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The oddly shaped 2nd District is home to the state's largest military installations, Fort Meade and Aberdeen Proving Ground. It has traditionally been considered safe for Democrats, though redistricting has made the territory slightly more Republican. The incumbent is Rep. CA Dutch Ruppersberger, a Cockeysville Democrat.


Leo Wayne Dymowski, Libertarian

  • Party: Libertarian
  • Age: 56
  • City of residence: Dundalk
  • Occupation: Lawyer in private practice; hearing officer, Maryland Parole Commission
  • Family: Single
  • Campaign website: www.LeoforCongress.com
  • Public campaign contact: dymowski_L@msn.com
  • Experience: Paratrooper, 82nd Airborne Division, 1974-1977; cab driver through college; manager, Housing Authority of Baltimore City, 1982-1989; trial attorney, 1989-2003; hearing officer, Maryland Parole Commission, 2003-present.
  • Education: B.A, UMBC, 1980; M.A., UMCP, 1981; J.D., University of Baltimore, 1989.
  • Have you ever been convicted of a crime (not including minor traffic violations)? No
As you know, the Bush-era income tax cuts will expire at the end of this year. Do you support extending the cuts for all income levels, only on individual income under $200,000 (under $250,000 for families), or not at all? If you support an extension of some kind, should it be paid for?

All tax cuts should be permanent. The problem is not that we are under taxed, but that we spend too much. Today the government borrows 43 cents on every dollar spent. As they have learned in Greece, such deficit spending is unsustainable. At some point in the future, massive cuts in spending are inevitable. We should start now, while we can make reasonable decisions on what to cut, instead of waiting for the time to come when we can no longer borrow from the Chinese. Cuts made then will be sudden and harsh.


Is there any circumstance in which you would support extending a pay freeze on federal employees and/or requiring current federal employees to contribute more to their retirement plans? Please explain.

During the last decade, compensation of federal employees rose much faster than that of private sector employees. A recent job-to-job comparison found that federal workers earned higher wages than did the private sector workers in four-fifths of the occupations examined. In 2010, federal civilian employees had an average wage of $83,679, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. By comparison, the average wage of the nation's 101 million private sector employees was $51,986. It is time for some restraint. Federal wages should be frozen or cut, overly generous federal benefits should be overhauled, and the federal workforce downsized through program terminations and privatization. It is unfair to ask taxpayers to foot an ever increasing bill for federal workers, especially when private sector compensation has not kept pace. Many taxpayers who have no retirement are working well into their seventies to pay for federal workers who retire in their early fifties.


The Congressional Budget Office projects spending on Medicare, Medicaid and other government health programs will more than double as a share of the nation's economy by 2037. What specific changes would you propose to reduce Medicare costs?

A variety of Medicare proposals (increasing premiums, increasing cost sharing, increasing the eligibility age, means-testing premiums) would create modest taxpayer savings. In terms of fixing the system, however, these changes amount to bailing water from a sinking ship rather than repairing the hull. Congress should end traditional Medicare and give each enrollee a voucher to purchase the health plan of their choice. Subsidizing Medicare enrollees through fixed-dollar vouchers would give them more control over their medical care, encourage them to be more cost conscious, spur innovation by eliminating Medicare's price and exchange controls, and contain federal spending. At the same time we should take steps to expand the ability of younger Americans to save for their future medical need. As a first step, we should expand current health savings accounts to give workers ownership over all their health care dollars, including the part their employers now control. As a second step, we should give workers freedom to deposit their Medicare payroll taxes into these health savings accounts to fund their medical needs in retirement.


Would you support increased federal spending on highways and other infrastructure as a way to boost the construction industry? If so, how would you pay for it?

NO! Before the 20th century, transportation infrastructure was often financed and built by the private sector. Then, during the 20th century, roads and other infrastructure came to be thought of as government activities. By the 1980's, that started to change, and governments around the world began selling off airports, highways, bridges, and other facilities. Any service that can be supported by consumer fees can be privatized. Private companies can freely tap debt and equity markets for capital to meet rising demand. By contrast, modernization of government infrastructure is subject to the politics and uncertainties of government budgeting processes. As a result government infrastructure is often old, congested, and poorly maintained. Privatizing federal businesses and infrastructure would allow new managers to extract greater efficiencies out of existing assets and to improve customer services. Private entrepreneurs can often innovate where government cannot, and they can more easily end unneeded and failed activities.


Would you support U.S. military involvement in Iran if there were evidence that it was close to developing a nuclear weapon?

NO! Military intervention, and the unprecedented use of preemptive warfare, serve as the instigators for most terrorist attacks. We should employ troops only in the case of direct attack. Our foreign intervention when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, included arming Osama bin Laden, which helped pave the way to 9/11! The U.S. presently has troops in 135 countries around the world. We are close to bankrupt. Wealthy nations such as Germany and France can easily provide for their own defense. Bring all the troops home.


Describe a specific policy you would pursue in Congress that would have support from members of the opposite party.

