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Keene Sentinel: Kuster says Congress needs sanity

Published in the Keene Sentinel on October 19, 2012.

Ann McLane Kuster says she’s running for New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District to bring some sanity to a dysfunctional Congress.

Kuster will take on Republican incumbent Charles F. Bass next month in a rematch of the 2010 contest. She sat down with Sentinel editors Thursday to talk about the economy, taxes, Medicare reform, the war in Afghanistan and more.

When it comes to so-called sequestration, or mandatory cuts to federal programs, Kuster believes there’s a better way to avoid the “fiscal cliff.” That’s a term used to describe the end of the Bush-era tax cuts, the payroll tax, and the first installment of $1.2 trillion across-the-board cuts of domestic and defense programs required under last summer’s bipartisan deficit reduction agreement.

“Really, we’re only having this conversation because Congress is so dysfunctional, at this point,” she said. “It’s just the wrong way to go about cutting a budget, in a broad way with just a percentage cut across the board.

“To me, there are redundant weapons systems that the Pentagon doesn’t even want,” she said. “That would be a much better way to cut the defense budget, and what I’m worried about is when you do these across-the-board cuts, you’re bound to have unintended consequences … we will lose jobs.”

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