Comparison of DDN responses;  Independent vs Republican

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Below is a comparison of responses given to the questions posed by the Dayton Daily News for their voter's guide
They are copied exactly for ease of reference, but you can look at them through the voter's guide by clicking the link above or the Button below. 


Voter's Guide

Congress District 10

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Tom McMastersHuman Systems Integration Analyst, USAF Retired

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Mike Turner (Rep)Member of Congress

Biographical Information

ExperienceMayor of Huber Heights 26-year military veteran; 20-year Air Force Officer and 6 enlisted as drill sergeant in Army Reserve Instructor and Educator; Military and Community College Faculty Human Systems Integration Analyst and Crew Systems Engineer Senior Acquisition Manager/Test and Evaluation Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)Test Pilot and Mission Planner Squadron Safety Officer – Maintained oversight of multiple aircraft including JUCAS, Global Hawk, Airborne Laser and Predator test programs
EducationMAT Secondary Education Mathematics, The Citadel IR/SAR Certificate in Advance Geospatial Intelligence, Air Force Institute of Technology B.S., Physics / Mathematics, SUNY College at Buffalo
ExperienceRep. Turner is a lifelong resident of the Dayton area. Since 2003, Rep. Turner has represented the people of SW Ohio in Congress. He serves as a Subcommittee Chairman in the House Armed Services Committee, where he advocates for WPAFB. He is a senior member of the Government Reform Committee and sits on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. As the two-term Mayor of Dayton, he was a strong proponent of neighborhood revitalization, crime reduction, and job creation.
EducationEducation: Congressman Turner holds bachelor’s degree from Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio; an MBA from the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio; and a Juris Doctorate from Case Western University School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio.

Why are you running for office?

Tom McMastersGrowing up we learned George Washington was humbly compelled to become our first president. A great lesson from a great period of our country’s history. To be forthright, I am not George Washington. I am running because I want someone with my life experiences contributing to the discussion when it is about college education, jobs, and healthcare. A better question than why am I running might be, can Tom McMasters represent you in congress better than the incumbent?


I am someone that fills out a time card every day. If this mirrors your life, then we share an experience.


My oldest child just started college, the next oldest takes her ACT next month. My experience with funding and paying for college is fresh and relevant.


In October, I will work the concession stands during a football game because that is what band parents do. The elementary school has a volunteer program and I will take a day off work to be in my second graders class soon. If your evenings always include saying, “you spend too much time playing video games” and helping you kid learn how to spell “bunch” and “whale”, then we both know the joy of children.


This week I spent two hours on a call clearing up a phone bill. I argued about the shipping cost for an online order. I flew coach on a business trip and took the shuttle to economy parking.


Our family experience includes recently buying our daughter a different car because someone turned left in front of her. Is car safety an issue that effects your life?


Have you watched your spouse suffer the after effects of radiation and chemo therapy, then the two years later get a diagnosis of a different cancer? I hope you don’t know these heartaches but I know many of you do and many more of you will. Let’s design a healthcare system that works for more of us.


I am not George Washington but I will be a great representative on the issues that affect our lives.
Mike TurnerMy goal is to make a difference for our community. Since 1994, as Mayor of Dayton, I have been fighting for the Miami Valley. While I was Mayor, I worked with community leaders to build the Schuster Center, Riverscape MetroPark, and the Dayton Dragons Baseball Stadium. As your representative to Congress, I have continued that fight by bringing jobs back to the region, fighting for Delphi retirees, and ensuring Wright-Patterson Air Force Base receives the resources necessary to keep our country safe.

What are the 3 biggest problems facing the nation and how will you fix them?

Tom McMasters1. In this country we have too many individuals and families that are doing the right things to get ahead and yet they don’t get there.


2. The military is inefficient to the point of being a detrimental drag on our economy


3. There are a lot of people using a lot of resources so a balance is needed to make sure we don’t use or waste all of our resources.


To increase the standard of living of individual and families requires balance between work and recreation. It requires a healthcare system that provides support during major illnesses and one that does not bankrupt the sick and injured. It requires funding a university system that broadens our knowledge base, develops new approaches to todays issues and does it affordably for students. We need to think beyond surviving and design a system where our families thrive.


