Their View: Pearce is the clear choice in November
By: Gloria A. Sawyers
September 27, 2010--Las Cruces Sun-News
Election season is in full swing here in southern New Mexico, and we are fortunate enough to have a major congressional race in our backyard. There are major differences between Democrat Harry Teague and Republican Steve Pearce. When one looks objectively at the facts, it is obvious that Steve Pearce is the candidate willing to make the tough decisions we face in the coming years.
Let's start with taxes. Pearce has gone on the record both as a former member of Congress and in this campaign as adamantly opposed to tax increases on everyone. He voted for permanent tax relief, supported the elimination of the death tax, which harms far more small businesses than wealthy elites, and ending the double taxation of dividends.
Harry Teague says he is opposed to an income tax hike, as well. However, he voted to make Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, and she controls the legislative agenda in that chamber. So, no matter how Teague might nominally buck the party on this issue, his steadfast support of Pelosi assures that someone will get a tax increase. Even if this tax increase only affects those making $250,000 per year or more, 48 percent of the individuals who file under the tax bracket are small businesses filing as individuals. Do we really want a tax increase on small businesses in these difficult economic times?
Another important pocketbook issue for New Mexican is cap and trade. Pearce is on the record as being opposed to the bill. Teague, on the other hand, voted for cap and trade, which is effectively a national energy tax that would disproportionately affect the poor. Cap and trade would increase our home electric bills by as much as 60 percent; add $1 to each gallon of gas at the pump and cost New Mexico around 13,000 jobs.
When asked about the cost of cap and trade to individual families, Teague remarked that it would cost the equivalent of a postage stamp for New Mexico families.
Again, can we afford to impose what the Democrat chairman of the House Energy Committee called a "big, fat tax" on working families in the midst of a recession?
On fiscal policy, Steve Pearce is a deficit hawk and consistently opposes the spendthrift policies of Democrats and even some Republicans. Teague voted for the failed $1 trillion stimulus plan that was financed through debt, has overseen the two largest budget deficits in history, and will stand with Pelosi and President Obama in financing the third largest budget deficit in history next year.
Average folks can live beyond their means for a set amount of time, but eventually the bill comes due. Add to this the fact that Teague used stimulus funds to pave the road in front of his business office, and you see a perfect example of why people have become so cynical about government.
America is on an unsustainable fiscal course, and Teague simply shows a wanton disregard for our money and selfish obsession with his own electoral prospects.
And of course, there is the health-care issue. Pearce opposes the Democrats' health-care bill and favors better solutions like allowing people to buy insurance across state lines, and letting small businesses pool their resources to purchase health-care plans exclusively available to larger companies.
While Teague voted against the health-care bill, a closer look shows that Teague actually voted on five separate occasions to move the bill toward final passage, before voting against it. This smacks of election-year desperation and the typical Washington politics that Democrats promised to end. Moreover, Teague cut off his employees' health insurance four days before Christmas last year, and soon thereafter pocketed a $3 million bonus. That speaks for itself.
There is a clear choice between two candidates in this race - one conservative and one liberal. Steve Pearce stands for those principles that pulled us out of the late 1970's stagflation, like lower taxes for individuals and businesses, less government spending and a common sense approach to governing. Harry Teague talks about these things, but his record does not measure up with his words. I will proudly stand with Steve Pearce this November. Will you?
Gloria A. Sawyers has been a resident of Las Cruces for more than 37 years.