We're at a crossroads in our community. For the past several years, our district has been left behind. We face double-digit unemployment, and it seems each passing week brings news of a new plant or factory moving overseas.
Now, more than ever, I believe our district needs a representative who will fight for jobs in America. We need policies that encourage the production of goods in our great nation, not China. We are leaders in innovation but, unfortunately, most of those innovations are instantly taken advantage of overseas because Washington, establishment politicians like our incumbent aren't listening to us back home.
U.S. Rep. Paul Broun Jr.'s plan to create jobs? Cut capital gains and dividend taxes for Wall Street bankers. No surprise since that's who supports his campaign.
The incumbent rails against bailouts and federal spending, while, quietly, a bank he owned was bailed out by the government. A Georgia bank owned by Broun and his brothers was shut down and bailed out by the federal government, costing Americans nationwide $123 million.
Small businesses create jobs and serve as the backbone of our economy. I've put a lot of miles on my Buick LeSabre, driving across the 10th District and speaking with small business owners about how we can help them, and what they need to recover from the recession and help put our communities back to work.
We need to expand tax breaks for existing small businesses and find ways to increase loans to new small businesses - the start-ups that will hire new workers and help drive our economy forward.
The incumbent talks about tax cuts for small businesses, but when $12 billion in tax breaks for small business came up for a vote, Broun voted no - voted no on cutting capital gains for small businesses, voted no on letting small business owners write off the cost of health care, voted no on increasing lending to small businesses.
While we work to create new jobs and bring in new industries, we cannot forget our district's seniors. Many older Americans depend on programs like Social Security to live a life of dignity and avoid begging and dying in the streets. They depend on it because they were promised it. We must honor this contract, and not raise the retirement age or reduce benefits. We also must fight politicians like Broun, who argue we should hand Social Security over to the same Wall Street bankers who wrecked our economy.
We face an important choice in this election. We can choose to stick with the incumbent who proudly fights to end programs like Social Security as we know it, who votes against tax cuts for small business owners, and who doesn't even bother to vote to help save our teachers.
We need a representative who will fight for our community - who will work to bring jobs to our district, protect Social Security, and support our teachers and our schools. We need to go in a new direction.
(Russell Edwards is a Democratic candidate running for the 10th District U.S. Congressional seat.)
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