The majority of my life has been spent in and supporting the military. Some of the generals in charge are some of the smartest people you will ever meet. And then we train them to be horrible decision makers with our money. We can improve our military’s efficiency by 20% just by telling our generals they need to return money to the taxpayer. The current budget contains enough money to produce world class equipment and to take care of returning veterans.


Our ability to grow and produce goods and food would shock the sceptics of the 60’s and 70’s. Pollution was out of control and movies like Soylent Green caught everyone’s attention. We have become complacent since the 1980’s and our environment is being affected. It is again time to become vigilant in working to maximize our resources and minimizing our impact on the environment. We used technology to make our steel mills much cleaner in the 1970’s. We can use science and technology to maintain and improve our environment now.


Mike TurnerThe federal government’s top three priorities should be maintaining a strong national defense, promoting job growth, and reducing government waste.

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is a major employer in the Dayton region. What will you do to keep the base strong?

Tom McMastersOver the past decade Wright-Pat has grown while missions from other parts of the country were shifted here to the Miami Valley. To make and keep Wright-Patterson AFB strong requires the base’s five major elements achieve their potential as great assets to the region and the nation. We must efficiently manage the resources given to us by the people of this nation and produce tangible results for the war fighter and for the general public.


The two base organizations that promise the most benefit to the nation are the Life Cycle Management Center (LCMC) and the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL). Both are full of people ready to do the work necessary to support the war fighting community. Both need significant improvement in performance.


The AFRL could have scientist developing a theory on how to go faster than the speed of sound without causing a sonic boom while somewhere else in the lab an engineer could be assembling a small unmanned vehicle to see if solar panels make sense for long endurance flights. Right now the talent that resides in AFRL is underutilized because we do not see top tier scientist in their fields coming to work at AFRL. One of the reasons for this is because we have not been successful in bringing the hardware needed to draw top talent to the area. The promise of a modern centrifuge does not have the same draw as operating a modern centrifuge.


Unless LCMC starts to produce significantly better results, Wright-Patterson is in danger of losing much of the gains seen this past decade. LCMC failure started when they forgot it is their job to be the “adult in the room”. LCMC must insist the acquisition process be followed and also keep the process documented for the next generation of acquisition specialist. It makes sense for the units fighting the wars to want new equipment now. LCMC has fallen into the trap of making things take twice as long because of the temptation to try shortcuts in order to get to the 80% solution.
Mike TurnerAs the home to Wright Patterson Air Force Base few communities in the United States can compare to Dayton’s enduring commitment to national defense. On the House Armed Services Committee, I have made advancing Wright-Patt a top priority. Throughout my time in Congress, we have been able to add approximately 10,000 more jobs at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and attract the best talent to our region. I voted against and have fought sequestration that has been devastating to Wright-Patt and our national security. We must work to reverse the devastating cuts made by sequestration and end the Obama administration’s draw down of our troops.

Who do you support for president of the United States and why? How will you work with with the next president?

Tom McMastersAt the time I submitted this response on Sept 18th, I had not decided how I would vote for president. I am hoping to see Gov Johnson in the debates.


The positive aspect of the Trump campaign is the media has not been able to subvert it even though they constantly show pictures of him with grimacing faces and extremely exaggerate how offended people should be by his comments. This country lost good candidates for president because of stupid coverage by the press. Cokie Roberts over overstatement of Ross Perot’s missteps sunk his campaign. Howard Dean was eliminated because he couldn’t fake a yelp? It is time to quit deciding our president based on if they look good in a helmet.


The problem with Trump comes from a negative view of his business practices established well before he started running for president. He makes his money through “strategic defaults”. This is the practice of bailing out of commitments if you owe more on something than it is worth. This last recession many people walked away from their home loans even though they could still make the payments. Though legal, the recession would have been much worse if everyone in that situation made that same decision. This is the Trump business model. In order to earn my vote he will have to convince me he has a different plan for this country. His normal plan cannot make this country great.


