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Residents give advice to the president

November 07, 2012|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com

With President Obama re-elected Tuesday, the Republicans maintaining control of the House of Representatives, and the Democrats maintaining control of the Senate, Washington appears as if it will be as divided as it was before the elections.

Hagerstown resident William Jones said Obama should work to end the partisanship in the country over the next four years.

“As a former coach, I always emphasized that it’s not me, it’s we, and Republicans and Democrats have to work together for the sake of the country,” Jones, 67, said. “The other side’s got to work with him also.”

Jones said he used to be a teacher and a coach at Berkeley Springs (W.Va.) High School and is now retired.

Hagerstown resident Sandra Fox, 71, said that she would tell the president to focus more on helping out senior citizens such as herself.

“All they focused on in this campaign was jobs, but we’re past that stage,” she said. “They keep taking away from us. I’ve worked all my life.”

Clara Warner, 74, of Smithsburg, also said that Obama should focus more on senior citizens.

“My husband’s in a nursing home, so that’s extra expensive for me,” she said. “His whole social security check goes to that plus what we’ve saved all our life.”

Warner and Fox both said the levels of income for social security should be raised even more than they are.

According to various media exit polls, the economy was the top issue among voters Tuesday. Many area residents said that it is also what they would advise President Obama to focus on in his second term.

“We have a bunch of college kids that have trouble finding jobs, and millions of people are still unemployed,” Falling Waters, W.Va., resident Pierce Smith, 55, said. “He has to have another stimulus plan to help out with jobs and infrastructure.”

Sharon Steele, 56, also of Falling Waters, agreed that Obama should focus on the economy.

“I think the most important thing is getting everybody back on their feet,” she said. “Everybody needs to work together as Americans.”

In an issue related to the economy, other area residents talked about the spending going on at the federal level.

Hagerstown resident Jim Rickard, 50, said that Congress and Obama should focus on getting a balanced budget.

“With a balanced budget and the economy, one will help out the other, and we need to stop trading with China,” he said. “Instead of being out of the pockets of big business, Congress needs to realize who they are voted in by and work for the people. Dig up our old forefathers and bring them back.”

Waynesboro resident Bill Spigler, 65, agreed that Obama should focus on not spending more than the government takes in but was discouraged that would happen.

“He got voted in by the people who are going to expect to have things given to them from the centralized Federal Government,” he said. “He’ll have to print more money, and on the economy side that’s probably the worst thing you can do.”

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the national debt is now more than $18 trillion. The fiscal cliff, according to published reports, may be the first issue Obama has to face after being re-elected, with the Bush-era tax cuts set to expire at the end of the year.

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