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Questions you should ask House and Senate candidates

ASK THIS | September 13, 2004

Here are some simple, tough questions that every congressional candidate should answer.

By Dan Froomkin



It's the press's job to make sure that voters know where their congressional candidates stand on key issues.


Each individual race obviously has its own set of hot topics, but there are some issues that are important no matter where the candidate is running.


Here are 12 simple, pointed questions that we think everybody running for Congress should be required to answer clearly and succinctly. Won't you put them to your local candidates?


Q. Was the war in Iraq a critical part of the war on terror, or a distraction? Knowing what you know now, would you have given the president authority to wage war when he asked? Do you agree with his decision to go to war?


Q. Do you have a proposal for an exit strategy for Iraq? How quickly should American troops be out of Iraq?


Q. Do you support making President Bush's across-the-board tax cuts permanent? Do you think that, in general, the rich are paying more than their share, less, or about the right amount of taxes?


Q. Do you support proposals to give individuals some direct control over their Social Security accounts? How do you see Social Security remaining solvent under demographic pressures – and, if you do support privatization proposals, those costs as well?


Q. What's your position on the Medicare prescription drug bill passed last year? Are you happy with its timetable, costs and benefits?


Q. Do you think that the government is doing enough to fight poverty? What else could it do?


Q. Do you have a plan to increase jobs? What is it?


Q. How important is the deficit? How much does it need to be reduced and how would you do it?


Q. Do you support amending the Constitution to prohibit the legalization of gay marriage? Do you think the legal rights afforded to married couples should be afforded to gay couples? If so, how?


Q. What do you do with a school that is failing to meet basic standards? Do you cut funding or increase it? Do you let students leave, or force them to stay? What happens to those who are left in a failing school? 


Q. Do you see global warming as a serious problem? Do you think Americans will need to cut back on their consumption to prevent future environmental problems?


Q. Are you satisfied with the state of race relations in America? How does that inform your politics? 



For Mr. Bush
Posted by Tom Williams - Economist
09/28/2004, 04:02 PM

Tony Blair said he should apologize for saying Iraq had weapons of mass destrution. What is your reaction?

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