Detailed Positions
[b]On the ECONOMY:[/b] Our first priority for insuring a stronger economy for America must be to reduce our deficits, balance our budget and begin paying down our national debt. Every year we spend hundreds of billions of dollars simply to pay the interest on our debt. This is our most wasteful use of taxpayer dollars. During the 1990's, Congress and the President worked to eliminate our deficits and adhered to a strict principle of "pay as you go" in order to keep the budgets balanced. I believe we must return to this practice. I learned from my years of experience in the banking and financial industry that a sensible pro-growth economic policy is essential to nurture the strong and vibrant U.S. economy on which all our families rely. I will oppose any federally mandated program that is not reasonably funded, because the unfunded mandates my opponent supports directly contribute to the higher property taxes we are all struggling to pay. Our national security needs will be placed in jeopardy if we continue without a robust economy of high paying jobs to keep our revenues at pace with our needs. If elected to Congress, I will support investment in new technologies, which I believe are crucial to America's future. New technologies create good-paying jobs now and in the decades to come. Together with education and worker training, targeted incentives to bolster cutting edge technologies will improve our economy and quality of life for years to come. [b]My priorities on the economy include:[/b] * Increasing federal investment in our local infrastructure. The latest figures report that New Jersey gets back only 57 cents for every dollar we send to Washington, a major factor in our skyrocketing property taxes. That puts us dead last in the nation, and is a decrease since my opponent was elected 2 years ago. * Restoring overtime pay protection for workers, which my opponent recently voted to eliminate, and raising the minimum wage, which will give families more money to spend and lead to economic growth. * Reducing outsourcing by creating tax incentives for companies to add jobs here in the U.S., and by eliminating current tax policies that reward corporations for shipping jobs overseas. We should also implement smarter trade policies with genuine environmental and labor protections, and require existing agreements and regulations to be enforced. American workers deserve a level playing field when competing in a global marketplace. * Coordinating federal and local efforts when planning economic development. When the federal government partners with communities to plan growth, communities are more livable, the economy grows, the tax base broadens, and good jobs are created * Restoring pay-as-you-go rules to return to the principle that we must not implement new programs unless we can do so without adding to the deficit. As citizens, we all work to balance our household budgets - so should Congress. * Shutting down offshore tax shelters that corporations use to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. Multi-billion-dollar enterprises should not be paying pennies in taxes while hard-working individuals are forced to make up the difference. * End Halliburton-style sweetheart deals, which this administration repeatedly offers to its friends and high-dollar contributors. Government contracts should be determined through a competitive bidding process to ensure we get the most for our money. [b]On HEALTH CARE:[/b] It is our moral imperative to help more Americans gain access to our quality health care system. It is also an economic imperative. Every time an uninsured person who cannot pay visits a hospital, you pay for it! It is a fact that the uninsured visit emergency rooms for the majority of their care, which even further increases the amount we all pay. Ignoring the growing number of uninsured makes no economic sense. Working to provide affordable access to quality healthcare will reduce the nation's healthcare costs because it will allow those now uninsured to seek early intervention care rather than the more expensive alternative of emergency room care. In addition, pre-natal care and childhood immunization are important priorities for me. When elected to Congress, I will support legislation to expand such programs, and ensure that such programs include mental health care. My work for the Bergen Regional Medical Center through the BCIA has taught me the importance of such programs. I also learned the importance of continuing education for nursing professionals, and I will support programs that aid in this process. [b/My priorities on healthcare include:[/b] * Making sure every child can have health coverage, through measures including expansion of the CHIP program. * Assisting small businesses that provide health coverage to low- and middle-income employees by creating small business health care tax credits. * Reducing overhead in the medical system by eliminating unnecessary paperwork and bureaucratic overhead, which account for 25 percent of health care costs. * Allowing the re-importation of FDA-approved drugs from Canada when quality and safety can be guaranteed. This is a common-sense approach Congress has been wrong to oppose. * Empowering Medicare to use its purchasing power to negotiate lower drug prices from the largest pharmaceutical wholesalers, just as the Veterans Administration has done to reduce drug costs for veterans for years. * Helping the most vulnerable afford health coverage by offering people ages 55 to 65 the chance to buy into Medicare. * Making long-term care insurance premiums tax deductible - separate from itemized deductions - including for those who pay the premiums for their parents' policies. * Recognizing the link between the environment and health. The 5th District protects the watershed for 50% of New Jersey's population. I will support and sponsor legislation that continues to improve the quality of our drinking water by reversing the "Clean Skies Act" that increases toxins such as Mercury and acid rain into our drinking water management systems. These toxins contribute to disease and increase health care costs. [b]On HOMELAND SECURITY:[/b] Residents of the 5th District know too well the importance of protecting our citizens, having been so close to the tragedy of 9/11, which took so many friends and family members from us. Yet, despite sitting at the epicenter of the continuing threat of domestic terrorism, New Jersey lags near the bottom of states in per capita federal funding for homeland security. This is unacceptable. But it will not change so long as our representative in Congress makes partisan support of the president his only priority instead of doing what I promise to do: demand New Jersey's fair share of funds needed to secure our state's most vulnerable ports, reservoirs, and mass-transit systems. I applaud the 9/11 Commission's work and I support much of their findings and recommendations. Now we must implement these. We must be willing to spend more on first responders and coordination of efforts in our intelligence community. We have prevented attacks on American soil before and with more and better targeted information, we will prevent them in the future. At the same time, I strongly disagree with those who say we must give up freedom in order to gain security. If we allow our basic constitutional rights to be curbed, then the terrorists win - or at the very least, we lose. [b]My priorities for homeland security include:[/b] * Implementing the bipartisan recommendations of the September 11 Commission. Washington has already waited too long. We must implement these sound recommendations - recommendations that will improve the quality of our intelligence, reform congressional oversight procedures, and help us recruit allies in the war on terror. * Funding our first responders. I support better training and equipment for firefighters, medical technicians, and police officers. And I oppose President Bush's plan to cut federal funding for 88,000 police now on our streets. * Screening air cargo. It is hard to believe the current Congress opposed screening the cargo that is carried on the very same passenger planes we fly on. We ought to screen that cargo, and I'll fight to make sure we do. * Improving nuclear security. At power plants to protect against theft of radioactive materials that could be used in "dirty bombs," and by purchasing loose nuclear materials from the former Soviet Union now - before terrorists do. * Inspecting shipping containers at our ports. Only five percent of cargo containers that enter the U.S. are screened. We need to ensure that these containers are free of dangerous chemicals, devices, and weapons. * Increasing border enforcement and improving communication among agencies to stop terrorists from entering the United States in the first place. [b]For our MILITARY and VETERANS:[/b] Thirty-two years ago I marched with a large group of Vietnam veterans in Massachusetts who were in opposition to the continuing war. Among those I marched with were two veterans named John Kerry and Max Cleland. My experience that day left me with a feeling of awe towards combat veterans. I have never seen anything that compares to the level of camaraderie and brotherhood I witnessed at that time. It left me with a commitment that our veterans must always be honored not simply with our words but with our actions. When we discuss veterans we cannot forget the veterans of tomorrow who are now serving in harm's way. We must always ask ourselves, "Are we providing them with what they need?" Sadly, right now I'm afraid that the answer is no. When a mother and father must go out and buy proper body armor for their child headed to Iraq because the government won't provide it, something is horribly wrong. In Congress, I will not stand for this. In March, my opponent voted for and Congress passed the Fiscal Year 2005 budget opposed by many veterans' groups for its under-funding of veterans' affairs. Within a few weeks the administration announced the closings of three veterans' facilities nationwide. The closings forced many veterans into traveling hours further to receive proper care. This is simply unacceptable. I will work in Congress for veterans' affairs budgets that take care of all of our veterans. They have given so much for all of us, it is the least we can do for them. I am staunchly opposed to any return to a draft. Americans have proudly volunteered to serve their country during many eras and through many wars. They will continue to do so if they know their government has been honest with them, that it will keep its promises to them, and that it will provide them with all that they are entitled to and deserve for the great sacrifices they make for our nation [b]My priorities for the military include:[/b] * Providing appropriate funding for our courageous service men and women to ensure their safety and readiness to act in times of emergency. * Fighting benefits cuts to veterans including medical care. * Following the Powell Doctrine: I will not vote to send our soldiers into battle without a clear and rational strategy for their exit. * Opposing the Draft: Our nation's military is the strongest in the world, and it works best as an all-volunteer force. [b]On the ENVIRONMENT:[/b] Northern New Jersey's environment is fast becoming an issue of public health. This is another issue on which I believe we have both a moral and an economic imperative. Childhood asthma rates are skyrocketing because our air is not clean. Some 40 states have publicly warned against eating fish more than twice a week because our water is not clean. There is a reason the bottled water business is such a booming industry - because ordinary people know there is a serious problem. Our overdependence on foreign oil has become not only an environmental and economic issue, but also a serious issue of national security. For over 50 years, Big Oil has done everything in its power to stifle the growth of alternative fuels, and we are now seeing the results. In the coming years alternative fuels can be an avenue for tremendous economic growth. If we foster that growth now we will be setting the stage for not only a cleaner environment, but also an economic boom in the coming decades. Misleading legislation like the "Clear Skies Initiative," which actually lowers standards from previous levels, must be done away with. Our government can no longer afford to play politics with this issue. I will support continued measures to educate the public on conservation and alternative energy sources. It is a matter of our future and the world we will leave to our children. My priorities for the environment include: * Protecting our environment from air, water and soil pollution by defending current environmental standards already in place. * Encouraging reuse programs for non-drinking water usage. * Promoting Regional Planning and conservation incentives for environmentally sensitive areas such as the Highlands in New Jersey. * Curtailing high fuel emission gasses from vehicles, and encouraging the production of hybrid vehicles. * Educating the public on conservation measures with an emphasis on personal responsibility. * Preserving open space by ensuring full Federal support for the protection of New Jersey's Highlands watershed. [b]On EDUCATION:[/b] Today it is absolutely imperative for a child to receive the best possible education in order to compete in the emerging global economy. We have entered the Information Age, and we must prepare our children for success. The No Child Left Behind Act has never been fully funded and has received very mixed reviews on its effectiveness. The lack of federal funding has contributed heavily to the spiraling property taxes in our area as both the state and municipal governments struggle to pay for the federally mandated new standards. I will support future efforts by Congress to improve our public education system only if Congress is willing to provide the funding necessary to do the job right. A college education is a tremendous factor towards the earning potential of our young people. Yet today more and more of our kids are literally being priced out of higher education. I want to reverse this dangerous trend. As your Congresswoman, I will support measures to help our children, and their parents, afford college. The American dream tells us that we owe this to our kids. Some politicians today tell us that we should be providing incentives for a select few to home-school their children or to send their children to private schools. I think this is a mistake. As a practical matter, it would be impossible to enroll every student in America into a private school. Our public schools provide the foundation for success to the vast majority of our nation's children. Therefore, improving our public schools needs to remain our top educational priority - it is our nation's moral duty to prepare ALL of America's children. [b]priorities for education include:[/b] * Funding the No Child Left Behind Act, so that states and municipalities are not stuck with expensive federal mandates that directly contribute to higher property taxes. * Encouraging early intervention programs for children and their families, and establishing voluntary, Federally-supported early childhood education programs for all 3- and 4-year-olds. * Exploring cost-savings solutions to stretch federal dollars to pay for more education, and less administration. * Opposing federal mandates unless they are reasonably funded. * Fully funding "529" Education Savings accounts at present limits, and expanding the flexibility for making contributions for college expenses. [b] SENIOR CITIZENS:[/b] I want to protect the best interests of all seniors. This means protecting social security, veteran's benefits and medicare. Last year's republican medicare bill was aimed at destroying the program, it must be scrapped and a real prescription plan must be provided. I am afraid that my opponent does not share my commitment to our seniors. My own father has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. I have personally felt the devastation this illness visits upon not only the sufferer but their family as well. This has helped shape my position on stem cell research. I cannot support the current measures against this research. My opponent does support these severe limitations. Many seniors today were part of a generation we call the "greatest." They have sacrificed so much for us. How can we turn our backs on them now? Too many seniors are being priced out of their homes by our spiraling property taxes. In recent years too many unfunded and under-funded federal mandates are coming out of Washington. These measures, when combined with reduced funds for states and municipalities, have starved our local governments for cash, forcing them to raise property taxes. I will work to fully fund programs which put mandates on local governments, and I will oppose any further federal mandates that are not funded. It is encouraging that Congress has recognized the need to add a prescription drug benefit under Medicare. However, in its current state, I support changes to the new law that will preserve the Medicare system, and will do more for seniors than for pharmaceutical and insurance companies. [b]My priorities for seniors include:[/b] * Working to pass a Medicare bill that truly helps seniors by providing high-quality health care, insurance and prescription drug coverage for all seniors. * Developing strategies that will protect Social Security for this generation of seniors as well as those that follow. * Providing property tax relief for seniors. * Advocating stem cell research to combat debilitative diseases including Alzheimer's. * Ensuring the quality of long-term healthcare facilities. [b]For NEW JERSEY:[/b] Here in New Jersey, we sit at the epicenter of the continuing threat of domestic terrorism. Yet, New Jersey lags near the bottom of states in per capita federal funding for homeland security and at the very bottom - dead last - in the percentage of federal dollars that comes back to our state. For every dollar we send to Washington, we get back only 57 cents - less than we received back 2 years ago, and less than we received back 4 years ago. And this has been so with a Republican congressman in a Republican House, serving under a Republican President. This is unacceptable. But it will not change so long as our representative in Congress makes partisan support of the president his only priority instead of doing what I promise to do: demand New Jersey's fair share of funds needed to secure our state's most vulnerable ports, reservoirs, and mass-transit systems. As your Congresswoman, the citizens of the Fifth District will be my first priority. On so many issues important to the citizens of the 5th District, my opponent and I are far apart: * I strongly support a woman's right to choose. * I agree with every major law enforcement agency in the nation in supporting the ban on assault weapons. * I believe the federal government should be funding stem-cell research in the search for cures to debilitative diseases and injuries. * I do not believe the federal government should issue mandates to the states unless they are fully funded. * I believe it is essential to our strength as a nation to maintain the separation of church and state that has served so well to unite our diverse society. * I oppose partisan tinkering with our beloved Constitution. My opponent's voting record demonstrates values and legislative priorities that do not reflect the shared values and needs of the majority of the District or of our great state. Scott Garrett is too extreme for New Jersey, and too extreme for America. [b]ANNE WOLFE EXPERIENCE ON THE ISSUES VISION FOR THE FUTURE[/b]
This article comes from WOLFE for Congress, New Jersey's 5th Congressional District

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