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On this regional public affairs program, 4th district candidates Bruce Vento (DFL) and John Berg (I-R), discuss and debate the issues.

Vento was first elected to the U.S. House in 1976. Prior to 1976, Mr. Vento represented St. Paul's District 66a in the Minnesota House. There he served as assistant majority leader from 1974 to 1976.

Berg works for the 3M Corporation, where he is the technical manager of the energy control project.

Read the Text Transcription of the Audio.

(00:00:00) This morning our public affairs program. We present a discussion of the issues in the fourth district Congressional race last week. You may recall we heard from candidates in the Fifth District race. Incidentally, you might be interested to know that following this program MPR will present campaign Saturday. The program will feature candidates for major political office in Minnesota. It will also highlight political themes and music your host will be Bob Potter and Arthur Haines all that begins at 11:00 this morning and continues through this afternoon. The fourth congressional district consists of all of Ramsey County except for a small portion that lies in the Fifth District. It includes the city of st. Paul and most of its northern suburbs prior to 1976. The district was represented by Democrat Joe qarth car that served in that office for 18 years. He did not seek re-election in 1976 elected to replace him was dfl or Bruce vento. He is running for re-election. This fall and is opposed by independent Republican John Berg both mr. Vento and mr. Berger in the studio with me this morning to discuss issues and answer questions from listeners the ground rules for this morning's discussion are the same as for last week's discussion and both candidates have agreed to them. They are these each candidate will have a maximum of five minutes in which to make an opening statement following that statement. We will open our phone lines and invite listeners to call in questions for the candidates to allow for as many questions as possible. Each caller will be limited to one minute in which to ask his or her question each candidate will then have Two minutes in which to respond to the question at the end of the program. Each candidate will have three minutes to sum up his position. We will begin this morning in alphabetical order with John Berg at the end of the program will reverse that order and Bruce vento will go first independent Republican candidate. John Berg is 46 years old. He's married and has four children. He received his bachelor's degree from st. Thomas College and st. Paul and his PhD in chemistry from Iowa State University. Mr. Berg works for the 3M Corporation where he is the technical manager of the energy control project as a researcher for 3M. He has co-authored for patents. Mr. Berg has never held elective office. Mr. Berg and morning and Welcome to our program. Well, thank you very much Rick and I certainly enjoy this opportunity to address you and the listening audience of ksjn. I am running for this office for for particular reasons right now. We are seeing a runaway inflation in this country caused by deficit spending caused by a Congress that continues to spend more than what we the working people. Here in the fourth district the state of Minnesota. And in fact the nation can afford to spend currently we're being taxed at a 42 percent rate 42 cents out of every dollar higher here in Minnesota is being taken out of our paychecks. We don't have a gold standard or a silver standard to back up our money as a consequence serially, the goods and services that we ourselves can produce the back up our money you and I have a checkbook and it must balance at the end of each month. However, the government can continue to print money and that money is becoming very worthless as it is being spent and spent and spent with nothing to back it up. We're all worried and concerned about the inflation and inflation is hurting the elderly is hearing those people with children in college. It's hurting the young people starting out in life trying to purchase a home is hurting the very young you realize that currently Social Security taxes are on the rise right now ten workers are Backing up everyone that is retired within fifty two years their only be three workers to support one that is retired taxes is the second issue. No one Minds paying taxes as long as they're receiving a proper accounting for those taxes currently people feel that they're being ripped off that we don't have the services being provided that that tax money is being taken from them. Third is regulations over regulations by government are adding to the increased cost of living. I was talking to a worker that works at Fairview hospital the other day the new accounting rules imposed by the federal government on the hospitals will require Fairview Hospital to hire six more countians. Now, we have 3 m have to generate at least forty thousand dollars profit to hire another person on our payroll you multiply 6 times forty thousand that's almost a quarter of a million dollars divided that by 365 days and by the number of beds at Fairview Hospital. And you're not what the increased cost to the patients using that hospital will be the higher six more accountants regulations are fine. But over regulations are costing you and I the consumer and awful lot of money and finally there's the question of openness of government. It seems the government wants everyone else to be open and closes its doors. We continually see where things such as the upper Great Lakes Regional Commission papers, which maybe maybe have been open finally are being held back by government. We see that instead of having judgeships based on Merit that our Congressman has voted to continue to keep them politically appointed. These are things that I feel as a congressman. We must have openness in government openness here in the fourth district where we hold hearings in our community to understand what it is that the people are talking about. Thank you. Thank you very much. That was John Berg who's the independent Republican candidate for the fourth district congressional seat the other candidate in In the race for the fourth district seat is the incumbent dfl or Bruce vento. Mr. Vento is 38 married and he has three children. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Washington from Wisconsin State University at River Falls. He was first elected to the US House in 1976 and prior to 1976. Mr. Vento for five years represented. St. Paul's District 66a in the Minnesota house there he served as assistant majority leader from 1974 to 1976. Mr. Vento. Welcome. Good (00:05:59) morning. Thank you. Thank you Rich. It's a pleasure to be here and to address the folks in the listening audience know working as Ramsey County's Congressman. The past two years has provided me with the opportunity to keep commitments. The Democratic economic stimulus program has had dramatic results unemployment has dropped from 8.3% 1976 25.9% over 6 million new jobs exist today because action was taken because a problem that existed in 76 was addressed industrial plant used in Minnesota for instance is jumped. Well industrial plant used in the nation is jump from 80 to 85 percent. That's another Prime indicator of what's happening in the economy and recent Minnesota statistics are even better. We have three times the national average and construction Awards twice the construction employment growth and 50% higher retail sales look at downtown st. Paul today. This didn't happen by accident. This happened because of policies that worked in conjunction and successfully in conjunction with the private and public sector because the American economy is the freest in the world and make no mistake about it. It is the freest and there is the opportunity for failure is the opportunity for Market forces to affected the federal government. However, has a key role in providing leadership. How do we mesh this together? You know, for instance the inflation problem that is repeatedly brought up and government has become the scapegoat for and certainly we have a role, you know, if we contemplate what the effect is 20% of the gross national product obviously is controlled by the Government right now the federal government 80% is controlled by someone else, you know, it's interesting to note that we're trying to squeeze all the inflation problems out of that 20% that's controlled by the government. You can't do that. That's why in the president's inflation message the other night. He made his a dramatic appeal to those that are receiving wages to those receiving profits to those that are talking about price increases to the individual consumers. I think that that message has to be carried today. You have to look at what we're doing in the decisions were making we have to look at productivity. We have to look at how we use our resources in something that wasn't addressed and that's we have to look at what our balance of trade is the recently passed eighteen point. Seven billion dollar tax cut that I supported is responsible in necessary, but make no mistake the tax reform tax reform must remain a top priority. Our tax system is not fair and future tax cuts must be related to the overall spending realities. They also have to be related to reforms. The recently passed humphrey-hawkins legislation will provide an important tool to fight inflation as the president noted in his remarks when he signed it it will force a defining of Golds and of coordination of government fiscal and monetary policy that coordination of fiscal and monetary policy is not something that we've attained today. I hope that we can in the future. It's been the cause of a great deal of trouble. Hopefully this law and others like it in the attitude of the new chairman of the Federal Reserve board will lead to lower interest rates than those that have plagued our economy in recent months. It's a serious problem that must be addressed the new Congressional budget process, which has been an action for about two years has been instrumental in lowering the national deficit the deficit this year that was approved by Congress is the lowest it's been in five years. It's high but it's it's responsible in terms of an orderly spend down so that we don't have the economic dislocations. Even Business Roundtable in the various business groups that come before us don't Advocate a complete abolishment pulling out of the economy. 50 billion or 60 billion dollars in one year, they recognize the impact on the economy would be negative. And so we're trying to pursue this on an orderly fashion with a reasonable tax cut and in such a way that we won't have those types of Economic dislocations and make progress in one area and lose-lose in another area one of the important pieces of legislation and I intend to propose and continue to proposing in the future is sunset legislation. This must be given a high priority in the next Congress Sunset proposals provide a regular review of existing programs. So that duplication is avoided and I needed programs removed finally inflation, of course is aggravated by our adverse balance of trade the US economy can't afford a twenty seven billion dollar balance of trade deficit and political rhetoric isn't going to wipe it out. We have to have specific ideas and Concepts on how to do that and then it can be reversed while important oil remains while imported oil remains an important problem. We bought 45 billion dollars worth in 1977 in addition not oil. Imports increased 20% We need Fair access to markets abroad to sell our products in a more aggressive trade policy United States market place today in terms of our trading partners is the only game in town other economies are not growing and so we are flooded with foreign imports whether it's excess steel capacity or other Foreign imports are recent economic growth has been modest, but far outstrips that of our trade Partners as a consequence consequence limited market places exist. I feel strongly that our economic system and Society must provide the opportunity for all people to participate in our economy, which means the share the right of a job and to enjoy the gains from the development and economic growth. I believe these achievements are possible through the various policies and programs that have advocated the past two years. (00:11:15) Okay, thank you very much. That was dfl representative Bruce vento who from the fourth district 4th congressional district in Minnesota and his independent Republican opponent. John Berg is also in the studio with me this morning. And at this time we're going to open up the phone lines so that if you would like to ask a question of either are both of these gentlemen you can do. So the number to call in. The Twin Cities is 2211550221 1550. And we ask that you limit your question to one minute in length and order that we may get as many questions in as possible today and then each candidate will respond to your question. And while we're waiting for the first questioner gentlemen, I'd like to ask each of you this one both of you talked about tax cuts in your opening statements, and I'd like to ask you to get a little bit more specific. I'd like you to talk about how much money you're talking about in terms of tech tax cuts and from which income groups those cuts would come and also speak to the issue. Of what's going to happen to other programs in the government many people are concerned about that that if money is taken out if tax cuts are instituted that some programs will suffer and I'll ask you to go first. Mr. Berg. Okay. Thank you Rich. We're talking about a Kennedy type tax cut under the bill proposed by Senator camp and represent our pardon me Senator Roth and representative Jack Kemp. This type of a tax cut which Kennedy instituted back in 62 and 63 generated more money into the economy and instead of having an 89 billion dollar decrease in the federal budget between the years of 64 and 68 when it was instituted the federal treasury took in over fifty nine billion dollars. In addition, we had the highest productivity the lowest unemployment and the greatest personal gain in this country in modern times the same type of tax cut can now be instituted again under the proposal that camping Roth had or that Senator Nunn just recently proposed in the senate in which we would have across-the-board tax cut now the compromise Bill calls for a 10% across-the-board tax cut but actually is more in the lower rates amounts to 33 and 1/3 over the next three years 10% per year. Lots be higher in the lower income groups. The net result would be that a person in the lower-income group would not be penalized by going to work if he's on a welfare program. Now you realize that a person that's on welfare at the present time the family of four can