Party loyalty trumped the good of the country long ago and both parties will continue to put party before country. It really is time for a third party. If you are happy with the way things are going, continue to support the two controlling parties. If not, don't waste your vote on more of the same.





Nancy C. Jacobs, Republican

  • Party: Republican
  • Age: 60 (Will be 61 on 10/27)
  • City of Residence: Abingdon
  • Occupation: State Senate (District 34)
  • Family: Married, three daughters, eight grandchildren
  • Campaign Web Site: www.nancyjacobs
    forcongress.com
  • Public Campaign Contact: 443-231-3811, nancyjacobsforcongress@
    gmail.com
  • Experience: Journalist; small business owner; realtor; teacher; Maryland House of Delegates; Maryland State Senate; Senate Minority Leader
  • Education: Bridgeport High School, 1969; B.S., West Virginia University, 1973.
  • Have you ever been convicted of a crime (not including minor traffic violations)? No
As you know, the Bush-era tax cuts will expire at the end of this year. Do you support extending the cuts for all income levels, only on individual income under $200,000 (under $250,000 for families), or not at all? If you support an extension of some kind, should it be paid for?

I believe that the Bush era tax cuts should be extended for all income levels, keeping the government out of our pockets. However, due to the need to reduce the federal debt I believe these tax cuts should be paid for before they are passed as to not increase the federal governments already staggering debt.


Is there any circumstance in which you would support extending a pay freeze on federal employees and/or requiring current federal employees to contribute more to their retirement plans? Please explain.

If we do not find a solution for the increasing federal debt I believe that all federal employees, no matter the pay grade, including elected officials should have a pay freeze. I also believe that federal employees should pay a larger portion to their retirement plans as a part of our nation's debt reduction plan.


The Congressional Budget Office projects spending on Medicare, Medicaid and other government health programs will more than double as a share of the nation's economy by 2037. What specific changes would you propose to reduce Medicare costs?

With spending on Medicare and other government health programs set to double as a share of the nation's economy by 2037 I propose a few measures. I would raise the age of eligibility to 67, simplifying Medicare benefits and adding some co-pays and re-designing deductibles. Millions of people rely on Medicare benefits and we must make some tough changes to make sure this program continues to provide support for people who need it.


Would you support increased federal spending on highways and other infrastructure as a way to boost the construction industry? If so, how would you pay for it?

I would support increased federal spending on highways and infrastructure if, and only if this increase could be offset by cuts to the current budget as well as cuts to the federal debt. I would support no new spending measure unless there is capacity in the federal budget, with out expanding the budget.


Would you support U.S. military involvement in Iran if there were evidence that it was close to developing a nuclear weapon?

I would support U.S. military involvement in Iran with concrete evidence showing the near development of nuclear weapons.


Describe a specific policy you would pursue in Congress that would have support from members of the opposite party.

In Washington I will pursue bipartisan legislation focusing on helping small businesses grow, with less government intrusion.





C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger, Democrat (incumbent)

  • Party: Democrat
  • Age: 66
  • City of residence: Cockeysville
  • Occupation: Member of Congress/attorney
  • Family: Married, two children, three grandchildren
  • Campaign website: www.dutchforcongress.com
  • Public campaign contact: 410-252-2505, GoDutch@DutchFor
    Congress.com
  • Experience: Elected to Baltimore County Council in 1985 and 1989; elected Baltimore County Executive in 1994 and 1998; member of Congress since 2002.
  • Education: Baltimore City College; University of Maryland College Park; J.D., University of Baltimore Law School, 1970
  • Have you ever been convicted of a crime (not including minor traffic violations)? No
As you know, the Bush-era income tax cuts will expire at the end of this year. Do you support extending the cuts for all income levels, only on individual income under $200,000 (under $250,000 for families), or not at all? If you support an extension of some kind, should it be paid for?

As we work to regain our country's economic momentum, now is not the right time to raise taxes on hard-working middle class American families struggling to make ends meet.

At the same time, we must ensure that higher income levels do not pay a lower tax rate than lower ones. Nearly 25 percent of millionaires pay fewer taxes than those in the middle-income brackets. Even Ronald Reagan said it was "crazy" that certain tax laws make it possible for multi-millionaires to pay no taxes, while a bus driver pays 10 percent. The so-called "Buffett Rule," which nearly 75 percent of Americans support, could save up to $162 billion over the next decade.

We can pay to extend tax cuts for the middle class by ending unfair loopholes and credits for special interests, such as the $4 billion in subsidies paid every year to the five largest oil companies amid record profits.

Ultimately, we need a wholesale restructure of both our income and corporate tax codes. It needs to be simplified. The sheer complexity of the current tax code hurts small businesses - which support two of every three jobs here in Maryland - where owners must spend countless hours and dollars filing their taxes. It's been more than 25 years since we last tried corporate tax reform. Our current system wasn't designed for today's modern, global economy, and certainly won't work in the future.


Is there any circumstance in which you would support extending a pay freeze on federal employees and/or requiring current federal employees to contribute more to their retirement plans? Please explain.