The positive aspect of the Clinton campaign is also the negative aspect. She is imbedded in the power structure of the country. Having connections and being able to call on experienced people for every kind of situation can lead to solutions. A recent statement found in Colin Powell emails highlight the negative aspects. He describes her as “greedy” and beset by “unbridled ambition”. We can be pretty sure her power group can come up with solutions. To earn my vote she will have to prove her solutions fix our problems.


Chances are neither will be able to, I hope Gov Johnson gets a chance to prove himself.
Mike TurnerI am supporting the Republican nominee for president of the United States. I cannot support Hillary Clinton due to her reckless handling of classified information and disregard for our country’s laws.

Give us your plan to address the Islamic State crisis. Would you support American boots on the ground in Syria and Iraq to fight the Islamic State?

Tom McMastersI served more than 30 years in and around the military. I still cannot propose a confident solution to the problems in this area. Bombing by itself is not effective. To effect change, someone has to do the hard work on the ground. In some areas the regional people step up. Our bombs help some Kurdish areas remain free. I support these efforts.


We certainly could capture other contested parts. The problem comes after the area is captured. What type government goes into place. Does it make sense to capture the area if you don’t have a solution for how the area will be governed afterward? Only if the ruling government is so bad that chaos is a better choice.


There is no evidence we could establish a long term working government in any country. The Shah of Iran ruled that country for many years after we put him in place. 37 years later and you still see the consequences. Our role might be to wait and see what kind government forms out of the chaos. If it turns out that government is especially brutal or conducts operations against the United States, then we could make the choice to remove that government.


If we decide we should try and nation build, I recommend talking out a radically different approach. Suppose we forced a complete reversal of power in the areas that still needed our intervention? If we are stuck nation building again, we might consider allowing only women to be in the military and police forces. Only permit women to get drivers licenses. Make a rule that any man out on the street without a female escort would be immediately arrested. Any man carrying a weapon subject to lethal force.


With all the experience we have the only thing we can be certain of is that we have not implemented a workable solution. I doubt further attempts will be more successful than the last. It may be that the only solution to the problems of this area require us to stay away or choose a radically different approach than what has been tried before.
Mike TurnerWe already have boots on the ground in the fight against ISIS. Strategic decisions should be made by our military commanders. I am hopeful that the next president would provide our military with the flexibility needed to address the threats we face.

Ohio has legalized marijuana for medical use. Do you support federal action to provide clear rules for legal marijuana businesses to gain access to banking? If so, please describe what you would support.

Tom McMastersMarijuana needs to come off the U.S. government’s Schedule 1 classification. The Federal government needs to recognize the states are moving past prohibition. We need to become proactive in conducting the research necessary to tell us about the safety and effectiveness of the drug. Dangers have to be documented. Not having verifiable research on the effects of marijuana after all this time is hard to believe. We need to know how effective it is for medical purposes, which diseases it helps and the doses needed.


The Federal government should be able to provide the States with the facts on long term use both medically and recreationally so the States can set up rules within their borders that satisfy their residents.


It is time for the Federal Government to take a leading role in providing scientifically conducted research on marijuana and help the states develop policies that keep our residents safe. This drug needs to be available for those who can benefit from it medically. Recreational users should be informed of the potential side effects so that people can make educated decisions on what is best for their bodies and mind.
Mike TurnerI do not support legalization of marijuana.

The U.S. national debt is now more than $19 trillion. Even if you could cut fraud and waste, you would still have most of that debt to deal with. What specific actions do you support to get a handle on our debt and reduce the annual deficit? And what significant spending cuts would you support to balance the budget?

Tom McMastersWhen the Federal Reserve raises interest rates ¼% it takes $100 billion dollars from the economy. Suppose instead of the raising interest rates the Federal Reserve had the power to impose a 1% across the board increase in income tax rates. Right now there is no outcry from the public when the Federal Reserve slows down the economy through interest rate hikes even though raising interest rates hurts the American public, the deficit and the economy much more than raising taxes.


