Ninth District House race getting plenty of attention
Two candidates, Republican Todd Young and Libertarian Greg Knott, are challenging incumbent Democrat Baron Hill for the Indiana Ninth District congressional seat, a spot that represents 20 counties, more than 6,600 square miles and a population of about 676,000 in Southern Indiana.
Hill, of Seymour, defeated four opponents in the May Primary to win his party’s nomination, while Young, who resides in Bloomington, was the top vote-getter in a four-person race in the spring. Knott also hails from Bloomington.
Term limits do not apply. Members of the house earned $174,000 in 2009 and 2010.
Hill has served as Ninth District Congressman from Jan. 3, 1999, to Jan. 3, 2005, and from Jan. 3, 2007, to present. Republican Mike Sodrel, who defeated Hill by 1,425 votes, held the position from 2005 to 2007.
Several of the usual issues ‘ health care, taxes, trimming the national debt, etc. ‘ have been debated by the three candidates; however, Social Security, which will likely run out of money in about 30 years unless a change is made, seems to be the bone of contention. By watching the barrage of television advertising by Hill and Young in recent weeks, one might believe it’s the only issue voters want to talk about.
The race is one of many across the country that could help decide whether or not Democrats keep control of the House (Republicans are hoping to make up ground in the Senate as well).
Here are the profiles of the three candidates. Answers to the questions are printed as submitted by the candidates.
Name: Baron Hill
Family: Wife, Betty Schepman Hill; daughters, Jennifer, Cara and Elizabeth; granddaughter, Josie
Education/Occupation/Political Experience: Furman University, B.A. (History); Indiana General Assembly (1982-1990); Executive Director ‘ Indiana Student Assistance Commission (1992-1998); United State Congress (1999-2005, 2007-present)
Contact information for voters: Hoosiers for Hill, 208 W. Second St., Seymour, IN 47274, 1-812-522-9825, [email protected]
Why are you seeking the office (in 100 words or less)? I am running for Congress to restore fiscal responsibility and stop irresponsible spending in Washington while fighting for all of Southern Indiana. The previous administration left our economy on the brink of a great depression. I am running to grow our economy while protecting it from Wall Street so that we can bring an end to government bail-outs and corporate handouts. I am running to provide an independent voice that will stand up for the voters of Southern Indiana, not Washington special interests.
What changes, if any, would you make to the country’s Social Security system (in 150 words or less)? Social Security is a moral covenant we have made to seniors and as Congressman I have pledged to protect it for seniors and future generations. While many options to ensure Social Security’s long-term stability can and should be discussed, the one thing we cannot afford to do is privatize the system. Simply put, we cannot afford to subject Social Security benefits to the whims of Wall Street. That is why I signed a pledge to protect Social Security from privatization. Unfortunately, my opponent has not done the same, despite having over one hundred days to do so. Moving forward, I believe we need to fight to ensure Social Security’s long-term financial solvency. Additionally, I look forward to reviewing the proposals soon to be put forward by the President’s commission on entitlement re-form.
Name: Todd Young
Family: Wife, Jenny; children, Tucker, Abby, Ava and Anna
Education/Occupation/Political Experience: B.S., U.S. Naval Academy; MBA, University of Chicago; JD, Indiana University; former Marine; attorney at Tucker and Tucker in Paoli.
Contact information for voters: [email protected], 1-812-250-6399
Why are you seeking the office (in 100 words or less)? I’m running for Congress because I’m truly worried about the course our country is on. The policies coming out of Washington are endangering our future. I have four small children. I refuse to leave them a less prosperous, less powerful America. If elected, I will go to the Capitol to reverse the current alarming trends and to force our federal government to live within its means and stop spending our future and pursue polices that will create jobs and fuel economic growth.
What changes, if any, would you make to the country’s Social Security system (in 150 words or less)? I vow to protect Social Security for those currently in the program or soon to be. I also promise to preserve the program for future generations. And I would make the program sustainable by cutting wasteful government spending.
Name: Greg ‘NO BULL’ Knott
Family: 115-pound English Mastiff, Heidi
Education/Occupation/Political Experience: Indiana University, B.S. in public affairs, minor in geographic information systems; IT manager and network administrator at Bledsoe, Riggert & Guerrettaz Inc. in Bloomington; local council core member for MoveOn.org, member of Young Americans for Liberty and community coordinator for FairTax; former chair of Monroe County Libertarian party; campaign manager for Horning for Governor in 2008
Contact information for voters: [email protected] and nobullcongress.com
Why are you seeking the office (in 100 words or less)? I am running because former lobbyist Baron Hill gives favors to his old clients rather than serving us. Republicans will make Joe ‘I’m Sorry BP’ Barton a committee chair, return to borrowing for billionaire tax breaks, undeclared wars of choice, bailouts and other corporate welfare which put us in the hole. Democrats failed to fix unemployment despite adding $Trillions to the debt. I’m running on the NO BULL platform: no bailouts, end corporate welfare; overhaul taxes for job growth, simplicity, fairness; bring troops home and invest in education; unconditionally end foreign aid foolishness; lower national debt; limit lobbyist influence on Washington
What changes, if any, would you make to the country’s Social Security system (in 150 words or less)? Social Security/Medi-care will go broke without shifting the funding from a narrow, regressive payroll tax to a broad, progressive sales tax base. FairTax is the only reform that will save Social Security/Medicare without massive tax increases and/or benefit cuts. FairTax makes the economy much more dynamic and prosperous. Consequently, federal tax revenues grow. This makes it less likely that federal budget pressures require Medicare or Social Security benefit cuts. Under FairTax, Social Secur-ity/Medicare funds are no longer triple-taxed as under the current system: 1) when payroll taxes are initially withheld; 2) when those withheld payroll taxes are counted as part of the taxable base for income tax purposes; and 3) when the promised benefits are finally received. The FairTax prebate gives seniors more money back than what they would pay in taxes if they spent the entire average Social Security benefit amount. Investment income is also untaxed under FairTax.