With approximately six weeks to go till Election Day, the Democrat challenging incumbent Republican Congressmember Dan Donovan introduced himself to Brooklynites at a candidates forum sponsored by the Bay Ridge Community Council (BRCC).
Because Congress is currently in session, Donovan – who represents the 11th Congressional District comprised of all of Staten Island and a swathe of southwest Brooklyn from Bay Ridge to Gravesend — was in Washington, giving his opponent Richard Reichard the opportunity to make a presentation to members of the BRCC in attendance at the event, held at the Norwegian Christian Home, 1250 67th Street.
“The election is about the future of the American economy and the future of Social Security,” contended Reichard, who opposes big tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy, contending that the “trickle-down economics” they represent doesn’t benefit most Americans.
“For the top one percent of corporations, it’s worked very well,” he noted, “not so much for the rest of us.”
In its place, Reichard supports “tax fairness,” whereby those who make the most would pay an increased amount of tax, achieved by closing loopholes now taken advantage of by the wealthiest individuals and companies. In contrast, he contended, “Republicans want to give even more tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations.”
The last time that happened – with the tax breaks put in place under former President George W. Bush, said Reichard – the surplus left by his predecessor, former President Bill Clinton, turned into a massive deficit and a “downturn on Wall Street.”
Reichard also indicated that he would support raising the earnings ceiling for Social Security, so that, again, those who make more money, pay more, in order to keep the system solvent into the future, as opposed to raising the age at which Americans can collect their benefits and apply for Medicare, an approach that he said has the support of the GOP.
Among the pressures on Medicare, he noted, is the fact that an increasing percentage of the American public will be covered by the system, “because we are an aging population.
“I will fight to preserve the social contract,” he promised. “We can’t afford to have the wealth gap grow. If it keeps on going, two years, four years from now, things are going to get worse.”
Other issues touched on by Reichard included education – specifically “education to make sure the population meets the needs of business” – and a commitment to funding an investment in infrastructure.
Election Day is Tuesday, November 8.