Posted: Sunday, October 19th 2008 at 6:34pm
Senate candidates square off in debate
ATLANTA – The three men vying to represent Georgia in the U.S. Senate faced off in a debate that aired Sunday on WSB-TV.
The issues ranged from the bailout bill to taxes to energy, but it was the economy that took center stage.
“We are in a financial crisis in this country today, and in times of crisis we need strong leadership because that’s what we’ve always had,” said incumbent Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss.
Democrat challenger Jim Martin countered, “Our United States senator needs to protect us in this financial crisis. Saxby won’t, but I will.”
Libertarian Allen Buckley pointed the finger at both parties. “A nation built on debts and unfounded liabilities is or eventually will be a weak nation,” he said.
Martin said he, for the most part, agrees with Barack Obama’s proposed tax plan. “He understands what I understand. The middle class in this state is really hurting and they need to have tax relief. That’s the only way we’re going to get our economy started again,” Martin explained.
Chambliss accused Martin of dodging questions. “He’s in favor of raising taxes. He has a clear record of raising taxes when he was in the State House,” said Chambliss. Chambliss emphasized that he is “diametrically opposed” to raising taxes.
When it comes to energy policy, Buckley suggested using taxes as a disincentive for people to buy gas-powered vehicles and reward those who purchase cars powered by alternative energy sources, such as hydrogen.
“We set a tax policy that the cleaner a fuel is, the less tax it bears; the dirtier a fuel is, the more tax it bears,” said Buckley.
While Chambliss supports drilling off the outer continental shelf, he also advocated wind, solar and geothermal power.
Martin said drilling for oil does not need to be a part of the nation’s energy policy. “We need to move away from our dependence on foreign oil. Drilling doesn’t really help us do that,” he said.
Chambliss, Martin and Buckley will be on the Nov. 4 ballot.
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