Date of birth: June 3, 1926
Address: 4317 Buckeystown Pike
Education: degrees in theology and science from Washington Missionary College in 1947; master’s degree in human physiology from the University of Maryland in 1948; doctorate in human physiology from the University of Maryland in 1952
Occupation: scientist, teacher, developer, farmer
Party affiliation: Republican
Political experience: serving 10th term as Congressman
Roscoe G. Bartlett, Republican: It's very important for the U.S. to reduce our $16 trillion National Debt because it exceeds our annual GDP (gross domestic product) of $15 trillion. Our government should start now by reducing our rate of borrowing 40 cents of every dollar that the federal government spends. My priorities are based upon the duties of the federal government under Article I, Section 8 of our Constitution. Getting our federal government's fiscal house in order is not going to be easy, but I believe that it is a moral obligation to younger and future Americans as well as a financial necessity.
Q: What's the best way to create more jobs?
Bartlett: Entrepreneurs and small businesses are the engines of our economy. Businesses create jobs, innovations and wealth. Government can only transfer money. Americans are the most productive workers in the world. Government policies can create an environment that will strengthen our economy by increasing the benefits from work, saving and investment and reducing government-imposed costs so that individuals and businesses have more incentives to create new and higher paying jobs here in the U.S. History shows that reducing taxes and spending and eliminating counterproductive regulations and burdensome paperwork are the best policies to promote job creation by businesses.
Q: Besides jobs, what is Washington County's most pressing need? How can you help?
Bartlett: A robust transportation infrastructure is a major contributor to job creation. I voted for the new law that provides funding to pay for federal highway and transportation projects to maintain and modernize this critical infrastructure. This new law consolidates or eliminates 2/3 of federal programs, reduces red tape to speed construction and completion of transportation projects and provides states with greater flexibility to meet Maryland residents' needs. I also secured funding for improvements to Eastern Boulevard between Md. 64 and Antietam Drive and the Hagerstown Area Northeast By-Pass Project.
Q: What, if anything, would you change about federal entitlement programs?
Bartlett: We have to reform Social Security and other entitlement programs to keep the promises of these social safety nets for current beneficiaries and younger generations. I support providing current beneficiaries and younger workers with more choices and competition and greater oversight to reduce fraud as key reforms to preserve these vital health care programs for our seniors, those in need and younger generations. I oppose changes in Social Security and Medicare for those workers 55 and older or current recipients. It is irresponsible to ignore the fact that each must be reformed to keep its promises to younger Americans.
Q: How would you change the federal tax code? Please be specific.
Bartlett: We could lower rates and collect more tax revenue by eliminating all of the complexity of our current tax code if we repealed and replaced the existing tax code with a national consumption tax. This fundamental reform would tax people for what they spend instead of what they save and invest. I would protect the poor by not taxing basic food stuffs like potatoes, while taxing potato chips. This would also rid many people and businesses from an annual compliance burden of $200 billion a year freeing that money to save, spend or create new jobs.
Q: What is the best thing President Obama has done and what is the worst?
Bartlett: The worst thing President Obama has done is ram ideological policies through Congress, such as Obamacare with only Democratic support resulting in the weakest economic recovery in 80 years .... Annual deficits are over $1 trillion. Our National Debt increased 1/3 to $16 trillion. New costs and regulations on private businesses crippled job creation with unemployment over 8 percent for 42 months. Health insurance policy costs increased $2,500. Allowing First Lady Michelle Obama to have a garden at the White House sets a good example of healthy living through healthy eating.
Q: What, if anything, should the U.S. do about Iran's nuclear program?
Bartlett: I voted for the tough sanctions imposed on Iran's government in the past year. These sanctions bypass the United Nations and vetoes protecting Iran by Russia and China in the Security Council. These sanctions deny Iran's government funding needed to acquire nuclear weapons capability and also pressure it to allow verifiable international inspections of its nuclear program. Iran's government is cut off from the world financial system preventing the sale of its oil. There are signs these sanctions are working. Iran's currency dropped in value 80 percent since early 2010, including 40 percent compared to the dollar this month.