAMPAIGN OF 2002.AS INDICATED EARLIER, OUR PREELECTION CANDIDATE FORUM IS A TWO-PART PRESENTATION THIS EVENING HERE ON IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION. IN OUR FIRST HALF HOUR, WE WELCOMED CANDIDATES FOR THE U.S. SENATE AND THE U.S. HOUSE TO OUR STUDIOS, AND IN OUR SECOND HALF HOUR, WE DISCUSS GUBERNATORIAL POLITICS. WE HAVE LOTS MORE TO COME ON "CAMPAIGN 2002." STAY TUNED.


Tags: campaign 2002 Congress Green Party Iowa socialism