'via Blog this'
|The Marshall Plan|
Posting Date: 09/05/2011
The race between Democrat Nevada State Treasurer Kate Marshall and Republican Mark Amodei for Nevada 2nd Congressional District seat means more to Mesquite voters than typical Democrat vs. Republican ideology position taking.
Those voting for Amodei are endorsing a Tea Party aligned candidate. It is the current batch of elected Tea Partiers who pose a huge threat to traditional Republicans by slowing any chance for collaborative solutions to existing economic and international problems.
When the Tea Party Republicans held out for the balanced-budget amendment during the recent deficit debacle an editorial in the conservative Wall Street Journal mocked them as hobbits battling Mordor.“This is the kind of crack political thinking that turned Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell into GOP Senate nominees,” the Journal wrote. John McCain, R., Ariz., frivolously quoted the editorial on the Senate floor.
Amodei's has expressed his allegiance to the Tea Party by supporting the “Ryan Budget Plan.” For those unfamiliar with this plan, it was proposed by Tea-Party Republican Congressman Paul Ryan, who argued, incorrectly, that his plan would reduce the national debt.
As Jonathan Chait writes, Ryan's plan includes "a huge tax cut for people who don't really need it." Those supporting Ryan argue that giving more money to rich will trickle down. This, Reagan era trickle-down economics underlies the Ryan plan and has been discredited by virtually every economist over the past 30-years.
Nevada Senator Republican Dean Heller, Amodei's mentor, has voted twice in support of the plan. He supported it as the Congressman for District 2, and again as Senator. Heller was appointed by Governor Brian Sandoval to the Senate seat vacated by John Ensign. It is Heller's congressional seat that is contested in the Sept. 13th special election.
Amodei and Heller are both out of the Republican mainstream. Conservative Republicans Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Scott Brown (R-MA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), actually joined Democrats in opposing the Ryan Plan, when it came to the Senate. Said Snowe: "I am going to vote no on the budget because I have deep and abiding concerns about the approach on Medicare, which is essentially to privatize it."
Amodei's opponent for the 2nd Congressional seat is Democrat Kate Marshall. Marshall is endorsed by several groups including the national Alliance for Retired Americans. They endorsed Marshall for her "leadership on issues such as fighting Social Security and Medicare privatization."
Seniors attending the endorsement event dubbed Amodei "Calamity Amodei" as they expressed their outrage for Amodei's plan to end Medicare while rallying in support of Marshall's pledge to protect Nevada seniors.
In accepting the endorsement, Marshall pledged to “work together to combat Mr. Amodei's reckless plan to turn over our Medicare to private insurance companies, give seniors vouchers and double their out of pocket costs." In discussing both Medicare and Social Security, she said that: “You have paid into it all your lives and you have earned it, plain and simple."
Mesquite veterans stand to benefit from Marshall. As Treasurer, she was successful in safeguarding military artifacts that come into Nevada's Unclaimed Property division until the rightful owners or surviving family members are able to claim them. She also created a college savings matching funds program with USAA to help make obtaining a college degree for returning veterans easier and more affordable.
Marshall is progressive, but not fiscally irresponsible. As Treasurer, she registered a large net gain for Nevada and says she would argue, if elected to Congress, for pay as you go rules, and demand benchmarks and milestones to lower our federal deficit. She is against pay raises until the federal budget is balanced, and argues for cuts in subsidies to the big oil companies and banking conglomerates which she hopes would force Congress to focus on Main Street, not Wall Street.
In contrast, Amodei, as a state legislator, in a moment of anti Tea-Party action, supported a billion dollar tax increase package that taxed everything from car repairs to movie tickets. The bill also taxed job creation initiatives. In addition, he voted for a pay raise for himself and other state legislators.
Marshall approaches legislation in a collaborative manner. In doing so, she was able to gain bi-partisan support in the last session of the Nevada legislature for SB75. This bill creates a private equity investment fund for Nevada. The bill was signed into law by Governor Brian Sandoval to take effect on October 1, 2011. The fund, a first for Nevada, provides that non-tax dollars from the Permanent School Fund may be invested in new businesses in Nevada, including a possible alternative energy non-profit incubation site for Mesquite.
Environmentalists, such as The Toiyabe chapter of the Sierra Club have endorsed Marshall for her advocacy of the use of Nevada's natural resources (wind, solar, and geothermal) to improve the states economic position.
Amodei, The Sierra Club noted, served in the Nevada Legislature while working as head of the Nevada Mining Association.
Those wishing to vote for American Party candidate Tim Fasano or independent Helmuth Lehmann would be throwing a vote away since neither, if elected, would have the political clout to get anything done. Doing nothing is no way to improve the economic condition of the state and its citizens.
Both progressive Democrats and traditional conservative Republicans will gain if Marshall is elected to Congress. Unlike Amodei, she has a fiscally conservative history, and has outlined a plan to potentially create jobs in Mesquite. She also would protect social security and fight against increasing the costs of health-care, through privatization.
Michael M. McGreer writes on public policy. His books: No Harm, No Foul, Bioterrorism in the 21st Century, and All Rivers Flow West, are both available on Amazon. Click here to see his blog