U.S. House District 4 — David Price (D)
Political Party: Democrat
Occupation: Former Political science and public policy professor at Duke University
Campaign website: http://www.priceforcongress.com/
The economy is at the top of voters’ minds in this year’s election. What do you think elected officials can do to address it?
Three things: I think our approach to the economy should have three basic aspects. One is the continuing recovery efforts — what economists call counter-cyclical economic measures to create jobs and stimulate economic activity in the near term. Secondly, develop a comprehensive plan for achieving fiscal balance in the future that includes the tax code as well as all categories of spending. Three, an investment strategy that strengthens the building blocks of a sound economy including public education, community college training, research and development, support for startups and for entrepreneurships and so forth.
What do you think are specific things the federal government can do to help North Carolina recover from the recession?
Well, that’s the answer I just gave you.
Why should your constituents elect you?
I have served this district in the Congress since the late 1980s and have during that entire time had at the top of my agenda the building blocks of an extending economy that offers opportunities to all of our people. I am a champion of public education, the community colleges, infrastructure, quality housing, responsible budget measures, and an a appropriations committee member I have been and will continue to be quite directly involved in funding decisions that directly affect our quality of life here.
Among the major efforts I’ve made in the past would be the new National Guard headquarters in Raleigh and the EPA lab in RTP. I have a record of effective service focused on our dynamic, growing area. That work isn’t done, in fact that work is under threat now from an increasingly right-wing Republican Party. I intend to play defense effectively with respect to the gains of the past and I’m eager to help chart a course forward for the future.
A big issue this year in the election is health care. What changes do you think (if any) should be made to Medicare to make the program more solvent? Now that the Supreme Court has found the Affordable Care Act to be constitutional, what should be Congress’ next steps?
The main threats to Medicare and to the expanded availability of health care now come from the more and more conservative Republican Party. Paul Ryan wants to privatize and voucherize Medicare. Mitt Romney wants to repeal health care reform. So we play defense in terms of preserving these gains, and we will need to be attentive in the coming years particularly to address health care costs, but also to make certain that these programs deliver on their promises.