After the election, Capito will head back to Capitol Hill to
face what’s called the fiscal cliff.
If Congress doesn’t take action before January 1, tax cuts
enacted under former President George W. Bush will expire, as will temporary
payroll tax cuts passed under President Obama’s administration.
At the same time, there’d be an across the board budget cut
of 10 percent in discretionary spending that would hit the Pentagon
Capito said there is a solution.
“I think we should go full out tax reform,” Capito said. “I
don’t think we can do it in two months, I’ve already voted to extend the tax
rates for another year while we do tax reform.”
Capito said she’d like the two parties to reach across the
aisle to solve some of the country’s big problems.
“Because we just absolutely cannot go off this fiscal
cliff,” she said.
Capito partially agrees with the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles
deficit reduction plan that recommends increasing taxes and lowering spending.
The plan would eliminate many tax credits and deductions while adjusting the rates.
Capito pointed out the plan lowers the tax rates and spreads
the burden so more people will pay income taxes and she believes it provides a
good framework for reform.
“I agree that you can’t cut your way all your way out to a $16
trillion debt,” she said. “I think that’s pretty evident because a lot of the
cuts that we’ve already put in place are not even making a dent in the deficit.”
“So the fact that we need to generate more revenues by
spreading the burden, by getting rid of the loopholes, by getting rid of the
special interests, I agree with that,” Capito said. “And then we’ve got to look
at entitlements at the same time so it’s sort of a three-pronged approach.”
Capito said one entitlement that will need reform is
Medicare, because it won’t be there in 17 years if something isn’t done.
One plan, promoted by Vice Presidential Candidate and
Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI), would offer future recipients, those who are now
under age 55, a voucher to shop for health insurance on the private market. A
hybrid of that plan would allow future seniors to choose between a voucher and
“I think that we’ve got to be a little open minded here to
try to figure out to keep that Medicare program going for future generations,”
For those under 55 who oppose a voucher system, Capito said
Congress will have to consider what kind of benefits are available, when they
kick in and how costs can be controlled.
“So maybe we go back to something like that where if you’re
willing to pay a little more, maybe if you make more money you’re going to be
more means tested in your Medicare. I think there are options out there,”
Another health care issue drawing criticism is the
Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, passed two years ago by Congress. Capito
voted against the bill and voted to repeal it.
Capito said she and other Republicans did agree to some
aspects of the law, including allowing children up to age 26 to stay on their
parents plan, covering pre-existing conditions and eliminating the so-called
donut hole that causes some seniors to pay more for prescription drugs.
“I think we ought to retrench and start over,” she said. “When
it looked like the whole bill might be overturned I thought ‘well, let’s go
back, let’s put immediately in legislation the aspects of it that have already
gone forward that we all agreed on.”
“And then let’s go at this not so big,” she said. “I think
the President went too big and he forced it too much on a partisan level.”
Capito would like a future health care bill to include tort
reform, the ability to buy insurance across state lines and cost containment,
which she calls a tough nut to crack.
Another issue voters seem concerned about in this election
year is unemployment. Capito points out the state jobless rate has increased
slightly as the national rate has declined.
According to Workforce West Virginia,
the September West Virginia jobless rate went up one tenth of a percent to 7.6
while the national rate declined three tenths to 7.8.
Capito blames Federal policies that make getting to the
state’s natural resources more difficult.
“One way to get people back to work is a comprehensive
energy plan,” she said. “That would be using our own resources, not just here
in West Virginia, but keystone
pipeline, other places, offshore.”
Capito says a comprehensive energy plan would make the
country less reliant on foreign energy, create jobs and possibly lower gasoline
Unlike her opponent, Capito believes there’s been a ‘war on
coal’ by the Federal government. She believes the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency should respect the state’s right to make and enforce laws.
Like her opponent, Capito sees promise in natural gas
drilling as long as it’s done responsibly. And she says the public should know
what chemicals are used during the hydraulic fracturing process.
Click on the link to hear the full interview with Shelley