By Bill Carey
Using construction work at Syracuse's regional transportation center as a backdrop, democrat Dan Maffei was again on the attack over efforts by republican congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle to block more than $2 billion in aid, offered to New York State for development of high speed rail. Maffei, likening the republican's efforts to critics of New York State's plans for an Erie Canal in the 1800s.
Maffei said, "That investment, and it was an investment, paid off many-fold. That's the kind of thing, development, innovation that we'll be missing out on if we continue down this Buerkle-Ryan path."
Maffei continues to link Buerkle to a budget plan drawn up by now republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, a budget plan Buerkle supported that promises to balance the budget within 30 years through deep spending cuts and tax reductions.
"The reason why, with all the cuts, you're not seeing the budget balanced until 2040 at best under the Buerkle-Ryan budget is because that money doesn't go toward balancing the budget, it actually goes toward giving more tax breaks to the very, very wealthy" Maffei said.
While Dan Maffei continues to demand that Ann Marie Buerkle distance herself from the Paul Ryan budget proposals, in town hall meetings across the region, the congresswoman refuses to do that.
In Cayuga County, Buerkle again defended the House GOP effort to reduce the size of government, saying the key is lowering taxes to boost the economy.
"We've got to energize the economy. And the government cannot create jobs. The government can create an environment. But the only jobs that the government creates are those that are funded by the government and that's a problem," Buerkle said.
Buerkle says the attacks on the Ryan budget plan come from a party that has yet to offer a comprehensive program of its own to deal with massive deficits.
Buerkle said, "Paul Ryan's budget is a proposal. It is a way to begin the discussion about how this nation's going to get back on course. I haven't heard any suggestions, any proposals, anything but, let's raise taxes and let's spend more money. That's what we heard from the other side, including my opponent."
Both candidates believe the outcome of their race hinges on voter decisions on which approach to federal taxes and spending they prefer.
Buerkle and Maffei are not the only choices for voters in the district. The Green Party also has a candidate on the ballot, Ursula Rozum.