take home with food stamps housing Etc. Almost eight hundred and ten dollars per month in benefits. That same person going to work 40 hours a week in earning $12,000 a year would only take home seven hundred ninety five dollars. The net result is of course, why go to work and get by without having to by lowering the amount of taxes in those lower areas those lower income areas you allow for therefore a greater ease for the person that is on the welfare to move over into the employed rate in addition each time that we've seen a tax cut. It has generated regenerated the money lost within a year's time. Therefore were saying that with a tax cut you would not have to cut the federal budget but rather would regenerate that money within a year's time within a period of about five years. We would no longer be deficit spending but be in the black that in essence is what I'm talking about and that was independent Republican candidate John Berg. Mr. Vento his dfl opponent. It's your turn. (00:15:02) Roth Camp the tax cut very simply put in accurately phrase by various experts from business week to Walter Heller who happened to engineer the Kennedy tax cut in the mid-60s, which was a necessary tax cut in the workable one. These are responsible groups say that the type of proposal that my Republican opponent is talking about would khatri would cause in this environment roaring inflation and budget-busting deficits. It would literally impoverish those on a fixed income not my words, but the words of business week it conservative oriented business periodical and the words of the man that engineered and directed The Kennedy tax cut in the mid-60s that tax tax cut was necessary. Unfortunately now Corsa 15 years later, we find the Republican party with this as their major theme 15 years late at that time. They were opposed to it and I might add that there was never any prediction that there would not be Revenue produced with the in the mid-60s if we have to talk about mid 60 goals, but that there would be some Another Factor there that entered in the picture of course was the Vietnam War which stimulated the economy a great deal in the mid 60s. We had low unemployment at that time. We had little inflation. I asked you to contrast today's economy with that. We do have high inflation already. We do have an Essence and I think six six six percent unemployment is still high and something that we have to get a handle on. We do have that today. And this is what they say would happen. What what my Republican opponent and other Republicans are suggesting is that we had a mortgage our future with regards to this particular type of tax cut rather than make a decision on a year by year basis based on information and facts that we do have that's what we tried today. You know, we're also find it instance here. We're trying to solve problems that don't exist. We have an earned income credit already which exists in which was expanded this year the tax cut that we have provides an increase of 750 to 1,000 in personal exemptions. It provides a necessary cut. But in the other hand the we suggest that we're going to produce more money by virtue of almost any tax cut and that's important to recognize We probably will there is some stimulation but that stimulation may be at the cost of a certain amount of inflation and that's an important point to get across. So I'm going to take a look. I'm not promising any tax cuts. I know that how to get Adam and that's by cutting some spending. That's why in this past two years that I've served. I voted a hundred times against authorization and appropriation bills recorded votes against bending against programs at spend money. It's tough to do their specific the 0n on programs and on subject matter that doesn't deserve funding we don't need me tax cuts. We don't need we don't need rhetoric. It's easy to talk and make promises performances. The bottom line on these issues that performance has been demonstrated by this Congressman. (00:17:46) That was dfl candidate Bruce vento. There's some callers on the line and we're going to go to them now. We ask that you limit your question to one minute in length so that we can get as many questions in as possible this morning. We're listening for your question. Good morning. (00:18:00) Good morning. Hello, the candidates are listening for your question. I'm going to change the subject a bit recent legislation that has come up in Congress has different aspects in terms of providing funding for Family Planning and contraceptive advice and services to teenagers. Now some of the legislation would remove the availability of that service effect pretty effectively and I'm wondering how the candidates feel particularly in view of the fact that recent research has shown that the services that have been made available over the last 10 years have resulted in substantial drops in teenage fertility rates particularly among blacks. And that what would the Aging of the baby boom? We have a lot of teenagers. (00:18:56) Okay, thank you very much for your question and I'll ask the candidates to again try and limit your responses to about two minutes so we can get as many questions as possible and I'll let you go first on this one. Mr. (00:19:06) Ventura. Well, this is an issue that we faced. There's a there's two dilemmas here. Of course, I oppose abortion. I do not Advocate it as a means of birth control and would like to see a great Dominion nation in it. I don't believe in Public Funding of it or financing of that particular of abortion. The the other aspect of course is the the opportunity for medical treatment of minors, which has been the subject of many court cases and consequently for instance in terms of some Faith healing individuals miners have been denied medical treatment. And I think this is a an issue that we have to preserve we have to protect the rights of those miners that are barred or prevented for medical treatment by virtue of non parental approval approval. So this is a very key problem. The other courses are we going to do something in terms of Education with regards to young people that are sexually active are Going to permit them to have information with regards to birth control and I guess I think that we should permit them to have that information. They don't believe in abortion and don't do not vote. For instance for the for the for that we did initiate this year a program for teenage mothers are expectant mothers teenage pregnancy. This is an important program because it's not enough just to be for instance against abortion. I think we have to take positive steps. We had to provide incentives so that individuals that find themselves faced with that decision have some meaningful alternative. So I'm very pleased that under the direction of Senator Kennedy Ted Kennedy and + Paul Rodgers in the house were able to take on a bill like that and provide that type of assistance. (00:20:38) Do you FL are Bruce vento independent Republican John Berg? Okay. Thank you. If I understand the question properly it really deals with the question of the family in the parent 'l responsibility. I feel very definitely that in this instance. Such types of programs should be only at the insistence of the parents with the children. And that's your answer. Yes. Okay. That was John Berg independent Republican candidate for the fourth district congressional seat. We're conducting a phone in program. If you just tuned in its twenty two