Cleary University hosts first debate in Michigan’s 8th Congressional District race

Photo Credit-ROJS News & Radio LIVE
Candidate Lance Enderle-D (far-left seated), Rep. Mike Rodgers-R
(right-seated), with moderator from the Livingston County Daily
Press & Angus at Cleary University in Howell, Michigan
at U.S. Congressional District 8th first election debate.   
A public debate Michigan’s 8th Congressional District seat took place on September 25th between Representative Mike Rogers (R) and Democratic challenger Lance Enderle. Held at Cleary University Johnson Center in Howell, Michigan, the debate hosts included Livingston County Daily Press & Argus.

An audience of approximately 75 listened to the candidates offer ideas on handling topics ranging from ways to reducing U.S. debt, along with protecting Social Security/Medicare programs for current retirees and future generations. 

Photo Credit-ROJS News & Radio LIVE
Democratic Candidate for Michigan’s
8th Congressional District, Lance
Enderle with supporter at Cleary
University-Howell Campus debate.
Representative Rogers began the discussion, stressing bipartisanship cooperation is required to properly issues of military spending, the national debt and tax structure reform.

“It going to take serious folks after November. Whomever wins this election to try and deal with these very serious, very real, very personal to every person that lives in this county and this entire Congressional district, this state and the country.” Rogers stated.

“When you look at the past couple of years, I’ve been able to do that in a very partisan, bickering place, the United States Congress.”

Lance Enderle noted retaining earned benefits of Social Security and Medicare critical factors for residents to consider on who should earn their vote, as well as passing fair trade legislation in Congress.

“This is a critical election. This is a election that decides whether we get rid of institutions like Medicare and Social Security. These aren’t institutions and they’re not entitlements, they’re earned benefits and that something we need to talk about and bring to the forefront,” Enderle cited.

“When are we going to start seeing job recovery? When? Soon as we quit passing free trade agreement and starting bring fair trade into the spectrum,” Enderle said. “That means producing goods on our boarders and these are the discussions we need to have.” 

Campaigning for Rep. Rogers seat, Enderle stated he seeks to add an average citizen voice into the discourse that take place in Congress.

“No I’m not your standard politician. I’m parent, grandparent and public educator, and I’m tired of our voice not being heard in Washington,” he stated.

Photo Credit-ROJS News & Radio LIVE
Republican Representative Mike Rodgers address
moderator question at September 25th 8th Congressional
District debate at Cleary University-Howell Campus.

On protecting Medicare and Social Security, both Enderle and Rogers addressed an need to protect these programs for current and future generations but spoke on differing ways to approach the subjects.

“Two things Social Security is going to go bankrupt by 2050. Medicaid by 2024. This will be an catastrophe if we don’t do something about it. These people have paid in on average about $140,000 over a workers lifetime,” Rogers said.

“If we don’t turn this bucket around and give some options for the future, the next generation wouldn’t have it. So, let’s have this discussion. Together in Congress we should have a bi-partisanship commission on Social Security. The same with Medicare.”

Expressing if Republicans succeed in their efforts to pass GOP Vice-Presidential Candidate and current Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), Enderle criticized Rep. Rodgers assertion that the Social Security would be bankrupt by 2050, as he stated Ryan’s budget would deplete funding for the program by 2016.

“Mr. Rodgers said Medicaid be bankrupt by 2050. That’s better than 2016 if we follow the Ryan Budget,” Enderle replied. 

“Social Security and Medicare are two perfect programs that over the last few years, we found a way to deteriorate. What we need to do is to adhere to the rules that where initially stated and make sure everyone pays in, one,” as Enderle stated are ways to guarantee the programs stability for future generations. 

“Two, we don’t allow Congress to raid into Social Security and Medicare to pay for our Chinese Debt, i.e. the Wars.”

Contrasting viewpoints where raised by Enderle and Rogers on if President Barack Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Act overtime will result in lower healthcare costs for private insurers and citizens.

“Sure it will because when you have a healthier society and people playing attention to what they are doing, being cognizant of their health care and their bodies needs, we’ll become a healthier society health care costs will go down,” Enderle asserted.

“Especially when we are covering our children, if they’re are brought up in a proper health care system.”

Rogers replied by repealing the Affordable Health Care Act and encouraging consumer competition for business by private insurance, companies will lower future health care costs.

“We have found that the costs of the program is going to be $2.6 Trillion dollars and we have no idea how we are going to pay for it,” he stated. “Making insurance companies compete will impact the number one reason people can’t get access to healthcare, cost of insurance.

“But unfortunately the Obamacare bill has risen rates for the average family over two-thousand dollars. And if you think is bad yet, want until all the mandates start in 2014, its’ going to a very expensive, low access program,” Rep Rodgers said. “The one thing we want for people to get access is lowing cost on premiums. My recommendation is repeal it, start with this and I guarantee rates will go down and people will get health insurance.”

Distinctive agendas were expressed by the candidates on ways to reduce size of the rising United States Military budget. Enderle pointed out increasing tax rates on the top 1%, and dwindling payments to private military contractors as ways to achieve this objective.

“We need to increase taxes on the upper 1% of the population and eliminate corporate loopholes. As far as military spending, we have to look at that deep. One thing is we need to get back to our military instead of paying for private contractors. Point being need to start paying for our troops, not mercenaries,” Enderle replied.  

“We need make sure when these troops come home that we’re taking care of them. These are things we need to address so we make cuts in our military and its to those facets that are not are military,” he said. “Last time I checked the United States Marines protect our embassies, not Blackwater.” 

Representative Rodgers replied he would not support reductions in Congress to the military budget, citing recent rising international tensions overseas as a concern.

“You have the Middle East standing up and clearly giving signals to the United States that they’re ready for a more aggressive contact sport engagement when it comes to diplomacy. That’s dangerous for all of us. I don’t care if you’re a Republican or a Democrat they killed a American,” Rodgers said. 

“Not a Republican, not a Democrat, not President Obama’s representative, our representative, an American representative. This is an serious problem as I ever seen. To start (cuts) at the military is a serious mistake.”

At closing remarks Candidate Enderle requested Rep. Rogers agree additional opportunities for Congressional District 8th voters in Oakland and Livingston Counties could observe the candidates discuss topics, which could decide the election. Representative Rodgers did not respond Enderle inquiry for further meetings of the candidates during this event. 

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