Important questions

The candidates were each asked to respond to the same four questions submitted by the audience, and the first question asked what the candidates believe are the most important steps to improving the economy.

"We have to do something because we can't raise taxes, there's not enough wealth in this country to raise taxes to meet our deficit," Boda said. He suggested eliminating the IRS, the payroll tax and corporate taxes and "move to a national consumption tax."

Laferla felt differently and said the payroll tax "puts money back in the hands of the middle class."


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Instead, he continued, the government should start programs to rebuild the country's infrastructure, such as bridges and roads, which helped the U.S. get out of the Great Depression.

Dymowski said he wants to stop spending millions of rebuilding infrastructure in countries where "we create a lot of damage," referring to Iraq and Afghanistan, and use that money here in the U.S.

"We've got to stop strangling regulations that make it nearly impossible for businesses to start up," Jacobs said. "I'm very, very hopeful that we can bring back America back to the point it was years ago."

Bly agreed that "we've got to get rid of these regulations."

Referring back to his business, he said Maryland needs to adopt a fair trade law again in order to "bring back the mom and pop shops" that are being run out by big corporations.

On the issue of supporting or cutting Medicare and Social Security, nearly all the candidates were on the same page.

"Adjustments have to be made," Dymowski said. He added that the country has to look at "the corruption involved" and "really tighten up on the fraud" with the two programs and multi-millionaires should receive very little to no Social Security.

Jacobs blamed both Democrats and Republicans for the state Medicare and Social Security are in today.

She said using generic drugs more often and putting a cap on punitive damages in medical malpractice suits. "This is what's driving up costs," she said.

"Social Security should not be cut," Bly said. "Medicare should be everybody." He continued to say the country should have universal healthcare to stop the drug companies trying to get into the government's pockets.

Laferla said caps on people with certain incomes could be raised for receiving Social Security and called gradually increasing the retirement age "reasonable."

Boda explained his approach would be to have everyone contribute the same toward Social Security but have the money go into privatized accounts just for the person contributing.

"People just don't save anymore," he said.

On fixing the growing discrepancy between the lower, middle and upper classes, Laferla said, "People should pay their fair share" and the wealthy should pay more in taxes than they are currently.

Boda agreed, but added that a national consumption tax would be the way to go.

"Make it easier to work," Jacobs said. "Get out of the way, let businesses start up."