EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

October 12, 2012

Bass, Kuster spar on Medicare, agree on Afghanistan exit


In their latest television ads, Bass paints Kuster as a liberal tax supporter dancing across the screen from tax to tax while she says he is a Washington insider out for himself.

Both decried the negative, misleading tone of the ads. Bass said he is running despite the ads because he opposes higher taxes and spending.

“I am offended by the ads, but it is only because I dance much better than that,” Kuster said in a light-hearted reference to the Bass ad, calling her a liberal who loves taxes. But Kuster also took issue with the ad for saying she backs an income tax for New Hampshire. The state does not have a personal income tax and supporting one has derailed many political campaigns.

“I do not support an income tax for the state of New Hampshire period. He has that wrong,” said Kuster.

But Kuster sidestepped a question about whether she would vote for a constitutional amendment banning the tax. Bass said he supports the amendment.

Kuster opposes giving tax breaks to the wealthy; Bass argues raising taxes in a recession is a bad idea. The two agreed that the private sector, not government, creates jobs, but they disagree about government’s role.

Bass, 60, of Peterborough, argues the federal government has too many regulations, while Kuster, 56, of Hopkinton, says tax credits and other programs can help businesses grow.

The two agreed on withdrawing troops from Afghanistan as quickly as feasible.

“We can’t implement a Western-style democracy in this country that has been troubled for hundreds of years,” said Bass.

Kuster said America could help build schools in the country.

“It doesn’t always have to be military help,” she said.

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