Lawmakers not included, I do not support extending a pay freeze or requiring federal employees to contribute even more to their retirement plan. I do support reevaluating this on an annual basis.

About 300,000 civilian federal employees live in Maryland, comprising 10 percent of our state's workforce. We are home to many military agencies like Fort Meade and Aberdeen Proving Ground, as well as federal agencies like the new Cyber Command, National Security Agency, Social Security and the National Institutes of Health. Competitive salaries and benefits help recruit and retain the qualified workers we need to conduct the critical missions of these agencies - supporting everything from national security to our nation's seniors - and safeguard our state economy.

Throughout the recession, these valuable and dedicated workers have been Congress' punching bag. For example, the most recent extension of the payroll tax for most American workers was approved at the expense of federal workers. Federal employees already have contributed $75 billion toward deficit reduction through the pay freeze. It is unfair to ask these employees and their families to sacrifice even more for a problem they did not cause.


The Congressional Budget Office projects spending on Medicare, Medicaid and other government health programs will more than double as a share of the nation's economy by 2037. What specific changes would you propose to reduce Medicare costs?

This requires a multi-strategy approach. We can start by eliminating fraud, waste, insurance overpayment and abuse. Studies show as much as 14 percent of certain Medicare payments were "improper," which includes both deceptive claims from insurers and miscoded, but legitimate, billings. Preventing these mistakes will save $575 billion over the next decade.

We can also reduce costs and improve patient health by expanding health information technology and increasing coordination among patients' various doctors to make care more efficient. Electronic medical records and patient-centered coordinated care ensure that health providers will have the most up-to-date and complete medical records possible. That means different doctors can see what tests, treatments, imaging, and prescriptions have been administered already, thus preventing duplicate efforts and costs.

Each of these steps must be accompanied by a continued emphasis on preventative medicine.

Simply put, it's cheaper to prevent you from getting sick - or catching an illness or injury early - than treating you after the fact.

I believe that the healthcare reform law will go a long way toward achieving many of these goals. I supported reform because, while far from perfect, it provides free preventive care and cheaper prescription drugs. It cracks down on overpayments due to waste, fraud and abuse and incentivizes physician productivity.

Medicare and Medicaid are the cornerstones of healthcare for millions of American seniors, especially those on fixed incomes. We must reduce costs to improve the long-term solvency of these critical programs without cutting services.


Would you support increased federal spending on highways and other infrastructure as a way to boost the construction industry? If so, how would you pay for it?

Yes. Investing in our nation's crumbling infrastructure is one of the smartest things we can do to create jobs, increase the competitiveness of American businesses, keep people and products on the move and reduce harmful vehicle emissions. Quality, well-maintained roads, bridges and tunnels increases productivity in the private sector and promotes public welfare. Every American business relies on dependable and efficient transit, including our highways, runways, railways and waterways. For every $1 billion of federal funds invested in highway and transit infrastructure, we create or save about 34,800 jobs in some of the hardest-hit industries.

One way to pay for this investment is by establishing an infrastructure bank to attract private dollars and provide loans for new construction projects. This self-sustaining entity could encourage new investment with little impact on the federal budget.


Would you support U.S. military involvement in Iran if there were evidence that it was close to developing a nuclear weapon?

Military action should always be a last resort.

Iran is a rogue nation that exports terrorism and can't be trusted. It is currently violating the nonproliferation treaty it signed and has shown disregard time and time again for human life. If the Iranian regime does successfully create a nuclear weapon, it could destabilize the entire region.

That said, the United States can't be the sheriff for the rest of the world. I believe the situation in Libya has established an effective policy formula for our involvements in conflicts throughout the world. The UN-led mission was supported by an unprecedented coalition of countries, including the Arab League and European allies, and prevented the widespread massacre of thousands of innocent Libyan people without putting American boots on the ground.

The world must come together and increase the diplomatic pressure against Iran to ensure it stops its nuclear weapons development. The United States stands ready to provide support to protect our allies, especially Israel.


Describe a specific policy you would pursue in Congress that would have support from members of the opposite party.

I routinely pursue policies that have the support of members from the opposite party. In fact, the National Journal consistently places me at the ideological center of the House of Representatives in its annual congressional rankings.

As ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, for example, I work closely with Republican Chairman Mike Rogers on matters affecting our nation's security, especially combating terrorism and cyber attacks. We both agree there is no place for politics when it comes to national security. Chairman Rogers and I have been able to pass four authorization bills (which fund the country's 16 intelligence agencies). These were the first to make it to the finish line after five years of partisan squabbling. We also worked together to draft legislation that will help protect American businesses and consumers from cyber attacks, which is one of the most serious threats to our national security and economy. The bill recently passed the House of Representatives with an overwhelming bipartisan majority.

The Washington Post recently called our efforts a "little miracle of bipartisanship," saying that we have replaced "second-guessing and backbiting" with "real oversight." That's something I am very proud of.

I believe that leadership is about bringing people together and making tough decisions ¿ not partisan bickering. This is my philosophy not just when it comes to national security, but every day when I take to the House floor to cast votes on behalf of my constituents.