> Higher interest rates make it cost more to pay off the national debt. > Raising interest rates favor big corporations because they can still get loans. When money gets tight because of interest rate hikes, small companies and entrepreneurs are the ones that cannot get loans. Not only do the big corporations get the loans but they get to buy the hard work of the entrepreneurs at pennies on the dollar once they are forced out of business. > One of the Federal Reserve’s goals when they decide to raise interest rates is to keep worker salaries low. Another result is a bigger wage gap between CEO’s and workers.


Conversely, > higher taxes reduce the deficit. > Taxes can be targeted so that entrepreneurs remain competitive and can thrive. > Taxes can be structured to encourage companies to pay salaries high enough so that people are not required to go on public assistance in order to survive.


To get our deficit under control we need to manage the economy through changes in the tax structure, not through increasing interest rates. The Federal Reserve should provide analysis to Congress telling us when they believe there is a need to be proactive in removing money from the economy. Congress must take that advice.


Experts believe the Fed is likely to increase rates by 1.5% over the next few years removing $600 billion each year from our economy. Let’s capture that money and eliminate our deficit.
Mike TurnerI have a strong record of working to reduce government spending and maintaining our commitments to our national security and our seniors.

Which of the entitlement programs would you look at first to reform or make cuts? Do you support raising the retirement age to receive Social Security benefits, military base closures? Please elaborate.

Tom McMastersHave you done the numbers to see how much more money the government would need to collect to keep the Social Security retirement age the same?


In 2014 the median wage was $28,851. It makes sense to strengthen the middle class and work to make it so the sixty-two and a half million workers making less than this get a raise. First we must stop the Federal Reserve from preventing these raises. If wages were not being kept artificially low by the Federal Reserve, it would not be too long until each of these workers made an additional $2000 a year. The amount collected by the Social Security Administration would then grow by $155 billion each year.


The problem with Social Security is not that our seniors get too much money. The problem is the workers paying into the system today do not get paid what they are worth.


As for raising the retirement age, I am for gaining vacation time while people and families are younger as a trade for the health and well-being that allows people to work later in life. I am for changing our employment expectations so that we start paying enough so that younger individuals and families get four or five vacation weeks a year.


Anyone that know me soon realizes I am very critical of the military dollars we spend. I have no trepidation in saying that if our military leaders could improve to being poor managers we could easily cut 10% from the military budget and still get better equipment. But I am not necessarily for cutting the military budget, I am for getting a 20% better product with the same dollars while taking care of those veterans returning from our recent conflicts.
Mike TurnerSocial Security benefits must be there for those who need it most and have paid into the program for years. The solvency of the Social Security system faces a challenge in the long run. This issue can be addressed with meaningful reforms. I do not support a plan that would divert money from the Social Security System, and reduce benefits for near term retirees or result in across the board military base cuts.

When it comes to the Second Amendment, what values would guide your approach to future federal gun legislation?

Tom McMastersWith 300 million guns in this country, no law that requires any of these to be turned in will be successful until at least 75% of the population is in favor. Recent history has shown that making these proposals cause people to buy even more gun products.


Also working against those trying to restrict gun products is that the overall impact on our safety is about the same for guns and cars. About 33,000 Americans die in car accidents and about 30,000 people are killed by guns each year. Both cars and guns are deemed acceptable risks by the majority of Americans.


With 60% of gun deaths due to suicide you can see most families would be safer if they did not have a gun in the house. The Iraqi war showed how useless arming farmers with AK-47’s is against a modern Army. The marketing by those that make their fortunes selling guns win the argument today. To achieve a goal of making the majority of us safer the discussion must be focused around the actual costs and benefits of owning and keeping guns in our homes.


For most families, it does not make statistical sense to keep a gun in the house for safety. You are more likely to shot yourself or a family member when you are drunk or after starting to take a new medicine than you are likely to prevent a crime. But if we were good at understanding statistical logic we would stop using laundry and dishwasher gel packs. More children under 5 are killed from eating these products than are killed by guns. With 42,000 deaths a year, poisoning is a bigger public health issue than guns.


