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Schaffer: Power to the people
Annie Saunders and Paul Gillmor go back and forth, but Natural Law Party candidate David Schaffer never mentioned his opponents by name.
He does say winning a seat in the U.S. House "would be like the Berlin Wall going down - it would be quite an accomplisment" for his party.
Americans are tired of gridlock, he said; they want less negative campaigning and more positive action.
"I feel we need to bring true representation back to the government," said Schaffer, a Willard resident and employee of Durable Corp. in Norwalk.
The two main parties haven't been truly representing the people, he said. "They've been working for special-interest groups, big business and the wealthy. ... Our present two-party system is not getting the job done down in Washington. America is $5 trillion in debt."
One way to give the power back to the people is to give the money back to the people. He supports the flat tax - about 18 percent to start, then 10 percent by 1999.
At our current rate, within 30 years, "the wealthiest would own everything in this country. The solution is a flat tax. We can close all the loopholes... and provide more revenue for the country, and at the same time allow for lower taxes."
He said the Democrats and Republicans are "full of empty promises. They don't have a fair tax code. It favors big corporations. They're putting the tax burden on the working person."
Schaffer called his the common sense party, a sense he would apply to issues such as health care, crime and farming. He preaches prevention, not reaction.
"The high health-care costs are burdening our citizens. I want to allow for preventative care. ... Seventy percent of all diseases that cause death are preventable."
He said we need to allow Medicaid, Medicare and Veterans Administration policies to provide for "verifiable cost-effective" prevention.
"This would cut health-care costs outright without taking away a single benefit, thus ensuring health-care solvency. By focusing on the prevention of disease and the promotion of health, we can cut health-care costs in the best possible way - by keeping people healthy."
Schaffer opposes the death penalty and insists crimes can be stopped before they happen if more people have good jobs.
"We feel criminals should pay their price, but we need to focus on education, on what it's going to take so our kids want to stay in school, develop creativity and intelligence," added Schaffer, who supports experimenting with federally funded schools.
"Twenty-eight percent of our high school students drop out - the highest rate of any industrialized nation. ... If we as a nation want to remain a leader in the family of nations, we need to raise the quality of our education."
Schaffer wants to see chemical farming phased out in favor of the organic method, done without pesticides, which he said have links to breast and prostate cancer. We're poisoning our drinking water, he said, and it has to stop.
"Chemicals are very detrimental to the soil. Organic farming is more profitable than chemical farming. I would like to also have some experimental farms."
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