In between the usual lively debate, Republican panel member and Rotarian John Stanbery offered commentary on how the show works.
‘We don’t know what we are going to talk about each week,” Stanbery said. “We just walk in and Steve throws things out and we go to arguing.”
Joining Stanbery were moderator Steve Hixson and Democrat Franklin Chancey.
“It’s usually two against one at the radio show. I feel like today the ratio is a little higher,” Chancey said.
Topics ranged from local to national issues.
“We actually tend to agree a lot on local issues,” Stanbery said.
They agreed local spending for parks and recreation needs to be considered carefully during these tight economic times to not take money away from other projects.
The first topic to be discussed Tuesday was President Barack Obama’s health care reform plan now commonly known as “Obamacare.”
“It’s a long-overdue attempt to deal with a serious problem that has been completely avoided for the past 20 years,” Chancey said. “The cost of free indigent care is killing our economy.”
Chancey said a plan to allow more people to get insurance would lower the amount taxpayers have to cover.
“Right now, it’s an unfunded tax that you pay before Obamacare,” Chancey said.
Obamacare is a way to limit that, he said.
“The problem with Obamacare is it takes that unknown tax and replaces it with about 21 named taxes,” Stanbery said.
He said although the plan was marketed as lowering health care costs, the cost of health care has actually increased.
“Those costs were going up anyway,” Chancey said.
“They were not going up anywhere near (what they are now),” Stanbery said.
He said many will also lose their health insurance because it will be less expensive for companies to pay the penalty.
Hixson said the debaters do get along well outside of the show and have become friends.
Chancey said hospitals are in favor of the program because it will be better for the facilities financially.
“The free market tends to work these things out,” Stanbery said.
Hixson also asked the debaters if they felt U.S. citizens really did approve of same-sex marriage.
Chancey said many under the age of 30 are in favor of having gay marriage legalized.
“What’s your standard once you say gay marriage is OK? What’s your standard for denying the polygamist?” Stanbery said. “What is your standard?”
“Well, your standard for that is everyone is treated the same,” Chancey said.
Labor unions were also discussed.
Volkswagen accepting a union model was covered. Chancey pointed out it is not the typical American union approach. The Volkswagen model, he said, invites employees to the table and does not pay executives huge amounts more than employees.
Stanbery said the government now takes care of many of the things unions were created for. He said he is fine with Volkswagen conducting business the way it sees fit, but he did not agree with all of the automaker’s decisions.
The United States-Mexican border control was also a topic of debate.
“Many of the people who are here illegally are here for a totally legitimate reason. They want to work. They want to support their family,” Chancey said.
Stanbery said amnesty had been given in the past with the assumption that the United States-Mexico border would be secured at a later date. He said this is an issue not just because of drug smuggling.
Chancey said progress has been made under the current administration. He said Republicans had the chance to solve the issue when they had the majority in Congress and a Republican president.