Media attention given to proponents of gun restrictions cause more gun sales and make us less safe. If poisoning deaths received as much attention, we would reduce poisoning deaths in half. Eventually the public will realize the appeal to our 2nd Amendment rights is more a marketing scheme to promote gun sales than a constitutional debate. Today though we will save more lives discussing how to prevent poisoning deaths.
Mike TurnerI believe we should protect American’s second amendment rights. I also believe terrorists should not be able to purchase firearms. Therefore, I support Senator John Cornyn’s legislation, which upholds the due process protections and the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding American citizens, and helps equip law enforcement personnel with the tools they need to effectively prevent known and suspected terrorists from obtaining firearms.


Do you believe the Affordable Care Act has made health insurance more accessible and affordable? How would you change it?

Tom McMastersI have lived 27 of my 54 years with access to government provided healthcare. Other military people I know have a different opinion of the quality of that care and choose to go back to private care. I am a full supporter of developing a system where the rest of the American public receives the same piece of mind my family and I have because of this fantastic benefit.


I also believe small business will benefit greatly if the burden of arranging healthcare benefits are removed. Over the last 30 years much of the wage stagnation has been because raises are traded for more and more expensive health insurance. Therefore, I propose a radically different approach than the Affordable Healthcare Act.


The solution to our healthcare needs is a two-part system where part one has diseases and treatments that are well understood provided by a single payer system, likely run by the government, but possibly by a well-regulated non-profit company. Part two has people buy insurance for coverage of rare diseases and experimental treatments.


I believe this system would be much more efficient and less costly for care such as seeing your family doctor and getting treatment for things like diabetes, kidney failure, most heart disease and many cancers. Since it would be paid for through general taxes all citizens would be covered and businesses would not have to spend time and money, shopping for and paying for insurance.


The Affordable Healthcare Act was destined to be inefficient and costly because it depended too much on the health insurance industry. We need a better system that removes the insurance burden from employers and allows access by all our citizens.
Mike TurnerThe Affordable Care Act continues to drive up costs for individuals, families, and businesses. We must repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with a patient-centered approach with more choices and lower costs.

Does the federal government have a responsibility to help with student debt, and what ideas do you think would make a difference?

Tom McMastersI am old enough to remember the 1970’s and all the outrage about the funding of research into the mating habits of flies. Even so, I think that going back to funding Colleges and Universities by giving grants to fund research would be a better method than funding Colleges through student loans.


Funding colleges and universities through research grants gets modern equipment into those facilities. It also prompts faculty and students to think on the edges spurring an expansion of knowledge. When providing grants directly to colleges, grants can be tied to performance. Grants can be given based on the research needs of the country. They can also be given with a requirement that the knowledge be available to the public. In the past many medical innovations developed through universities would be usable by any company because the federal government paid for the research. When pharmaceuticals pay for research it become a trade secret and the public gets charged high prices for access to healthcare products and prescriptions.


Funding colleges through student loans makes it possible for colleges and universities to charge higher tuitions than they would be able to charge if those loans were not available. If students were not able to get as much money through loans it would not be possible for Ohio State University to pay their President more than twice the amount the President of the United States makes.


Publicity about student debt helps solve the problem for future students. Getting students to be proactive in keeping their debt low will do more to reduce the debt load than any federal program. Convincing students not to take out loans is only part of the solution. Removing incentives for banks to make loans to people that likely will not have the means to pay them back will also contribute. Finally, finding a way to provide federal funding to colleges, one that promotes innovation, will allow students to graduate without the heavy debt burden.
Mike TurnerThe federal government should enact policies that support equal opportunity for all Americans to succeed in their educational careers and in the workforce. I support a plan that would help more Americans go to college by cutting the red tape that raises costs and hinders our students chances of succeeding.

How should the U.S. deal with immigration?

Tom McMastersAs an overall philosophy I am for legal immigration. The system needs reformed so that applications are handled impartially and timely. Laws must be enforced so businesses ensure Social Security and income tax payments are made for all workers. The recession shows that without economic incentive the undocumented return home. During times of prosperity, we need additional legal workers.
Mike TurnerThe immigration system in our country is broken and we must address this crisis. Before we take up any meaningful reforms, we must first secure the borders and enforce our existing laws.

