Commercial Dispatch - Tax issues atop Mississippi Democrats' to-do lists if elected to Washington - Raising the Social Security tax ceiling, eliminating income tax paid on overtime and regional transportation are a few of the issues Mississippi Democrats seeking federal office want to introduce in Washington if they’re elected.
“How can you be the poorest state in the nation and have everybody have to have a car?” asked Erik Fleming, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate running against longtime Mississippi Republican Thad Cochran. “Now, I’m not saying that Starkville is going to get an L-Train,” the Chicago native told the meager crowd Monday night during the Oktibbeha County Party annual Beans and Greens fundraiser, as he touted efforts to work toward regional transportation systems that might link communities like Starkville, West Point and Columbus.
Joel Gill, the Democrat from Pickens who will face Gregg Harper, the Republican from Pearl, for the chance to serve in the 3rd Congressional District, to replace retiring U.S. House Rep. Chip Pickering, wants to raise the ceiling on Social Security so high income earners will pay more, helping to make the system more solvent. The wage ceiling for 2008 is set at about $102,000, which means income above this amount is not taxed for Social Security.
What Gill and other Democrats like Fleming and Ronnie Musgrove — who was scheduled to speak at the Beans and Greens event but was unable to attend and will face Roger Wicker for Trent Lott’s old U.S. Senate seat — are counting on is large numbers of Democrats turning out in the November election, particularly if Barack Obama becomes the Democratic nominee for president.