and a half minutes past 10:00 o'clock. And in the studio with me along with candidate Berg is the flr Bruce vento and if you'd like to ask either or both candidates a question you can do so by calling us at 2 2 1 1 5 5 0 that's two to one 15:50 in there is one line open at this time. There are other listeners on the line and we're going to go to another question now. Good morning. We're listening for your question. (00:21:32) Thank you. This question is for both candidates. I live in St. Pauls McAllister Groveland area and work in a suburban area of the county. I have just received a portion of the Congressional Record of October 3rd, which deals with Statistics and women's earnings. It states that in Minnesota all men average to 12,000 college grad 16,000 all women 7,000 female college grads 10,000 and the picture is only slightly. Fire if you limit it to the Minneapolis st. Paul area my question what specific pieces of federal legislation can you envision which would shrink the gap between male and female virtue full-time workers wages? Thank you. (00:22:18) Thank you for calling. Mr. Berg. I'll let you go first on this one. All right, I'm not just sure what different groups you have in mind there Madam. I work at 3:00 a.m. There. We make a very specific programs aimed to be sure that anyone that is hired for equal work receives equal pay and this is a law. This is a law that should be enforced. Therefore. If there is any qualities the person that she feels that there is an unjust e-payment in their in their salary has the opportunity to bring this to the attention of the authorities and I would suggest that if this Particular problem does exist which obviously it must from the statistic that you're pointing out. I would like to know which areas that these statistics statistics are being taken from and would say that with the oeo program that there is a method by which people can bring us to the attention of the authorities. Thank you. Mr. Berg. Mr. (00:23:25) Vento. Well, it's a it's a important a time. I think that part of the statistical difference that you point out grows out of the fact that many times and making these averages you find that women have their world their experience in the world of work is somewhat Less in terms of the number of years that they've been employed. The length of their careers is somewhat less and I think that these would be some of the factors involved but it's very clear that we're sexual discrimination does exist in our society. It has to be addressed such as the case for instance with pregnancy disability were a woman for instance has not permitted to to retainer employment retain. The any compensation as a result of pregnancy we find differences in terms of credit is extended to women versus men a wife or two spouses. So the point the point is that this issue has to be addressed we should have in our basic document. I believe an amendment that addresses itself to this particular this phenomena. That's why I am supportive of the Equal Rights Amendment and hope that and voted for it wasn't as to when I was in the state legislature and hoped that in the the time extension period that's been granted by Congress that we can receive positive consideration other states. I think it's the really the only way short of of a passing very specific legislation and every instance. I think a lot of this could be addressed for instance within within different settings. (00:24:48) Thank you very much. Mr. Vento will go to another question now. Good morning. You're on the (00:24:52) air. Oh, yes. Thank you and our social security is so important to we people who are senior citizens. And a lot of people are complaining about paying the Social Security and it seems to me that one of the problems is that the same amount of Social Security payment comes from a poor person as it does from the wealthy because the percentage taken out of the wages is the same for all income levels. Is there any way that we can change this that Social Security is paid for a little more by those who can afford it rather than by person who's just a middle and lower-income there any way to be more Equitable that people won't complain about Social Security payments. Thank you. I wish both gentlemen could address that question. (00:25:56) Okay, they will thanks for calling. Mr. (00:25:58) Vento. Well, I think that We just passed a social security bill in 1977 and like many things that was a product of compromise. I didn't agree with all of it, but I recognized the necessity of the trust funds being maintained so that the 34 million Americans and number that depend on Social Security could could have some degree of certainty that their checks would be there. I advocate using some General Revenue for for the purpose of paying Social Security that that concept was not successful. I advocated a tax credit for Social Security. So that that also could apply in help offset the cost of Social Security and use General Revenue and directly what we can do of course and what we have done is to expand the wage base in the course. This is come in for a lot of controversy because it does mean that individuals that earn higher incomes will be paying more. I think the Social Security tax is regressive think that think it ought to be modified also think we have to look at the benefit structure and integrate other types of income on earned income. So that unearned income does have some we The guys we can't go out and punch a Time Clock after he retires and we have a retirement test in that we'd probably should keep that because we can't afford to do anything else. We don't do anything without her and income we ought to look at that in terms of some ceiling. Finally we ought to look at including emerging some of the federal programs on the federal pension programs that now exists that doesn't mean wiping them out. We have to maintain the commitments we've made in government suffers a great deal when it doesn't do that. We have to include other groups that that could and should be included and we're set aside at one time. It should be included now. (00:27:31) Okay. Thank you. Mr. Ventura. Mr. Berg. Well the major goals of the Social Security System since its creation 35 have been to provide retirees with Benefits related to their previous earnings and to create a support floor to keep the retirees above the poverty level Social Security is general term today is used to describe old age and survivors Insurance the so-called oasi disability insurance the D. I added in 1956 and the health insurance. Hi commonly called Medicare added in 65. The social security system was not originally designed to be and is not a welfare system. Therefore there are many areas that are actually now being included as welfare programs that should be funded at the local level a using staff State funds and using funds in the area at the county level as a result the recent funding program stem from the fact that mr. Vento and other federal employees are not on the social security system of we increased the number of people covering it would actually reduce the total number of payments taxes that had to be taken from anyone at the present time. Mr. Val just recently voted himself a $13,000 raised in those interested in the previous question worthy woman mentioned that the average male employee is earning $12,000 a year and horse, mr. Ventura and his staff to not pay any Social Security tax. It is a tax. It is