A few clear cut differences emerged during a debate Tuesday on WTTW between Rep. Robert Dold (R-Kenilworth) and his Democratic opponent, Deerfield management consultant Brad Schneider.
Though the two traded jabs on Schneider’s business background and Dold’s votes for the House Republican budget, their differences emerged on tax policy, health care reform and same sex marriage. This was their final debate before the Nov. 6 election.
Earlier: Dold Discards Norquist Pledge in Debate With Schneider
Though Dold told Patch Oct. 14 after a League of Women Voters debate in Lake Forest he will consider increasing the revenue of the federal government to help balance the budget, he does not like the notion of raising taxes now.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea,” Dold said. “Keeping tax rates low will help the economy. How will it (raising taxes) help more people get employed? How will it help small businesses to hire one more individual?”
Schneider wants to keep existing income tax rates in place for those earning less than $250,000 per year but require those making more to pay the prevailing rate before the current reduction was passed in 2011 at the urging of former President George W. Bush.
“I stand with the President (Barack Obama) on this,” Schneider said. “We have an economic imbalance. We need to go back to the tax rates of the Clinton year years. (It is) a step to bringing balance back to our economy.”
Home Mortgage Deduction Should Stay
Moderator Phil Ponce asked Dold and Schneider whether certain deductions should remain in the tax code. Both want to keep the deduction for home mortgages though Schneider will consider some limits on second homes.
Both men want to retain charitable deductions but Schneider wants to tax capital gains at the rate in place during the Clinton Administration and Dold wants no alteration.
When it comes to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, Schneider and Dold take a different approach as well. Dold, who has voted to repeal the law, has concerns about the bill’s shortcomings while Schneider sees it as a beginning.
“The Affordable Care Act is not perfect, but it takes us in the right direction,” Schneider said. “I owned and managed a life insurance company for seven years. Every year they (the health insurance company) came in and told us about double digit increases. We had to put it on the employees or pay it ourselves.”
Candidates Clash on Obamacare
Dold worries about the additional costs contained in the Affordable Care Act and how it could make things harder for working people.
“There are 21 new taxes in it,” Dold said. “What is wildly troubling is a small business owner saying how can I pay the penalty (for not having insurance) and tell someone (the employees) they are on their own for health insurance.”
Another difference between Schneider and Dold is their position on same sex marriage. Dold favors civil unions but stops short of marriage while Schneider will support allowing people of the same gender to wed.
“I don’t want to prevent two loving individuals from having a life together,” Dold said. “Civil unions could be acceptable but I do believe marriage is between a man and a woman.” After talking to students at Lake Forest High School in February, Dold told Patch his stance was on religious grounds.