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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid