Lincoln turns corner in debate

First formal debate a turning point in race between Lincoln and Boozman …

Blue Arkansas: This was a great performance on Lincoln’s part, and if she keeps this pace up (and comes back with proof of some of the assertions she made that Boozman rebutted in the debate) then she could potentially change the narrative from that of the doomed Senator to that of the underdog making a comeback. All in all, color this Lincoln critic impressed.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln asked U.S. Rep. John Boozman on Friday why he has twice co-sponsored a 23 percent national sales tax to replace the income tax when an adviser to former President Ronald Reagan has said it was a bad idea. “Most of these economists do agree it’s a windfall for the wealthy but actually raises taxes on the middle-class families and the people living on fixed income, like our seniors,” Lincoln said.

Associated Press: Lincoln criticized Boozman for supporting House Republicans’ moratorium on earmarks and said that his opposition to money for local projects is harming his congressional district. “The fact is he signed with his party above his state and his district,” Lincoln said … Lincoln also criticized Boozman’s past support of allowing workers to invest their Social Security taxes in private accounts , saying it would privatize the system and hurt retirees.

American Prospect: Earlier this afternoon, Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Rep. John Boozman met for their first official debate in the Arkansas state Senate race. The particulars of this race are interesting but frustrating: it’s hard to see how, whatever the climate, the soft-spoken, least-electric-person-on-the-planet Boozman — James Carville called him “Sznoozeman” at a Democratic fundraiser in July — could beat the well-funded, powerful Lincoln. That’s especially true because Republicans from Arkansas can be just as extreme as Tea Party advocates elsewhere; Boozman won’t back away from support of the flat tax, which Lincoln tried to hammer home in the debate: “It is replacing your federal income tax with a 23 percent consumption tax on anything you purchase, anything from your bread to your tires to your home to your car.” … Keeping the likes of Boozman out of the Senate is a as good a goal to have as any.

Congressman Boozman Just Doesn’t Know …

In the first real debate of the general election campaign, five-term Congressman John Boozman showed today that he is unaware of his national sales tax plan’s devastating impact on middle-income families; or of how privatization of Social Security hurts today’s retirees; and he even claimed no knowledge of his vote to protect the rights of rapists over the rights of their victims.

He also took the side of east coast newspapers like the New York Times while voicing his opposition to Senator Lincoln’s efforts to obtain disaster aid for Arkansas agriculture producers who suffered losses in last year’s floods.

“In his decade spent in Washington, Congressman Boozman has built a radical record standing with D.C. party leaders, but not his constituents in Arkansas,” Lincoln campaign manager Steve Patterson said. “He doesn’t realize his national sales tax plan would devastate Arkansas’s middle-income families, nor does he appear to understand that privatizing Social Security will either cut benefits for today’s retirees or raise taxes on today’s workers.  Most amazingly, he doesn’t know his own voting record putting the rights of rapists over the rights of victims. Congressman Boozman’s radical ideas are out of step with the majority of Arkansans.”

Boozman’s National Sales Tax Plan Devastating for Arkansas Middle-Income Families … Anyone Making Between $15,000 and $200,000 Would See Their Tax Burden Go Up Under National Sales Tax Proposal. According to, “With the prebate program in effect, those earning less than $15,000 per year would see their share of the federal tax burden drop from -0.7 percent to -6.3 percent. Of course, if the poorest Americans are paying less under the FairTax plan, then someone else pays more. As it turns out, according to the Treasury Department, “someone else” is everybody earning between $15,000 and $200,000 per year. The chart below compares the share of the federal tax burden for different income groups under the current system and under the FairTax. Those in the highest and the lowest brackets will see their share decrease, while everyone else will see their share of taxes increase.” [, 5/31/07]

Boozman’s Social Security Privatization Plan Cuts Benefits for Today’s Retirees … Benefits Will be Cut. According to an analysis of President Bush’s Social Security proposal by, anyone choosing to opt into private accounts “would also have to give up an offsetting portion of their future guaranteed retirement benefits. If their investments in private accounts returned more than 3 percent annually over the years, they would end up better off than under the current formula. But if those investments did worse, they wouldn’t make up for the portion of benefits that were given up, and the owner of an account would end up worse off.” [, 2/3/2005]

Boozman-backed Bush Plan Would Affect Benefits of Current Retirees. In 2005, during debate of President Bush’s proposal to overhaul Social Security, the head of the GAO, Comptroller General David Walker testified that the plan would absolutely affect current retirees.  “Walker noted…the private accounts would worsen the program’s shortfalls, because the reduction in the program’s liabilities would not appear for decades.  Until then, benefits would have to be paid to current retirees with less revenue from payroll taxes.” [San Francisco Gate, 3/10/2005]

Boozman doesn’t know his own voting record putting the rights of rapists above the rights of victims …

Boozman: “I really don’t know what you’re talking about.”  [Talk Business Debate, 9/10/2010]

Boozman Supported Parental Rights for Rapists. In 2005 during debate on a parental notification bill, Boozman voted against a motion to recommit the bill to committee and include instructions barring fathers who have committed rape or incest against a minor that resulted in a pregnancy from being able to sue the doctor who performed the abortion. [Congressional Quarterly Today, 4/27/05; HR 748, Vote 143, 4/27/2005]

Boozman no friend to Arkansas farmers …

Congressman Boozman voted against disaster assistance for Arkansas farmers. Boozman voted against the needed aid and watched idly as Senate Republicans blocked it in order to prop up his Senate bid.  After Republican Senators, led by Mitch McConnell, blocked Senator Lincoln’s legislation four times, she secured a commitment from the Administration to deliver the aid.  Friday, an Administration official announced that Senator Lincoln’s request would be met by the end of the month. Both Democratic and Republican Administrations have administered disaster aid on at least 19 occasions over the past decade.  [House Vote 324; May 28, 2010]

2009 floods devastating for Arkansas ag producers. University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture economists estimated $400 million in direct crop losses for Arkansas ag producers from the 2009 floods. That led to the loss of 3,700 jobs and $102 million in lost wages. Other activities, such as reduced household spending, were reduced by an additional $202 million, for a total economic impact of more than $700 million. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 3/11/2010]


About patlynch
I am a broadcaster in Arkansas, a former freelance writer and political columnist in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Writing Coach. Speaker. Director of the Christian Foundations for Ministry program, and presently enrolled in the Anglican School of Ministry Master of Ministry program.

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