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Aspirant touts debt reduction

The Independence Party candidate for the 1st Congressional District touts his message of federal-debt reduction as he tours the region.

Steven Wilson garnered the party endorsement April 10 in Rochester. He visited Albert Lea on Friday.

He noted the fragile global markets — Europeans are bailing out Greece to stabilize the euro — and said America’s debt gives it fewer and fewer options.

“Every time we wait a month, our options are reduced,” Wilson said.

He said voters get to hear ideology on the left and right during political campaigns. He said he presents alternative style: 1. Stop negativity. 2. Start finding solutions. 3. Spend less money.

Wilson, a former diplomat to Iraq who resides in Rochester, has a document called “Solutions Report: Considerations for Sustaining the Fiscal Future of the United States Government.”

The document was formed through a policy team of people across the district from various occupations. Its four main areas to address are traditional policies, Social Security, Medicare and the national debt.

“Just the mere passage of a deficit-reduction plan will hopefully be enough to restore any wavering confidence in our nation’s ability to repay its debts to its creditors. The process begins with a national debt limit. However, we need to be very clear. In order to support this credit card limit, both spending decreases and tax increases will likely be needed.”

The plan calls for action when Social Security is within 20 years of exhaustion. It would raise the pay-in cap to $200,000 of annual income, rather than $107,000. The age of retirement would increase, and the cost-of-living adjustment would be reduced.

The Medicare plan works toward “personal responsibility vouchers,” which are used to purchase insurance, and calls for a national preventative care plan.

“Government does not have unlimited resources to provide for or subsidize health care,” the plan notes.

Asked if he thinks his candidacy will steal votes from Republican candidate Randy Demmer or incumbent Democrat Tim Walz, Wilson said, “I think it will help solidify the independent vote.”

Citing Pollster.com, he said 36 percent of Americans identify themselves as independent, 33 percent as Democrats and 25 percent as Republicans.

He said the Independence Party needs to convince independent voters that a third party is viable.

Stealing votes “may have been true in the past, but this year things have changed,” he said.

About Tim Engstrom

Tim Engstrom is the editor of the Albert Lea Tribune. He resides in Albert Lea with his wife, two sons and dog.

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