(DALTON, GA) – 9th District congressional candidate and State Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ranger) stood head and shoulders above the rest of the field at a candidate forum today at the North West Georgia Trade and Conference Center in Dalton. More than 100 individuals attended the forum, which was sponsored by the Carpet and Rug Institute. Graves demonstrated command of the issues facing business owners and outlined a vision less government and free market solutions.
This was the first political forum of the election for Graves and the other candidates in the race.
Graves said Washington is falling into the habit of bailing something out when it isn’t working. He is against the stimulus and the power grab coming out of Washington of the private sector and said it’s easy to blame the Democrats and oppose their agenda. “It’s easy to be the candidate of ‘NO.’ What I’ve heard all across the 9th District is we need leadership to take on the difficult issues and put forth common sense solution that bring results. We need a leader willing to step forward to restore and reclaim liberty and free market principles that have made this country great,” said Graves.
“I’ve done just that in the Georgia legislature. My JOBS Act was a common sense proposal that empowered the private sector to create jobs. Your industry will benefit from the elimination of the inventory tax that was part of this proposal. Growing the private sector is what will get us through these challenging days not growing the government. Congress must focus on empowering the taxpayer instead of taking over car companies, banks and nationalizing our health care system,” continued Graves.
The Jobs Opportunity and Business Success Act, HB 481 and 482 which Graves received national attention and was awarded the “2009 Legislator of the Year from the American Legislative Exchange Council,” was a common sense proposal that empowered the taxpayer instead of empowering government. The JOBS Act was focused on helping small businesses and creating, expanding and attracting jobs through a series of tax credits, cuts, and incentives for businesses to hire Georgians.
Graves is supportive of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s American Solutions “Jobs Here, Jobs Now, Jobs First” as an example to create jobs through private industry. Graves said the proposal would generate jobs by cutting the payroll taxes in half for two years, abolish the capitol gains and death tax and reduce the corporate income tax, instead of using taxpayer dollars to stimulate the economy.
Graves said Patient Centered Patient Driven reforms are needed in health care and we must find ways to insure those who can not afford health insurance, but he opposes the Democrats takeover of our health care system. “We need to focus America on reforms that make health care more affordable, portable and accessible.” He said reforms and savings could be achieved by increasing competition through allowing health plans to be purchased across state lines, allowing consumers to own their own policy and the reduction of insurance mandates.
He also believes the doctor patient relationship must be preserved and any reforms must include liability reform.
Graves said he is opposed to the $846 billion Cap and Trade energy tax that passed Congress earlier this year and signed the Americans for Prosperity’s “No Climate Tax” pledge last month.
He also pointed out that the secret ballot must be preserved and opposes attempts by labor unions to enact “card check” legislation, which would make it easier for labor to organize.
Graves’ campaign seems to be on a roll following this weekend’s successful corn roast in Tate, which was the largest political event for a 9th District congressional candidate and one of the largest events in the district this election cycle, an indicator that he has the conservative support throughout the district.
Graves announced earlier this year he would seek the 9th District Congressional seat, which is currently held by Congressman Nathan Deal who is running for Governor.