Part 2 of 2: Buckley, Chambliss, and Martin on the Issues


In the second part of APN’s series on the US Senate race in Georgia, here is a closer look at how the three candidates, Libertarian Allen Buckley, US Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), and Democrat Jim Martin, match up on some key issues:


On rescuing Wall Street, Chambliss joined many Republican and Democratic Senate colleagues in supporting the $700 bailout plan. Martin strongly denounced the idea.

“This updated package still fails to address the fundamental problems created by the deregulation of Wall Street, which Chambliss went to Washington and voted for every step of the way,” Martin said in a statement obtained by APN after the Senate approved the bill.

“And it lacks consumer protections to stem the abusive lending practices that are at the root of this crisis – practices that I sounded the alarm on two years ago, long before the mortgage crisis began,”

Buckley said the federal government should not have intervened to relieve Bear Stearns and AIG. As far as the bailout, Buckley said taxpayers should be protected.

“The Treasury Department should be able to borrow up to the $700 billion it seeks, provided the taxpayers are not exposed to risk, and instead any losses incurred by the Treasury Department are reimbursed by individuals who borrowed excessively (i.e. whose mortgages were foreclosed), companies that loaned excessively (i.e. to people whose mortgages were foreclosed), and purchasers of the toxic mortgage-backed securities,” he said on his website.

Chambliss supports keeping taxes low, including making the Bush tax cuts permanent, eliminating the “marriage penalty” and the “death tax” [estate tax], and replacing the current income tax system with a controversial plan for a national sales tax, or what its supporters call “The Fair Tax.”

Martin wants to lower middle class taxes, impose fiscal discipline, end corporate welfare, rein in federal spending, and impose strong consumer protection laws.

Buckley would fight for fiscal responsibility through annual balanced budgets, change “the income tax, Social Security, and Medicare systems so that they are balanced, easily understandable, practical and actuarially sound,” and by “reasonably reducing the size of federal government.”


As US Senator, Chambliss has served on the influential Senate Armed Services Committee. He believes the United States continue its occupation of Iraq until “victory” is achieved by supporting the surge of troops into the country and the judgment of Gen. David Petraeus and other commanders on the ground.

He voted to reauthorize the PATRIOT Act and to extend its wiretapping powers while voting against habeas corpus for detainees at Guantanamo Bay, requiring FISA court warrants to monitor wiretaps abroad, implementing recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission, and limiting soldiers’ deployments to 12 months.

Martin says it is time for the Iraqi people to take responsibility for their future and security and time for the U.S. government to stop spending $10 billion per month there.

Buckley calls for the United States to have “the strongest military in the world” but believes the government should stop “meddling” in foreign affairs, including closing or eliminating many foreign military bases, CIA prisons, and Guantanamo Bay.


Chambliss is working with conservative US Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) on a bipartisan energy bill that would expand territory for offshore oil drilling with incentives for the development of alternative energy and conservation.

As a US Senator, Chambliss voted against tax incentives for energy production and conservation, factoring global warming into federal project planning, reducing oil usage by 40 percent by 2025, and banning oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

Martin advocates using “all available options” to decrease dependence on foreign oil while eliminating tax subsidies for Big Oil and reducing carbon emissions, possibly with a cap-and-trade system.

Through aggressive research and development, Martin says the United States can shift to a green economy and create new “green collar” jobs.

While he wants to reduce the size of government, Buckley believes a strong Environmental Protection Agency is key to keeping the environment healthy. Buckley would provide incentives for the development and implementation of alternative fuels, especially hydrogen.

Buckley supports “environmentally-friendly” oil drilling but does not believe it is a long-term solution. He supports expanded nuclear power, but opposes corn-based and other forms of ethanol.


Chambliss continues to fight a “total takeover of health care by the federal government,” but does advocate providing safe, quality, affordable coverage to every person. He wants Georgians to have “choice, lower prices, more competition, flexibility, options, [and] tax advantages.”

As a US Senator, Chambliss voted against adding 2 to 4 million children to the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), expanding the enrollment period for Medicare Part D, increasing Medicaid rebate for producing generics, and allowing the federal government to negotiate bulk purchases for Medicare prescription drugs.

Martin would like to “consider new ideas that preserve the role of private health insurance in our health care system and support the role of the public sector in achieving universal coverage.”

Martin advocates spending an additional $12 billion to expand SCHIP in order to give every child health coverage by 2014.

Buckley would like to take government, insurance companies, and employers out of the equation in order “to make health care more like buying a product.” He calls for more competition, more incentives for people to maintain coverage [such as making healthcare tax deductible], and keeping costs low.


Chambliss is a big supporter of charter schools and voted as a US Senator to support vouchers for Washington, DC, students.

He voted against $51 million for after-school programs run through “21st century community learning centers,” $5 billion for grants to local educational agencies, and shifting $11 billion from corporate tax loopholes to education.

Martin believes in supporting struggling and at-risk students through increased funding, including the expansion of Head Start and Early Head Start. Martin wants No Child Left Behind to stop micromanaging and start assisting teachers and parents. He would also make college more affordable by increasing access to loans and grants.

Buckley would fight for local control over education and argues college assistance loans made available by the federal government should be available on “a break-even basis, and such loans should be non-dischargeable in bankruptcy.”

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Jonathan Springston, Senior Staff Writer, is reachable is

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