not a retirement program and as such there are Several programs that have been proposed in Congress to make it a more viable program that it is now I would like to work for those programs in Congress. Okay. Mr. Ventura would like to (00:29:11) respond to that just one response. First of all General Revenue money does prove or provide the the SSI and the other programs that could generally be constituted as being with my pointed constitutes as being welfare programs to reimpose in the state of Minnesota that cost around the county on property tax, which is their only alternative I think is not a viable solution. In addition. My opponent has taken this opportunity to indicate that federal employees are not covered by it. Well, it is going to be a benefit there is benefits that are required to be paid under Social Security and federal employees are not necessarily eligible unless they work in another job for Social Security. So the thing is that if they did pay in order to be a benefit paid out so adding them I think is a question mark and we're studying that right now as to whether adding federal employees would in fact reduce the cost would actually increase The cost in terms of the benefits that they would be eligible for today. The second party addresses to is the part with regards to the Congressional pay raises. In fact that I'm not involved in Social Security, but we don't pay into it. We don't get any benefits out of it. I in fact authored a bill to include the congressman in Social Security. I'd like to be included in and I have no objection to I think it's a good program. I think people get out of it. Generally what they put into it most instances. In fact many receive much more. It's an important program that we have as far as the Congressional pay raises. My opponent takes Liberty of pointing out that we did to have a $13,000 increase that came about from a commission there had been no increase in many many years for congressman and that that's what that commission recommended. We approved it. We also disapprove the six to eight thousand dollars in terms of Officer money that Congressman could put in their pocket and previous years and all have Office Accounts that was eliminated in other words the corporation contributions. We eliminated the amount are we limited the amount of outside income that could be earned these are important reforms and that was the basis for him. I'm Complaining about the about what I receive in terms of compensation insurer pays better than what I received teaching, but I want to also add in there a lot of things that we don't have we don't have moving expenses. When you move to Washington we have to be to do the job. You don't have expenses for your family and the cost of doing things down. There is little higher like homes are about twice as high. I'm not complaining about it. But I think if you're going to raise the issue of what compensation is that you ought to raise the issue of what the costs are and what the reforms are that were accomplished meaningful reforms that went forth and that strength I think Congressman ought to be working full-time. I don't think they ought to be on the lecture circuit to the extent that many of them were think they ought to be down there doing their job. That's what I'm doing. That's what I intend to continue to do. (00:31:39) Okay, very brief response. Mr. Berg. Yes truce. Are you still getting haircuts for a dollar down there? (00:31:45) I don't if you is long as you ask the question that the haircuts actually are $3 John and I want to tell you they're not worth much more. I get my hair cut on the east side of George fell zonings. (00:31:54) Okay. Let's go to some some another listeners another listener on the line. We've got some patient people waiting. Go ahead. We're listening for your (00:32:00) question. I have a question for mr. (00:32:02) Burke. Okay. Go ahead. He's (00:32:04) listening most of my life. I didn't worry about higher cost because I used to get a raise every year. Now I am retired and I find that my pension buys less and less each month and my rent keeps going up. I've complained to my landlord and he's showing me his bills and is constantly hire a real estate taxes. I find that he's helped was too. I'm getting desperate with your program. Help us to make our money last longer if quite frankly, I'm ready to change my voting habits. (00:32:34) Okay. Mr. Berg a question about taxes. All right, let's go to one quick rebuttal to something that mr. Reynolds said earlier right now Germany and Japan have had tax cuts. They are out producing us. They're having higher productivity and lower rate of inflation. And I very definitely sympathize with you sir on year squeeze. I've had the same problem myself. We are in fourteen hundred dollars less last year and paid over five hundred and seventy-five dollars more in taxes, both federal state and real estate this past year and this at a time when inflation was going 8% for person on a fixed income. This is just the desperate squeeze that they're in we're all in it. Unless the federal government addressed the very problem of overspending and I would like to quote from Monday's dispatch where mr. Miller points out the policies of the Federal Reserve Board of flecked inflation, but they cannot hold it themselves. He says quote monetary policy cannot do the job alone the Federal Reserve board cannot prevent crop failure. Stop the increase in price of oil or decrease the federal deficit and this ladder is strictly what our Congress does. They're the ones that are responsible for the deficit for this overspending and adding and fueling the fires of inflation. Now if programs must be geared such that people that are retired do not pay taxes on their Social Security earnings around their pension earnings. I feel that they should be Exempted and could earn more money without paying tax. Those people have earned the right. To have a retirement without having to worry about inflation. Okay. Mr. Berg independent Republican candidate for the 4th District. Mr. (00:34:18) Ventura. Well, if my opponent my Republican opponent paid Marv last year in federal taxes and earned less, you got to get new tax accountant or start to maybe sharpen this pencil little better because you can't you couldn't have done that if you earned less because we did have the tax simplification act which continued the reductions had another one this year that will have so if you're unless you're going to pay pay less in terms of federal taxes now, I don't I can't speak to his property taxes in terms of what what's happening in that area. But I know the state had a 1% increase which I don't think would translate unless he has, you know, I assume just average income but he talks about Germany and Japan. I think we got a chicken and egg question here Germany and Japan don't have high unemployment. They don't have inflation sure. They can cut taxes and stimulate their economy produce more more Revenue. We're not talking about that situation here. We have got high inflation. We have we have High unemployment now. So the point is that these question when you're living on fixed income if you're talking about the Republican tax program, you heard the statement from from mr. Mr. Heller, it would impoverish those in the fixed income. We have to deal with inflation. We tried for instance with the Social Security Bill Bill to provide some built-in cost-of-living adjustments for people that aren't fixed income you analyze the federal budget and you find that about fifty billion dollars goes for interest on the national debt. I didn't create that national debt that was created in previous years due to war due to many other programs that were vital for this nation's health and security and these are the things that have to happen if we're going to talk about Federal deficits. Let's remember is the lowest Federal deficit in five years and that we can talk about specific cuts and various types of programs that are not necessary not everything is going to be done. We have no Panacea Roth Kemp and a lot of other tax bills are not going to be a Panacea 80 percent of the gross national product is outside. The the the national government. I think it should stay there. I think we ought to make some commitments to keep it there. (00:36:07) Okay dfl representative Bruce vento his independent Republican opponent. John Berg is also in the studio with me this morning. The time is 22 minutes before 11 o'clock. And if you'd like to ask either or both candidates in the fourth district Congressional race a question, you can do so by calling us at 2 2 1 1 5 5 0 that's to to 11550 in there is one line. I believe that's still open. We have listeners on the line waiting to ask questions and we'll go to another one now. Good morning. You're on the air. Good (00:36:36) morning. I'd like to ask. Alaskan lands conservation bill. I believe that that bill passed the house last year and a stronger Bill did not get through the Senate and I would like to know how Mr. Vento voted on that and what support each of the candidates would give in the next session to such a bill. (00:36:54) Okay, very good. Thanks for your question. Mr. (00:36:56) Bent. Oh, well, this is an issue which I spent a lot of time working on and under the bill that I worked in passed through the house working with Mo Udall and other other conservationists and other people labor groups and so forth. We passed a pretty good bill. We set aside Alaska has 375 million Acres we gave to the state of Alaska the largest Grant of land of any state ever received in the union over a hundred and four million acres to the state of Alaska. We gave to the Native Americans up in Alaska 44 million acres under that bill the remaining of the land and all the land. Of course in Alaska is in public ownership. So the question is, how do we manage it? We took about a hundred million of that in some of it of course is already set aside in terms of preserves and Wilderness and national parks to A hundred million acres and set it aside. We said these areas ought to be preserved. Now we did give to the state of Alaska and left in within the Bureau of Land Management about 95% of all the high potential oil oil or fossil fuel yielding areas. We took about 85% of the Hard Rock minerals and excluded those so those are open for development and at a time, of course when there is no active mine in all of Alaska. We took almost all the timber resources and set them aside and we're talking about public land into the state. We're not talking about what the native alaskans might contribute to that. But so that's what we did. I think we have a commitment here to develop a management strategy for that area that is would be very very important and very fundamental to preserve the resources that exist there now to preserve some of the natural phenomena like the Caribou herd some of the other species. So we've done this and we've done it in such a way that would prevent or permit the tremendous economic growth in that area prevented to contribute the vital minerals vital resources that are important for instance in Southeast Alaska. We guaranteed the amount of Sitka Spruce and other types of species. That would be available much of that resource now is being suggested that we export that research. We do export a lot of wood there some suggest we ought to export the oil but at a time for instance when nations are looking within to depend upon their own fossil fuels and so forth. I think that that is a concept that's flawed we ought to do is develop the pipeline's the gas pipeline to carry the gas as an I supported that to to Minnesota to the mid west and develop the Northern Tier pipeline or the Kitimat proposal both of which I've been involved in develop them to carry the crude oil to the Midwest the sour crude so we can use it in our refineries because we have got Canadian curtailment of both of these Commodities now recently there have been some changes with regards to Canadians that could of course affect our policies. (00:39:18) Okay. Thank you. Mr. Ventura. Mr. Berg. I have never visited the great state of Alaska very beautiful state nor have I talked to the alaskans about this particular issue. I'm not qualified this point to go into depth with it in general. My own stand is I do not like to see further Federal takeover of state or private lands. Okay, independent Republican candidate John Berg. There are still listeners on the line waiting to ask questions. So we'll go to another one right now. Good morning. And you're on the air. (00:39:47) Yes. I'd like to know how the two candidates feel on the recently passed BWC a bill. (00:39:53) Okay, very good. Thank you. I think I'll let you go first on this one. Mr. Berg. Okay, talk about shades of Wounded Knee. The people in northern Minnesota now know how the Native American Fields the federal government does not keep treaties in 1964 Senator Humphrey made a treaty with the people up north. Those treaties have not been kept nor have the people up there received all the moneys for the lands and property that was taken over and until and unless that is done and mr. Vento actually talks these people up there and determines for himself what their problems are. I really do not feel that at this point that anything further should have been done that would take over further Federal takeover of state and private lands in that area. So you're opposed to the present bill that was just signed into law. Yes, I feel that the federal government did not go up there. I have yet to see a map of what it is going to entail. I do not feel it was held in an open manner in front of the people up there and I feel that there was not sufficient input because the people up there did not receive the compensation from previous treaties made with them and until that was In his saddle, I really feel that that had been cleared up number one. Mr. Vento. You had a great deal to do with this measure in (00:41:07) Congress. This bill. Let me point out preserves all treaties that were made. In fact, there is a specific provision in it. If if you want to read the bill you'd see that secondly I want to point out that this bill was taken head-on. We brought the bill to the people in st. Paul here to the people in the early the bills been published in the front pages of their papers. The maps have been published in the front page is their papers. And so there is there is AI think a existing knowledge of what is in the bill what it accomplished what I proposed to accomplish we did. Listen we to the people in these areas we did bring them to they were in Washington. They were well financed. It was a well discussed issue very much. So in Congress the past two years, in fact, the representative from that area received extreme consideration sat on the panel with its participated freely in all discussions that went on about it problem with the BWC a very simply put in the early part of the 20th century, Teddy. Roosevelt great conservationist set that area side. He said this area is special. There's a three million acre Superior National Forest, which is a federal federal land ownership and within that three million Acres 1 million acres are approximately that was set aside as a Wilderness Area. It's always been special always been set aside for many many years and there's been a commitment to keep it that way in 1964 a new management tool was developed called the Wilderness act agricultural Wilderness. They of course designated the BWC a they put one paragraph in the law that provided some exceptions that one paragraph has been the source of controversy than the source of administrative rulings been the source of repeated court cases, and of course in 1975 the represented from that area recognize the difficulty with that paragraph and recommended a change he brought to the Congress a legislative change that time and so at proceeded then was another representative for Minneapolis from Minnesota brought a different proposal. I sat on the interior committee. I had to address that issue. I studied it very closely came up with I thought was a compromise that was further compromised in the Senate what it really boils down to is our no argument about would anymore. We provided resources develop soft wood outside the BWC a no arguments necessarily about mining but there was the argument about who could take their motor boats and what lakes we kind of split that down the middle. We hope that will resolve the issue not just the immediate issue but that we provided some foresight and seeing what's going to happen to that area that that area would be preserved for future Generations. It's an important resource a national resource and the benefactors of that to the greater extent will be the people that live close to (00:43:34) it. Okay. Thank you. Mr. Vento 15 minutes now before 11 o'clock and you're listening to a discussion of the issues between the candidates for the fourth district congressional seat, which takes in the city of st. Paul and its northern suburbs and we have two callers on the line, which means there are two lines open. If you'd like to call in and ask either a both candidates a question you can do so by calling 2211550. That's two to one 1550 and we'll go to another question. Jr. Now good morning. We're listening for your (00:44:02) question. Good morning, sir. I'd like to know since the job is essentially legislation in one of the important pieces is to design the budget what principles the candidate choose to decide which proposals get their support which proposals get the intent of the funds that the people have been asking for and if you could use for example, let's say the proposal for the new nuclear submarine in the Navy or the nuclear carrier and as a completely different example, let's say the annual proposals for NASA's space budget. (00:44:41) Okay, thank you very much. Will that. Mr. Bento go first on this (00:44:44) one. Well establishing priorities is very important the budget process permits us to do that to some extent. That's why this year in the early budget. I voted against it first budget resolution voted for the second one because it had a lower deficit because it I think we had weeded out some of the programs like the like the carrier like some of the water projects which I disapproved of and and some of the other programs which I felt were unnecessary or were too high in con. So I think that in looking at this you want to see what the impact is on people. I think we have to have a strong National Defense, but I also think that putting money for instance into some of these programs limits are option for other types of factors. That would be would be of Greater significance. May we have to have more invested in the Small Arms, we have to have more invested in training and then in some in research, but to make a big commitment to some of these some of these which for instance the aircraft carrier would make the the largest Target. Do you think that any that the Soviet Union are our major adversaries? Don't know where every one of our nuclear Carriers are now. Of course. They know where they are. They're very easy to track. We don't have to have that particular type of expensive Hardware in my judgment you get into a whole area here of technology and discussion makes it difficult but it's hard to say, you know what your values are I care about people. I've been understood I served in public office for eight years think I've lived in this District. I know what the impact is on people of some of the programs to see where our responsibility should be hard to make the judgments. We put out questionnaires of ask for a response from people, but dressed I read my mail. I was personally sign every letter that goes out of my office and hope that I'm and do I think reflect the attitudes in the best interest the people of District I represent. (00:46:20) Mr. Berg if you were to go to Congress, how would you establish your priorities? Mm. Well, first of all government should be asked what are the services you're providing and how much money is it taking you to do it. No, one person is going to be an authority on every issue that comes before the Congress. We do have to have expertise in the various areas. As far as National Defense is concerned. I think again one has to judge and bases opinion upon what the National Defense people are providing as far as results are concerned and has to use a certain amount of judgment there out. I would write to see more involvement by the congressional committees and actually show it being shown what it is the programs are doing for the people and again on some of them. We will have to take more of the experts opinion particularly in the area of which particular defense system is the most of a critical to the National Defense. Okay, thank you very much. The time is ten and a half minutes now before 11 o'clock and we have time for at least one more question. Earn. We're listening for your question. Good morning. (00:47:32) Good morning. I have a question about the energy specifically nuclear energy versus other alternative sources and especially other alternative solar sources. I recognize that lately. We've had some tax incentives for developing solar sources, but I'd like to know if either or both of the candidates would support a Public Funding program to develop solar energy in a fashion similar to the Public Funding of the nuclear energy program. (00:47:57) Okay. Thank you. Mr. Berg. Well, first of all, let me say that I am against further development of governmental Laboratories for study of alternative energy sources, I would much rather see it done through our universities and private institutions. Much along the line of the Space Administration and some of these others actually converting some of these groups taking some of their expertise and tacking them on to the local universities and actually giving them the charge of working on solar wind geothermal biomass Etc to right now, I would suspect that if anyone who had been involved with the old atomic energy Labs would be amazed at the difference in programs that are going on now many may have seen the recent program on CBS in which they pointed out the coal program going on at the Ames laboratory where I did my graduate work down at Iowa State University many of these are