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Voters on the issues
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Here is a sampling of responses to The Times’ from local voters discussing election issues that matter most to them.

Of top priority is the economy and jobs. These two factors are indeed linked where success in one area — the economy — will have a positive and sustainable impact on job creation in private (not public) sectors, while reducing the unemployment rate.
Government must reduce spending and reduce taxes, including corporate, personal, and property taxes. This will be accomplished by consolidating and eliminating departments at the state, county and local levels. Politicians, encouraged by citizens, must ask themselves what are the basic services government must provide, then eliminate all excesses.
This includes school boards which have far exceeded the three R’s when it comes to educating our children.
Bob Tardif, Braselton

My main concern for our Congressional candidates is for them to go to Washington to serve us, not themselves! I like that all of the candidates are conservative. I am in favor of term limits (two), down size BIG Government, FairTax and to repeal ObamaCare.
Brad Farrow, Flowery Branch

I believe that taxes and government spending are the biggest issues in our election. The FairTax plan would do many things like, give the power back to the citizens, lower taxes, bring jobs back to America, bring money back to America, force politicians to control spending and many more.
This also affects our national security. If you have no money you can’t afford a strong military. We the people need to remind Washington that they work for us and not us for them.
Heath West, Buford

The top issue in this coming election is getting our country back from all the socialism that is being forced on all of us. I hope The Times is going have each candidate for each office and a detailed list of what their main goal is for the country.
We need these issues and their opinions addressed: 1. their party affiliation; 2. are they conservative or liberal; 3. where they stand on illegal immigration control; 4. their main goal if they get elected to office; 5. where they stand on the new health care; 6. where they stand on our Constitution, Bill of Rights and amendments; 7. Supreme Court judges and election of new ones.
Mary P. Kirves, Gainesville

Having just voted, the criteria to get my vote is a candidate’s verbal promise to me that he will act to defend the U.S. Constitution and help the equal citizens of the USA retake control of the federal government, whose authority comes only from us citizens.
Rick Frommer, Murrayville

Our elected officials should be concerned with the economy and jobs. I work with the senior community and it is frightening what I encounter each day. Our seniors are living on Social Security and the cost of living is killing them.
Most make enough to not qualify for additional help such as food stamps or a low income subsidy to help with their prescription drug cost. But this doesn’t mean that they can afford their groceries and the co-pay cost of their medicines. Prices keep going up but not the income of the seniors on Social Security. ...
We need jobs. We need more jobs for the 40-plus age group. We need more help for our seniors on Social Security such as a cost of living increase. We need better Medicare coverage, and not cuts in Medicare services.
Jo Buffington, Gillsville

The issues facing our country are just as diverse and dynamic as each individual that will be voting in the up coming election. While most government polices warrant reform, the No. 1 worry that weighs on my mind is the excessive wasteful spending in Washington; from our representatives receiving the royal treatment with private jets and five star accommodations, to the facilitation of irresponsible behavior through various social programs.
None of which represent me or any of my needs, and it is shameful. What’s worse is the fact that the teachers are being furloughed and schools closed due to this unnecessary spending and extravagance. Thus, the next generation of Americans has been dealt an injustice. Obviously, something is very wrong with the mindset in Washington.
We need someone who can stand up for the tax payer, make some rational decisions, and stop spending like the bill will never come.
Taylor Lovelady, Gainesville

I actually think there are several issues that should be addressed to put this country back on the straight and narrow. To accomplish this, though, requires removing all incumbents from office and starting anew. Everyone elected to government should get one six-year term, after which they cannot go back.
With the level of technology we have, there is no reason for Congressmen to spend all their time in Washington. They should spend three weeks in their home state/district for every 1 week in D.C. No more lifetime appointments in Washington.
If we can vote for judges at the state level, why not at the federal level. We should repeal the 17th Amendment, giving states representation in Washington once again. And most definitely we should examine the powers granted by the 10th Amendment.
Blake Duncan, Buford

First, stop the health care bill that will ruin the best health system in the world. Second, stop the current administration from turning are great country to a socialist nation. Third, lower taxes to create jobs. Fourth, enact the FairTax to create jobs and bring back the business that have left the country because of high taxes and have all people taxed including illegal aliens.
If the Obamacare is not stopped, the large restaurant where I work will have to pay out $40 million a year and will have to close because of the high cost and I will loose my job that I have had for the past 15 years.
Let’s vote out the bums and save are country from the socialists.
Jim Baker, Flowery Branch

There are many issues in government, both state and national, that I feel must be addressed by the voters.
1. Federal spending is totally out of control. 2. Our nation’s security is at risk and being back-burnered by the president. 3. Georgia will be forced to deal with Obamacare like all the other states. All the spending in Washington will eventually cost the states. 4. Our civil rights are being threatened daily by the president of our once-great country. 5. Crime in Atlanta seems to me to be totally out of control. 6. And God is continually being omitted from about everything because it might be offensive to someone, yet Muslims seem to be getting a free ride.
Dennis Clinton, Gainesville