News / USA

Voters React to Republican Gains in Midterm Elections

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

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees 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.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More