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Wednesday, February 18th, 2009
By William Kincaid
Congressman speaks on economy
  Mercer County residents have the right attitude and outlook about the U.S. despite the hard economic times, U.S. Congressman Bob Latta says.
"People haven't given up," Latta told the newspaper on Tuesday afternoon after talking with local citizens at the Central Service Building in Celina.
Latta, Ohio's 5th District Republican Representative from Bowling Green, listened to his constituents' concerns and questions for over two hours. His district includes northern Mercer County.
Residents talked one-on-one with Latta, who is touring seven counties this week while Congress is out of session.
Those who spoke brought up various issues, such as their fear about the possible revocation of the Second Amendment (right to bear arms) and the misuse of U.S. tax dollars and increased debt to foreign countries.
One man expressed anger at what he believes to be the farce of global warming and its impact on legislation, while another person spoke about the problem of illegal aliens.
Many of those Latta talked with were primarily concerned about how the stimulus package would affect America and its freedoms.
"It comes down to people are concerned about economy," Latta said.
Latta voted against the $787 billion stimulus package. The plan did not include enough tax cuts for businesses and individuals, he said.
"Businesses are the ones that go out and employ people," he said.
Instead of taking and spending citizens' money, the government should allow them to keep more, which would lead to additional purchasing and savings power, and consequently, increased borrowing capacity by banks, he said.
Latta believes the package was rushed through Congress too fast.
"The taxpayers are on the hook," he said, adding that all the U.S. is doing these days is borrowing more money.
Asked about the future of the GOP - specifically in regards to the youth - Latta said he remembers 1976 after Watergate, when the Republican Party was declared dead by many. Four years later, Ronald Reagan came into power, he said
The Republican Party lost its way through increased spending, he said. It must regain the trust of the people through the right proposals of tax cuts for businesses and individuals, he added.
"We are not going to spend your inheritance," he said.
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