• WisPolitics


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

 3:50 PM 

Lassa, Duffy spar over Social Security in 1st debate

WAUSAU -- Dem U.S. House hopeful Julie Lassa today accused GOP opponent Sean Duffy of flip-flopping on whether he supports privatization of Social Security.

Lassa, a state lawmaker since 1998, told about 100 people during her first debate with Duffy that the Republican supports U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan that calls for allowing private investments of Social Security money, an idea Lassa said she opposed.

Duffy called Ryan’s plan a good “starting point” for reforming federal spending, but said he did not support privatizing Social Security.

“I do support talking about solutions that are going to shore it up,” he said. “I look forward to fighting for Social Security when I get to Washington.”

Duffy, the former district attorney in Ashland County, called Lassa’s attack on him “misleading” and quoted one newspaper criticism of Lassa as “liar, liar, pants on fire.”

The debate at Northcentral Technical College, sponsored by a coalition of human services, aging and disability groups, was not televised and was the first of at least four meetings the two candidates planned before the November election. The next is Oct. 17 on WSAW-TV in Wausau, the campaigns said.

The 7th CD is open for the first time in decades after Democrat Dave Obey, first elected in 1969, announced his retirement last spring. Observers say the race is one of the most competitive and closely watched in the nation.

Wednesday’s crowd included white-haired seniors, disabled people in wheelchairs and some college students.

Lassa, a 39-year-old state senator who grew up on a central Wisconsin dairy farm, called Social Security a significant difference between the candidates.

“My opponent flip-flops on the issue depending on who he is talking to,” she said. “Once my opponent got called on the carpet for his support of Paul Ryan’s budget plan that includes privatization of Social Security, he dropped it like a hot potato and ran the other way.”

Workers have a “contract” for Social Security, and the government has an obligation to fulfill it, Lassa said.

She advocated a halt to borrowing from the Social Security trust fund to pay for other programs, a change that would protect the program through 2040, she said.

Duffy said stopping the raids on Social Security was a great proposal “20 years ago. The trust fund is gone. There’s no more money in it. We are going to pay it back. We got to take tax dollars today and pay back the IOUs.”

The real solution is federal policies that clear the way for “job-creators” to create jobs so more people are working and paying into Social Security, said Duffy, a former reality TV star and competitive lumberjack.

Means testing for Social Security benefits should be explored, at least for future generations, Duffy said.

The candidates also clashed on tax cuts to spur the economy.

Duffy favored extending the so-called Bush tax cuts for all incomes, saying taking more money from “our job-creators at this time” doesn’t make sense.

Lassa said a healthy U.S. economy always has occurred with a “vibrant middle class,” so they should not pay higher taxes. But she said $700 billion could be raised to help pay down the federal debt by taxing wealthy Americans.

“I don’t see Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan getting a tax cut and creating any jobs,” Lassa said.

Duffy said he could support a repeal of the new federal health care reforms -- if the reforms were replaced with something better.

“This reform is not sustainable,” he said. “There is some common sense solutions that should have been included. One of them is tort reform.”

Lassa said new reforms have several good changes, including a 35 percent tax cut to small businesses if they offer health insurance to workers. But she worries about a provision that requires individuals and families to obtain health insurance.

“That piece we have to watch carefully to make sure health insurance is affordable,” she said.

By Robert Imrie, for WisPolitics


Back to DC Wrap main page

: See newer blog items : : See older blog items :

DC Wrap site feed


Advertisement
Advertisement

wispolitics.com Social News

Follow Us

ABOUT THE BLOG

WisPolitics coverage of news from the nation's capital.

BLOG CONTRIBUTORS
JR Ross, David Wise

· DC Wrap site feed (RSS)

· Sign up for email delivery of the weekly DC Wrap column

CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION

SENATE
· Tammy Baldwin (D)
· Ron Johnson (R)

HOUSE
· 1st CD: Paul Ryan (R)
· 2nd CD: Mark Pocan (D)
· 3rd CD: Ron Kind (D)
· 4th CD: Gwen Moore (D)
· 5th CD: F. James Sensenbrenner (R)
· 6th CD: Glenn Grothman (R)
· 7th CD: Sean Duffy (R)
· 8th CD: Reid Ribble (R)

CONGRESSIONAL VOTE TRACKING

WISPOLITICS.COM D.C. PROFILES

· July 2013: Wood's 2001 DC inauguration trip turned into new career
· May 2013: Hard work propels Berens from Doyle to Pelosi to DGA
· March 2013: Riemann uses PR skills, 'lunch-pail work ethic' to boost state interests in D.C.
· Feb. 2013: Stocks seeks to remake NEA as 'more than a traditional labor union'
· Dec. 2012: As modest Kohl bids farewell to Senate, others do the bragging
· Dec. 2012: Wisconsin experience provides guideposts to Priebus at RNC

ARCHIVE

· May 2009
· June 2009
· July 2009
· August 2009
· September 2009
· October 2009
· November 2009
· December 2009
· January 2010
· February 2010
· March 2010
· April 2010
· May 2010
· June 2010
· July 2010
· August 2010
· September 2010
· October 2010
· November 2010
· December 2010
· January 2011
· February 2011
· March 2011
· April 2011
· May 2011
· June 2011
· July 2011
· August 2011
· September 2011
· October 2011
· November 2011
· December 2011
· January 2012
· February 2012
· March 2012
· April 2012
· May 2012
· June 2012
· July 2012
· August 2012
· September 2012
· October 2012
· November 2012
· December 2012
· January 2013
· February 2013
· March 2013
· April 2013
· May 2013
· June 2013
· July 2013
· August 2013
· September 2013
· October 2013
· November 2013
· December 2013
· January 2014
· February 2014
· March 2014
· April 2014
· May 2014
· June 2014
· July 2014
· August 2014
· September 2014
· October 2014
· November 2014
· December 2014
· January 2015
· February 2015
· March 2015
· April 2015
· May 2015
· June 2015
· July 2015
· September 2015
· October 2015
· November 2015
· December 2015
· January 2016
· February 2016
· March 2016
· April 2016
· May 2016
· June 2016
· July 2016
· August 2016
· September 2016
Copyright ©2012 WisPolitics.com All rights reserved. | WisOpinion.com | WisBusiness.com  |  Website development by wisnet.com LLC  | Website design by Makin’ Hey Communications