NOOZHAWK: The so-called Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 will expire at the end of this year. On Jan. 1, what will be the new rates of taxation on income, capital gains, dividends and estates, and the per child tax credit? Do you support the expiration of the existing rates or should they be extended? Why or why not?
DARRELL STAFFORD: If I’m elected I will represent the people of the 23rd Congressional District. It will be their voice that will be taken to Washington, D.C. So, if they desire that the existing rates expire then I would follow their direction. I personally believe the Bush tax cuts should be continued until the federal government is significantly downsized and there is a guarantee that the additional funds from allowing expiration of the tax cuts be applied directly to the out-of-control national debt.
NOOZHAWK: A leading national polling firm recently asked Americans to choose between these statements: A) President Barack Obama’s economic policies have averted an even worse economic crisis and are laying the foundation for recovery. B) President Barack Obama’s economic policies have run up a record federal deficit while failing to end the recession or slow job losses. Which statement reflects your opinion and why?
DS: America can’t buy its way out of debt. President Obama’s policy has provided more wealth to the upper 2 percent of Americans than it has provided jobs. The object was to make the rich richer … and it has worked.
NOOZHAWK: According to the Congressional Budget Office, the U.S. debt-to-Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio will have risen to 62 percent at the end of 2010 from 36 percent in 2007. In a worst-case scenario, the CBO estimates an increase to 100 percent in 2020 and nearly 200 percent in 2035. What effect does such a debt load mean for middle-class Americans?
DS: It means more poverty in the United States and a smaller middle class.
NOOZHAWK: How, specifically, are Americans benefiting from the health-care reform law? What are the disadvantages? How would you fix them?
DS: There is no health-care reform law! The so called health-care reform law is designed to make it look like our national debt is decreasing as our federal government continues to overspend. In four years, when benefits are to start, there will be no funds available and the government will start rationing health care.
NOOZHAWK: California’s fiscal health appears precarious. While the state Constitution prohibits a bankruptcy declaration, how much of a federal concern are California’s finances? What can Washington do to coax reform, or stabilization? Will the federal government step in if a bailout is necessary? Should it?
DS: The federal government is not “Big Brother!” The federal government should respect states’ rights in good times and bad. There should be no bailout for any state. However, Washington, D.C., could support a realistic “reorganization plan” if an independent citizens committee and judge agreed the reorganization plan could work.
NOOZHAWK: Energy security and sustainability are major challenges for the United States. What policies do you or would you support to meet the U.S. energy demand while ensuring an economically and environmentally sustainable future?
DS: I would focus on the demand side and place significant fees on those who are ignoring the problem by driving Hummers, SUVs and larger vehicles. The additional funds would be used to support energy conservation.
NOOZHAWK: Surveying the global landscape, what is the most beneficial role the United States plays in world affairs? What should be America’s biggest concern?
DS: China should be America’s biggest concern. Also, another major concern is our federal government’s inability to control corruption, greed and waste in our federal government. The United States should focus on making the United States independent from the rest of the world.
NOOZHAWK: Is Iran a threat to the United States? What is the best way to handle its apparent nuclear intentions?
DS: Yes. Destroy them.
NOOZHAWK: Highway 101 is one of the West Coast’s most important arteries and the section within the 23rd Congressional District is critical to the movement of goods through the Port of Hueneme, the nation’s largest transit point for agricultural exports. Meanwhile, the roadway between Santa Barbara and Seacliff is essentially a parking lot. Does the district receive federal transportation dollars commensurate with its importance? Why or why not?
DS: With more than a $13 trillion in national debt, states need to stop thinking the federal government can print enough money to solve all their problems.
NOOZHAWK: The 23rd Congressional District is a work of art, boundary-wise. Do you support redistricting efforts to make it more compact?
DS: The district needs to be designed based on a logical design and not political desires.
NOOZHAWK: In your travels within the district, what do people say is their most important issue?
DS: The economy!
NOOZHAWK: Which current or former House speaker do you admire most, and why?
DS: None! They are all politicians and I hate all politicians.
NOOZHAWK: Will you live-tweet the next State of the Union address for Noozhawk?
DS: Sure, given the technology.