The economy

How can the federal government best stimulate the economy?

Democrat

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Republican

The economy, in large measure, can take care of itself.

Directing federal spending to specific industries or entities disrupts the natural forces of the economy. Increased demand, real demand, will stimulate the economy, not an artificial spending spree.

The ARRA was supposed to be focused on "shovel-ready" projects. Precious little was spent there as a percentage of the total authorized. A case can be made for directed federal spending in major infrastructure repair. Repaving roads does not rise to the level of a major project.

Delaying burdensome regulation in time of economic crisis that adds to overhead (continued discussion of EPA / Cap & Trade mandates), providing a long-term view of tax policy that provides stability to the business planning process (Bush-era tax cut extension), and reinstating Medicare reimbursements (repeal of "Obamacare") to avoid continued layoffs in the medical sector are all measures that can be taken right now.

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Bush tax cuts

Will you vote to continue the tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush for the top 3% of earners?

Democrat

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Republican

I favor extending tax cuts for all Americans.

Many millions of small business owners would be handicapped by effectively raising their taxes in this economy, with catastrophic results. More layoffs and a deeper recession will result if taxes are raised.

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Federal deficit

If the bipartisan deficit commission says that both spending reductions and revenue increases, including tax hikes, are necessary to reduce the federal deficit to a sustainable level, would you support such a package?

Democrat

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Republican

I would, of course, support spending reductions. I would not support tax increases, however, especially in the current economic environment.

As any business owner will tell you, reducing spending and making yourself more efficient is a much better way to have a successful company then raising prices. As small businesses will lead us out of this recession by creating new jobs, it is counterproductive to put any additional burden on them with new, higher taxes.

There is enough revenue in the federal budget today. What is lacking is the will to prioritize needs over wants.

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Health care law

What is your view of the national health care law?

Democrat

This candidate hasn't responded yet; please check back later.

Republican

As a recent Rasmussen Poll indicates, 61% of American voters favor a repeal of the new health care law. As usual, when given all the facts and details, the American voter gets it right!

There are many ways to introduce free-market principles to the health care marketplace, and I am in favor of repeal.

The national health care law did nothing to address the cost of health care. The responsibility should rest with the state government, which should be permitted to cross state lines to provide larger insurable pools of participants.

Tort reform must be addressed as a means of reducing unnecessary medical testing and unreasonable claims. Prescription drug costs also must come under scrutiny.

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Illegal immigration

Do you agree with Arizona's new immigration law? If not, what should the country do about illegal immigration?

Democrat

This candidate hasn't responded yet; please check back later.

Republican

As the Arizona immigration law mirrors the federal law, I am certainly in favor of it.

The federal government is obliged to enforce the law of the land, not to look the other way. Arizona was forced to enact its own law to protect its citizens.

The cost of illegal immigration is very real, and the impact on not only border communities, but also those here in Massachusetts, is measurable and costly.

The US border is the first line of defense for the country and represents the beginning of US foreign policy and national security interest.

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Trade

Do you support free trade or fair trade? Why?

Democrat

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Republican

I support free trade with the caveat that our trading partners must compete in a fair manner. This applies to currency values and a code of conduct commensurate with US values, such as environmental compliance and child labor standards.

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Social security

What specific changes would you support to make Social Security and Medicare sustainable over the long term?

Democrat

This candidate hasn't responded yet; please check back later.

Republican

We have made a contract with our seniors that must be honored.

There will be changes necessary for future generations of Americans, some of which are outlined in Rep. Paul Ryan's "Roadmap for America." That document offers a good starting point for discussion of future changes necessary to many programs that will ensure budget viability throughout the 21st century.

Immigration policy that widely extends benefits to seniors as a matter of course who have never worked in this country must be carefully scrutinized.

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Responses gathered through e.thePeople