Beacon Hiller Joe Selvaggi Looking to Unseat Stephen Lynch
His priorities include reforming taxes and reigning in the deficit.
Beacon Hill resident Joe Selvaggi says that government is too much in the way of our success and has put the country in so much debt that our future prosperity is endangered.
He hopes to help right what he sees as the country's wrong course by ousting Democratic Rep. Stephen Lynch in November's election. But first he must beat his fellow Republican challenger, Matt Temperley of Quincy, in Thursday's primary before he can take on Lynch in the new 8th Congressional District, which runs south to Bridgewater and includes Canton.
"He's really just coming out of the Army, he really doesn't have any civilian experience," Selvaggi said of his Temperley. "For me, I started a business that's been around for 17 years. We've gone from nothing to a company that employs 60 people. As a business owner, I know what it takes to create jobs and I know what the challenges are for small businesses."
Selvaggi owns Plaster Fun Time, a company with nine branches in eastern Massachusetts. Plaster Fun Time provides plaster figurines and sculptures that children can paint.
Selvaggi has made his business experience the centerpiece of his campaign. He said that three-quarters of new jobs are created by small businesses and their success can rev up the entire economy.
"I understand why our economy is struggling and our underemployment rate is 15 percent," Selvaggi said.
But in his view two things need to change in Washington before businesses, and the nation as a whole, can flourish: taxes and the deficit. Taxes, he says, need to be simplified and reduced.
"We have a very complex tax code, one that favors large companies and those with connections to Washington. Our corporate tax rate is the highest in the world. Simplify the tax code and reduce marginal rates," Selvaggi said. A simpler code would make it harder for big companies to avoid paying taxes.
Furthermore, he sees the current tax code as one that penalizes success: "The more you earn, the more they take. As you become become more and more productive your tax rate goes up."
The second major piece of the financial puzzle, he says, is to reign in the deficit. As a nation, we are borrowing 40 percent of everything we spend and Selvaggi proposes reforming entitlements, including repealing the Affordable Care Act and substituting a plan in which individuals pay the first $2,000 of their health care bills each year. This money would not come out of one's own pocket but out of refundable tax credits.
Selvaggi said he is hoping that people are dissatisfied enough with the state of the economy so that they would consider crossing party lines to vote for a Republican. But more than unsatisfied Democrats, Selvaggi is pinning his hopes on the state's large unenrolled population – in other words, the ones who voted in Sen. Scott Brown.
"There is a heck of a lot of people who are not democrats and my hope is that for the right person they will consider voting Republican."
Polls are open Thursday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.