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52nd Congressional Race And Tax Reform

Aired 5/14/12 on KPBS News.

The two Democrats competing for one of two top spots on the November ballot each have a different perspective on tax reform

Candidates for the 52nd Congressional District debate at the Rancho Bernardo Country Club, Feb 21st 2012
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Above: Candidates for the 52nd Congressional District debate at the Rancho Bernardo Country Club, Feb 21st 2012

Republican Brian Bilbray is expected to be among the top two candidates in June, in the race for the new 52nd congressional district. The two Democrats competing for the other spot on the November ballot have a different perspective on tax reform.

San Diego Port Chair, Democrat Scott Peters said he would favor a balanced approach to tax reform.

He said the first thing would be to stop subsidizing things that don’t need it.

“Like oil companies, “he said, "have never been more profitable and we are giving them subsidies. So there are a lot of those deductions and loopholes we can close. I think the middle class and the poor are doing as much as they can do and I generally agree that the wealthiest Americans should step up and do their fair share too. It’s not just one or the other -it’s got to be a balanced approach.”

Former Calif. Assemblywoman, Democrat Lori Saldana, said she would close tax loopholes that give companies an incentive to move offshore. For example, Apple, she said, benefited from the tax supported education system in the U.S. and then shifted its operation off shore to avoid taxes.

Adjusting for inflation, the income of working people, has remained stagnant for the last 40 years, Saldana said.

“Whereas the highest income earners have been skyrocketing,” she said. “Even in a bad economy, the bonuses are continuing. It’s disproportionately putting the burden on working and middle class Americans, while dismantling the opportunities that would allow them to move up into those higher income earning levels.“

It’s likely that whichever candidate wins more votes in June will face off against Republican Brian Bilbray in November.

Bilbray has taken the Taxpayer Protection Pledge against raising taxes. He voted to extend middle class tax cuts. He also voted for the Paul Ryan budget bill which would extend tax cuts on the wealthy and large corporations.

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