going towards the areas of alternative energy sources and I feel that if we utilize our private and state universities to grant them National Science. Type grants to make these studies that I much prefer see that than continuing to develop new governmental Laboratories to do the same job. Okay, mr. Vento, (00:49:26) the question nuclear power course resolves around the dealing with the waste and I think it's important as we see the The Limited effects of being able to respond to Fossil with fossil fuel mainly, of course oil and natural gas and limited availability or the cost of them that these Alternatives will become more feasible. The government now does spend about eight-tenths of 1 billion dollars eight hundred million dollars on alternative energy resources. Most of that is private contract to universities to private agencies to for instance. We have some going on right here in the Twin Cities with Swedish engineering firm talking about saving various types of saving various types of heat, and I think that they're workable. I think we have to continue to stimulate them. We have to look at these Is because because of the problems we faced with fossil fuel nuclear energy and the short run is going to be and I'm talking about now light water reactors. I'm not talking about the breeder reactor, which I in my judgment is is years off in terms of being able to provide any meaningful type of energy to us. They have they made some recent breakthroughs and I think we have to look at that the existing test facility and Hannaford Hannaford Washington can infect demonstrate those particular Alternatives and maybe if we come up with a new proposal in the future, we'd be able to learn some new things about about Fusion. Most of those things are not going to be underwritten by the private private sector, but we talk about nuclear power. We're going to have to of course deal with the waste problem the light water reactors for the short-range will meet many of our power needs. And of course coal generation will help in this area, but there are a lot of innovative things that can be done with solar with wood burning and with geothermal and so forth that are helpful. Most of those are not economically feasible. Now and in order for those to go forward, you have to have some sort of public participation and (00:51:19) support. Okay. Thank you. Mr. Vento. The time is six and a half minutes before 11 o'clock. And if we're going to get in closing statements of three minutes in length from each candidate, we'd better start with them now and I want to thank all of the people who called in questions and also thank those few people who are still on the line and I'm afraid we're not going to be able to get to you since mr. Berg went first in his opening statement. Mr. Ventura will go first in his closing statement. (00:51:42) Thank you. I you know, I've tried to do my job of representing people Ramsey people Ramsey County folks in Washington serving you at home made a very serious commitment in terms of time and personal effort. I've tried to speak out and issues such as Amtrak discontinuance energy issues the NCAA treatment of our student-athletes the University of Minnesota, which was so important and BWC a protection serving as your Congress has been a real challenge frequent visits throughout Ramsey County these past few years have provided me with the valuable insights about your concerns, and I've been back Frequently almost every two weeks and I've been available have an open door policy in my Washington opposite for people that are in the in the district and back here at home. But not with our special van program last summer. We've had good service, you know, not a day goes by when we don't have 10 or 15 people call me because they need their congressmen support. I'm proud of our record of helping and respond to the people in the fourth district. We got Federal disaster funds for white Barrett Lake as an example in other communities hit so hard by recent storms when the people in shore of you had trouble with contaminated Wells, we help them get emergency water supplies and made sure they are eventually connect the city water system during the two years. I've served in Congress. I've been able to work on some important bills to help Crime Victims. Provide new jobs to rejuvenate the older sections of our city and we see the examples of this all around us today and to give veterans the benefits they deserve we've been able to achieve more of a balance between environment and labor interest so that they're working together instead of tearing each other apart. Our entire Community has gained from the expanded and improved education programs for our kids and older Americans have a new hope today because of legislation to assure them a decent standard of living and a regular social security check. There's not easy decisions to make there are many things that that have come up over the years that I've served in public office that that are tough, but I know that that's my job to face up to issues to try to come to some conclusion. I think that the American people want solutions they want results they want action and I've tried to demonstrate that I've listened to you and I've heard your views and I've certainly intend giving your continued support in November 7th to speak out in our nation's capital to represent your ideas and to build Bridges between the bureaucracy that Our program and the people that utilize them. Thank you for your consideration and your vote on November 7th. (00:54:07) And that was dfl or Bruce vento. Who is the incumbent the incumbent Congressman in the 4th congressional district in his opponent independent Republican. John Berg will make his closing statement. Again. Thank you Rick and I want to thank the people listening to this particular radio program, you know, Congressman vento spent six years the Minnesota Legislature in which he voted for bills to can Kris spending by over twice that which it was when he went in he's taking that same philosophy to Washington. He talks about a hundred bills that he voted against increasing taxes will name 50 Bruce or twenty five or even ten but I can tell you he did vote against the meaningful tax cuts and he like Senator Russell long believed that if you think of all the joy you'll be missing by not being able to vote for tax cuts in the Futures. If you really give a meaningful tax cut now he voted for increase social security tax and has done nothing to stop inflation the tax. He's talking about that. They passed will mean an 80% increase in the in the total number of workers receiving tax increases come January 1 with Social Security and inflation on the rise. Indeed. If you do believe that there is a need for an inflation fighting taxpayer who believes in individual opportunity then vote for John Berg. I would say this. I remember Bruce that you came back when it took an Act of God an election. They act of God being the rain bring it back here to the state of Minnesota. But while I was out there campaigning one individual said to me, is there anything you do about the weather and I looked up and I said, I'm not God and he looked at me. He said son when you get to Washington, just remember that thank you and that was independent Republican candidate John Berg, and I want to thank you. Mr. Berg and I'll show you mr. Vento for being here with us this morning.


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