Kansas City, Kan. Congressional candidates Stephene Moore and Kevin Yoder sparred over tax policy during a Friday afternoon debate in their 3rd district race.
“I think the government is spending too much money, and it has too much money,” said Yoder, a Republican state representative from Overland Park. “I don’t think raising taxes is going to get us out of the economic slump.”
Yoder mentioned U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s name several times trying to tie Moore to the anti-incumbent theme forecast as part of the November mid-term election. But Moore, a Democrat who is running to replace her retiring husband, Rep. Dennis Moore, said Yoder’s budget that didn’t pass last session would have still required local governments to increase taxes.
“His own Republican colleagues voted that down and said that would most likely have raised taxes, your personal property taxes,” Moore said. “That is not working in our future. That is not what we want.”
The two candidates along with Libertarian Party candidate Jasmin Talbert, of Overland Park, spoke to about 170 people at a forum sponsored by the Kansas City, Kan., Area Chamber of Commerce at the Reardon Center. The 3rd district includes eastern Lawrence, as well as Wyandotte and Johnson counties.
During the debate, Moore said she would support extending the Bush tax cuts for 12 to 18 months. Yoder said they also should be extended.
Moore also indicated she would support the cap-and-trade bill due to the state’s wind energy potential.
“This is a huge opportunity for Kansas to have good paying jobs right here in Kansas,” she said.
But Yoder called it a tax increase.
“This is the type of legislation, the very thing that is hurting job creation in this country,” he said.
Moore said she was disappointed Yoder mentioned Pelosi so many times during the debate.
“People are sick and tired of this fighting in Washington,” she said. “They want people with real-life experience, not another career politician.”
Yoder said Moore would support similar policies as Pelosi if she were elected.
Moore’s campaign also stressed some of Yoder’s past votes in Topeka when he supported a 2003 sales and income tax increase that failed and a 2002 sales and excise tax increase.
Yoder said he had cast “hundreds of votes” during his legislative tenure and stressed his focus on cutting state spending last session as the House Appropriations Committee chairman. A coalition of Democrats and moderate Republicans eventually mustered enough votes to pass a sales tax increase instead of Yoder’s proposed budget.
“I’ve made a lot of votes,” Yoder said. “I oppose increasing taxes in Washington.”
Moore didn’t directly answer a forum question about whether she would support higher taxes to reduce the federal deficit.
“The first thing we need to do is quit making (the deficit) worse,” she said.