Do you support the Trans-Pacific Partnership? Have free trade deals generally been good for the U.S.?

Tom McMastersTrade agreements need to include assurances that the workers producing goods meant for sale in the United States get a wage that is high enough they will be able to afford the goods we produce. They also need to include environmental regulations so that U.S. companies choose to export our pollution instead of eliminating it. With these two premises in every agreement we can have treaties that benefits the U.S.
Mike TurnerI do not support the Trans-Pacific Partnership as negotiated by President Obama.

Do you support an increase in the federal minimum wage, and to what level? Should the federal government require paid sick time or family leave?

Tom McMastersWorkers and businesses in this country are productive enough that we should be striving for households that live comfortably on single earner incomes; a workforce that doesn't depend on maternity and paternity leave so children get six weeks with a birth parent, but instead, one where one job pays enough to raise a family. Design a system where one parent can be home, providing guidance to their child, while preparing for their next job. Once prepared that parent can become the primary income earner while the other parent remains at home to raise the children and acquire additional skills to improve on the next paid position they take.


I hear people complain about paying those willing to work in a place like McDonald's $15 dollars an hour. It makes sense to encourage people to work instead of collecting government benefits. One of the arguments I hear against it, is that McDonald's would eliminate half the jobs by going to automation. I say why not? Today you might have both spouse working at $8.75 an hour. Who wouldn't trade two spouses working for a combined $17.50 for one spouse working for $15 an hour giving the other a chance to be at home teaching their children and studying so they can become qualified to get a $22 an hour job?


The tricky part is to design the tax code so that companies are encouraged to pay employees a good living wage. My idea is simple but the math would be complicated. The idea – base the tax rate a corporation pays on how well they bring people up to the living wage. How well they do will be based on a number of factors: What is the total number of people that get above this level? How many employees do not get to this level? The difference between the top wage earners and the bottom wage earners?


Properly designed the tax code is a more powerful tool for encouraging higher wages than the minimum wage. We should be using that tool so the individuals and families of this country thrive and not just survive.
Mike TurnerI have voted in favor of increasing the federal minimum wage. Also, I support the current federal mandated requirements that employers provide for medical leave and family leave to their employees.

What else do you want voters to know about you and how you will serve in Congress?

Tom McMastersI am not a lawyer. My degrees are in Mathematics, Physics and Education. Areas people choose when they want to solve problems and build things. Areas that require logic. Logic used to design windmills, balance checkbooks and spread knowledge.


Lawyers don’t make sense. The public can only be grateful lawyer logic hasn't permeated into the thinking of those of us who design bridges and airplanes, otherwise we'd all be swimming when we got to rivers as we walk to California. For example, I filed a lawsuit as part of my effort to prevent $800,000,000 in program delays and cost overruns at Wright-Patterson AFB. The first stage of that effort was to have the courts enforce the terms of the written agreement between me and my employer. The court provided this logic when they told me that our written agreement meant nothing.


“Inherent in an employment-at-will agreement is the absolute right of either party to change or to terminate the relationship.”


Can you imagine the chaos that would occur if both the employer and the employee had the right to ignore the written agreement and impose new terms? No thinking person believes we could have a workable system where either party has the right to change the terms of the relationship. For some reason lawyers will pretend they think it is possible.


In my case I made sure the company knew the cost of my services every day before I went to work. When they indicated they wanted to change my salary I made sure they knew the cost if they did not fire me. Anyone that thinks the company changed my salary must also admitted that I changed it back. The court was in a predicament and responded with lawyer logic ignoring what they wrote above and responding by saying only an employer has the right to impose new terms.


Lawyers belong on staff to help compose legislative language. Let me represent you using the logic of math and physics as the foundation for sound decisions that keep our families and economy strong.
Mike TurnerIn May, I introduced the bipartisan CRIB Act to help increase access to treatment for newborns suffering from addiction. This bill will increase access to medical treatment and recovery.


Also, I introduced the TREAT Act, which will increase flexibility in how existing federal funding can be used to combat the heroin and opiate epidemic and expand access to treatment for those suffering with substance abuse.

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