The Chairman of the Democratic Party, John Walsh, was the moderator and said he received most of his questions from the local Town Committees who sponsored the debate.
One particular set of questions drew out candidates views on foreign policy. The first was, “What experience do you have outside of the US and how will you get up to speed on foreign policy?” Several candidates told about their experiences overseas.
Then he asked a hypothetical question: What if upon arriving in Congress, John Boehner gave you $50 billion dollars to spend on anything you wanted? Each candidate volunteered what they would spend it on. Many said education, one mentioned environmental work and another job creation. Then came the trick question which forced the candidates to show their spending priorities. Mr. Walsh said, “Oh there was a P.S. I didn’t read earlier: Mr. Boehner wants, in exchange for his $50 billion dollar gift, a cut of $250 billion dollars. What would you cut? What would you cut from non-security discretionary budget?”
Most candidates said they would cut nothing from the non-security discretionary budget. The comments that stood out in my mind were these: Koutoujian said that the military could certainly be cut and without missing a breath he mentioned one of the most expensive weapons in history that doesn’t really work that well: the F-35 Clark said she couldn’t believe Ryan was calling for draconian cuts to services needy children, while at the same time asking for $200 billion for new nuclear weapons. Earlier she said she thought we should use more diplomacy and only use military intervention as a last resort and only if our country is attacked. And Sciortino, without mentioning a specific program, said he knew the military budget was overblown and could be cut and that is where he’d begin.
This post reflects only a small portion of the debate and is not intended to be comprehensive. It was just good to hear the candidates for the Fifth Congressional District speaking about this formerly taboo topic and these particular comments stood out in my mind. Keep up the good work 25% folks.