(Host) The two major party candidates for the U.S. House have very different ideas about the role of government on a number of issues.
As VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports, the differences can be seen in issues ranging from economic policy… to health care.
(Kinzel) The race for Vermont’s sole seat in the U.S. House offers voters a clear choice on most of the critical issues facing the country.
Incumbent Democrat Peter Welch is seeking his third term in the House. Speaking on VPR’s U.S. House debate, Welch said there are definitely areas where government involvement is needed.
He says a massive economic stimulus package adopted by Congress last year is a good example of how government can act in a positive way.
(Welch) "This economy fell off the cliff because of the reckless conduct on Wall Street and it did enormous damage on Main Street. But economists who had advised John McCain as well as Barack Obama said we had to have a government stimulus program for a short term boost to mitigate the effects of the collapse of the economy."
(Kinzel) But Republican challenger Paul Beaudry sharply criticized Welch’s support for this plan.
(Beaudry) "I think that what it really has done is put a tremendous debt load on all of us, our children, and our grandchildren and possibly even our great grandchildren. And right now Washington has this attitude – with both Administrations, to be honest with you – that they can just spend and spend and spend without any regard to where the money is coming from."
(Kinzel) Welch also supports a stronger government role in agriculture. He backs a plan to have the government establish supply limits with dairy farmers as a way to control production and to raise the price that farmers receive for their milk.
He says many Vermont farmers support this approach.
(Welch) "They have taken the leadership in proposing that we move towards a new system of supply management where the government helps them have a program where they bring supply in line with price and this requires governmental action."
(Kinzel) Beaudry says he’s skeptical about this approach.
(Beaudry) "I’ll be right upfront and honest I lean towards as little government intervention as possible but there might be a need for some of it in certain cases."
(Kinzel) There are other issues where the candidates disagree. Welch voted for the health care reform bill – Beaudry opposes it. Welch doesn’t support tax cuts for wealthy people, but Beaudry insists that these cuts could help stimulate the national economy.
For VPR News, I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.