Thursday afternoon I had the opportunity to continue my series of walking tours through the First Congressional District. This time I visited Downtown Exeter and met employees and management at four different area businesses. Many of the comments I received from these people had a common theme- they did not feel they were being heard by their congresswoman or that Washington represented their interests.
My first stop was at the Trackside Cafe, where I met with owner Ron Cross. Mr. Cross' primary concern was the LLC Tax. However he also mentioned that he felt the country was being run in an ad hoc manner that those in power are simply throwing ideas at the wall hoping that something sticks! He went on to say that there are simply too many regulations and taxes in our state, and that it seemed like the state government was doing whatever it could to raise taxes on small businesses. One of my major beliefs is that representatives should be judged by the legislation they repeal, not just what they enact. This struck a chord with Cross and his desire to keep his business successful.
The next stop on the tour was Arjay's Ace Hardware, where I met with Rusty Simmons. At Arjay's they are trying to find more ways to engage their customers in order to keep them coming back. For example Rusty encourages employees to go out of their way to help customers. Mr. Simmons pointed out a disappointing but important truth about today's economy: "Flat is the new good," referring to his business' revenue. This was difficult for me to hear. I want to help make New Hampshire flourish by promoting business friendly initiatives. It is clear to me that not only is our Congresswoman not doing enough to allow small businesses to succeed she is actively harming them through oppressive taxation and outrageous spending. Every dollar collected and spent by the government removes choice from the individual and as a result limits freedom. This is what I had in mind when I laid out "The People's Fiscal Responsibility and Reform Pact," which are the core principles I want to enact if elected. The legislation that I want to pass aims to help small businesses, eliminating a lot of unnecessary regulations placed on small business owners, and encouraging free market solutions for economic problems. These first two stops on the tour showed just how vital this pact is for improved state commerce.
At the Exeter Hospital, a major topic of discussion was the recent healthcare bill where administrators expressed similar concerns. With the new regulations set out by Obamacare, hospital administrators see little hope for continuing to provide excellent and expedient care for patients. I told them that I want to repeal and replace nationalized healthcare because although I believe the healthcare system can be improved, I don’t believe government run healthcare is the answer.
Another small business owner and former state senator, Russell Prescott, shed a lot of light on our Country's economic problems. Russell’s family has passionately run a small family business in Exeter for 50 years, and has 30 employees whose life stories he reads as if they were his own, because essentially they are. Like Mr. Cross, he too is concerned about the LLC tax. After all these years establishing his family business in Exeter and building lifelong relationship with customers and employees alike, he is now worried about keeping this business running and keeping his employees gainfully employed. These stories resonated for me because more than anything, they show the shared concern that the American dream is disappearing. It's hard to see someone work their entire lives to create something, and to now not have the security to continue to strive for success. When elected, I hope to restore faith in our economy, and allow small businesses to continue to pursue the dream of success upon which our Country was founded.
It is clear to me that after making these stops that Carol Shea-Porter is simply not listening to her constituents. Not only is she unconcerned with her constituents wants and needs, she brags about voting with both Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi over 90% of the time. We need leadership that represents New Hampshire instead of Washington.
Through this tour and others like it, I will continue to seek out as much of your input as possible. As I have said it truly is "Your Voice, Your Vote, Your House." I encourage you all to log onto YourVoiceYourHouse.com. There you will find "The People's Fiscal Responsibility and Reform Pact." There are ten reforms which I have already included in the pact, but there are also 10 other reforms, five of which will be chosen based on your feedback. I am running for congress to represent the voices of the 1st district of New Hampshire because people in Washington, including our own congresswoman, are not hearing you.