Krystal Fowler, Daily Iowegian, Centerville, Iowa –
CENTERVILLE — Highlighting the differences in economic policy between Pres. Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was the main focus of a campaign stop by former Lt. Gov. Patty Judge Wednesday morning at the Daily Iowegian offices.
“We want to be sure that people understand and remember that the president is working for the middle class Americans, middle class rural Iowans,” said Judge. “His message is about building the middle class, it’s about building our nation’s economy from the middle out. It’s not about the top down. It’s not about trickle down economics. “
Judge is currently part of the Heartland Tour 2012, which is traveling across the state during the Republican National Convention to help spotlight for voters key policy differences between the two parties.
Judge, who is from Albia and served as Lt. Gov. under Gov. Chet Culver said Iowa voters should keep in mind the policies Republicans are proposing, including changes to Medicare, ending the wind energy tax credit, raising taxes on the middle class while cutting taxes for multi-millionaires and policies that affect women as they choose who to vote for.
“I think it is really critical to talk about Medicare…I am from here and I know that people in Monroe County and Appanoose County, many of them receive Medicare including myself and my husband. That is something that we’ve paid into. I remember when that was enacted…and I thought well that’s never going to do me any good. This is just taking money out of my pocket. But now I understand that the money I?paid in has really benefited us with health coverage and we don’t want to see anything happen to that. That’s something that’s important.”
Romney and Ryan have spoken about plans to turn the Medicare program into a voucher program as well as raising the eligibility age. Judge said she worries about the possible cost raises for seniors who live on fixed incomes.
“It’s going to raise their costs thousands of dollars [a year],” said Judge. “People need to understand that this is a significant difference…And I don’t know what happens then…we can’t afford to pay another $6,000 or $7,000 a year for insurance. What happens??I don’t know.”
Judge also drew attention to the differences between the two campaigns proposed tax policies. The difference, Judge said, centered on raising taxes on the wealthy versus the middle class. Obama claims that Romney’s proposals would cut taxes for multi-millionaires, while raising them for people making less than $200,000.
“This is hard numbers stuff,” said Judge. “This is reality and this is a real difference. We kind of want to cut through some of the hype and talk about some of those real bread and butter issues.
“We’ve got to be sure…that middle class working people are not overburdened with taxes, that middle class working people have good educational opportunities, that they have affordable health care, that their standard of living is rising,” said Judge.
According to Judge Republican economic policies are proposed with the idea of “trickle down” wealth and they hurt the middle class and working class.
“You know, I’ve been around a while and this [trickle down economics] doesn’t work,” said Judge.” It didn’t work in the 80s. It doesn’t work now. It’s a recipe for disaster. Increasing the wealth of the upper two or three percent of our country does not result in increased jobs and opportunities for the middle class. That just does not happen…President Obama believes that a strong middle class is really the key to success and that includes building manufacturing jobs which he has worked very hard to do.”
Judge also urged voters to cast their ballots as soon as they could. Voters do not have to wait for the day of the election to go to the polls. They can request absentee ballots and beginning Sept. 27 registered voters may vote early in person at the auditor’s office.
“Not only are we first in the nation on our caucuses, we are first to vote,”?Judge said. “I think that’s really cool that we’re going to be casting the first votes for the president again.”
“I’ve been very privileged…to represent Appanoose County,” said Judge. “I’ve been privileged to be in state government. I’ve been privileged to spend time with this man personally and he is real and he is sincere and he cares and if I?didn’t believe that believe me, I would not be on this bus.”