News / USA

Voters React to Republican Gains in Midterm Elections

TEXT SIZE - +
Kane Farabaugh

In an historic shift, Republicans emerged victorious in the 2010 U.S. mid-term elections.  While they made large gains in the House of Representatives, Democrats retained control of the Senate.  Many voters hope the shift will bring new legislation that combats high unemployment, falling home prices, and rising government debt.

Voters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, awoke to a political landscape that had shifted overnight.

Republican Senate Candidate Pat Toomey and Republican Gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett defeated their Democratic opponents, and will take control of a state looking to add jobs and spur economic recovery.

Pittsburgh real estate agent Maria Leaf lost her job with a media company earlier in the year.  After living on modest unemployment benefits, she decided to enter the real estate market at a time when housing prices across the country are down.

She says there is initial optimism following Tuesday's election results.

"I really hope that the optimism that is there, about the economy getting better, happens - and happens quickly," said Leaf.

Housing prices in Pittsburgh remained more stable than other cities during the housing meltdown, but that has not translated into more business for Leaf.  She is considering taking on an additional part-time job to help make ends meet.

But she hopes to see a post-election boost in interest for new homes.

"We are thrilled because once that gets out of the way, people will be out and looking, and a lot of people want to be in a new home by the holidays, and that is what our goal is to help them accomplish," she said.

Leaf admits that optimism could be short-lived if Republican lawmakers do not have a plan to speed up economic recovery.  

In New York, where Democrats retained Senate and Gubernatorial seats, Ford Motor Company employee John Chambliss thinks there is little lawmakers can do.

"I do not think there is anything they can do to beef up the economy," he said. "I think capitalism is a natural cycle, laissez faire, and I think if they can just leave it alone and let it work itself out instead of trying to inject itself, instead of government trying to inject itself into a laissez faire economy, then I think everything will be fine."

Tax lawyer Charles Chromow disagrees.

"I am a firm believer that in times of economic recession like now, government should be spending more to stimulate the economy, not less, as the Republicans are urging," he said. "In fact, a lot of the problem with the high unemployment rate is due to the insufficient stimulus the government has made, not to the supposedly large numbers that Republicans say are inappropriate."

Back in Pittsburgh, once the center of U.S. steel production, Indian-American entrepreneur Lalit Chordia favors lowers taxes as a way to help spark the growth of small businesses, like his company, Thar Technologies.

"Any time we lower taxes, it allows us to put more money back into the economy through investments," said Chordia. "I would like to see more tax directed towards investment, versus just a reduction in income taxes."

Thar Technologies is in the emerging "green job" sector, touted by the Obama Administration as a way to lower unemployment by getting people back to work in an industry that helps clean the environment.

Thar manufactures and exports equipment that processes biodiesel fuel.

But Lalit Chordia says his business growth has been hampered by an unclear energy policy by the Obama Administration, and pending legislation on a subsidy for using biodiesel fuel, which is still being debated by lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

"We are hoping that the change in Congress will allow both the Republicans and Democrats to come together because the 2012 elections are coming," he said. "So they come together with a clear policy on the biodiesel side so that will allow us to make a decision to go forward or not to go forward."

In the coming year, Chordia hopes to move Thar Technologies from their current location to a bigger facility, allowing him to hire more employees and contribute to job growth.

But Chordia admits that all depends on how well lawmakers cooperate, and how well the economy recovers.  

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid