Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Congressman Lloyd Smucker / Barney Ewell / Net Neutrality

Written by Rich Copeland - Producer, WITF's Smart Talk | Dec 5, 2017 12:00 PM

On the Wednesday December 6th, 2017 edition of WITF's Smart Talk:

A House-Senate conference committee is now working to finalize and iron out the differences between the tax reform packages approved by both Republican-controlled bodies.

Republican Congressman Lloyd Smucker, representative of portions of Berks, Chester and Lancaster Counties, appears on Wednesday's Smart Talk to discuss the bills.

We hold ourselves to high standards of accuracy and fairness. With that in mind, due to a communications error on our part, I was under the impression that Congressman Smucker had only agreed to appear on Smart Talk for 10 minutes Wednesday when in fact the 10 minutes was at our suggestion, because of a tight schedule.  We regret the miscommunication and hope to have Congressman Smucker on the program in the future for a longer period of time, so that we can go more in depth on issues and take phone calls and email comments as well.

Scott LaMar 

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Congressman Lloyd Smucker, R (PA-16th)

Between 1939 and 1948, Henry Norwood "Barney" Ewell was considered the fastest man in the world.  Ewell was born into poverty in Harrisburg, attended McCaskey High in Lancaster where he became the state's leading track star and went on to win 12 gold medals in college meets while at Penn State.

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Barney Ewell

Because of delays due to WWII, Ewell had to wait until 1948 to compete in the Olympics where he won gold on the 4 X 100 relay team.  He continued to compete throughout Europe and Australia, eventually retiring to Lancaster.  He passed in 1996 at the age of 78.

Today, a group in Lancaster is working to preserve the memory of Barney Ewell through memorabilia collected throughout his life, including Olympic medals and souvenirs from his travels.  On the Wednesday edition of WITF's Smart Talk, we talk about preserving Barney Ewell's legacy with Jeremiah Miller, coordinator of the McCaskey High School Alumni Association and former Lancaster County Commissioner and nephew of Ewell, Ron Ford.

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Jeremiah Miller, coordinator of the McCaskey High School Alumni Association and Ron Ford, former Lancaster County Commissioner and nephew of Barney Ewell

Also, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is committed to overturning Obama-era net neutrality rules that ensured equal access and delivery speeds for all web sites.  The Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines to rollback the regulations in May which would allow companies like Verizon and AT&T to charge sites for high speed delivery and block competitors of big-ticket sites like Amazon or Facebook.

Robert Frieden, a Penn State professor of Telecommunications and Law argues that pay-per service would allow telecom companies to upgrade their infrastructure globally, stating " . . . when you subsidize access in these lesser developed countries, you provide an opportunity to see what the internet is all about."

Smart Talk will discuss net neutrality with Frieden and Andrew Hacker, Harrisburg University's Cybersecurity Expert in Residence.


Robert Frieden - Pioneers Chair in Telecommunications and Law at Penn State University / Andrew Hacker - Harrisburg University's Cybersecurity Expert in Residence


for Congressman Lloyd Smucker:

- Thank you Scott (and the whole Smart Talk team) for selecting such interesting and relevant topics to discuss in our community.

In particular, I was very interested to hear that Representative Lloyd Smucker will be discussing the Tax Bill. Here is my question for him:

"Representative Lloyd Smucker, I am a voting resident of Lancaster County, and I am very concerned about the proposed removal of the Individual Mandate to purchase health insurance in the Senate version of the Tax Bill. Even though I'm young and healthy, I purchase health insurance, since it's the responsible thing to do in case I have a medical emergency. I'm very concerned that if the Individual Mandate to purchase health insurance is removed in this Tax Bill, that will drastically increase the cost of health insurance, as other relatively healthy people will be less likely to purchase coverage. I am aware that the Individual Mandate to purchase health insurance is a less-popular part of the Affordable Care Act, but as Paul Ryan said, the ACA is still the law of the land, and our members of Congress have a responsibility to make sure that our current healthcare system is both affordable and functioning well. Please let me know what you will be doing to make sure that the Individual Mandate is not eliminated in the final version of the Tax Bill as it goes through the reconciliation process, so that your constituents will not have to pay even more for health insurance."  - Stephan

From Smucker's campaign website:

"As our Congressman, Lloyd will put Americans back in the driver's seat of our economy by making sure it works for everybody, not just a privileged few."

According to the NYT:

"By 2027, people making $40,000 to $50,000 would pay a combined $5.3 billion more in taxes, while the group earning $1 million or more would get a $5.8 billion cut, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Congressional Budget Office."

How does he square the ways this plan will increase inequality in our country? And what is the point of creating a $1 trillion deficit that almost all economists say will provide little, if any, economic growth? Instead of a tax cut, why aren't we investing this money in infrastructure or clean energy or education or access to affordable healthcare?                                   - Tim, Marietta

- Corporations readily admit that they will not create jobs if they get a tax cut, but Republicans continue to say they will. I think that if lower and middle class people would get a tax cut, they would immediately go out and spend it on things that they need. This would lead to increased business and therefore companies would have o hire more workers to keep up with the demand. 

Call me cynical, but I feel the reason Republicans continue to give huge tax breaks to the wealthy and to corporations is because that is who is funding their campaigns.                                                                        - Pamela, Lancaster

- I am concerned about the elimination of the graduate student tax waiver and the elimination of the student loan interest deduction in the present House version of the Tax reform bill.

With so many colleges and universities in your district: Franklin & Marshall, Millersville, Elizabethtown, HACC, Lancaster Bible College, Alvernia, RACC, Albright, why would you not support these initiatives for students and advocate to strike these provisions from the bill?                       - Barbara, Denver

- I agree that we have tried this all before. However, the previous times we tried it the benefits did not "trickle down" to the middle class.  It just made the rich richer.  You are just satisfying your rich donors by giving them most of the tax breaks.                                       - Don

- Please ask Rep. Smucker why he won't have a Town Hall? He says he get out with his voters, but it's usually only reported in the paper after the fact and they are very limited to special groups.                                                 - Joyce

- Wow!! 10 minutes. Typical Smucker. Lie lie lie then go away                          - Jane&John

on net neutrality:

Net neutrality is completely necessary for our country and our culture to proceed. We need to move toward a more open internet, which would be an incredible resource for the advancement of all, rather than slash net neutrality and put ourselves in the pockets of companies like Verizon & Comcast (who are already notorious for shirking their contractual obligations).  - Nathan

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